Saturday, June 28, 2008

The In-between, with Aus-einandersetzung

I found this in Introduction to Metaphysics, P. 65.

Heidegger first gives his translation of Heraclitus fragment 53.
Confrontation [πόλεμος, polemos] is indeed for all (that comes to presence) the sire (who lets emerge), but (also) for all the preserver that holds sway. For it lets some appear as gods, others as human beings, some it produces (sets forth) as slaves, but others as the free.
The polemos named here is a strife that holds sway before everything divine and human, not war in the human sense. As Heraclitus thinks it, struggle first and foremost allows position and status and rank to establish themselves in coming to presence. In such a stepping apart, clefts, intervals, distances, and joints open themselves up. In con-frontation [Aus-einandersetzung], world comes to be. Confrontation does not divide unity, much less destroy it. It builds unity; it is the gathering (logos). Polemos and logos are the same.
Between x and y, aparting and gathering, the De-cision, Dissociating Exposition (Mindfulness, 15).

I don't think the sway in the passage is the wesen sway, of Contributions and Mindfulness, but "holds sways" as in prevails.


Liana Hain said...

Wonderful posting. I will look forward to contemplating this when I return to California and compare to Ken Maly's translation. WOuld like to continue the discourse on sway.

enowning said...

"Sway" first shows up at the top of page xxiv of the Contributions, in the discussion on translating the German Wesen. In much German philosophy Wesen is used for the latin essentia, or essence, in the sense of: a zebra is in essence a horse. That's the typical English definition: the properties of a thing that make it a member of a particular class. This is generally considered to come from Plato's theory of forms or ideas: all particular horses are instances of the ideal horse.

But the German Wesen has other senses, not captured by the English essence. Kenn and Parvis:

In order to convey that occurrence, Heidegger now uses the same word Wesen but with a significant twist. This "twist" is of paramount importance for the translation of Contributions. He uses Wesen as a word derived from the verb wesen, with meanings such as "swaying," "enduring," "abiding," "whilling," and the like. He sees in this "swaying" the originary, profound, and comprehensive occurrence that in the first beginning he calls "being."

Subsequent paragraphs develop the nuances of sway used in the translation.