"Beyond this book [Hoy's], we can find perspective in Michael Eldred's non-theological reading of Parmenides that suggests a relation of mind and temporality (Hoy's prevailing topic) as inspired by Heidegger." Rex Styzens in a Review of The Time of Our Lives: A Critical History of Temporality by David Couzens Hoy MIT Press 2009.
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... aliud autem est meminisse, aliud scire. ...
Praeterea qui alium sequitur, nihil invenit, immo nec quaerit. ...
Qui ante nos ista moverunt, non domini nostri, sed duces sunt.
... it is one thing to remember, another to know. ...
Moreover, whoever follows someone finds nothing, and is not even seeking. ...
Those who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters, but are leaders.
Seneca Epistulae ad Lucilium XXXIII
If one proceeds from Plato and Aristotle (and we in the West can hardly do otherwise), the mind (nou=j) is part of the soul (yuxh/), that is supposed to govern its other, desiring part. The soul, in turn, is wedded with the body (sw=ma). The soul enlivens the body, and abandons it when the living being, of whatever kind, dies. The soul communicates with the outside world partly through sense perception (ai)/sqhsij), but mind in the soul sees beings which allows them to be recognized as such. Plato accounts for the ability to see beings as such and not merely a heap of sense impressions through his doctrine of ideas, which are the defining sights, looks or faces (ei)/dh) of beings qua beings. In particular, there is Plato's doctrine, or rather myth, of the anamnesis of a prenatal sight of the ideas which are remembered, thus enabling beings to be recognized as such. Aristotle modifies this anamnesis to the mind's ability to see beings as such, so that they appear as beings in the light of reason. The mind sees non-sensuously, complementing what the senses give as data for seeing what is in the world. The emphasis here on the additional phrase 'as such' is crucial because it cannot be taken for granted that sense perception pure and simple, in which animals also participate, can see beings as such. The 'as such' is the mind's supplement, in fact, it is the hermeneutic As, the mind's essential determination as openness to being.
What Plato lays down in his conception of the soul and mind is effective throughout the philosophical tradition. The ideas are located within the mind, which, in turn, is located within the soul, which is located within the body, that provides the schema of successive encapsulations still taken for granted in modern philosophy and science. The ideas' innateness is confirmed also in the new cast given to modern metaphysics by key thinkers such as Descartes and Locke. Kant attributes to the spontaneity of reason the ability to construct a priori, i.e. prior to empirical experience, the fundamental ideas, such as time and space, that are applied as schemata to bring sense perceptions into shape as beings as such which, for Kant, are objects vis-à-vis subjective consciousness. In his commentary on Plato's anamnesis doctrine, Hegel speaks of a "making oneself inward, going into oneself" (Sich-innerlich-machen, Insichgehen; VGPII:44) to see the ideas, the universal (Allgemeine; ibid.). In today's scientistic analytic philosophy, too, the mind is inside, e.g.
Introspection is a process that generates, or is aimed at generating, knowledge, judgments, or beliefs about mental events, states, or processes, and not about affairs outside one's mind. In this respect, it is different from sensory processes that normally deliver information about outward events or about the non-mental aspects of the individual's body. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Introspection)So it is safe to say that, despite all modifications and internal critique, the metaphysical tradition has remained true to itself throughout in conceiving of the mind as located inside the soul which, in turn, is located inside the body. This holds true even if, say, analytic philosophy would object to the term 'soul' and either replace it by 'psyche' or equate it with the brain's neuronal networks. Analytic philosophy still struggles with the phenomena of consciousness and thinking, which somehow take place 'inside' the mind as some kind of "mental processes".
The first rupture with these conceptions of the mind and soul takes place with the publication in 1927 of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit. All at once, along with the questioning of the very meaning of being, human being itself is recast as existence and Dasein. Ex-sistence means literally 'standing-out'. Standing out where? In the world. To be human means to stand out in the world. Dasein as ex-sisting is always already out there in the world, with beings as such. Because of this out-standing already-being-with what there is out there in the world, it is now beings that present themselves as such to human being which is able also to recognize them as such because it is open to the self-presentation of beings as such. This openness to beings' presenting themselves as such is human understanding. There is no phenomenological, experiential evidence for there being a communication between a soul or mind located within the body and the beings out there in the world, as if they were separated, especially since it is only sense perception that has to rely on physical sense data. Rather, beings in their being have always already laid claim on human being, which is both attuned to and understands beings as such. Whereas with Plato the soul was divided into the rational, mindful part and the emotional, desiring part, now there is a twofold openness of human being itself to the world rather than a bipartite soul.
Someone will object that all this is nonsense because all our knowledge of and interactions with beings in the world are mediated first of all by the senses that are in contact with reality. For instance, if it is too dark, it is impossible to see what is out there. This is correct but beside the point because, even when there is light, sense impressions are insufficient to understand what we see with the physical eyes as somewhat. Rather, when we see something visually, it is always already understood within simple, universal categories provided by understanding that are applied as a matter of course to understand the specific situation at hand, the senses providing only the detail of what is perceived that is fitted into the universal categories of understanding. The empiricist idea that sense data are worked up each time, say, internally by the brain, into comprehensible ideas of what is perceived, skips over the problem as to where the brain or mind gets its templates of understanding from.
The problem of 'innate ideas' returns, perhaps in the queer form of neuronal patterns in the brain that are said to have emerged in the course of 'evolution'. The reality of the real, i.e. of real things out there in the world, is presumed to reside in what the senses capture by way of sense data that 'make a difference' and provide knowledge about the real world, which simply 'is', i.e. exists, as if there were nothing enigmatic about this little word, 'is'. The problem as to how that real tree out there is recognized as a tree on the basis of a heap of sense data received cannot be solved without always already having an idea of 'tree', or even more primitively, of 'something'. Where does the idea of 'something' come from? Not from the senses, nor from sense data; it is already there in the mind. 'Something' is already understood and the sense impression is re-cognized, i.e. cognized again, as 'something'.
Furthermore, why are sense perceptions given the privilege of being really the real, or of providing access to reality (e.g. to the scientist's experimental reality), whereas everything else is merely imagination? Imaginations are conceived as being representations in consciousness of real beings out there, thus re-presentations of things out there that already present themselves. Imaginations may be merely dreams, whereas sense perceptions are of physical things presenting themselves sensuously in the present. The power of imagination, which the ancient Greeks call fantasi/a (fantasy), is conceived as an inner capacity of the mind to make images for itself that may have little to do with real, sensuous reality. A writer such as Virginia Woolf may nudge us a little to reconsider if this is so when she writes, "Nothing exists outside us except a state of mind, he thinks; ... [b]ut if he can conceive of her, then in some sort she exists,...".(2)
The privilege given to the senses as presenting the real to the conscious mind in re-presentations relies on the preconception that there is an inside and an outside to the mind, and also that what is sensuously present is what is really real. To be means then, first and foremost, to be present, or presentable, in the present to the senses. This is the preconception with which all of today's science, including, say, Einsteinian relativity and even quantum mechanics, operates. However, as already pointed out, there must also be ideas such as 'something' or 'this' or 'other', etc. in order to make sense of what the sense data give to the senses. The senses of themselves do not make sense. The sensible of itself is not sensible. Supposing these fundamental, simple ideas or categories are not simply taken for granted as self-evident, why are they imagined to be inside the mind which, in turn, is located somehow somewhere in each human body?
So, what does this have to do with the possibility of your being out of your mind? Let us take this question deeper.
The age-old discussion in philosophy about how the senses deceive is mistaken insofar as perception relies a priori on the basic ideas, such as 'something' or 'other', through which and as which beings present themselves and without which they would not be beings, i.e. would not presence. The essential character of the open clearing of the Da is that in it beings show themselves as beings. Without the open clearing there is also no world and no beings, no entities. The world does not simply 'exist', quite independently of any human being (not human beings), but is structured in the interrelations among beings presenting themselves as beings to human being. These beings comprise both extended things (including both practical and natural things) that have a place in the world and non-spatial entities that present themselves in the Da without their occupying any place. The Da itself is thus pre-spatial, prior to the world conceived as where things in their interrelatedness take their places.
Human being as Dasein is needed for the self-showing of beings as such. Dasein is attuned with beings as a whole in each situation and also understands the world in terms of the cast of being within which beings present themselves as the beings they are. The fundamental, always simple cast of being is not perennial, giving rise to a philosophia perennis, but is itself historical, an important point left aside here.
Such self-presentation of beings as beings is precisely not first and foremost sensuous, but a presentation through the hermeneutic as that is the 'scaffolding' that enables beings to shape up and gather themselves as beings. The as is not located inside the mind within the body, but in Dasein which is always already ex-statically out there with beings as such in the world, but not necessarily out there with them in sensuous presence. That is, the hermeneutic as is also prior to what the senses provide in the present for sense perception, and does not rely on the senses, nor the present. Once the present loses its privilege for the self-presentation of beings as such, and also the ideas (the simple sights that provide the as) are not conceived as eternally, timelessly present somehow in the soul for the mind to remember them, it becomes apparent that being itself has implicitly been understood in a temporal sense as both standing and persisting presence throughout the entire history of metaphysics.
Uncovering and unfolding this implicit temporal meaning of being is Heidegger's shattering discovery, initiating his unhinging of metaphysics in all its guises. The privileging of the sensuously present and its contrasting with the eternal presence of the ideas elsewhere, in heaven or inscribed in the soul by virtue of a prenatal preview of them, is the source of all metaphor that distinguishes between literal, concretely sensuous meaning, and metaphorical, non-sensuous meaning. The ideas lend also a standing presence to sensuous beings by enabling them to gather themselves into a well-defined sight (ei)=doj) as which beings present themselves as what they are.
If the temporal present loses its age-old, implicit privilege as the all-decisive criterion for being a being as such, then the other temporal ecstasies also can come into play as equally valid, as equally potent with being, albeit as distinct modes of being, which thus becomes temporally manifold. The Da as the open clearing is itself temporally structured with the three temporal ecstasies of present, future and having been. In traditional metaphysics, and to the present day, what has been is located within the mind in memory, and what will be is located in the mind's hoping or fearing. Neither memory nor hope nor fear have the status in metaphysics of being really real, but are certain sorts of fantasy, of imagination, that are second-rate, internal representations compared to the external presence of the sensuously present. Hence, for example, one conceives of memory as laying down a present trace or record, through which its reality is guaranteed. Temporally defined imaginations such as recollection and plans, hopes and fears, however, are out there in the temporally structured open clearing which Heidegger comes to think through also as "time-space" (Zeitraum; Zeit und Sein 1962). Human existence is thus recast philosophically as the ex-posure to the three-dimensional 'space' of time itself, and the very meaning of being itself is no longer tacitly 'standing presence in the present', but the play of presencing and absencing within the temporal clearing.
Dasein can recollect what happened, or recollections can occur to it. It can plan for the short-term, medium-term or long-term future, or fears or hopes about the future can occur to it. All these possibilities are ways in which Dasein itself is out there in the world, comporting itself toward beings in a specific temporal mode. Dasein can also dream or simply imagine states of affairs, both of which are ways in which beings themselves come to presence for it and thus are. In German this is called Vergegenwärtigen, i.e. 'calling to presence' or 'calling to mind', without being located in a specific temporal dimension, which takes place when I simply wonder about this or that. Literature often illustrates in passing the power of calling to mind through fantasy which is not subject to any absolute physical limit supposedly imposed by the speed of light, as when we read, "He, who had been thinking with the unlimited time of the mind, which stretches in a flash from Shakespeare to ourselves, poked the fire and began to live by that other clock which marks the approach of a particular person. The wide and dignified sweep of his mind contracted".(3)
If the (implicit metaphysical) meaning of being as such is expanded from presence in the present (in the first place, of what is sensuously present in the third person) to (the explicit post-metaphysical meaning of being as) presencing and absencing within the three-dimensional time-clearing (rather than time-space, to avoid misleading connotations of 'space'), then there are different, equally valid ways of being with beings (which now become 'presents' and 'absents') in such a temporally structured world. To exist exist as a human being then does not mean primarily to be with things as such in the present through the mediation of sense perception (e.g. through scientific experiment), but rather to call, or let come to presence, to mind, those matters that have to be taken care of. Such matters come primarily from the future, although this does not at all exclude, but emphatically includes, what has been, the so-called 'past' or 'foregoneness', that has to be dealt with through recollection. Dasein has to be primarily future-oriented to shape its own existence in the world which, of course, it shares with certain others. Such a future-orientation is a presencing of the absent things themselves as arriving potentially, as yet withheld within the arriving temporal dimension of the future, and not an inner imagination through which future events are simply represented inside consciousness, lacking external reality. The latter is always conceived metaphysically as pertaining solely to the the neither refused nor withheld, but given present, as shown forcefully by the metaphysicalconception of time as a linear succession of now-instants that are present, whereas time future and time past do not 'exist'.
Post-metaphysically, the mind itself becomes another name for the Da, for exposure to the open, three-dimensional temporal clearing in which Dasein can be with beings in the world in various temporal ways, including, among others, physically, sensuously, spatially(3a) in the present. This could perhaps be regarded as a revival and post-metaphysical phenomenological re-interpretation of the Anaxagorean insight into nou=j, i.e. into mind as out there in the world.(4)
Even when Dasein today scientifically conceives, through mathematico-physical theories, the beginnings of the universe billions of years ago before there were any human beings around, such beginnings are such only for and through Dasein, whose out-standing ex-sisting is temporally unrestricted in the sense that its very imaginings are a way of moving through the three-dimensional time-clearing without the need for any locomotion. Hence, strictly speaking, it is inconceivable for you to be out of your mind, since any imaginative conceiving at all is a calling to presence in the sole site where anything can present itself at all, namely, in the temporal clearing, no matter in what mode of presencing or absencing.
What is inconceivable cannot come to mind and shape up for it and thus, strictly speaking, is not at all. What is usually understood by inconceivable is either logically self-contradictory or highly unlikely to occur, i.e. to arrive in the present, and hence both are still in some sense conceivable. Logical self-contradictoriness itself depends on a conception of simultaneity at the same present moment of time. The negation of one state of affairs requires the ecstatic time-clearing to come to presence (from the future) in a non-contradictory way. Such negation is movement, change. Seen this way, the temporal clearing is what enables movement and change as such, where the as signifies that the mind is able to gather and hold together the temporal ecstasies and thus see changes of states of affairs as movement.
Imagination itself is the power to call to presence for the mind what is absent, without overcoming this absence with a physical, sensuous presence. Absence itself has two temporal modes: beenness (otherwise known as 'past', which is misleading insofar as the past is not past, but can be retrieved) and future. Imagination (fantasi/a) imagines from the temporal dimension of the future, although such imaginations may be loosely 'what could be', i.e. what is merely conceivable, imaginable, lacking probability of ever arriving in sensuous presence. Such imagining is the antithesis of the predictive certitude striven for by modern science. Absence itself can be present, and insofar absence is a kind of presence, such as when you notice that something is missing, or you miss your lover for whom you are pining. If, on the other hand, you are oblivious to what is going on around you, to certain matters that matter to you, then not only are these matters absent, but their very absence is absent.(5)
The key move in Kant's metaphysics is the transcendental grounding of objectivity within subjectivity by pure apperception. 'Pure' and 'transcendental' in Kant's thinking mean prior to sensuous, empirical experience, in pursuit of the question: Are synthetic judgements a priori possible? They are indeed possible and even necessary, and this is the constitution of the objectivity of objects within the subjectivity of a finite being that, prior to any experience given to it through the senses, already has a pure intuition of time as a succession of nows that is held together by the ego's apperception within the temporal horizon of the present, past and future. This temporal horizon with its three modi is actually built by the ego's power of imagination (Einbildungskraft) itself in its three synthetic capacities of apprehending, reproducing and reconnoitring.
The German word 'Einbildungskraft' is interesting in its composition since ' bild ' connates both with 'bilden' (to build) and Bild (image), so Ein-bildungs-kraft is the power of the transcendental ego to build in (ein) images within the mind. 'Einbildungskraft' is a synonym of 'Vorstellungskraft', both being possible renderings of Greek fantasi/a and indeed, Einbildungskraft builds on Vorstellungen, i.e. on representations, which more literally are that which the subject places (stellen) before (vor) itself. A representation is hence a re-presentation of the appearance outside consciousness within consciousness for the subject. In the usual sense, representations are the placing before oneself of what is given empirically by the senses as an image, but the power of imagination is also able to place before itself images (literally ei)/dh or i)de/ai, i.e. ideas) prior to any empirical experience, namely, the pure, contentless images of a sequence of now-instants in succession. The synthetic powers of the power of imagination are able to bring a succession of images together as a unified succession by calling back former images and putting them into relation with the presently grasped image and identifying them as the same whose concept is held up in advance in reconnoitring the images for sameness. These three kinds of imaginitive synthesis of inner images or re-presentations enable an object or Gegenstand to come to stand over against the transcendental subject that in turn stands over against the succession of now-instants. The objectivity of the object, i.e. its ontological condition of being, is thus an achievement of the subject's inner power of imagination of calling up appearances as images and building them into an object in its standing self-sameness.
The subject's transcendental power of imagination brings objects to stand in their objectivity in conscious re-presentation of appearances as a standing in linear time. Hence Heidegger interprets the transcendental power of imagination and the transcendental ego as originary time itself. Originary time is distinguished from time as a succession of nows; it is the "threefold unity of time as presence, beenness and future" (dreifache Einheit der Zeit als Gegenwart, Gewesenheit und Zukunft: KPM:161), i.e. the unified transcendental temporal horizon. To support his claim that the transcendental ego can be interpreted as originary time, Heidegger not only points to the fact that for Kant time and the transcendental ego have "the same essential predicates" (dieselben Wesensprädikate; KPM:174), namely "standing and remaining" (stehend und bleibend, Heidegger ibid. citing Kant KrV:A123), but cites also Kants Vorlesungen über die Metaphysik where Kant speaks of the "building power" of calling "forth representations either of the present time, or representations of past time, or even representations of future time" (Vorstellungen hervor, entweder der gegenwärtigen Zeit, oder Vorstellungen der vergangenen Zeit, oder auch Vorstellungen der zukünftigen Zeit; cited at KPM:159).
Hence for Kant, the transcendental subject in pure intuition or 'looking-at' (Anschauung) that does not look at any empirically, sensuously given representation, but prior to any such sensuous givenness, not only gives itself time as the linear succession of now-instants, but as power of imagination builds even the transcendental horizon of the unity of originary, three-dimensional time itself required to unify representational images into a standing object. In short, the transcendental subject gives itself time through its own imaginative power within whose three-dimensional horizon it is then able to bring objects as such to stand before it in consciousness. The senses provide the ontic, empirical detail, but the subject itself builds the empirically derived images ontologically a priori into beings as objects. Hence, through its own power, the transcendental subject gives itself images/representations, the objects it builds from these against the unified temporal horizon that it likewise builds. It thus possesses ontologically a pure, threefold power of imagining, building and unifying within itself prior to any sensuously mediated experience of the world out there.(6)
An adherent of some version of subjectivist metaphysics will here at the latest probably exclaim: 'So what? This is all perfectly admissible.' The answer is a counter-question: Why the theoretical construction of mediating representations interposed between the subject and appearances in the external world and why the need to build within the subject's subjectivity these representing images into objects? In other words, why is it only ontic sense data that are given to the subject and not beings presenting themselves as such against a likewise given horizon of three-dimensional time? Why does an ontological construction have to take place within the transcendental subject's consciousness? Even by means of this ontological construction no truth of beings as such is attained, but merely a "knowledge of appearances" (Erkenntnisse von Erscheinungen; Hegel EnzI § 40). The Ding an sich remains unknown and inaccessible, and the transcendental subject builds only a model of the world.
Kant's metaphysics indeed from the outset concedes the merely finite, subjective nature of knowledge by admitting the split between the subject and the Ding an sich. This is the 'natural attitude' of today's ubiquitous and hegemonic scientific method, which prescribes that subjective thinking construct a hypothetical model on the basis of the "appearances", i.e. empirical sense data, available to it and then continue to test this model against further data gained by experience, i.e. by experiment, surveys, statistics, etc. Hence, e.g. Popper's falsificationism. Kant's metaphysics provides the ontological foundations for this scientistic attitude by admitting from the start that knowledge is a construct for human, subject-ive purposes and goals. Nietzsche will later see what is a sinister will to power in this ontological construction.
Hence Kant's metaphysics is properly designated as "subjective idealism", because the ideas with which the subject confronts empirical appearances are constructed within subjectivity itself, including even time, space and the objectivity of the object. Hegel counterposes to this subjective objectivity the objectivity of "the thought in-itself of what is there, as distinct from that which is merely thought by us and thus still different from the thing itself or in itself" (EnzI § 41 Add. 3). Kant's purified reason is unable to get to things themselves to uncover what they truly are. Instead, it contents itself with and concedes that things in themselves remain unknowable. His thinking ventures a move beyond the finitude of theoretically modelled appearances to infinitude only by switching to the morally dutiful Ought of his practical philosophy.
Hegel points out, however, that the very thought of the Ding an sich is already a kind of knowledge of it because it is thought by abstracting from all determinate sense impressions and all determinate thoughts of the object to attain "the negative of representation, feeling, of determinate thought, etc." (das Negative der Vorstellung, des Gefühls, des bestimmten Denkens usf.; EnzI § 44 Note), namely, "of thinking having gone forth to pure abstraction, the empty ego, that makes this empty identity of itself into its object" (des zur reinen Abstraktion fortgegangenen Denkens, des leeren Ich, das diese leere Identität seiner selbst sich zum Gegenstande macht; EnzI § 44 Note). This pure abstraction from all determinacy achieved by thinking is absolute in the sense of independent of all experiential knowledge and hence true in the sense of an identity, a correspondence between thinking and its object, whereas all experiential knowledge depends on, i.e. is relative to, the given experience of appearances out there and is therefore "declared to be" conditional, non-absolute, "the untrue, appearances" (für das Unwahre, für Erscheinungen erklärt; EnzI § 45). The pure, abstract, true identity of thought with its object will serve Hegel as the starting-point for his own metaphysics of absolute idealism that is to overcome the deficiencies of merely relative, subjective idealism. Starting with pure abstraction, Hegel's Logik will proceed to develop dialectically, step by step, all the categories of thinking that Kant merely introduces into his Critique of Pure Reason not only ready-made but also employed in constructions within the subject's subjectivity and hence divorced from the objective world, "the thing itself", in its truth.
Hence, in truth, Kant is out of his mind in imagining himself to be contained within subjectivity because with the sheer thought of the Ding an sich he has already willy-nilly ventured beyond subjectivity's bounds to provide unwittingly a true determination of the object in itself. The mind, in truth, can think the object in its independent, absolute being in the world and thus bring it into an idea with itself which, for Hegel, is the Idea as the identity of subject and object. This identity overcomes the object's independence and makes thinking absolute. Although Heidegger accuses Hegel of having a metapyhsics of "absolute subjectivity" ('Hegel und die Griechen' WM:426), it could equally well be called a metaphysics of absolute objectivity in which thinking surrenders itself to thinking through the world in its objectivity. Since Hegel thinks the Idea as the "subject-object" (Subjekt-Objekt; EnzI § 214), his metaphysics is already well on the way to breaking out of subjectivist metaphyiscs. Nevertheless, he overlooks the open dimension, the clearing in which subject and object can merge.
What a phantasmagoria the mind is
and meeting-place of dissemblables!
Virginia Woolf Orlando op. cit. p. 485
The most famous line from Parmenides is to\ ga\r au)to\ noei=n e)sti/n te kai\ ei)=nai. (Frag. III), whose standard translations run something like, "For the same thing is perceiving/conceiving/being aware/thinking and being." Parmenides explicates this brief pronouncement in Fragment VIII:
tau)to\n d'e)sti\ noei=n te kai\ ou(neken e)/sti no/hma.Alternatively, and closer to the Greek:
So it is the same: thinking/minding and that for whose sake the thought is;Burnet's translation is way off the mark in bringing in time, which is here not spoken of at all, and claiming that only present time is, thus displaying a venerable, fateful metaphysical bias: time has long been thought as a linear succession of present moments in which what genuinely is is (exists). Only what is sensuously, palpably present is supposed to be 'really real'. Furthermore, by rendering pefatisme/non as "betrothed", a merely correct dictionary translation, Burnet also misses the connection between pefatisme/non as 'something that has been said' (from fa/tij 'saying') and fai/nein 'to bring to light, make to appear' from the common root fa-. 'To say' is to 'bring to light' and only derivatively 'to express something in speech'.
The translation of Fragment III hinges on the three Greek words: au)to\, noei=n and ei)=nai. Noei=n is the verb corresponding to the noun, nou=j, which has an entire history of translations through the ages as 'ratio', 'intellectus', 'Vernunft', 'Reason', 'rationality', 'Geist', 'mind'. From the standard translations of Fragment III, one can see that the rendering of noei=n vacillates among perceiving/conceiving/being aware/thinking, where the last rendering is most in line with nou=j as Reason. Here I propose, however, that noei=n be rendered simply by resuscitating the obsolete English verb 'to mind': "To perceive, notice, be aware of; to have one's attention attracted by (something presented to one's eyes or outward perceptions)" (OED) as in "A finite intelligence ... may sometimes ... think of somewhat else than what he is doing, so as to be said in a manner not to mind what he is about." (1701 Norris Ideal World i. i. 21 cited in OED). This quote shows a relationship between 'thinking of' and 'minding' in which the latter is focused on the sensuously present, whereas the former may drift off into fantasy. In the present context, the broadest possible signification of 'to mind', i.e. not tied to the sensuously present, is required to render Frag. III as
For it is the same: minding and being.which only makes sense in the light of the presentation in the first section above. Accordingly, the 'minding' is also a calling or coming to mind and not restricted to a perceiving of what is palpably present. Similarly, 'being aware' has to be taken in a broad sense of not just taking in what is physically present to the senses. Rather, the mind and being are one and the same in an all-encompassing sense. Fragment VIII shows that there is an ambiguity and vacillation also between ei)=nai and e)o/n, i.e. between the so-called infinitive, 'being', and the present participial, 'being', or between a verbial 'being' and a so-called 'participial noun', 'beings', which indicates that beings are here spoken of in their being, i.e. beings qua or as beings. The 'same' is the hermeneutic 'as' that brings and holds together minding and being, for there is no minding without being, and there is no being without minding. During the long history of philosophy, starting with Parmenides, and of metaphysics, starting with Plato and Aristotle, the ambiguity of being and beings holds sway, usually in favour of the ontic beings, and that even to the extent that metaphysics itself is on occasion conceived as an investigation of effective causal relations among beings.
The above reference to what 'will be' in Frag. VIII indicates that 'being' itself is temporally open not only to what is present in the present, but also to what is absent but present in its absence as what will be. In his 'Moira' essay, Heidegger also draws on a conjecture made by Bergk (V&A:242, cf. D/K2:238) according to which ou)de\n ga\r h)\ e)/stin h)\ e)/stai should read rather: ou)d"h)=n ga\r h)\ e)/stin h)\ e)/stai, which can be rendered as, "For there never was nor is nor ever will be", thus bringing in also the third temporal dimension. Hence the translation would read:
So it is the same: minding (thinking) and that for whose sake the thought is;In this way, ei)=nai and e)o/n themselves gain a temporal meaning which Heidegger captures as "Anwesen des Anwesenden" (V&A:237), standardly translated as "presence of that which is present" or, better, "presencing of presents", where 'presents' is taken firstly in the sense of "the thing or person that is present; that which is before one, or here; affair in hand; present occasion; pl. things present, circumstances" (OED), but, secondly, extended to encompass the 'absents' as a privative mode of presence. The extension of presencing to include both presents and absents receives backing from Parmenides himself in the first line of Frag. IV(9) when he writes, leu=sse d' o(/mwj a)peo/nta no/wi pareo/nta bebai/wj: "So look at absents with the mind just as firmly, steadily and surely as presents." This amounts to an affirmation of the mind's ranging through all three dimensions of the time-clearing, calling also absents to presence to look at, thus flying in the face of the metaphysical predilection for the sensuously present.
The translation of Frag. III thus becomes finally:
For it is the same: minding and presencing.The mind (nou=j) is the same as the presencing and absencing of presents as such through which presents come to light and so are pefatisme/non. The temporally ecstatic play of presencing and absencing needs mind that is open to such a play to present itself as such. Otherwise the play of presencing and absencing is not, i.e. has no spectator and witness. Conversely, minding is only possible within open, three-dimensional, "pre-spatial" (vor-räumlich; SD:15) time-space, for the mind can only bring to light that which presents itself somehow in the time-clearing.
The pre-spatiality of the mind in its sameness with the time-clearing implies, in particular, that minding is not tied to the sensuously present in its physical, material apartness and extension, and can even be pre-occupied with a non-sensuous space, such as in the case of geometry. Indeed it can be said that much occurs without taking place (German: Vieles kommt vor, ohne stattzuhaben.). For instance, all the thoughts of a conceptual nature that occur to you have no place. Even more than that, the time-clearing itself is nowhere; it is no 'where' at all. Thus, in its sameness with the time-clearing, the mind is also no 'where' at all. Here, 'mind' does not mean the seat of rationality or cognition, but the openness to and identification with the time-clearing per se in attuned understanding, so that it encompasses also that which is traditionally called 'soul'. Hence neither mind nor soul are located in the body; rather, the human body, for as long as it lives, takes part in the soul, i.e. the time-clearing, that enlivens it. Individual mortals enter and leave the time-clearing — that's life. Conversely, any thing that is somewhere, i.e. extended, must present itself in the time-clearing to be at all. This means that the time-clearing is prior to world.
The open, three-dimensional time-clearing is the same as the mind for which humans, to be human beings, are used and into which each individual human being is cast, to which each is exposed and in which each is immersed, where beings qua beings present and absent themselves for the mind. Each individual exposed to this play of presencing and absencing in the temporal clearing of mind has its own individual perspective on the play. The individuality of the viewing angles, e.g. my very own (jemeinig) and your very own (jedeinig) perspective, for the play of presencing and absencing is the originary splintering of truth conceived as disclosure, so to speak, the atomic fission of truth into individual atoms. Minding is "for the sake of" beings' temporal presencing and absencing in the time-clearing, which is being's medium. Being 'is' ecstatic time. Without this open time-clearing for the presentation for beings, there would be no minding (noei=n), nothing minded/thought (no/hma), no mind (nou=j) whatever.
Minding in its sameness with the temporally three-dimensional clearing for presencing and absencing is not merely cogitation, but is mooded, i.e. attuned to the play of presencing and absencing of presents as a whole. Also for this reason it is misleading to translate noei=n as 'thinking'. Moreover, such mooded minding is individualized as the attunement of an individual with situations, which are not only physically present, nor even simply present ones. This phenomenon should not be misinterpreted as the inner feeling of a subject, since such feeling is the individualized mooded minding of a temporally three-dimensional situation that is 'out there'. Such mooded minding may be shared with others, or it may remain individual.
With such an unequalled insight into mind in its sameness with the time-clearing, one could say that Parmenides was in his right mind, whereas modern subjectivist metaphysics in all its variants since Descartes ruins the sameness by introducing the subject-object split that compels presents to re-present themselves as representations within a subject's encapsulated consciousness, a way of thinking that is self-evident 'second nature' today. Complacently ensconced in such self-evidence, modern scientific thinking proceeds to wreak havoc with its 'hypothetical' 'models' of reality that it proceeds to test experimentally, with physically present data, that may be data records, whilst leaving the subject-object split unhealed.
The above proposed translation of Frag. III is more radical, and simpler, than any of Heidegger's, who mostly, but not always, interprets to\ au)to/ predicatively as "Zugehörigkeit" i.e. 'belonging together'. In his 'Moira' essay from 1954 he even interprets to\ au)to/ in Frag. III as the subject of the saying, at least in the following sense: As the under-lying subject, to\ au)to/ holds sway "as the unfolding of the twofold in the sense of disclosure" (als die Entfaltung der Zwiefalt im Sinne der Entbergung; V&A:241) whereas, for the present proposed translation, to\ au)to/ is simply 'the same', albeit a sameness of minding and the time-clearing (which, of course, goes along also with a difference between the two) that has been passed over throughout the history of philosophy. For his translation, by contrast, Heidegger curiously skips the temporal signification of ei)=nai as 'presencing' (Anwesen), which he elsewhere underscores as the meaning of being implicitly and tacitly presupposed by Greek thinking since its first beginnings, and proposes instead that it is the twofold of beings and being that has yet to be unfolded to explicitly think the openness of a)lh/qeia. The 'timely play' of being is thus let slip in favour of the 'truth' (Wahrheit) of being which the late Heidegger proclaims is "to be understood from safekeeping in which being is safekept as being".(10) In other places, Heidegger even asserts that his quest for the temporal meaning of being in Sein und Zeit is superseded insofar as in his later thinking time turns out to be merely the "preliminary name" (Vorname) for the "more originary essencing of a)lh/qeia"(11) that is understood as a safekeeping of being itself. But, in the end, 'being' is a word with a temporal meaning that must be safekept in view.
Furthermore, Heidegger mostly renders noei=n as "Vernehmen" i.e. 'hearing', 'experiencing' or 'taking-in', a misleading translation insofar as it suggests the presence in the present of what is being experienced, taken in, whereas the mind's minding ranges freely over three-dimensional time-space and is by no means tied to the present. Nor does the present, along with sensuousness and the senses, have any priority over the other two temporal ecstasies, as it continues to enjoy in all metaphysical thinking, especially modern scientific thinking, to the present day.
Heidegger draws attention in his 'Moira' essay to the goddess A)lh/qeia in Parmenides' poem which he, Heidegger, interprets as the hitherto unthought openness of disclosure (Entbergung) that bears the presencing of presents and their "taking-in" (Vernehmen; V&A:241) by "thinking" (Denken; V&A:241). A)lh/qeia as the unfolding of the folded-in, i.e. implicit, twofold of presence and presents, is said by Heidegger to "grant ... all presencing the light in which presents can appear" (Diese [Entfaltung] gewährt als A)lh/qeia jeglichem Anwesen das Licht, darin Anwesendes erscheinen kann; V&A:242). This "light" (Licht), however, is then immediately associated with the "clearing of presencing" (Lichtung des Anwesens; V&A:243), even to the extent of hazarding formulations such as "Licht der Lichtung" (light of the clearing; V&A:247) and "sich lichtendes Scheinen" (self-clearing shining; V&A:239), suggesting that the clearing were simply shining and light-filled. This ambiguity is resolved only much later, in 1969, when Heidegger says clearly that, "Light, namely, can fall into the clearing, into its openness, and in it allow brightness to play with darkness" (Das Licht kann nämlich in die Lichtung, in ihr Offenes, einfallen und in ihr die Helle mit dem Dunkel spielen lassen; SD:72). This implies that the ecstatic time-clearing is the clearing for both light and dark, disclosure a)lh/qeia and concealment. Concealment, however, must be understood in two different senses.
The first sense concerns the self-concealment of the clearing of presencing-and-absencing itself in granting the presencing of presents, which is an historical event (Ereignis) of self-concealment in favour of the presents that present themselves in the temporal clearing. Heidegger interprets the goddess, Moira (one's portion in life, lot, fate, destiny; Liddell/Scott), who appears in Frag. VIII at line 37, as the dispensing, sending event of enpropriation (Ereignis) that enpropriates to each other human being and the play of presencing and absencing. Moira is the event of enpropriation that "bound" (e)pe/dhsen; Frag. VIII 37) minding and presencing into their simple self-sameness. Due to the self-concealment of the temporal clearing of presencing in favour of its presents, it is overlooked — or rather, taken for granted — and left unthought throughout the two-and-a-half millennia history of Western metaphysics. Instead, time itself is thought as a linear sequence of 'nows' that are ('exist'), without the (circularly temporal) meaning of being itself ever being clarified.(12)
The second sense of concealment, however, concerns the play of disclosure and concealment of presents themselves within the granted clearing, which, according to the new interpretation of Frag. III, above is the three-dimensional time-clearing and mind in their sameness. Presents (beings) can present themselves clearly in the mind's light, or can remain entirely hidden to the mind, or they can present themselves only distortedly and obscurely in an ambiguity of light and shade. This play of disclosing and hiding of presents is overlaid and thus crossed with the play of presencing and twofold temporal absencing of beings in a matrix of various combinations so that, for instance, the arriving of that which is still absent in the future may be seen by mind clearly or only obscurely. With its absolute will to foresee and control all change, modern science is hell-bent on fore-seeing the future as clearly, unambiguously and predictively as possible through its calculative theoretical models for fore-seeing. Similarly, what has been and is thus absent in this specific temporal mode, can be retrieved to presence by the mind's calling to presence — without, however, overcoming its absence, but attaining only a presence as an absent — either clearly or only faintly; or it can remain in the complete darkness of oblivion (lh/qh), so to speak, out of mind. The mind can also be mindful that it has forgotten something that remains in concealment, or it can be totally oblivious even to its own forgetting, in which case, what has been forgotten is doubly concealed to the point of oblivion.
Furthermore, the mind's power of imagination can call to presence what is conceivable, i.e. what could conceivably come to presence from the future without, however, making any predictive claim about its ever arriving. Such is the play of fantasy which can also be misleading and hence dangerous for the mind, for in its playfulness it is apt not to mind what shows itself of itself and instead to merely imagine. There is, after all, a distinction to be made between the play of the power of imagination and thoughtful minding in a stricter sense. The mind in thinking mode has to learn patiently to see the phenomena themselves, which are by no means primarily sensuously present phenomena, but rather the As as which the phenomena present themselves to the mind. The As as an interconnected whole is the constellation of ideas which in a given historical age casts the being of beings and holds them fast in this cast. The pure ideas have no need of and cannot come to sensuous presence; the pure idea of justice, for instance, is not visible in the palpable presence of a building called a Court of Justice or robed justices, but must be thoughtfully minded in itself in a presence of mind. Thinking in the strict sense is thus minding the phenomena themselves, which is hard to do because of the mind's proclivity to go off at a tangent, to merely imagine instead of looking.
Parmenides left a message(13) long ago warning people against putting their faith in the coming and going of beings, as if that were the truth:
o(/ssa brotoi\ kate/qento pepoiqo/tej ei)=nai a)lhqh=,It is not a whit different today: 'people' (right up through the highly educated strata to the intellectual elites of 'brainiac' scientists and philosophers at the world's most famous universities) are taken in by the changing phenomena, assuming them to be true in their mere ontic facticity, and stringing them together into some sort of explanatory narrative or linear-causal theoretical explanation, thus remaining oblivious and blind to "that for whose sake the thought is", i.e. for the sake of the "well-rounded sphere" (eu)ku/klou sfai/rhj Frag. VIII 43) of the three-dimensional time-clearing for the play of presencing and absencing. If we take Parmenides' message seriously, then to be in our right minds means having insight into the sameness of minding and the play of presencing and absencing in the three-dimensional time-clearing. Even in our 'advanced' times, we have still to learn such simplicity that would open an other historical age. What would then come, we cannot foresee, but, by at least reaching the next turning in the road, we would see more.