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In the previous sections, the phenomenon of anxiety (Angst) played
a role in 'wresting' Dasein from self-concealment and opening
it to the possibility of an authentic self-understanding i.e.,
anxiety rendered Dasein's dispersal into 'the they' inoperative
since it is precisely in this mood that Dasein cannot seek comfort
and forgetfulness in that sphere which it essentially is not --
for now the interpretations of the world and its publicness become
Deprived of its possibility for determining itself as 'worldly,'
Dasein is freed for the possibility of understanding itself from
itself. There is thus the possibility of getting a 'true image'
of Dasein and this 'true image' of Dasein is nothing less than
the Care structure i.e., the Being of Dasein.
Care, as the Being of Dasein, thus culminates in an inquiry into
the connection between Being and Truth.
Overview: This extremely complex section contains a 'preface'
followed by 3 main divisions, each one of which is divided into
(1) The introductory comments serve to 'place' the problem of
Being and Truth historically -- from the Parmenidian identity
of Being and Truth to the decisive turn which Aristotle set in
motion and which culminated in the 'traditional concept of truth'
(which is truth as 'correspondence').
(2) The first division (a) seeks to comprehend this traditional
conception of truth and to interpret it in such a way that the
primordial ground of this conception gets exhibited.
(3) The second division (b) seeks to disclose this primordial
ground --which is essentially to be found in Dasein's disclosedness
-- and to further show how the traditional concept in derived
from this primordial ground.
(4) The final division (c) seeks to show how the phenomenon of
Truth is bound up with the Being of Dasein i.e., how the Being
of Truth is connected to the Being of Dasein -- and with this
the investigation will have returned to its original 'place' viz.,
the connectedness between Being and Truth.
(1) the preparatory remarks
Heidegger quotes form Parmenides and Aristotle:
(a) Parmenides (Fragment 5): "Thought (intellectual intuition)
and Being are one" i.e., to perceive the 'Truth' is to perceive
Being and vice versa.
(b) Aristotle (Metaphysics): "Philosophy is rightly called
a knowledge of Truth" (II, 993 b 20-21) "A knowledge
of Being qua Being" (IV, 1003 a21).
Here, in the tradition, Being and Truth are thought together and
in such a manner that neither get conceived of in terms of 'judgment'
but rather, as 'matters' (Sache). If this interpretation is correct,
then the problem of truth becomes connected with the problems
of fundamental ontology (Being). And an investigation into fundamental
ontology ought to include an investigation into the phenomenon
of truth. But it is Heidegger's contention that the history of
ontology has tended to conceal this connectedness, which was nevertheless
quite alive at its very origins. As a phenomenological investigation,
the task is to confront the problem of Truth as it 'presents itself.'
Now, the concept of truth presents itself today from the perspective
of a tradition in which the concept of truth gets taken as a certain
kind of 'correspondence.' The analysis will thus take its point
of departure from this phenomenal context (viz., the traditional
conception of 'truth as correspondence') -- and then attempt to
lay bare the ontological foundation of that conception. Heidegger
wants to get beneath the sedimented concept of truth (as 'correspondence)
in order to return ('recollect') to the original Greek conception
(2) (a) the traditional conception of Truth and its ontological
foundations. This section has 3 parts: (i) a justification for
the claim that the traditional conception of 'truth' is one of
'correspondence,' (ii) an investigation into the nature and meaning
of this 'correspondence,' and (iii) a phenomenological critique
of this notion.
The traditional concept of truth is stated directly: (1) the
'locus' of truth is to be found in assertion (or judgment) (2)
it is to involve a kind of agreement or correspondence -- the
correspondence taking place between (a) mind (b) judgment and
its object. And, with reference to the tradition, (3) it is
with Aristotle that we find the definition of truth as (a) 'located'
in judgment and (b) correspondence (Ubereinstimmung).
The historical justification for this claim begins with Aristotle's
work on Interpretation (16a 4-7). Here, in discussing the nature
of 'words' and 'propositions', Aristotle speaks of 'thoughts'
or 'affection' in the 'soul' 'corresponding' to 'things'. This
sense of 'correspondence' was taken over in the great translations
of the 13th Century in which the Greek world view was Latinized
and the formulation for the essence of Truth received its most
definite expression in Thomas Aquinas -- where Truth is adaequatio
intellectus et rei [a "correspondence between intellect
(mind, soul) and thing"] (Quaestiones disputatae devertate,
QI, Art. I)
In Kant, too, the traditional concept of truth gets taken for
granted, even though, in the Critique of Pure Reason, a
fundamental turn has occurred, both for the concept of 'subject'
and the concepts of 'knowing' and 'judging'. Kant nevertheless
keeps the essential characterization of 'correspondence': "Truth
is the correspondence of knowledge with its object" (KRV
We could go further than Heidegger and quote from Wittgenstein's
classic 'Positivistic' phrase in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
"The correspondence or non-correspondence of [a proposition]
with reality constitutes its truth or falsity" (T2.222).
In all of these excerpts, beginning with Aristotle's reflection
on 'words' and 'propositions' down to Kant and finally Wittgenstein's
discussion, we find a constant notion of correspondence as the
essential moment of 'truth': this correspondence occurring, alternately,
between a 'mind' and an 'object', or a judgment (proposition)
and an 'object'.
Now, all things being equal, this 'definition' is adequate enough
(it is the criteria for the natural sciences). But if it remains
unclarified with respect to its ground, it can become misinterpreted
and actually serve to 'conceal' more than it 'reveals'. Heidegger
thus proposes a further penetration into the notion of truth as
(ii) The interpretation into the nature the nature and meaning
of this 'correspondence' takes its direction from the statement
that--the 'agreement' or 'correspondence' of something with something
has the formal character of a relation (Beziehung) of something
to something (e.g., of 'mind' to 'object', 'assertion' to 'reality'
etc.) Heidegger then proposes to investigate the ontological
character (the context of Being) that tacitly gives support to
In the classic formulations there are several presuppositions
that are operative:
(1) a relation between an immanent consciousness (intellectus)
and an outside sphere (rei) -- or, in judging, (2) an ideal content
(contained in the judgment) and the real thing (judged about);
(2) an ideal content (contained in the judgment) and the real
thing (judged about).
There emerges , in these and other notions, a dualism between
ontologically distinct levels -- a dualism which creates a radical
separation between the different spheres and makes the very possibility
of a correspondence (adequatio) problematic.
[It is to Husserl's credit, in the Logical Investigations
(V), that such dichotomies were overcome -- the 'relation' here
is not to be interpreted as one between the 'mind' (intellectus,
the 'knower') and the 'object' (res, the 'known'). Such
an interpretation misinterprets the phenomenological structure
of knowing. There are no 'images' between act and content, the
very meaning of intentionality destroys this dichotomy.]
(iii) The phenomenological critique
Heidegger proposes to approach the problem of truth by investigating
an 'act of knowledge' which, while an example of 'correspondence,'
reveals the deeper, phenomenological structures operative in knowledge
Example: the true assertion--"The picture on the wall is
When does the relation (the adequatio) become 'known' as
The answer lies in the phenomenal context of demonstration (Ausweisung),
when the relationship of agreement becomes 'visible'. The assertion
does not relate to some mental 'image' of the picture but rather
the assertion means the real picture (cf. Husserl L.I. VI, sec
37, "The adaequatio is realized when the object meant is
in the strict sense given...") What gets 'confirmed,' demonstrated'
in the 'truth' of the assertion is the fact that the assertion
points out that about which it is made. What gets demonstrated
is that the 'asserting' is an uncovering of the thing itself.
The 'truth' of the assertion has the character of an uncovering.
Heidegger then concludes that the Being-true (truth) of the assertion
must be understood as Being-uncovering (Entdeckend-sein). Note
how the concept of 'truth' takes on the dynamic structure of
uncovering and that its 'locus' seems to move closer
to Dasein (as disclosive) than to 'judgment'.
(B) This section has 3 parts: (i) a historical justification
for the concept of truth as 'uncovering' (instead of correspondence),
(ii) a deeper penetration into this primordial phenomenon of truth,
and (iii) an attempt to show how the notion of 'truth as correspondence'
grew out of its more original ground.
(i) By seeing truth in terms of uncoveredness and not primarily
in terms of 'correspondence,' Heidegger has returned the phenomenon
of truth to its earliest description as "Aletheia."
The Greek term aletheia can be translated as "taking
beings (entities) out of their hiddenness and letting them be
seen in their unhiddenness" or, more simply, uncovering
beings from their concealment. This is the concept of truth
as aletheia. Thus Heidegger has not 'shaken off' the tradition
but has rather appropriated it more primordially.
(ii) We must now look much further into this notion of 'uncovering.'
Heidegger distinguishes two senses of uncovering and hence two
senses of truth. One will be the ground for the other.
(1) The ground sense is described as truth in terms of the being-uncovering
which is involved in the Being of Dasein. Here, the sense of
uncovering involves the sense of Dasein's disclosedness -- those
constitutive moments that make up the possibility of Being-in-the-world.
(2) Upon the basis of this more primordial sense i.e., upon the
basis of Dasein's disclosive Being-in-the-world, there lies the
possibility of uncovering particular ontic truths -- and, with
this, 'truth' in the sense of being-uncovered. (Only because
Dasein is a disclosive Being-in-the-world can it 'verify' something
like a 'crooked picture on the wall'). Heidegger is explicit
about this in the Grundprobleme: Disclosedness is the
condition for the possibility of uncoveredness (p,. 101).
Heidegger then proceeds to investigate the consequences of this
more primordial sense of truth (in terms of disclosedness).
(1) The Being of Dasein is essentially constituted by the constitutive
moments of disclosedness, which manifest themselves proximately
and for the most part in the mode of falling. The unity of this
whole structure is called Care (Sorge). Now, insofar as
Dasein is constituted by disclosedness, there is the possibility
of Dasein's authentically making itself intelligible to itself
-- of disclosing, if you will, the truth of existence (ontological
truth). Dasein is 'in' the truth in as much as truth is constituted
by disclosedness. But, to Dasein's state of Being belongs the
moment of falling -- which we have characterized as essentially
concealment. In falling Dasein covers over its Being through
its disclosive tendency towards conceiving itself in terms of
'world' (i.e., that which it essentially is not). Hence, because
Dasein is essentially falling, it is in 'untruth'.
Dasein, insofar, as it essentially involves both disclosedness
and concealment is equiprimordially characterized by truth and
In his essay, VomWesen der Wahrheit Heidegger speaks of
this simultaneous revealing and concealing as a mystery in which
the very movement of these two moments is itself concealed and
forgotten. For instance, the polarity revealing/concealing is
operative in the scientific world view. The scientist, by approaching
entities in a certain way (e.g., as spatial-temporal objects),
"reveals" them in a certain, fruitful manner -- but,
in a simultaneous way, necessarily conceals other approaches (e.g.,
looking at things present-at-hand, one doesn't see them as ready-to-hand).
The image of one door closing when another door opens is appropriate
here. But Heidegger says this very movement (which is the 'mystery')
is itself concealed in, for instance, a scientific worldview.
We have here a concealment of concealment (which is at the very
root of the problem of communication between, say existential
psychologists and experimental psychologists).
(a) The derivative character of truth as a 'relation' of correspondence
or agreement between assertions and objects can be seen in the
derivative sense of assertion itself (the apophantical 'as') which
involved the notion of objects present-at-hand and its being a
modification of interpretation (the hermeneutical 'as') which
involved our concernful comportment towards things ready-to-hand
and with that Dasein's primary way of understanding the world.
The roots of the truth of assertion reach back to the disclosedness
of the understanding and hence to Dasein as disclosedness (which
is the primary locus of truth).
(b) But Heidegger wants to explicitly show the derivative character
of correspondence (or, 'agreement') here involved.
<essentially correct, this section needs to be reworked>
(a) assertions serve to communicate Dasein's disclosive uncoverings. This can be done immediately or, what is mostly the case, by 'proxy', i.e.,
(b) the assertion (or proposition) comes to 'contain' and preserve that which it has expressed. When this has occurred, the assertion becomes a 'piece of information' which then develops the character of something useful and ready-to-hand.
(c) The assertion itself becomes zuhandenheit. Note how the relation here has changed: what is contained in the assertion becomes objectified.
(d) Now this objectified proposition can itself be 'called out'
for verification. When this happens the assertion becomes something
present-at-hand which may or may not 'conform' to some entity
present-at-hand. When this situation has been so far removed
from its original uncoveredness, the relationship between the
two things present-at-hand shows itself as an agreement, a correspondence:
a correspondence, furthermore, that is not engaged in any activity
save the 'verification' of two entities present-at-hand.
It is in this sense that truth as uncoveredness changes over into
truth as correspondence and this shows how the latter is twice
removed from the primordial sense of truth as disclosedness.
(c) This section again has 3 parts (i) the character of truth
(ii) the presupposition of truth and (iii) a return to the connectedness
of Being and Truth.
(i) Truth in its primary sense is bound to the Being of Dasein
as disclosedness. In this sense, there 'is' truth only insofar
as 'there is' Dasein -- but from this it does not follow that
truth is in the ontic sense is relative. Dasein is the ground
for the possibility of ontic truths, but it does not determine
those truths -- these must be uncovered through Dasein's disclosedness.
(ii) Now, because truth in the primary sense is involved in the
Being of Dasein -- it must be presupposed in the same non-demonstrative
manner in which Dasein itself, by simply existing, must be 'presupposed'.
(iii) This connectedness between truth and the Being of Dasein once again returns us to the interconnectedness between Being and Truth. The Being of Truth is connected primordially with the Being of Dasein and, as we will see, with temporality -- and temporality is to be seen as the horizon for the meaning of Being as such.
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