Re: A Question about "On the Essence of Truth" (fwd)

On Tue, 11 Apr 1995, Martin Weatherston wrote:

> On Mon, 10 Apr 1995, Anthony F. Beavers wrote:
> >
> > Martin,
> >
> > Brad has suggested to me in a private post that the passage must mean
> > that the thing comports itself toward Dasein, though it cannot be
> > revealed without the corresponding proposition, which manifests the
> > thing. (I hope I am getting that right, Brad.) This response seems a
> > little more determinative than yours below, but I believe it does not
> > contradict your position. Am I right in thinking this?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Tony
> I would say that this interpretation of the passage is definitely
> wrong. It seems to me to be the case that Heidegger is concerned above
> all to detach the essence of truth from the proposition (at least in
> terms of its deeper grounds). If there were the kind of codependency
> suggested, I don't think that Heidegger would have written a few
> paragraphs later: "But if the correctness (truth) of statements becomes
> possible only through this openness of comportment, then what first makes
> correctness possible must with more original right be taken as the
> essence of truth."
> I believe that here and in B&T s. 44, Heidegger is asserting that
> truth is not just found in statements, but it is more fundamentally in
> the comportment itself.

But I didn't say that truth is "just found in statements," only that
statements had a revelatory nature needed to let the thing be manifested
"as". I agree that the openness of comportment must be prior. To return
to my original question: what is comporting itself toward what? You have
only asserted that there is a relationship between Dasein and the thing,
(actually this is difficult for me since Dasein is not even written in to
this passage.) The passage once again is:

"The relation of the presentative statement to the thing is the
accomplishment of that *bearing* which originally and always comes to
prevail as a comportment. But all comportment is distinguished by the
fact that, standing in the open region, it adheres to something opened up
*as such*. What is thus opened up, solely in this strict sense, was
experienced early in Western thinking as "what is present" and for a long
time has been named "being."" (1977, 124).

So far, no mention of human beings, but Heidegger has said "The relation
of the presentative statement to the thing...always comes to prevail as
comportment." However, the next lines seem to complicate things.

"Comportment stands open to beings. Every open relatedness is a
comportment. Man's open stance varies depending on the kind of beings and
the way of comportment."

Now man is brought back into the picture. Three terms are apparent in the
passage, man, the presentative statement, and the thing. What I am having
difficulty determining is the precise relationship between them.

This is why a work of art, for instance, can be
> "true". On a more mundane level, every appropriate response to a
> situation (such as dropping one hammer that is too heavy and picking up
> another) has its own kind of truth, without us ever expressing or even
> thinking a proposition.

Then why does Heidegger write, "All working and achieving, all action and
calculation, keep within an open region within which beings, with regard
to what they are and how they are, can properly take their stand and
become capable of being said. *This can occur only if beings present
themselves along with the presentative statement* so that the latter
subordinates itself to the directive that it speaks of beings *such as*
they are" (1977, 124).

To be sure, somehow this presentative statement, though it is not truth,
is intimately related to truth. Heidegger writes, "Thus the traditional
assignment of truth exclusively to statements as the sole essential locus
of truth falls away" (1977, 125). The words "exclusively" and "sole"
indicate to me that the proposition is still a part of truth, it is just
not all of it.

In any case, I am still confused. I think I will take your advice and
read _BT_ 44. Can you offer any further clarification?

Thanks for your comments. They are helping me to clarify the passage, but
I think I have a ways to go.


Anthony F. Beavers, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion
The University of Evansville / Evansville, Indiana 47722 / (812)479-2682
Metaethics, Metaphysics, Existentialism, and the Judeo-Christian Tradition
Visit the Academy of Human Arts and Sciences

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