Being and Implication:
On Hegel and the Greeks

Andrew Haas

Abstract: This work shows that being must originally be understood as implication. We begin with what Heidegger calls Hegel’s ‘new concept of being’ in the Phenomenology of Spirit: time as history is the essence of being. This concept however, is not univocal—for supersession means destroying-preserving. Hegel shows himself to be the thinker of truth as essentially ambiguous; and the Phenomenology is onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, the history of the being and unity, time and aspect, of the concept’s ambiguity. For Heidegger however, conceptual ambiguity confirms that Hegel’s history of being is stuck in a vulgar interpretation of time; and the Phenomenology can explain neither the origin of this time, nor the necessity of negation for the historical determination of being—for Hegel cannot think the ground of the concept of being, that is, the grounding of the ground. If Heidegger argues however, that the Phenomenology is pre-determined by its ancient point of departure, we must go back to the Greeks, back to Aristotle’s original insight (overlooked by the entire history of philosophy as metaphysics): being and unity imply one another—for they are essentially implications. Thus the question of the meaning of being becomes the question of the meaning of implication.

Keywords: Ambiguity; Aristotle; Aspect; Being; Concept; Hegel; Heidegger; History; Implication; Phenomenology; Time; Unity

ei dē to on kai to hen tauton kai mia phusis tō akolouthein allēlois hōsper archē kai aition…
If being and unity are the same and are one thing in the sense that they are implied in one another as principle and cause are…
—Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1003b22-24.

A new concept of being, a neuer Seinsbegriff, that ‘complies with the meaning of the absolute concept of being’ (HPS 141/203)[1]—this is what Heidegger thinks Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit develops. But if this concept is new, it is because it is old, as old as Western metaphysics. And Hegel is merely unfolding the essential motifs of the Greeks, bringing the question ‘ti to on’ to completion. The science of the phenomenology of spirit is therefore, ‘nothing other than the fundamental-ontology of absolute ontology, or onto-logy in general’ (HPS 141/204).[2]

So what is this new concept of being? It is the concept itself, der Begriff. But the concept for Hegel is not simply an abstract idea or category, nor an immediate intuition of simple natures, nor is it merely a subjective thought or function of consciousness—for it is just as much concrete and objective, substance and subject—the concept is the absolute idea of absolute spirit. Being is absolute spirit, and the absolute idea is its concept. But if being is the concept, then absolute spirit is the absolute idea. And the phenomenology of spirit is the development of being as the concept; it is the comprehended or conceptual history, begriffene Geschichte, of absolute spirit as it comes to absolute knowledge of itself as absolute idea, ‘spirit that knows itself as spirit’ (PS ¶ 808/GW IX 531).[3] Then if the concept is Hegel’s new concept of being, history is the concept of the concept, Begriff des Begriffes (SL 582/GW XII 11).[4] As Heidegger insists: if spirit’s knowledge is historical history, the concept of being is temporal, and ‘the problematic of “being and time” already exists in Hegel’ (HPS 144/208).[5]

But what then is the temporality of being, of the historical concept, of the absolute idea of absolute knowledge? For Heidegger, it is that ‘being is the essence of time; being, namely, qua infinity’ (HPS 145/209).[6] Time is finite; being is infinite—for ‘time is one appearance of the simple essence of being qua infinity’ (HPS 145/209). Beings appear in time, as temporal, in the ‘shape of space’ (PS ¶ 169), thanks to the infinity of being, thanks to the concept of infinite history.

Heidegger’s thesis in response to the problematic of being and time however, is the exact opposite of Hegel’s: being is not the essence of time—rather, ‘time is the original essence of being’ (HPS 146/211). But is being the essence of time for Hegel? Or is it rather that history is the essence of being? Does the Phenomenology not demonstrate that the essence of being is historical spirit? What then happens to time? And to being? Or if Hegel’s concept of being is, as Heidegger insists, ‘as old as Western philosophy’ (HPS 141/204),[7] as old as the Greeks, must we not look to them in order to think the original meaning of being, and of time?

On Hegel’s Concept of Being

Regardless, Hegel’s new concept of being, the concept of the concept, is history. And this is the essence of time. But what is the concept of history? It is neither just one event after another, ‘free contingent happening’, the empirical fact of change or substantial development, nor the externalization of a self, the kenosis of subjectivity in space and time; rather it is the becoming of being. For the history of the concept of being is the unity, the Einheit, of its being and its negation, itself and its other, nothing.[8] And the historical concept of being—itself a contradictio in adjecto—the goal of the phenomenology of absolute spirit’s absolute knowledge, is the history of the absolute idea, of the becoming of spirit.

Time as historical then, is the truth of the Phenomenology—for here the unfolding of the concept of being is a reciprocally necessary movement, the progressive development of absolute spirit. And truth means: conceptual truth, the unity of the philosophical system of science, of the whole of life, of self and other, substance and subject. Indeed, the truth of the concept is double, free from one-sidedness, Einseitigkeit. And the Gestalt of the concept therefore, cannot be posited as predication or subsumption, but as Aufhebung, the supersession that both preserves and destroys contradiction, the going-under that is a going-over, Untergang that is an Übergang, a decline that is far more transition. Hegel thus insists that like aufgeben, aufheben is ambiguous ‘to give, like to supersede, two-meanings: a) to give up—to view it as lost, destroyed; b) [to give]—but even therewith simultaneously, to make it into a problem, whose content is not destroy; but which is saved and whose distortion is a difficulty to be solved’ (W XI 574).[9] If the truth of the concept is essentially ambiguous, it is because supersession has two-meanings simultaneously—not simply one, nor the other, nor their combination, but both.[10]

The time of the concept then, is ‘at the same time;’ the Gestalt of Aufhebung shows itself to be that of the zugleich. In this way, Hegel thinks the temporality of truth—not simply as finite or infinite, true or false, but both simultaneously. And it is this time that allows truth to show itself as temporal, as progressive, self-unfolding; just as it is this time that lets the concept appear as sequential, now one-sided, then two-sided (PS ¶ 5).[11] The ambiguity that simultaneously maintains and destroys ambiguity—this is the temporal truth of the concept. And an ambiguity that was not simultaneous (and simultaneously both ambiguous and non-ambiguous), would be no ambiguity at all. But if ambiguity is the essence of conceptual truth, of that which shows itself in the form of simultaneous time; this time is that of the now: both meanings are now and always. Presence and infinity are the markers of the Hegelian concept—for they are the essential time of its ambiguity. And if the Phenomenology, is the science of the concept of being (ontology), it is just as much the science of the temporality of its ambiguity (chronology).

But the problem of the truth of the concept’s ambiguity does not stop with onto-chronology; rather, as Hegel insists: ‘truth is complete only in the unity of identity with difference, and hence consists only in this unity’ (SL 414/GW XI 30).[12] This however is not simply the abstract or non-conceptual unity of which Hegel accuses everyone, from Parmenides to Leibniz (God as the monadas monadum) and Fichte (A=A or I=I)—for it is not the ‘original or immediate unity as such’ in which, as the saying goes, ‘all cows are black’; on the contrary, it is the ‘unity of being and nothing’, the ‘unity of differentiatedness and non-differentiatedness’ (PS ¶ 16; SL 74/GW XXI 63).[13] Here, ‘all multiplicity is included in the unity’ (W XX 243/LHP III 335). And difference is not simply destroyed in indistinguishability and undifferentiatedness, but aufgehoben (W XX 255/LHP III 348). The ambiguity of unity therefore shows itself as the ‘process of its own becoming’ the circular becoming of itself, Werden seiner selbst, in which the beginning is the end (PS ¶ 18). And as a unity, the new concept of being is temporally one, a unity or whole, das Ganze. As Hegel insists: ‘The true is the whole’—for its essence, ‘what it is in truth’, consists in being its own becoming, sich selbst Werden, zu sein (PS ¶ 20 trans. modified). The temporal ambiguity of the concept receives a new determination: as the unity of being and becoming, it is now and then, present and absent, infinite and finite. Thus if the science of the Phenomenology is onto-chronology it is also the science of unity (henology); it is onto-heno-chronology.

But we cannot even stop there—for truth must be complete, vollständig. And the completion of truth is not a function of time; rather, the concept is one as completely ambiguous. Completeness or incompleteness are ways in which ambiguity shows itself to be one at any time whatsoever, the aspect or eidos of time.[14] In addition to its time, now or then, the concept’s Aufhebung appears as essentially complete or incomplete.[15] In other words, ambiguity’s simultaneity, must be supplemented in order to show itself as the present (or past or future) system of science. So too philosophy—actually or potentially, as well as always or sometimes—becomes knowing or not. As Hegel insists: the true system of science must understand the diversity of philosophical systems as ‘the progressive unfolding of truth’—for the fortschritende Entwicklung der Wahrheit is the aspectual essence of the concept, aspectually actual as self-moving, being as becoming, complete qua incomplete; and its ambiguity exhibits progressive aspect (PS ¶ 2, emphasis added). So too, if absolute spirit appears as an ambiguous phainomenon (substance and subject, other-being and being-for-self, das Andersein und Fürsichsein); it is because this ‘most sublime concept’ remains completely incomplete, that is, aspectually complete as incomplete.[16] Thus just as unity is being’s other; so too aspect shows itself (phainesthai) as the other of time. And if the Phenomenology of Spirit is onto-heno-chronology, it is always also the science of aspect (phenomenology); so onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, or just phenomenology for short.

As a science then, phenomenology remains completely incomplete, finished as unfinished—and the Phenomenology is the attempt (essentially unfinished, that is, finished as unfinishable) to lead the individual to knowledge, ‘to be able to lay aside the title love of wisdom and be actual wisdom’ (PS ¶ 5, trans. modified; and PS ¶ 28). But as Hegel insists: this attempt is only a goal, Ziel; it is only proposed, vorgesetzt—for philosophy can only get closer, naher, to actual knowing insofar as its actuality consists in never being actualized, or in being actualized as unactualizable.[17] In this (perfectly Socratic) sense, the love of wisdom becomes actual wisdom, knowing that we do not know, not because we do not yet know, but because we cannot know. So too, if the task of raising consciousness through self-consciousness to the position of spirit, like the trajectory of each reader, is always only a task, an Aufgabe, it is because it is achieved as unachieved, outstanding as outstanding, complete as incompleteable.[18] It is no surprise then, that the Phenomenology ends in complete incompleteness, in the absolutely ambiguous concept, der absolute Begriff, in the four-fold ambiguity of absolute spirit’s absolute knowing.[19]

First the time of the absolute concept is that of the past, of recollection, remembering, Erinnerung, the memory of spirit’s becoming, the self-mediating process that ‘is there’ as emptied out into time, and presents itself as a ‘slow-moving succession of spirits, a gallery of images, each of which, endowed with all the riches of spirit, moves thus slowly just because the self has to penetrate and digest this entire wealth of its substance’ (PS ¶ 808).[20] But as Hegel insists: recollection is essentially, inwardizing, Er-Innerung, preserving inside that which is lost outside, keeping that which cannot be kept, representing (that is, re-representing, even misrepresenting) past experience as present, present past. Conceptual preservation however, means: that which is preserved is both preserved and destroyed—for aufbewahren is as ambiguous as aufgeben and aufheben. And the goal, das Ziel (always just a goal), of the Phenomenology, absolute knowing, spirit’s recollection of spirits, is only completed insofar as it knows it cannot be complete—the lost qua lost cannot be found. For this reason, preservation, Aufbewahrung, is on the one hand, historical becoming, contingency, forgetting, the past qua past, recollecting what is un-recollectable; on the other hand, it is science, ahistorical being, necessary, the past qua present, recollecting that it is un-recollectable—a recollection that is itself always recollectable, infinitely present. Thus the time of memory, its success and its failure, its success as failure and its failure as success, the ambiguity of the presence of the past, is the time of the Phenomenology’s absolute concept.

But second, the time of this concept, the ambiguity of memory, of recollection and preservation—this has its other in the aspect of the absolute concept. As Hegel writes: spirit’s ‘fulfillment consists in perfectly knowing what it is’; its completion, Vollendung, lies in knowing its substance (PS ¶ 808). But this aspectual completion is itself ambiguous: spirit, on the one hand, knows that it knows itself; on the other hand, it knows that it does not and cannot know itself—an ignorance that it recollects and preserves as ignorance. The speed of its becoming (slow, draggy, sluggish, languid, träge), the way in which spirits follow one another in successive time, is just one indication of spirit’s incomplete knowledge—for in motion, becoming, emptied out into time, it can never be completely present to knowing. So in the Phenomenology, history means that spirit appears with incomplete aspect—but science means that this incompleteness of appearing has complete aspect. And aspectual ambiguity therefore, the ambiguity of complete incompleteness, is the essence of conceptual history.

Third however, if the absolute concept can show itself temporally and aspectually, it is because it is a unity—not a simple, immediate, one-sided unity of substance or subject, thought and being, or thought and time, but the mediated unity of both, or what Hegel names ‘the concept in its truth, namely, in unity with its externalization’ (PS ¶ 795 and ¶ 803).[21] Indeed, at the end of the Phenomenology, absolute spirit completes itself with the unity of the absolute concept—but this is a unity that ambiguously preserves difference, as well as its difference from difference. Hegel insists: ‘In this knowing then, spirit has concluded the movement of its shapes insofar as it is imprisoned with the insurmounted difference of consciousness’ (PS ¶ 805, trans. modified). The concept’s identity is locked together with difference; unity is burdened with its negation, disunity, and with the historical movement of its own moments. And for this reason, the history of the concept is the unity of historical and scientific knowing—not one, nor the other, nor some third, but the two together, beide zusammen, the unifying relationship of both in which neither is alone, that in which subject and substance are one insofar as their difference is preserved (PS ¶ 808). Thus conceptual unity is essentially ambiguous: on the one hand, unitary unity, non-differentiated; on the other hand, differentiated, non-unitary unity.

The time and aspect and unity then, of the absolute concept—but this means, fourth: ‘the concept has become the element of existence’, the truth of being (PS ¶ 798). So the concept of being as existence, Dasein, is both the beginning and the end of the Phenomenology. But this also means that the existence of the concept is ambiguous: on the one hand, being means presencing, being-there, being-present, in time, with incomplete aspect, as disunified; on the other hand, it means conceptualizing, being there and here, present and absent, in and out of time, with completely incomplete aspect, as a unity. In this way, ‘to be’ means ‘to conceptualize’, aufheben. And if asked ‘What is?’ and ‘What is being?’, Hegel would respond: the concept is, and the concept of the concept is being. So too with beings—for a being is, is that which it is, and how it is, in relation to its concept; just as being is in relation to its concept. Being then, is both the destruction and preservation of beings. And ‘to be’ means ‘to be ambiguous’; being is ambiguating—or more precisely, ambiguity is Hegel’s new concept of being.

Time is the Essence of Being: Heidegger’s Hegel

For Heidegger however, the thought of being as ambiguity does not dispute, but far more confirms the thesis that, for Hegel, being is the essence of time. And this means that, as ‘an appearance of being’, time disappears on the royal road to the conceptual history of absolute spirit (HPS 145/209).[22] If Hegel’s concept of history then, remains dependent upon what Heidegger calls the common or vulgäre understanding of time, it does not supersede but merely repeats the fundamental presuppositions of the Western metaphysical tradition. As Heidegger insists: Hegelian time is not simply the other of space, the number of motion, arithmos kinēseōs, with respect to before and after;[23] nor is it some kind of abstract form or empty vessel in which events occur; nor the transcendental schema of the pure concepts of understanding, the representation, Vorstellung, which ‘mediates the subsumption of the appearances under the category’[24]—rather as the determinate negation, supersession, Aufhebung of both, it is coming into being and passing out of being, becoming, transition. As Hegel writes in the Encyclopedia: time ‘is being, that which is not insofar as it is, and is insofar as it is not’; time is the becoming of being. Thus time appears as ‘intuited becoming’, angeschaute Werden, an abstract succession of nows, a movement in which every now is in relation to no-longer-now or not-yet-now.[25] But primarily oriented on the now, only the present is; the past and future, before and after, are not—although as negations, they are posited as essential: ‘the being of time is the now’, and the being of the now is ‘the abstraction of consuming’ (BT 431).

In Being and Time therefore, Heidegger suggests an interpretation of spirit’s progress not as Aufhebung, but as Überwindung, surmounting, overcoming, conquering, vanquishing (BT 434). For Hegel writes: ‘World-history in general is therefore the interpretation of spirit in time, just as the idea interprets itself in nature as space’ (Hegel in BT 434, trans modified).[26] The world-history of the ‘Lectures on the Philosophy of World-History’ however, Weltgeschichte, is precisely not the conceptual history, begriffne Geschichte, of the Phenomenology of Spirit. Still Heidegger insists: Hegel’s radical formulation of the ‘vulgar experience and interpretation of time’ (BT 431) is necessary for the Phenomenology so that spirit can empty itself out, so that it can self-externalize itself as concrete. The finitude of time, the negation of the negation of spirit’s in-finity, is the condition of the possibility of any substantial history or Naturphilosophie whatsoever—for ‘history falls in time’, in die Zeit fällt (BT 428, trans. modified).[27] Indeed, temporality is the power of the finite—but if it is also necessary for spirit, then ‘the power of time’, is just as much the power of the infinite (GW XX §258n; BT 435). Thus history falls into time so that Hegel can think—as Heidegger notes—the concretion of spirit.

Heidegger then, has two basic questions for Hegel with respect to the connection between spirit and time—and this is no simple denial, refusal or rejection of the unity of subject and substance, nor of the ambiguity of being, but far more an attempt to make these questions questionable. First, what is the origin, the Ursprung, of this concept of leveled-down time? And second, is it possible to think the essential constitution of spirit in some way other than ‘as the negating of the negation’ (BT 435)?

With respect to the origin of spirit’s fall into time, Heidegger quotes Hegel: ‘time appears as the very fate and necessity of spirit when it is not in itself complete’ (PS ¶ 801; BT 435).[28] Indeed, Hegel thinks that, daß, quid facti, spirit shows itself in time; but not how, wie, quid juris, it does so, with what right the Phenomenology asserts that incompleteness necessarily implies the fall. So Heidegger does not dispute that history falls into time, but rather asks: What is the origin of this fate? And for Heidegger, Hegel’s thought of the essence of spirit, that it must fall into time in order to become that which it is, in order to preserve its completely incomplete ambiguity, does not answer the question of its origin; but rather far more poses it more profoundly. Hegel therefore fails to raise the question of the origin of falling, of original fallenness, if he cannot think how spirit must be concretized as originally temporal, how the being of history is necessarily constituted by original temporality—for being is not the essence of time; time is the essence of being, and the temporality of time is the origin of the vulgar time into which spirit reveals itself as fallen (and temporality too is that which first makes the existence of us as Dasein, as factially thrown, as fallen, first possible—for the origin of our way of being, existence, is the temporality of time as well).

The essential constitution of spirit therefore can and must be thought in another way, not as the negation of the negation, but as that which first makes negation possible, namely, the ‘original temporalizing of temporality’ (BT 436, trans. modified). Here Heidegger is attempting to think against Hegel’s metaphysical fidelity to Spinoza’s omnis determinatio est negatio, to think the time of that which is determined by negation, as well as the being of determination and negation themselves.[29] In other words, if determination needs time, happens in time, has a history, then the temporality of time must be presupposed as the essence of being. And negation occurs in time, the temporality of time—for not only is it, present or absent, always or not, but that which is negated, even the negation of the negation, and that means that they are temporal as well. Hegel then thinks time as that into which spirit empties itself, but for Heidegger, time is not something into which spirit can be emptied; it is the necessary fate of beings (and spirit is, as well) insofar as they are—for time gives being their way of being, as the temporality of time temporalizes factical existence, now and then, authentically or not, as contingent or necessary or conceptual history. But not just time—aspect as well—for that which lets spirit exist historically remains unthought; the continuous aspect or enduring presence of being, the perdurance or Austrag of the concept, its sustained completeness or incompleteness, now and then, sometimes or always—all this remains in the background.[30] And not only time and aspect, but unity too—for the question of being’s (spirit’s) fate is simultaneously (time) ‘the question about beings as such and as a whole’ (ID 54). So not merely time and aspect and unity, but being as well—for Hegel thinks spirit as being emptied out into time, as subject and substance, comprehending and conceptualizing its history—but thereby he does not think the being of this being qua being. In fact, in thinking being (not as a genus or generality, nor as mere form of human cognition) as spirit, indeterminate immediacy, absolute idea or absolute thinking, ‘imperishable life, self-knowing truth’ (SL 824/GW XII 284), all truth, in thinking the truth of being as essence, and the truth of essence as concept, even in the new concept of being, the concept of the concept, idea of the idea, history—in all this, the question of the being of beings remains far more unquestioned.

This unquestioning and unquestionability of being however, is neither simply a failure of Hegel’s, nor of the Phenomenology or some other text; it is ‘the still unthought unity of the essential nature of metaphysics’ (ID 55). And the essence of this unthinking (that Heidegger also calls the forgetting, Vergessenheit, of the question of being) is maintained by the ‘onto-theological essential-constitution of metaphysics’ (ID 56, trans. modified).[31] If Hegel then, belongs to the history of metaphysics, it is no surprise that he thinks theologically: ‘and God has the absolutely undisputed right that the beginning be made with him’—for the beginning of the system of science lies with absolute spirit or God understood as the being of beings, the all-highest truth and absolute ground (ID 53-4; SL 78/GW XXI 68).[32] Nor is it a surprise that the Phenomenology begins with ontology, being in general, das Sein überhaupt, the indeterminate or simple immediacy, einfache Unmittelbarkeit, pure being as the essence of sense-certainty—for here all science says: that it is, es ist; ‘and its truth contains only the being of the thing’ (PS ¶¶ 91, 97, 99, trans. modified).[33] But the onto-theology of metaphysics not only reduces the question of being to an answer (being is the ground of beings), it reduces the multiplicity of answers (ground understood as hen, logos, idea, hupokeimenon, substance, subject) to the one God, spirit as the prōtē archē, ultima ratio, causa sui—and it leaves unthought therefore, the possibility of thinking the meaning of being, in itself as well as in relation to and difference from beings.[34]

In response then, to the history of Western thought that stretches from the Greeks to Hegel, Heidegger seeks the ground of the onto-theological constitution of metaphysics—and he finds it in the concept of ground, that is, being qua ground. As the grounding of the ground, being means letting-laying-out, allowing that which is to arrive and lie before us, Vorliegenlassen. To ground means to be that which lets beings be there, present, come to the fore; grounding means letting them come over and show themselves, disclose themselves (as one—and thereby as they are or are not), ‘come forth from concealment into unconcealment’ (PM 333),[35] alētheia—not just once, now or then, but always or sometimes (time), and repeatedly, continuously (aspect)—for the ground allows beings to remain beings, clears a place for them to endure, maintains an opening for them to stay that which they are throughout change and becoming. And to ground means to let beings be one, as they are in themselves and with others—for grounding is the event of gathering, being the unity (widest and highest, absolute transcendence, das transcendens schlechthin) of that which unifies by letting the identity and difference of being and beings be (ID 68-69).[36] Thus if to be, for metaphysics, means to ground and if being is a ground, it is because being means grounding, unifying temporally and aspectually.[37]

Hegel and The Greeks

Have we then, come to an understanding of the meaning of the new concept of being? Of being as concept? Or of being as ground? To the meaning of being itself? Is this being qua being? Not at all. But as Heidegger argues: ‘the new concept of being is the old and ancient concept in its most extreme and total completion’, its äußersten und ganzen Vollendung. Hegel however, conducts this crucial step: he unfolds, entfaltet, the old concept of being, the one as old as Western philosophy in its two main stages (Parmenides/Heraclitus, Plato/Aristotle)—for the fundamental motifs of phenomenology are predetermined, vorbestimmt, by the ancient point of departure. The Phenomenology then, is ‘the last stage in the possible justification’ of phenomenology (HPS 141/204-5).

In order to understand the new, we must first return to the old. Heidegger therefore recalls Hegel’s interpretation of the four basic words of Greek philosophy: Parmenides’ hen, Heraclitus’ logos, Plato’s idea, Aristotle’s energeia (PM 328). For these words ‘speak the language of the guiding word, “being,” einai (eon, ousia)’—and they do so within the horizon of being as immediate indeterminacy, that which is, the objectivity of objects, abstracted from its relation to the subject. In other words, being is the truth of beings, things; and thoughts must accord with being in order to be true.

For Parmenides then, being is one, the universal—and insofar as being and thinking are the same, the thought of the universal is one with that which is. Here the ‘energetic, impetuous soul’ strives to grasp and express being. But Hegel insists: this is not the indeterminate infinity, Anaximander’s apeiron; it is being as the absolutely determined and delimited, absolut Begrenzende. And this is the beginning of idealism, the opposite of materialism—for being is not a being, not to be identified with a sensuous thing, but a concept (however indeterminate). Thus being means being one; and being is one insofar as everything is one, hen panta, and nothing is not; so to be is to be one; beings and being are one, and one with thought (LHP I 250-3/W XVIII 286-9; PM 329).

But for Heraclitus, being and non-being are the same. So the truth is: nothing and being gathered together through change, Veränderung, Bewegung—or more precisely, becoming, Werden, the unity of opposites insofar as everything is in flux, panta rhei. Becoming’s gathering of being and nothing is Heraclitus’ logos—not merely an account of gathering, but the gathering itself (however abstract) into a unity. So in becoming, being and nothing are one—for becoming is the unity of both, that is, the being of being and becoming; it is the ‘unity of opposite determinations’, that relation or connection, Verhältnis, which allows them to be that which they are. As Hegel writes: ‘change is unity, relation of both to one, one being, this and the other’ (W XVIII 327, trans. AH). In this sense, being means becoming, changing, moving, flowing; to be is to become; beings are insofar as they become, change from being to non-being and vice versa, from one to the other—for as the other of the other, das Andere des Anderen, each is also the other of itself, and its being consists in being this other, its other; becoming means being other.

The essence of becoming however, for Heraclitus, is time—for time is the ‘first sensible essence’ of being, and the true essence, wahre Wesen, of being. As Hegel insists: insofar as becoming shows itself in being and beings, it takes the form of time, die Form der Zeit. Indeed time is pure becoming, the essential unity of being and nothing. But this means that ‘in time there is no past and future, but only the now’. So to be (or not to be) in time is to be temporal; the unity of being empties itself out into the form of time—for as the essence of becoming, time is the fate and necessity, Schicksal and Notwendigkeit, heimarmenē, of being (LHP I 293/W XVIII 337).

But however much Parmenides thinks being and unity, however much Heraclitus thinks being and unity and time, for Hegel, they do so within the context of a philosophy of nature—the activity of thought, of the subject, consciousness, self-consciousness, spirit, remains passive, content to read the truth of phusis like a book. Reason is not free to think, discover, but far more shackled to the world of things. And this means ‘the object is for me something essentially free, and I am for myself devoid of subjectivity’, subjektivitätslos (LHP I 297/W XVIII 342).

With Plato however, a decisive step is taken: being and unity and time (and unified beings in time) are no longer simply functions of nature; they are ideas, principles of reality. The essence of things then shows itself in consciousness, not because it belongs to consciousness, not as simply subjective, but as determinate for nature. Being and unity and time are no longer merely sensible, material, empirical, contingent; they are the supersensible and infinite reality of things, the intellectual or necessary ideas in which reality and thought are conceptualized scientifically ‘in one unity’ (LHP II 1/W IXX 11; PM 330). Nevertheless, the ideas are neither in some kind of transcendent other world, nor just imaginary; they are the ideas of things, the ideal universal look or eidos of real unified beings in time (that show themselves to us and that we come to know, so that being and thought are the same). As Hegel writes: the ideas are real; ‘they are, and they are alone, being’—for although being and beings exist, the truth of the later are determined by the ideas (LHP II, p. 31; W 19, p. 41; trans. modified).[38] Thus for Hegel, Plato’s thought is the dialectical supersession, the Aufhebung, of Parmenides and Heraclitus: being, as the becoming of the universal and particular, is the ideal truth of beings insofar as they change, move, become concretely that which they are. So being is an idea, to be is to be ideal, and unified beings are translations of ideal forms in time—for the idea of the unity of being and beings, like the unifying relation of opposites, is the truth of both.

The negation of the sensuous however, by the ideas, means that for Hegel, Plato cannot think the reality of the real, the truth of concrete beings qua concrete: being is an idea—but only an idea—and the reality of things is relative, only true in relation to the ideas. And it is not until Aristotle’s Metaphysics, that being becomes actualized, finds its realization in itself as end, the telos of entelecheia that is the logos. Here being shows itself in beings, not merely as potential, dynamis, but as actual, energeia; not just in the capacity for self-determination, but in the concrete self-realization of the idea. The idea is actualized however, only insofar as it is the cause of being and unity, beings and unities. But cause must be understood here not simply as causa—for although aitia means that for the sake of which something is or is done, the reasons or grounds or ends; its primary sense is that of a charge, crimen, accusation, guilt, fault, or that which is responsible, so responsibility. And metaphysics is here knowledge of the aitia of the whole of being, the totality of beings, that which is universally responsible for the universe—but the aitia must be prōta; the charges must be firsts, origins. So for first philosophy, prōtē philosophia, responsibility means: being first, an origin, the origin of that which is, the origin of being. And being means being charged with being responsible, being implicated in a crime, or by an event, something made or done, poiein or prattein (PM 330-1; LHP II 149/W IXX 134).

If there is then, a science of being qua being, of that which is, insofar as it is; it must seek that which is responsible for being, for it being that which it is, and which is implicated in beings. But what is responsible for being? As Aristotle insists: it cannot simply be the substrate, ground-work, hupokeimenon—but if being is spoken in many ways, they all point to ousia, substance, as primary essence and cause.[39] In this way, ousia is the ‘what’, ti, of a being, that which something is propter se, in-itself, kath’ hauto—not accidentally, but necessarily, actually—and this is expressed by its formula, logos, that is, its definition, horismos, that which makes it a unified being, this and not that, particular and concrete. And ousia is responsible for being, charged with being implicated in beings, for actualizing their potential, for being the final cause of being’s becoming that which it essentially is. In this way, the aitia are not simply ideas, but the real causes of reality, the origins of beings. Thus for Aristotle, being is responsible for beings, for realizing their essence, and as such it takes responsibility for itself.

So being means ousia—for ‘the question which was raised of old and is raised now and always, and is always the subject of doubt, viz. what being is, is just the question, what is substance?’[40] And what about ousia? For it is as well. So the discussion of ousia means that metaphysics must return to the question of the meaning of being, ti to on. And here Aristotle gives us a clue—for he insists: ‘being and unity are the same and of one nature insofar as they are implied in one another as origin and cause’.[41]

Indeed, on the one hand, everything that holds for being holds for unity: the theory of one is that of the other; the investigation of being, of being qua being, is just as much the investigation of unity, of unity qua unity; the aporia of one is that of the other. And if being is said in many ways, likewise for unity, pollachōs legetai. As Aristotle writes:

for ‘one man’ and ‘man’ are the same thing, and so are ‘existent man’ and ‘man’ and the doubling of the words in ‘one man and one existent man’ does not express anything different (it is clear that the two things are not separated [ou chōrizetai] either in coming to be or in ceasing to be); and similarly ‘one existent man’ adds nothing to ‘existent man’, so that it is obvious that the addition in these cases means the same thing, and unity is nothing apart from being; and if, further, the substance of each thing is one in no merely accidental way, and similarly is from its very nature something that is:—all this being so, there must be exactly as many species of being as of unity.[42]

The science of the Metaphysics then, is neither simply ontology nor henology—for first philosophy is onto-henology; and if the question of the meaning of being has been forgotten, then so too has the question of the meaning of unity.[43]

On the other hand, they have different logoi: the meaning of being is ousia; the meaning of unity is horismos. Indeed beings are insofar as they have the character of apartness, separability, determinability, limitability, boundary, finitude, chōriston, thisness, wholeness, particularity, indivisibility, individuality, tode ti.[44] A being’s essence is propter se, in-itself, kath’ hauto—necessarily, not accidentally—so that ‘whatness’ is expressed in its formula or definition, logos (for example, the human as zoōn logon echon, rational animal); but a horizon then separates, chōrizō, one being from another, gives each being a place to be, chōra, that which it is, and allows for transition, translation, change, movement, becoming. And not only does a being have its horizon, but its horizon too, insofar as it is, has its horizon, the horizon of the horizon. And so too with the horizon of ousia. Thus ousia can be the meaning of being, that which to on is kath’ hauto, because unity means horizon.

But what then is the relation of being and unity? As Aristotle insists: they imply one another—for being follows from unity, and unity from being, just as essence and horizon are bed-fellows that walk the same path. And as co-implicated origins and causes, being and unity are responsible for the being and unity of beings and unities. Then charged with this responsibility, the most responsible of all responsibilities, there is no presumption of innocence; rather their responsibility is prior to all innocence, to any admission of innocence or guilt; they are most guilty of all (or most innocent), guilty prior. to any guilt, and the charge is undeniable—for at the moment it is made, they have already confessed; and before anything is implied, they have already implicated each other.

The Implication of Being

Implication then, from the Greeks to Hegel, is the new old metaphysical concept of being, and of unity. And not just—for time is the unity, that is, the horizon of being; and aspect is the being, that is, essence of unity. To be means to be one because being implies unity; but being is that which it is, namely being, only because unity implies it. And so aspect (complete or incomplete, incompletely complete or completely incomplete) is the horizon of unity; just as time is the essence of being. In this way, the science of metaphysics shows itself as the science of implication, akolouthology; it is the investigation of following, attending, not leading, of determining that and how to follow, and not; as well as the study of how implications cannot be followed, if they are to imply, how an essential ambiguity characterizes implication itself.[45] So onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology attends to the implications of being and unity, time and aspect.

What then is this new old concept of being? It is implication. To be means to imply; for being is implicating; being is implication. And insofar as being and unity are the same thing and of one nature, unity too is implication; uniting is implicating, to unify is to imply. But so too with time and aspect—for being and unity are implied temporally and aspectually. And therefore beings can be united in time and with aspect.

But what is the meaning of implication? Perhaps an example will help: ēthos anthrōpō daimōn.[46] How can we translate Heraclitus? McKirahan writes: ‘a person’s character is his divinity’.[47] Kahn: ‘Man’s character is his fate’. Kirk, Raven and Schofield: ‘Man’s character is his daimon’.[48] Heidegger: ‘the (familiar) abode is for man the open region for the presencing of god (the unfamiliar one)’.[49] All of these translations are clearly ‘right’, but none of them follows the Greek closely enough.[50]

More literally, the words say: ‘character human’s divine’, or switching word order, ‘human’s character divine’. But what has happened to being here? For in this translation (or non-translation, mistranslation), in what appears as a grammatically erroneous chop-slop string of words, being seems to disappear. Has being then, in fact, disappeared? Must we think and speak and act without being? Is it absent or hiding? And is our task then to make it present or revealed? To allow it to show itself?

Let us rather take a clue from the philologists who remind us: being is implied—it is not merely left out; it was never ‘there’ to begin with, although nor was it ‘not there’. And this is not just negative, as if being is subtracted, erased, nor a negation of the negation that restores or supersedes, nor simply a privation. But nor is it a positing—for being as implication cannot appear or show itself as being, at least without becoming that which it is not.

So granted: our translation fails to do justice to the Greek, whether grammatically correct or incorrect. Phenomenology is akolouthology insofar as it embraces this failure, and attempting to bring it to light, fails to do so. If being is a concept, it is only an implied concept; if it is a ground, only an implied ground. For we are charged with being responsible for this failure, and implicated in the crimes of metaphysics.

The task remains: to think being as implication, as well as unity and time and aspect.

Andrew Haas
SUNY Stony Brook
Department of Philosophy
Stony Brook, NY 11794 USA

[1]. Martin Heidegger, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. P. Emad and K. Maly, Bloomington, Indiana, 1994, p. 141 (henceforth HPS; the corresponding German page number from vol. 32 of the collected works of Heidegger, Hegels Phänomenologie des Geistes, Frankfurt an Main, Klostermann, 1980, is given after the slash /).

[2]. Heidegger continues: insofar as the ‘being of beings is determined as eidos, idea, idea, and thus related to seeing, knowing, and logos’, philosophy is always idealism; and the phenomenology of spirit is ‘the deliberate, explicit, and absolute justification of idealism’ (HPS 141-2/204); see Hegel, G. W. F., Phänomenologie des Geistes, W. Bonsiepen and R. Heede (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1980, p. 132ff (Gesammelte Werke, Band IX, henceforth GW IX). For the interpretation that Hegel’s thought is ‘not just an epistemological truth; it reflects the ontological one’, see Charles Taylor, ‘The Opening Arguments of the Phenomenology’ in Hegel, A. MacIntyre (ed.), Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame, 1972, p. 166. For the view that the Phenomenology ‘rests on the difference between knowledge and being’, see Jean Hyppolite, Genesis and Structure of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. S. Cherniak and J. Heckman, Evanston, Northwestern University, 1974, p. 578.

[3]. Hegel, G. W. F., The Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller, New York, Oxford, 1977, ¶ 808 (henceforth PS). As Hyppolite argues: ‘Whereas in sensuous certainty the immediate is, in the last chapter it has come to be what it is: it has actualized itself through an internal mediation. In the first chapter, truth and certainty are immediately equal; in the last chapter, certainty, i.e., subjectivity, has posed itself in being, posed itself as truth, and truth, i.e., objectivity, has shown itself to be certainty, self-consciousness’, Genesis and Structure of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, pp. 81-2.

[4]. Hegel, G. W. F., Science of Logic, trans. A. V. Miller, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1997 (henceforth SL); Hegel, G. W. F., Wissenschaft der Logik. Erster Band. Die objektive Logik (1812/13), Friedrich Hogemann und Walter Jaeschke (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1978; Wissenschaft der Logik. Zweiter Band. Die subjektive Logik (1816), Friedrich Hogemann und Walter Jaeschke (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1981; Wissenschaft der Logik. Erster Band. Die Lehre vom Sein (1832), Friedrich Hogemann und Walter Jaeschke (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1984. (These editions are from Gesammelte Werke, Bands XI, XII and XXI respectively: henceforth GW XI, GW XII and GW XXI). See also F. W. J. Schelling, System des transzendentalen Idealismus, Hamburg, Meiner, 1992, p. 15.

[5]. See also Being and Time, trans. J. Stambaugh, New York, SUNY, 1996, §82 (henceforth BT).

[6]. Heidegger’s thesis with respect to being and time is no thesis at all; on the contrary, it is a question, a question that asks for the meaning of being, and its relation to time. Against Hegel, Heidegger is concerned with renewing the question of ontology, the question of being, its logos, method and content. Philosophy therefore, as an attempt to raise (or re-raise) being to the status of a question—not find a new answer—‘is not a science’ (HPS 12/18). The extent to which Heidegger, by raising the question of the meaning of being to the status of a question, fails in this attempt to raise ‘the question of the question’, is raised by Jacques Derrida, De l’esprit, Paris, Galilée, 1987, p. 24. The extent to which the question, or the question of the question, is far more an answer, or an attack, see my The Irony of Heidegger, London, Continuum, 2007.

[7]. Owing to space restrictions, I will limit my consideration of Heidegger’s texts to those that explicitly deal with Hegel, as an attempt to do justice to Heidegger’s thought with respect to being is beyond the scope of this paper.

[8]. As Hegel writes in the Logic: ‘Pure being and pure nothing is therefore the same. What the truth is, is neither being nor nothing, but that being—does not go-over—but has gone-over into nothing, and nothing into being. But the truth is equally not their undifferentiatedness, but that they are not the same, that they are absolutely different, and equally unseparated and inseparable and that each immediately vanishes in its opposite. Their truth is therefore, this movement of the immediate vanishing of the one in the other: becoming, a movement in which both are differentiated, but through a difference which has equally immediately resolved itself’ (SL 82-83/ GW XXI 72); translation modified. For a discussion of the relation between being, nothing and becoming, see for example, Michael Inwood, A Hegel Dictionary, London, Blackwell, 1992, p. 44ff.

[9]. ‘Aufgeben, wie Aufheben, doppelsinnig: a) Aufgeben—es als verloren, vernichtet betrachten; b) [Aufgeben]—eben damit aber zugleich es zum Problem machen, dessen Gehalt nicht vernichtet ist, sondern der gerettet und dessen Verkümmerung, Schwierigkeit zu lösen ist’, G. W. F. Hegel, Werke in zwanzing Bänden, Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Markus (eds.), Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1969, Band XI, Aphorism 52, p. 574, emphasis and translation AH (henceforth W); cf. SL 116/GW XXI 104.

[10]. But that which drives the science of phenomenology by refusing to disambiguate the ambiguity of its truth, by resisting any reduction of incompleteness to completeness, or two-sidedness to one-sidedness—this is what Hegel names ‘the tremendous power of the negative’. Here the ambiguity (of opposition, Streit, polemos) is maintained, kept, preserved—for this is the magical-force, Zauberkraft, that returns spirit to being (PS ¶ 32).

[11]. Hegel uses a multiplicity of metaphors for two-sidedness—just one example: ‘the Bacchanalian revel in which no member is not drunk’ (PS ¶ 47). I have attempted to think this problem in my, ‘The Bacchanalian revel: Hegel and deconstruction’, Man and World, vol. 30, no. 2, 1997, pp. 217-26.

[12]. See also, SL 431-443/GW XI 50-64. Here, identity is essentially that which it is only as difference, just as difference is essentially identity. The predicative language therefore, that philosophy has taken up from Aristotle to Kant, is no longer appropriate for Hegel; rather, if philosophy is to direct itself towards science, we must now begin to think and speak according to speculative propositions. As Hegel insists: ‘Formally, what has been said can be expressed thus: the general nature of the judgment or proposition, which involves the distinction of subject and predicate, is destroyed by the speculative proposition, and the proposition of identity which the former becomes contains the counter-thrust against that subject-predicate relationship.—This conflict between the general form of a proposition and the unity of the concept which destroys it is similar to the conflict that occurs in rhythm between meter and accent. Rhythm results from the floating center and the unification of the two. So, too, in the philosophical proposition the identification of subject and predicate is not meant to negate the difference between them, which the form of the proposition expresses; their unity, rather, is meant to emerge as a harmony. The form of the proposition is the appearance of the determinate sense, or the accent that distinguishes its fulfillment; but that the predicate expresses the substance, and that the subject itself falls into the universal, this is the unity in which the accent dies away’ (PS ¶ 61). The beginning is the ‘unity of being and nothing; or is non-being which is at the same time being, and being which is at the same time nothing’ (SL 73/GW XXI 62).

[13]. See also G. W. F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, trans. E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson, 3 vols., Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1995, LHP III 338/W XX 246 (henceforth LHP I, LHP II and LHP III). Heidegger’s (somehow motivated) assessment is somewhat at odds with Hegel’s: ‘Even though Western philosophy up to Hegel has basically not gone beyond Parmenides’ proposition: to on to hen, despite all the transformations, this does not signify a deficiency but a superiority and indicates that in spite of everything, it remains strong enough to preserve its original truth’, Martin Heidegger, Aristotle’s Metaphysics Theta 1-3, trans. W. Brogan and P. Warnek, Bloomington, Indiana, 1995, §3. See also, HPS 93-4/134 and BT, §82(b).

[14]. Clearly, the linguistic concept of aspect is insufficient for an account of Hegelian (or transcendental, phenomenological, metaphysical) aspect, or for thinking the way in which beings are and are unified at one and the same time, or anytime. But nor is aspect just that which the science of metaphysics has taken as that which shows itself as itself, nor as another, like some kind of perspective or view, symptom or indication, nor an appearance of an appearance, nor that which disappears by appearing, because it is too dimly seen, nor because it is too much or many, but because in showing itself, it shows that it cannot be shown. And nor could it be merely a function of language, reason or time. Rather aspect is implied by unity—and thus can a unified being show its aspect as left or right, up and down, present or absent, relative or absolute, concealed/revealed. But if something could be one or be itself or another at one and the same time, although not in the same way, it is because of aspect. Then the unity of being (or of a being) would have to be aspectually complete or incomplete so that it could show itself in any way whatsoever, could present this face or that, this perspective or that side, so that it could be before or after in this way or another, or even so that it could be something rather than nothing. For the linguistic concept of aspect see, for example, R. Binnick, Time and the Verb, Oxford, Oxford University, 1991, or B. Comrie, Aspect, Cambridge, Cambridge University, 1976.

[15]. Aristotle thinks aspect as complete or incomplete through the difference of peras and telos, limit and end, kinēsis and energeia, movement and actuality (an aspectual difference that Hegel rearticulates in terms of that which is in itself, an sich, for itself, für sich, or in and for itself, an und für sich (PS ¶ 21 and ¶ 25)—for the difference between actions cannot be taken into account merely through a difference in time. This becomes obvious when attempting to articulate the difference between actions done at the same time (‘I ate’ and ‘I was eating’). But for Aristotle, this difference is one of metaphysical aspect (although the extent to which this difference can be maintained has yet to be established), and the proper place to investigate it is within the Metaphysics, the science of being qua being, to on hē on: ‘Since of the actions which have a limit none is an end but all are relative to the end, e.g. the removing of fat, or fat-removal, and the bodily parts themselves when one is making them thin are in movement in this way (i.e. without being already that at which the movement aims), this is not an action or at least not a complete one (for it is not an end); but that movement in which the end is present is an action. E.g. at the same time we are seeing and have seen, are understanding and have understood, are thinking and have thought (while it is not true that at the same time we are learning and have learnt, or are being cured and have been cured). At the same time we are living well and have lived well, and are happy and have been happy. If not, the process would have had to cease, as the process of making think ceases: but, as things are, it does not cease; we are living and have lived. Of these processes, then, we must call the one set movements, and the other actualities. For every movement is incomplete—making thin, learning, walking, building; these are movements, and incomplete at that. For it is not true that at the same time a thing is walking and has walked, or is building and has built, or is coming to be and has come to be, or is being moved and has been moved, but what is being moved is different from what has been moved, and what is moving from what has moved. But it is the same thing that at the same time has seen and is seeing, or is thinking and has thought. The latter sort of process, then, I call an actuality, and the former a movement’, Metaphysics, 1048b18-34, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. and trans. W. D. Ross, New York, Random House, 1941, pp. 826-827 (henceforth Meta.).

[16]. As Hegel insists: ‘everything turns on grasping and expressing the true, not only as substance, but equally as subject’ (PS ¶ 17; see also ¶ 25).

[17]. Similarly, Hegel insists that ‘spirit’s insight into what knowing is’, into the being of knowledge, is itself only a goal, Ziel (PS ¶ 29). As a goal however, a Ziel, the end of the Phenomenology of Spirit remains essentially uncertain—a goal is both that which is achieved, accomplished, completed, aimed at, a target, boundary, limit or horizon, as well as that which is not achieved, or completed, but left to be completed, hence incomplete. Appropriately, ‘goal’ means both the end and the beginning of a race. On the one hand, an achieved goal is no longer a goal; on the other hand, the goal is only achieved qua goal as unachieved—perhaps unachieveable.

[18]. On the structure of the task, see Walter Benjamin, ‘The Task of the Translator’, Selected Writings, M. Bullock and M. W. Jennings (eds.), vol. 1, Cambridge, Harvard University, 1996.

[19]. And this truth is, for Hegel, no longer expressed as subject and predicate, but in a speculative proposition, the absolutely mediated identity of its existence with its essence in which their difference is no longer one of form, but of content (PS ¶ 37, ¶ 61, ¶ 808).

[20]. Hegel writes: ‘Time is the concept itself that is there and which presents itself to consciousness as empty intuition; therefore spirit necessarily appears in time, and it appears in time as long as it has not grasped its pure concept, that is, has not annulled time. It is the outer, intuited pure self which is not grasped by the self, the merely intuited concept; insofar as this latter grasps itself, it supersedes its time-form, conceptualizes this intuiting, and is a conceptualized and conceptualizing intuiting. Time therefore appears as the fate and necessity of spirit that is not yet complete within itself’ (PS ¶ 801, trans. modified). Thus with respect to spirit: regarded as ‘free existence appearing in the form of contingency’, spirit is differentiated as history, the becoming in time of spirits; regarded as a conceptual organization, spirits belong to the science of appearing knowledge (PS ¶ 808).

[21]. As Hegel writes: here, the concept’s ‘negative attitude to objectivity is just as much positive’ (PS ¶ 801). For Heidegger, Hegel is here universalizing Kant’s psychologistic-subjectivistic principle of the understanding (HPS 83/118).

[22]. Heidegger’s interest in the concept of being in Hegel seems in contrast to Nietzsche’s: ‘We Germans are Hegelians even if there never had been any Hegel, insofar as we (in contrast to all Latins) instinctively attribute a deeper sense and richer value to becoming, to development, than to what “is”—we hardly believe in the justification of the concept “being,”’ The Gay Science, trans. W. Kaufmann, New York, Random House, 1974, §357; trans. modified.

[23]. Aristotle, Physics, 219b1-2; see BT, §82(a).

[24]. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. N. K. Smith, New York, St. Martin’s, 1929, A139/B178. But as Kant warns: ‘This schematism of our understanding, in its application to appearances and their mere form, is an art concealed [eine verborgene Kunst] in the depths of the human soul, whose real modes of activity nature is hardly likely ever to allow us to discover, and to have open to our gaze’, A141/B181. As Augustine writes: ‘time is nothing more than distention’ of the mind, Confessions, trans. J. K. Ryan, Garden City, Doubleday, 1960, Book XI, ch. 26, p. 298.

[25]. G. W. F. Hegel, Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse (1830), Wolfgang Bonsiepen und Hans-Christian Lucas (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1992, §258-9 (henceforth GW XX). For Heidegger, this concept of time is the condition of the possibility of the punctuality of the point, of the being of the point in space (BT §82(a)). For Catherine Malabou’s argument for a ‘plasticity of the Hegelian concept of time’, that is, for the ‘existence of several times’, plusieurs temps, in the Phenomenology, a ‘pluralité qui excède la seule distinction entre une temporalité vulgaire et une temporalité originaire’, see L’avenir de Hegel, Paris, Vrin, 1996, p. 253.

[26]. See G. W. F. Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte I, Die Vernunft in der Geschichte, Johannes Hoffmeister and Georg Lasson (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1994, p. 154.

[27]. Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte I, p. 153.

[28]. Unfortunately Stambaugh’s translation is here confused and the footnote numbering should be 40, not 38.

[29]. In fact, F. W. J. Schelling suggests another kind of determination that is not negation: ‘with respect to this sort of determination, the saying determinatio est negatio does not in any way apply, since this is itself one with the position and concept of essence, thus actually the essence in which essence is’, Über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit, Stuttgart, Reclam, 1964, p. 101; translation AH. For Hegel’s discussion of negation in Spinoza, see for example, SL 113/GW XXI 107.

[30]. Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, trans. J. Stambaugh, Chicago, University of Chicago, 2002, p. 46 (henceforth ID). And not only being (not just being as another, but being itself, being qua being), but the difference between being and beings, and this difference qua difference. For if this difference is thought as another, as abstract or absolute, as diversity or multiplicity, as merely qualitative or quantitative, essential or conceptual—if it is interpreted in any of these ways, then Differenz as such has been overlooked.

[31]. See also, for example, BT 2. Werner Marx follows Heidegger in seeing Hegel’s metaphysics as part of the tradition of ‘Logos philosophy’, that is, the thinking that begins with Parmenides identification of thinking and being, and culminates in a ‘specifically modern version, authoritatively defined by Kant’, the identity of subjectivity and objectivity accessible by spirit through the noesis of nous—for absolute spirit is nothing more than a modern avatar of Aristotle’s divine ‘thought thinking thought’. Thus for Marx, insofar as the Phenomenology remains rooted in metaphysics, it is onto-theology: ‘This power of nous and the Logos culminated, for the Greeks, in a philosophy which was understood as “ontology,” as a search for the ultimate categorial determinations of the existent, and likewise for those of the highest existent, theos, insofar as ontology was always at the same time theology’, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. P. Heath, Chicago, University of Chicago, 1975, p. xxii.

[32]. Hegel is however, critical of Parmenides’ onto-theology: ‘the said reality in all realities, the being in all determinate being, which is supposed to express the concept of God, is nothing else than abstract being, which is the same as nothing’ (SL 113/GW XXI 107). On the absolute ground, see SL 67/GW XXI 55.

[33]. As Heidegger notes however: ‘it still remains unthought by what unity ontologic and theologic belong together’ (ID 60). In other words, the henology of onto-henology has yet to be thought. See also, Heidegger, ‘Hegel and the Greeks’, Pathmarks, William McNeill (ed.), Cambridge, Cambridge University, 1998, p. 328 (henceforth PM). As Hyppolite writes: ‘in the Phenomenology we have seen the immediate being of the beginning of the book present itself as a thing, as force, as life, and finally as spirit’, Hyppolite, Genesis and Structure of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, p. 580. For Alexandre Kojève, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is primarily ‘phenomenological anthropology’: ‘Man is what he is only to the extent that he becomes what he is; his true Being (Sein) is Becoming (Werden), Time, History; and he becomes, he is History only in and by Action that negates the given [being], the Action of Fighting and of Work’, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, trans. J. H. Nichols, Jr., Ithaca, Cornell University, 1969, p. 38. This view seems to be shared by Quentin Lauer: ‘It should be obvious from even the very cursory account which we have been able to give of Hegel’s system that his philosophy, no matter what its ramifications, is essentially a philosophy of man throughout’, Hegel’s Idea of Philosophy, New York, Fordham University, 1983, p. 15.

[34]. As Heidegger insists however: ‘remaining-unthought constitutes the essence of metaphysics’, ‘Hegel’s Concept of Experience’, Off the Beaten Track, trans. J. Young and K. Haynes, Cambridge, Cambridge University, 2002, p. 133. For Hegel’s discussion of Plato’s onto-theology, see for example, LHP II 60/W IXX 83.

[35]. The origin of the enigma of alētheia however, as Heidegger reminds us, lies not with philosophy, but with poetry: ‘The oldest evidence of alētheiē and alēthēs, unconcealment and unconcealed, we find in Homer, and specifically in connection with verbs of saying’ (PM 334). Or again: ‘alētheia comes before the history of philosophy’ (PM 335). For Werner Marx, Hegel and Heidegger are most at odds with respect to truth: ‘The “truth” to which the introductory and preparatory science of phenomenology leads, in the final shape of absolute knowledge, consists in the dialectically assembled system of thought-determinations. This totally manifest truth is the last and most extreme expression of the principle of total lucidity inherent in logos and nous. Heidegger views the nature of truth as a process in which “hiddenness”—lethe—so passes, within a realm of clearing—aletheia—into “disclosure,” as to permeate the latter further in various ways’. Thus, ‘if what is shown to knowledge or conceiving is merely a side of Being permeated by hiddenness, or actually “withdrawing” itself from truth proper, we then have a thought running radically counter to the possibility that the self-conceiving concept, the self evolving toward true knowledge, should be able to rediscover itself in the complete movement of thought-determinations, qua systematic truth’, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, p. 107.

[36]. Heidegger later notes: ‘of course not transcendens—despite every metaphysical resonance—scholastic and greek-platonic koinon, rather transcendence as the ecstatic-temporal [Zeitlichkeit]—temporality [Temporalitat]; but “horizon”! Being has “thought beyond” [“überdacht”] beings. However, transcendence from the truth of being: the event [das Ereignis]’ (BT 38).

[37]. As Heidegger writes: ‘nothing in this realm lets itself be proved, but something pointed out’ (ID 22, trans. modified). In the Contributions to Philosophy, Heidegger calls this a ‘further-hinting of a hint’, Weiterwinken eines Winkes—as such, and recognizing that ‘the time of “systems” is past’, it is neither purposeful nor calculative, neither individual nor communal; rather, is a ‘thinking saying of philosophy that would be attempted in an other beginning. This does not describe or explain, does not proclaim or teach. This does not stand over against what is said, but is it itself as the essential-presencing of beyng. This saying gathers beying’s unto a first sounding of its essence, and it itself sounds only out of this essence’, trans. P. Emad and K. Maly, Bloomington, Indiana University, 1999, p. 4, trans. modified. An investigation into ‘the other beginning’ of the Contributions is, within the context of this article, not possible.

[38]. As Hegel later writes: ‘it is rather the ideal that is the most real, and it was Plato who perceived that it was the only real, for he characterized the universal or thought as the true, in opposition to what is sensuous’ (LHP II 50/W IXX 63).

[39]. Meta., 1004b9, 1028a15. In fact, for Aristotle, there are four original aitia, four charges, a four-fold responsibility at the origin: substance, ousia, the logos, that through which it is that which it is; the matter and substratum, hulē and hupokeimenon; the origin or beginning of movement, hē archē tēs kinēseōs, that good for the sake of which something is, the end of generation and movement, telos. These four are responsible for nature, for physical beings, Phys. 194b16. But here they are charged with being responsible for the universe, the whole; and they are implicated in everything mortal and immortal, in being and becoming, that which is, was and will be, everywhere and in everyway, as well as in our scientific investigation of beings, episkepsin tōn ontōn, Meta. 983b2.

[40]. Meta. 1028b2-4.

[41]. Meta. 1003b22-4; trans. modified.

[42]. Meta. 1003b26-34.

[43]. Meta. 1004a22; see also: 998b20ff, 1001a5-6, 1030b10-11. For the forgetting of being, see BT xixff.

[44]. Meta. 1052b16ff. And even the divine, the prime mover, unmovable and non-sensible substance, thought thinking thought, is only insofar as it is a unity—for its infinity is that finitude or horizon which separates it from mortals. See Meta., Bk. XII. Furthermore, if unity is the metron by which beingscan be quantitatively or qualitatively measured, it is because unity is essentially already horizon.

[45]. Elsewhere I have suggested that the essence of this ambiguity must be understood as ‘uncertainty’; see The Irony of Heidegger, especially secs. 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.5, 5.2, 6.2. For a modern scientific understanding of implication, see for example, P. Grice, Studies in the Way of Words, Cambridge, Harvard University, 1989. Here Grice is primarily concerned with how ‘information’ in conventional or nonconventional conversational ‘implicatures’ might be controlled (according to a kind of ‘Cooperative Principle’ indebted to Kantian categories) so that which is meant or suggested—in spite of all irony, metaphor, ambiguity—‘must be capable of being worked out’, p. 31.

[46]. Fr. 119, Stobaeus Anth. IV, 40, 23, in The Presocratic Philosophers, G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven, M. Schofield (eds.), Cambridge, Cambridge University, 1957, p. 210.

[47]. Patricia Curd (ed.), A Presocratics Reader, trans. Richard D. McKirahan, Indianapolis, Hackett, 1996, p. 40; emphasis added.

[48]. The Presocratic Philosophers, p. 211; emphasis added.

[49]. Martin Heidegger, ‘Letter on Humanism’, Basic Writings, D. F. Krell (ed.), New York, Harper & Row, 1977, p. 234; emphasis added.

[50]. As Walter Benjamin insists: Heidegger’s thought, in spite of ‘all its philosophical packaging’, is basically ‘only a piece of good translating work’, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, Chicago, University of Chicago, 1994, p. 168. Here however, perhaps what is needed is something more akin to the interlinear version of the holy text; or, as Benjamin writes, citing Pannwitz: ‘Our translators, even the very best ones, proceed from a wrong premise. They want to turn Hindi, Greek, English into German instead of turning German into Hindi, Greek, English. Our translators have a far greater reverence for the usage of their own language than for the spirit of the foreign works… The basic error of the translator is that he preserves the state in which his own language happens to be instead of allowing his language to be powerfully affected by the foreign tongue’, ‘The Task of the Translator’, pp. 261-2. Thanks to Helen Lambert for reminding me of this.