To appear in Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1), forthcoming, Fall 2013.

Do not quote or cite unless given explicit permission by the author.

Heidegger's Sein zum Tode as radicalization of Aristotle’s definition of kinêsis
Joseph P. Carter University of Georgia

Abstract: There is evidence in the early Vorlesungen to suggest that in Sein und Zeit Heidegger's description of Dasein as Bewegung/Bewegtheit relies on his reading of Aristotle’s definition of motion, given specifically in the 1924 Die Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. According to Heidegger, Aristotle identifies kinêsis with energeia and calls it ‘active potentiality’ (tätige Möglichkeit). In this essay, I show how Heidegger's interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion sheds light on the arguments concerning being-towards-death (Sein zum Tode) in Sein und Zeit. I argue that self-understanding is Dasein's active potentiality, since this is its authentic being-towards-death. In turn, I assess Heidegger’s philological and philosophical justifications for collapsing the distinction between energeia and kinêsis in Aristotle, showing how Heidegger diverges from Aristotle's doctrines.


In the opening passages of Division II.5 of Sein und Zeit (SZ),1 where the attention shifts

from the analysis of temporality (Zeitlichkeit/Temporalität) in Dasein’s everyday attitude to its role in the broader account of historicity (Geschichtlichkeit), Heidegger makes a rather curious claim pertaining to the movedness (Bewegung/Bewegtheit) of Dasein: The movedness of Existenz is not the motion of what is present-at-hand. It is determined out of the stretching of Dasein. The particular movedness of the self-stretching which is stretched out [erstreckten Sicherstreckens], we call the happenings of Dasein.2 In other words, the being of Dasein concerns a particular motion that accounts for the happenings of life (Geschehen), which occur in terms of one’s own history and continue to expand and grow so long as one exists. The problem, still, is that there is no apparent account in SZ to shed light on this claim. While Heidegger claims that this spezifische Bewegtheit provides a way to understand Dasein’s Zeitlichkeit and Geschichtlichkeit, in what respect are we even to grasp the character of such movement when Heidegger says so little about it? What might Heidegger mean by the “movedness of Existence,” or what I call Dasein’s kineticity? What does it mean for its motion to be das erstreckte Sicherstrecken, “the self-stretching which is stretched out”? Furthermore, if temporality is the fundamental aspect of the being of Dasein, then why does Heidegger also remark that Dasein is constituted in terms of motion? Are these two ways at odds, or might there be something more to Dasein’s temporality that is not made explicit in the

For their helpful comments and criticisms on earlier drafts, I thank Elizabeth Brient, Steven Crowell, Edward Halper, René Jagnow, Greg Moss, Nathan Vacher, and my anonymous reviewer. 1 Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2006). All translations from SZ and the Gesamtausgabe are my own, unless noted otherwise. For SZ, I have consulted both the Macquarrie-Robinson (M&R) and Stambaugh (2010) translations, and for Die Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie (GA 18), the Metcalf-Tanzer (2009) translation. 2 SZ, pp. 374-375, emphasis mine.


text? In all, on what terms must we understand Dasein’s kineticity as equally ontologically constitutive as its temporality, if Heidegger makes little argument for it? To address these issues, I suggest an approach along the same lines as Heidegger’s strategy for articulating temporality—through Aristotle. If temporality is articulated by uncovering the existential-ontological assumptions hidden beneath Aristotle’s vuglare Zeitbegriff,3 then it makes sense also to approach the question of Dasein’s kineticity through Heidegger’s interpretation of motion in Aristotle. For one reason, in the Physics, Aristotle argues that there is neither motion without time nor time without motion, since time follows along with motion (Phy. Δ.10, 218b13-20). In the same vein, just as there is originary time for Dasein— temporality—there should also be Dasein’s originary motion—kineticity. Yet again, there is no direct evidence or argument for this in SZ. Instead, at our disposal are various treatments of motion in Heidegger’s early Vorlesungen (1921-1927) preceding the publication of SZ.4 With an eye to motion’s connection to Dasein, the most notable Vorlesung analyzing in detail Aristotle’s views on motion is the 1924 Die Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie [Grundbegriffe].

τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν ὁ χρόνος, ἀριθµὸς κινήσεως κατὰ τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον (Phy. Δ.11, 219b1), which Heidegger translates as “Das nämlich ist die Zeit, das Gezählte an der im Horizont des Früher und Später begegenden Bewegung” (SZ, p. 421). See also Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (GA 24), pp. 331-345. At GA 18, p. 378, Heidegger also ties together the active potentiality (tätige Möglichkeit) of motion with Dasein’s “located temporality” (örtliche Zeitlichkeit)—its concrete, temporal context. 4 There is a strong consensus amongst commentators that the pre-SZ Vorlesungen and Seminare significantly aided Heidegger as he planned and prepared his manuscript for the 1927 publication of SZ. Theodore Kisiel, The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995) painstakingly details this development, with a substantial discussion on Aristotle’s influence (pp. 227-308). For texts where Heidegger deals with Bewegung/κίνησις, both in Aristotle and in general, see the following: GA 18, pp. 269-329, 354-395 (Handschriften). Die Grundbegriffe der antiken Philosophie (GA 22), pp. 169-188. GA 24, pp. 325-30. Aristoteles, Metaphysik Θ 1-3: Von Wesen und Wirklichkeit der Kraft (GA 33). Phänomenologische Interpretationen ausgewählter Abhandlungen des Aristoteles zur Ontologie und Logik (GA 62), pp. 101-108, 387. “Vom Wesen und Begriff der Physis: Aristoteles, Physik B, 1,” in Wegmarken (GA 9), pp. 239-301.


What makes this text unique and most pertinent is that it supplies Heidegger’s most explicit and detailed analysis of the definition of motion given in Physics Γ.1-3 with direct reference to its role in the constitution of Dasein: Because of this orientation [to uncovering the how of Dasein’s being], we need to characterize motion since we will come to know it as a determination of a being [Seienden], and indeed of the living-being, from which every additional treatment of Being is assessed. Κίνησις: the guiding thread for the explication of the Being of the being-there of the human being.5 Therefore, in light of the Grundbegriffe and other supporting texts, I show in §1 how and why Heidegger uses his interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion to lay the groundwork for the Daseinsanalytik in SZ.6 Following this, in §2, I show how Heidegger’s understanding of

GA 18, pp. 273, emphasis mine. Cf. GA 33, p. 172. That Heidegger’s explication of Physics Γ 1-3 in the Grundbegriffe plays a formidable role in developing the notion of Sein zum Tode is rarely suggested, even though commentators agree that Heidegger's early interest in the Physics does help shape the Daseinanalytik. For example, while Kisiel mentions that Physics Γ 1-3 is crucial to Heidegger’s development of the Daseinsanalytik, there is a significant lacuna in his treatment. Where he analyzes the Grundbegriffe, Kisiel, pp. 286-301, leaves aside the second part of the course, where Heidegger examines the definition of motion. When translating and analyzing Heidegger’s famous Phänomenologische Interpretationen zu Aristoteles (Anzeige der Hermeneutischen Situation) (GA 62), pp. 354-399, Kisiel, pp. 248-271, also ignores Heidegger’s remarks on both Metaphysics A 1-2 and Physics A-E, wherein Heidegger makes plain that κίνησις is central to the hermeneutical project. Still, this is not to say that no commentator recognizes the general importance of Aristotle's definition of motion for Heidegger. See Jussi Backman, “Divine and mortal motivation: On the movement of life in Aristotle and Heidegger,” Continental Philosophy Review 38, pp. 241-261; Walter Brogan, “Double Archê: Heidegger’s reading of Aristotle’s kinetic ontology,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 2 (3), pp. 85-92; Brogan, Heidegger and Aristotle: The Twofoldness of Being (Albany, NY: SUNY 2005); Rudolf Burnet, “Die Lehre von der Bewegung bei Aristoteles,” Heidegger und die Griechen, Martin-HeideggerGesellschaft, vol. 8 (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2005), pp. 95-122; Francisco Gonzalez, “Whose Metaphysics of Presence? Heidegger’s Interpretation of Energeia and Dunamis in Aristotle,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy (44), pp. 533-568; Servanne Jollivet, “Das Phänomen der Bewegtheit im Licht der Dekonstruktion der aristotelischen Physik,” HeideggerJahrbuch 3 (2007), pp. 130-155; Thomas Sheehan, “On the way to Ereignis: Heidegger’s
5 6


albeit briefly. however. However. see Gonzalez. pp. With this in mind. This squares with my proposal that the analysis of Dasein is as much about originary motion as originary time. although he also offers more general comments regarding the role of κίνησις in Heidegger beyond SZ.κίνησις implicitly shapes the arguments in SZ concerning Dasein as being-towards-death (Sein zum Tode). Bernet focuses on the role of στέρησις in the Grundbegriffe. Aristotle defines κίνησις as an active potentiality (tätige Möglichkeit). As for the others. since this is how Dasein interpretation of Physis. I show that we should interpret the ‘towardness’ (Zu-sein) of being-towards-death as indicating Dasein’s active potentiality.” in Continental Philosophy in America. eds. 283-287). while nicely articulating the commanding role of λόγος in Heidegger's interpretation of κίνησις. he thinks Sein zum Tode relates more to the Nicomachean Ethics.. 261. 95-97. She also provides a thoughtful presentation of Bewegtheit in the general philosophical milieu of Heidegger’s work. Weigelt. calling them “ausdrücklicher Bezugnahme” for the Daseinsanalytik. H. 2002 and (abbreviated version of chapter 5) "Logos as Kinesis: Heidegger's Interpretation of the Physics in Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. no significant attempt is made by either Brogan or Sheehan to make sense of the definition in the context of the Daseinsanalytik. and at times misses the nuances of Heidegger’s arguments. his criticisms of Heidegger’s sharp distinction between ἐνέργεια and ἐντελέχεια are helpful for understanding how Heidegger exploits some ambiguities in Aristotle. 5 . 140). Gonzalez’s treatment is highly critical of Heidegger. Jollivet suggests insightfully that the Grundbegriffe is a deconstructive enterprise which seeks out the existential-ontological elements hidden beneath Aristotle’s formulation of κίνησις (p. fn. cit. While Bernet. Gonzalez. Specifically. pp. even though Sheehan sees κίνησις as central to Heidegger’s notion of Ereignis. op. Even though Heidegger addresses the definition of motion in this text (GA 9. Nevertheless. Stockholm: Almquiest & Wiksell. He references the definition of motion both in Aristotle’s text and in the Grundbegriffe only in passing (Backman. 554. Strangely. while Sheehan reads his interpretation of Ereignis and φύσις back into SZ. and Weigelt offer detailed analyses of the Grundbegriffe and its connection to SZ. Backman focuses more on Heidegger’s reading of Metaphysics Θ 1-3 (GA 33) and the Nicomachean Ethics in Platon: Sophistes (GA 19). Jollivet. PA: Duquesne University Press. and Charlotta Weigelt. 21-64. lists the various ways he thinks the Grundbegriffe influences SZ. et al (Pittsburgh. which is why he makes no attempt to apply it retrospectively to SZ. 62). p. Silverman. 251. pp. this is with the noticeable absence of a substantial discussion of the definition of motion. hardly addresses the teleological significance of death in the Grundbegriffe's discussion of κίνησις. which Brogan and Sheehan recognize. 101-116. 1983). pp. J. Gonzalez." Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (1). 131-164. The Logic of Life: Heidegger's Retrieval of Aristotle's Concept of Logos. only Bernet. pp. thinks there is a significant interpretive shift between the early readings of Aristotle and 1939 Phusis text. Dasein’s self-understanding is its active potentiality. According to Heidegger in the Grundbegriffe. Brogan and Sheehan devote a great deal of time explicating Heidegger’s 1939 Phusis essay.

is defined as the practical living being who has speech (ζωὴ πρακτική τις τοῦ λόγον ἔχοντος. internal stretching. p. pp.8 As is evident throughout the course. Jollivet.9 Dasein. ἐνέργεια ψυχῆς. solchen Seiendem. and Dasein’s inherently incomplete being. cit. interested in uncovering what he thinks is the originality of Aristotle’s concepts. in §3. cit. Heidegger correlates ἐνέργεια with Dasein’s authentic activity (die eigentliche Verrichtung) and concern (Besorgen). it must be understood in terms of Dasein’s work or activity (ἔργον) in a world.7 While Heidegger is. 134. indeed. p. 139-143. op. op. However. 36-44. the whole exercise is still executed within the framework of what will become the Daseinsanalytik in SZ. Cf. 9 GA 18. op. cit. Bernet. or das Dasein des Menschen. Cf. I assess Heidegger’s justifications for collapsing the distinction between ἐνέργεια and κίνησις in Aristotle.10 As Heidegger reads ἐνέργεια..authentically moves towards death. constancy. 139. I The general aim of the Grundbegriffe is to elucidate the being of Dasein as Sein-in-einerWelt (“In-der-Welt-sein” in SZ) in light of Aristotelian concepts. 7 8 6 . 10 Ibid. since these GA 18. pp. they illuminate the philosophical reasons for how and why Heidegger applies his interpretation of κίνησις to Dasein. “ein Leben. 96 and Jollivet. While Heidegger’s philological reasons for the strong identification are insufficient on Aristotle’s own terms.g. e. This reading of κίνησις helps us also to make sense of various aspects of Dasein’s kinetic structure. pp.. das die Sprache hat”) since this is its living activity.. since the world is the factual or concrete context (sachliche Zusammenhang) within which Dasein’s ἐνέργεια is revealed. this is accomplished by presenting Dasein’s worldliness as if it were originarily an Aristotelian notion. und zwar πρακτική. 43-44.

For Heidegger. Die einen sind ἐνέργειαι. 57-58. ἐνέργεια is the activity which Dasein performs (verrichten) in a factual context—a world. p. however. pp. albeit central component of the interpretation. neben dem Besorgen. und zwar ἔργα. pp. pp. the activity of going for a walk [Spaziergang] is. Alongside the activity of producing [Verfertigen] the shoe. Dasein’s ἐνέργεια is κίνησις. see Bogdan Minca. Werke. 44.11 Speaking. Spaziergang and Schusterei: These τέλη are of the sort that they give forth [abfallen] from a concern. ultimately. 2006). given that his examples are from motion. At most. this pertains to the character of expedience [Beiträglichen]. p. The πάρα points out that the τέλος of concern is something which stands alone for itself. daß ein gewisser Unterschied vorliegt unter den τέλη. 91-92. This will provide various clues to lead us to the definition of motion and why. therefore. let us turn to what I take to be Heidegger’s more explicit argument for reading ἐνέργεια as Besorgen. 1094a3). is why and how κίνησις is integral to the analysis of Dasein’s worldliness. What we need to see.”12 Admittedly.13 In contrast. 13 Cf. the way he reasons through Aristotle’s claim reveals that motion is an implicit.1. For a nice explanation of Beiträglichen and its connection to motion. Heidegger still seems only to focus on ἐνέργεια without reference to κίνησις. To see this. for example. Cf. where Aristotle distinguishes activities with external ends (ἔργα/Werke) from those whose ends are themselves (ἐνέργειαι): “Es zeigt sich. is one manner by which Dasein acts concernfully in the world. Poiesis: Zu Martin Heideggers Interpretationen der aristotelischen Philosophie (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. GA 18. 69-70. the shoe gives forth. 11 12 7 . 70-71. GA 18. Our first clue is found in Heidegger’s translation of the opening passage of the Nicomachean Ethics (EN A. by its τέλος.. that I go for a walk—contrary to shoemaking GA 18. e.g.have meaning only in a concrete context wherein Dasein busies itself. However. die anderen τέλη sind παρ᾽αὐτάς.

’ like ἔργον. the end of shoemaking is not the shoemaking itself. of 'goingfor-a-walk. since I linger in the concern. while shoemaking is merely an ἔργον. an ἐν-έργεια. Besorgen). ‘Werk. In this way. Keep these activities in mind when we turn to authenticity and 14 GA 18.' is grounded in how I go for a walk. but that I am out in the air. 8 .14 Essentially.[Schusterei]. 71. one goes out for a walk simply for the walking. While there is a kind of ‘working’ performed in Spaziergang. that I walk a definite distance. whose ends lie outside of the activity. They are both concerns in which Dasein finds itself in the world. it is not merely a Werk. While one makes a shoe in order to have a shoe. this doing [Besorgung. to its τέλος. but the shoe. or Werk. walking is an ἐνέργεια. here and there. Still. the ‘work’ of shoemaking is as much a Besorgen as going for a walk. while “going for a walk” (Spaziergang) belongs to the latter. is typically reserved for acts of labor (Arbeit) and making (Herstellung). For. there are two kinds of activities determined according to two kinds of τέλοι: those whose ends lie beyond the work (τὸ παρ᾽αὐτὰς ἔργα. since its end is in the activity itself. What marks their difference is the nature of their ends. The τέλος lies in the πρᾶξις. because the activity is done for its own sake and not for a product. Heidegger’s use of ‘Werk’ illuminates Aristotle’s distinction. "erranding"] comes to an end. Therefore. p. neben dem Besorgen) and those whose ends are the acts themselves (ἐνέργεια. The authenticity of being-finished. which comes to an end in something that has in itself its authentic being [eigentliches Sein]. whereas the end of ‘going for a walk’ is itself. “Shoemaking” (Schusterei) pertains to the former. It is not that I go somewhere [hingehen]. that I have been going for a walk. The activity is its own end. There are two different ways of concern distinguished according to the being-character of what constitutes the τέλος. emphasis mine.

51-52. cit. The basic thrust of Heidegger’s interpretation—the distinction between internal and external τέλοι—is not the peculiar aspect here. I will use them to help illuminate the difference between these two modes of Dasein. pp. Θ.3.3. it gives Heidegger just enough leverage to play the complicated relationship between ἐνέργεια and κίνησις to his advantage.15 But. It is unlikely. then it would be better to use seeing (ὁρᾷν) or thinking (νόειν. 15 9 . since neither are motions for Aristotle (Meta. pp. Θ. GA 33.. op. shoemaking is a motion. What makes Heidegger’s explanation of the EN passage so striking is that his example of ἐνέργεια—Spaziergang—actually suggests motion. see Edward Halper. Θ. I think there is a specific reason why Heidegger uses Spaziergang. θεωρία) as an examples of ἐνέργεια. On Metaphysics Θ. that Aristotle would have agreed to Heidegger’s use of Spaziergang to exemplify ἐνέργεια in this passage. Spaziergang is the perfect term to exploit this. 140-41. At the end of Θ. 223-224 and Jollivet. One and Many in Aristotle’s Metaphysics: The Central Books (Las Vegas: Parmenides Press.3. Aristotle also classifies walking (βαδίζειν) as a motion. 1048b1835). therefore.3.6.. If one were to give a more straightforward reading of Aristotle's text. since it is a change of place (φόρα). 295-296. Cf. While Aristotle qualifies his claim later in the Metaphysics (Meta. 2005). 1047a32 later in the course in order to elucidate what he thinks is the distinction between ἐνέργεια and ἐντελέχεια. 208-213. pp. and the end of shoemaking is the completed shoe. pp.6. Aristotle seems to assume that κίνησις is ἐνέργεια (Meta. However. Heidegger appeals to Meta. 1094a3 because it helps make sense of Spaziergang as an GA 18. 1048b23-24). since the end of motion lies beyond the activity. But.3.inauthenticity in SZ. To be sure. 1047a32). It comes from an exploitation of an initial ambiguity in Aristotle’s own formulation of ἐνέργεια in Metaphysics Θ. I believe Heidegger also assumes this implicitly in the explication of EN A.1. This can be inferred from Aristotle’s text alone. Θ.

Because everything encountered in everydayness (Älltaglichkeit) is “ordinarily” (durchschnittlich) usable. Heidegger first addresses the definition of motion where he speaks of how a worldly being—Dasein—is there in the world in such a way that the world is inherently usable (verwendbar). However. a ‘noch nicht. the ἐνέργεια.ἐνέργεια. But.’ Thus. to go for a walk is no more than the walking itself. Dasein and its world exist in terms of an ability-to-be (Seinkönnen). then the activity of walking. I do not think I have assumed this without good reason. and since usability implies motion. 1094a3 has been made explicit only by way of taking for granted what Heidegger himself holds as a direct identity between κίνησις and ἐνέργεια. since the “-gang” (gehen) can be taken as a process (Gang) which has walking as its purpose. As indicated above. we are now at the point where this needs to be brought out more clearly. is the motion. 201a10. Dasein’s everydayness is inherently kinetic. Even the English translation reflects a motion with an internal teleology: going for a walk. If going for a walk is inherent to the walking. and then gives his reasons for the translation: 10 . the activity is nothing but the motion. To elucidate this. In other words. the entire analysis of Dasein’s ἐνέργεια in the Grundbegriffe holds this identity as a guiding assumption. Heidegger sees κίνησις as das Leitfaden für die Explikation des Seins des Daseins des Menschen. As I see it. or at least its possibility. What is usable is constituted in terms of a δύναµις. Nearly all of what I have drawn from the Heidegger’s translation of EN A 1. Spaziergang suggests that the activity of walking must be read in terms of a motion. It is thereby no surprise that Heidegger uses Spaziergang as the example of ἐνέργεια since it exemplifies ἐνέργεια as κίνησις. Heidegger translates the definition of motion given at Physics Γ 1.

For Heidegger. The wood is able to be a chest. 48. As long as it is there. Heidegger’s reading of Aristotle seems seriously flawed. Gegenwart does not merely mean “presence. p. fn. cit. GA 33. e.e. This ability-to-be of the wood supposes this ability-to-be-a-chest. 2). when it is at rest. the wood is there in its ability-to-be. 313. This is the reading that motivates Gonzalez’s criticism. and indeed the visibility as long as it is able to be there" [ἡ τοῦ δυνάµει ὄντος ἐντελέχεια. when something is present to Dasein. As long as the wood is there in the authentic sense as chest-ability.."Motion is the ἐντελέχεια. i. we Ibid.18 For. emphasis mine. this reading overlooks Heidegger’s use of Gegenwart and gegenwärtig. 196. 392. p. 18 GA 18. The ability-to-be is visible in the being-at-work. p. Read in this manner. Heidegger ties intellection (νοεῖν) to discursive thinking (διανοεῖσθαι) by way of αἴσθησις.” or that which is visibly present to Dasein in everyday experience—αἴσθησις. op.16 Initially. a thing appears in motion even when it does not show up as a motion. That is to say. ᾗ τοιοῦτον. Motion is the visibility of the ability of being-there as such. See Gonzalez. Prior to this.g. When the carpenter has the wood at work [es in Arbeit hat]. It suggests that even when the wood (Holz) is merely lying there (da). the wood is moving. the motion is. as the ability of being-there. p. See also GA 18. It is a phenomenon. the wood is still moving because it is merely capable of being-sculpted. In a translator’s note (p. now grasped immediately and simply. on the table not being sculpted or attended to in anyway. as long as the carpenter has the wood working in his hands [es unter der Hand hat]. Aristotle can define motion hereafter also as ἐνέργεια. it appears.” 16 17 11 . Ibid. Macquarrie & Robinson suggest the sense of “bringing vividly to mind. κίνησίς ἐστιν]. p. Thus.” It suggests “that which is recognized as present. the visibility of beings [Gegenwart des Daseienden]. Ἐνέργεια as a way of being-there is nothing other than the being-at-work of something. 279.17 However. at GA 18. 536 where he reads Heidegger as identifying Bedeutsamkeit with κίνησις.

can make sense of Heidegger’s seemingly odd reasoning to find that it is relatively consonant with Aristotle: I see the wood lying there on the table. I can still say that it has the potency to become a chest. 19 GA 18. of something coming to be out of what had the potency all along. the wood is not noticeably moving. p. the truth (ἀ-λήθεια) of motion is the uncoveredness (Entdecktheit) of potentiality. and indeed visible insofar as it is able to be there” (Gegenwart des Daseienden. sofern es da sein kann). als des Daseinskönnenden. if my reading of Gegenwart as ‘visibility’ is correct. The activity does not constitute the potency ontologically. Why? I have learned from experience that wood is sufficient material—δύναµις—for chest-making. the Kastenseinkönnen as a potency. phenomenologically. when there is motion.’ ἀ-ληθής) that the potency is there. albeit latently. the potency is recognized as present— gegenwärtigen. Thus. I can say truly (‘unconcealedly. while I might suppose that it has the potency to become a chest when it is at rest. While I might not recognize a particular potency at this time. Obviously. but remained hidden. the motion. revealing the potency. Potentials are revealed in the active formation. This is because the motion of carpentry is the activity (das In-Arbeit-sein) which brings-out. even though it was there all along. since motion is the visibility of what is able to be there for as long as such ability shows up in the activity of becoming-there. When the chest is being made. or phenomenalizes. 313.19 In other words. But. when some work is performed. For. und zwar die Gegenwart. to be sure. but rather reveals it. makes it manifest to Dasein. Yet. 12 . then Heidegger’s translation of the definition of motion should be read as “the visibility of existing things as the beings which are able to be there. such potency is not visible (gegenwärtig) until I am engaged in the work (Arbeit). This shows. that we recognize latent capacities retrospectively. Heidegger’s phenomenological reading of Aristotle is. I can infer that it was able to be such-and-such all along.

as wood. but is usable at the same time (zugleich).20 The wood simply lying there is not being altered in any way. From this. if the wood alone were to lack the capacity to be the chest. Of course. Even while the wood is lying there. is there and at the same time is usable for a chest. Still. as the determination of the beings that are there. It takes motion as the phenomenological expression of potentiality of Being. For. Heidegger. being-there and 'usable for…' are not the same. does not yet characterize these beings as being situated in motion.. Moreover. we can begin to see Heidegger’s motivation for defining the how (Wie) of Dasein’s being as κίνησις—it is due to the kineticity of Dasein that Dasein discloses the being of Being as potentiality. the pressing-out of potentiality into the open in order for Dasein to encounter it. as a thing which is an available being. as the being-character of the beings that are there. this is a mistake. 20 Ibid. But. which belongs to the being of the world. 13 . denies such implications: Wood. one might raise an objection to my reading: it still seems to commit Heidegger to hold ontologically that the wood lying there latent and at rest is not able to be a chest unless it is actively being worked upon. since it is not clear how the phenomenalization of potentiality in motion is not also the causal ground for the potential.unconventional. usability itself. in the same passage. even the work of chest-building itself would not be possible. provided that the usability is first there authentically as long as the wood is at work. One could gather from this that meaningfulness. emphasis mine. is not actually appropriate here. Heidegger reads Aristotle’s definition to mean that the being of motion is the disclosure of the potentiality of Being. it is usable by virtue of the fact that its meaningfulness (Bedeutsamkeit) is found with reference to something else.

536-537. Now. For. either ontologically or phenomenologically. but in different modalities. Because usability and meaningfulness go hand-in-hand.”21 That is. but not yet involved in a motion and the usability that is active in a motion. it is unlikely that the wood alone would reveal such capacity. there are different modes of usability—usable. True. and yet not all meaningful things are in motion.. then merely coming upon the wood while at rest would reveal its Kastenseinkönnen. op. if rest and usability were the same. But. However. For. since meaningfulness pertains to referentiality. being used. something need not be moving in order to be usable. and whatever is usable refers to something else. the wood is always usable. Cf. Gonzalez. the tools. the workshop. the wood’s usability is not necessarily revealed to Dasein while the wood lies there motionless. it seems at first that unless something is moving (in Arbeit). and because usability is a kind of potentiality. 21 Ibid. whatever is usable is meaningful. unless one has already learned that the wood is capable of becoming a chest.namely the activity of chest-building. 14 . emphasis mine.. even when at rest. here. Thus. Nevertheless. then it is not meaningful. being there at rest and being usable are not the same (nicht dasselbe). Heidegger finds this conclusion to be absurd (Täuschung). pp. But. e. that for which something is used. But since we know that motion is the making-visible of a potential.g. the chest and ultimately Dasein itself. meaningfulness pertains to both motion and rest. “usability itself [die Verwendbarkeit selbst] does not yet characterize these [existing things] as being located in motion. is that meaningfulness is not as readily apparent in rest as it is in motion. cit. This would entail that something is not usable until it is at work. Simply stumbling upon a stack of wood does not immediately disclose its potential to be a chest. The point I believe Heidegger is emphasizing.

“Aristotle’s Definition of Motion. motion is the activeness of this potentiality (die tätige Möglichkeit). The ability-to-be as something being-there.” Phronesis 47 (1). ἐνέργεια. 51: “So sagt Aristoteles an einer späteren Stelle (Meta.23 Motion. Motion.” Phronesis 14 (1). accounting for its there—the active potentiality. etwas am Werk. the becoming-made is in the workshop. sagen wir ja: es ist da etwas im Gang. 1047a32): δοκεῖ γὰρ [ἡ] ἐνέργεια µάλιστα ἡ κίνησις εἶναι—so wie Bewegung erscheint. It is the potentiality which is busy (tätig). Heidegger clarifies what is said in the two passages cited above: Κίνησις: the visibility of the ability-to-be-a-chest of this wood as such (indicating [bezogen auf] the ability-to-be-a-chest). ist sie so etwas wie ein ‘Am-Werke-sein’. Cf. p. Θ 3. pp. pp. 201a10 reveals that there is a hierarchy of potencies in Aristotle: active and inactive.22 In his Handschriften.” Review of Metaphysics 37 (4). It is neither the chest. nor the space for wood-storage that is there. pp. but rather as something encountered [begegnend] in the surrounding world. there is no motion. 378. the wood. 23 GA 18. der nächstallgemeine κίνησις-Charakter ist ἐνέργεια. supposed. the carpenter has it working in hand! […] Κίνησις is the how of the there.” emphasis mine.. The being-moved: something in motion. only the wood on the table. or merely the workspace wherein all the tools and material are housed. obviously. Γ. 40-62 all argue in one respect or another that there are levels of potentiality and actuality in Aristotle. Kosman. GA 33. 811-835. Heidegger is not alone in this interpretation. does not pertain to what is inactive. Edward Halper.A. Myles Burnyeat. 28-90. 170-171.1. As the “visibility of the wood’s abilityto-be-of-the-chest” (Gegenwart des Kastenseinkönnens dieses Holzes). Amongst contemporary Aristotelian scholars. since there is no becoming-made active in each of these. not as thought. but rather something at work.Heidegger’s interpretation of Phy. This κίνησις is ἐνέργεια: the how of Dasein as being-at-work. does not destroy the potentiality. es ist etwas los. When there is only a chest. but rather it holds it precisely within [erhält]. “De Anima II 5. da ist eine Tätigkeit. “Aristotle on the Knowledge of Nature. planned. p. Inwiefern? Wo etwas in Bewegung ist. pp. As pertaining to something. See also GA 33. 22 15 . and L. at the very moment.

like the motion. 24 25 16 . In Aristotelis Physicorum 350. Ständigkeit). pp. cit. An indication of this is GA 33. but instead holds onto it. das σῴζει τὴν δύναµιν. 191. so long as there is motion. it is appropriate to show how it lays the groundwork for Sein und Zeit. It simply means that. p. It is only that such is inactive. Cf. See also GA 9. 182-193 (§19). see GA 33. Erstrecken). 102-103 overlooks this preservative aspect. There are at least three central criteria by which Heidegger’s analysis of motion in the Grundbegriffe shapes the arguments for Sein zum Tode: constancy (Stetige. motion is the “outward-exercising” (Ausübung) of the potential. See also Philoponus. Merely because something is not in motion does not mean that a potency does not exist. the potential is not yet visible. pp. op. or at least are able to be involved in it.. Grenzenlos). da-sein lassen. Jollivet. it follows that the potentiality is constant (ständig) throughout the entire activity. In Aristotelis Physica 213. motion comes to an end. 249-250. stretching (Spannung.” Heidegger appeals to Themistius. it would be incorrect to say that Heidegger commits both himself and Aristotle to Megarianism—the position that potentiality does not exist until there is some activity. while not being a causal ground for it. For Heidegger’s more explicit analysis of Aristotle’s confrontation with the Megarians in Metaphysics Θ.. As such. 10. op. 286-287 where Heidegger affirms the priority of actuality in Aristotle. also affirms that Heidegger interprets Aristotle as holding to latent potencies. if one holds that motion pertains only to the making-visible of such potency. then they must already have a potential. Bernet. Because motion as ἐνέργεια does not destroy (vernichtet nicht) potentiality. since if the potential is exhausted.26 In fact. cit.However. 381: “Κίνησις ein Wie des Da.24 The ontological condition that there be a latent potency when there is no visible activity is preserved. cit. op. 26 GA 18. es erhält es im Da—es im Unfertigsein halten. As we have said. and incompleteness (Unfertigkeit. Backman.3. because these things can turn into motion. latent—hidden (ruhend). pp. 160-224 (§17-22). 140. das δυνάµει ὄν. 1ff where Themistius reads the definition of motion to imply that motion is that which preserves (σῴζουσα) the potential. specifically in regard to Sein zum Tode.25 Now that we have in clear view Heidegger’s basic understanding of Aristotle’s definition of motion. especially pp. pp. the potential must be ever more sustained so as to continue to be motion.

200b15-21: Sofern wir die Bewegung auseinanderlegen. containing Heidegger’s inter-translation commentary. Thus. 200b15-21): διορισαµένοις δὲ περὶ κινήσεως πειρατέον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐπελθεῖν τρόπον περὶ τῶν ἐφεξῆς. δοκεῖ δ’ ἡ κίνησις εἶναι τῶν συνεχῶν. pp. πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἄνευ τόπου καὶ κενοῦ καὶ χρόνου κίνησιν ἀδύνατον εἶναι. muß versucht werden. die positive Bestimmung des συνεχές ist es gerade. As infinite. insofar as the potential is always present.27 Motion cannot exhaust a potency while it is active.that motion “holds itself together within itself” (es sich in zusammenhält)—motion is continuous (Stetige. durchgegrenzt haben. the motion itself is infinite. Γ. was das Phänomen der Bewegung in sich selbst beschließt. was nächstfolgend ist. ausgrenzen bzw. So. and because a potential signifies what is not yet (noch nicht) complete—what is lacks a limit (Grenzenlos)—the infinite is incomplete by nature. da kommt es dazu.1. bei dem eine διαίρεσις an kein Ende kommt. daß man mit dazu gebraucht. das Bewegtseiende ohne den Ort. Ferner ist es unmöglich. das der Art ist. das Grenzenlose zeigt sich zuerst im Stetigen [sofern das Stetige sich als das zeigt. gleich als ob das συνεχές nichts anderes wäre als das εἰς ἄπειρον διαιρετόν. [Es ist auch zu handeln von dem. die Leere und die Zeit anzuprechen. daß es sich in zusammenhält—das Stetige. The brackets appear in the Gesamtausgabe text. For. ὡς τὸ εἰς ἄπειρον διαιρετὸν συνεχὲς ὄν.] Wo man das Stetige bestimmen will. spricht man damit an ein bestimmte Grenzenlosigkeit]. mit meint den λόγος des ἄπειρον [wenn man vom Stetigen spricht. at least potentially. Heidegger makes this explicit in his translation of Physics Γ. the infinite is GA 18. seeing that the potential is infinite. For Aristotle. it is never at an end—constantly incomplete (stetige Grenzenlose). was mit einem Seienden als InBewegung-Seienden mitgegeben ist: Das ist das. τὸ δ’ ἄπειρον ἐµφαίνεται πρῶτον ἐν τῷ συνεχεῖ· διὸ καὶ τοῖς ὁριζοµένοις τὸ συνεχὲς συµβαίνει προσχρήσασθαι πολλάκις τῷ λόγῳ τῷ τοῦ ἀπείρου. συνεχές). in derselben methodischen Haltung überzugehen zu dem. completeness pertains to a limit. Aristotle’s text is as follows (Phy. 291-92.] Die Bewegung scheint etwas zu sein. was zu dem gehört. 27 17 .1. daß es ἄπειρον ist.

how the divisions never seem to exhaust the line’s potential to be divided. unbroken line (es sich in zusammenhält) from which the points may be marked off. "stretches itself out towards the end"—also a characteristic of being-there. one might even say that the very activity of dividing the line is the way such potential is made visible to us. It is the nature of motion to preserve its incompleteness (Grenzenlosigkeit). From this. for magnitudes are continuous and constantly able to be divided without end. we can begin to see what Heidegger means when he suggests that motion. its continual preservation of a potential within the working-out of such potential. 204a2-7). The constancy of motion is. The line qua continuous always retains the potential to be divided even while it is being divided.defined as that in which something more can always be taken (Phy. Motion also always follows a magnitude.4. it draws itself out by making its 28 GA 18. Points are generated by division (διαίρεσις). since we can see. but such that it determines the being in its being-there in the manner that it is not there in its being-finished. which can be performed potentially infinitely many times. This is because points presume a continuous. as ἐνέργεια. ἐνέργεια: the character of being belonging to the being-grasped in becoming-finished. division is a motion. 296. p. To say that motion is continuous. in the act of dividing. emphasis mine. 18 . From this. or is constant. or that which does not come to an end/limit (bei dem eine διαίρεσις an kein Ende kommt). is also to say that it is not constituted as a summation of discrete points. but let me suggest this: as long as there is motion. or insofar as the potential is itself at-work (tätig). “stretches itself out toward the end” (spannt sich aus zum Ende): Ἐνέργεια [in contrast to ἐντελέχεια] συντείνει πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν. Γ.28 How might we best understand what it means for motion to stretch itself out? Heidegger is not explicit here. therefore. In this way.

In going for a walk. Heidegger more often emphasizes growth (Gewächsen) than locomotion. It is this increased visibility that is grasped in an activity’s “becoming-finished” (Fertigwerden). since at any moment motion is able to cease as much as it is able to continue. and is not the magnitude said with respect to this aim? Does not the τέλος. determine the character of the motion? According to Heidegger. but rather a limit (Grenze. the magnitude of motion.potentiality increasingly visible. 254. It is this increase with regard to the visibility of the potential that seems to be what it means for motion to stretch itself out towards the end. e. When explaining motion. p. τέλος means neither aim (Ziel) nor purpose (Zweck). GA 18. my capacity to continue walking becomes more apparent over time.30 What might this mean? Heidegger’s paradigm for motion is growth. the motion grows larger the longer there is walking. pp.’ it seems.g. In this way. p. So. The end is always near. 368 also points to a strong sense of self-alteration (Sichverändernden). what is ‘stretched out. Still. as an aim. GA 9. So. is the potential’s visibility. pertains primarily to the degree to which motion unfolds (gemäß) and expands (sich entbreitet). at least in the sense of increase. GA 18. the magnitude need not be determined by the distanced walked. 29 30 19 . This is consonant with his discussion of motion at GA 24. the potential to walk becomes increasingly visible the more the activity is present. during the time in which I walk in the same place. But. as Heidegger understands it. always imminently not-yet. the stretching cannot pertain to any ‘distance’ from the end. Heidegger. where Heidegger argues that motion pertains primarily to self-elongation (Ausdehnung) and not to spatial change. 368. For example. Cf. p. Maßordnung. in a circle. he draws attention to the kind of expansion that he sees to be analogous of the life of Dasein. Even locomotion has a kind of growth.29 Nevertheless. Since the activity is inherently incomplete (because it is always able to continue). 344. but not being at the end? Is not the aim of motion its τέλος. why focus on motion’s being-toward-the-end. πέρας) or end (Ende) in the I thank my reviewer for several criticisms on this issue.

This means that the τέλος is present in the motion only potentially. Unfertigkeit). 1021b23-25. the absence of something. p. It would require an examination of Heidegger’s reading of Metaphysics Δ 16. p. in order to discern their span of life. As long as there is activity. The result of this reading is that the traditional understanding of τέλος as “purpose” or “goal” is relegated to a derivative. SZ. Heidegger. Thus. Once the shoe is finished. The τέλος means that end at which there is no motion. GA 18. It is far too rich and nuanced to cover adequately here. pp. 1021b15-17. fundamentally. Heidegger’s discussion of the nature of τέλος in Aristotle’s thought (GA 18.16. "finished”) is said. p. pp. more abstract sense (pp. the activity of shoemaking ceases. If motion is to preserve its being by maintaining a potential.16. the being of motion is its incompleteness (ἀτελής. GA 9.” or the “end of life. See also GA 18. or “that beyond which there is no more potentiality for Being” (es über das τέλος hinaus keine weitere Seinsmöglichkeit für ein Seiendes gibt). pp. Simply taken as the point of cessation. its worldly concern. Δ. GA 18. 31 32 20 . 244-246. I must inquire into the temporality of their motion. pp. Then. 87. When one has ‘had enough of the air. disappears. it dies. which means that the product is outstanding. pp. on its own. Cf. in light of Meta. Sheehan. one finishes going for a walk—one sits down. claims that τέλος pertains to “that beyond which there is nothing” (Worüberhinaus-nichts). However. As for Dasein. They only show that the motion has terminated. 284-287. op. pp. the point at which its activity. namely death. pp. One’s death. their history.definite sense of being-finished. for instance. 85. 82.31 Heidegger justifies this by holding that τέλος is grounded in the more concrete. however. then it cannot aim at the point where it ceases.”32 Heidegger’s reasons are not merely etymological. the work is unfinished. does not reveal the span of their life. First. Heidegger. Ereignis. the shoe and the sitting do not reveal the magnitude of the motion. where Aristotle deals with the many ways τέλειον (“complete". 92-94. GA 18. 87-88 argues further that τέλος means. Gonzalez. 80-91 (§11)) is beyond the scope of this essay. from Meta. 542-546. Δ.’ so to speak. cit. 82-83). The priority is given to the concrete meaning associated with Dasein.. everyday term τελευτή. its “being-gone”—Tod. 144-145. “termination. it is important to say a few things about Heidegger’s analysis since it shapes his interpretation of the role of τέλος in motion.

In these activities. Both exist as activities only when that which designates their cessation is not yet present. p. while the latter is fundamentally incomplete and always ‘not-yet.”35 The former is fully complete with nothing outstanding. the authentic (eigentlich) τέλος of motion is not its cessation.33 Because the being of activity is motion. but motion's own incompleteness. also remarks that if Aristotle were to have been more attentive. GA 18. Cf. ἐντελέχεια. GA 18. where Aristotle repeats the definition. However. The implication for Dasein is that while it is complete in its constant incompleteness. pp. daß das In-Arbeit-Halten das τέλος des δυνάµει ὂν ᾗ τοιοῦτον ist. The ἐνέργεια-ἐντελέχεια distinction is evident even in Heidegger’s formulations of Schusterei and Spaziergang. he would have used ἐνέργεια in Physics Γ.’ always holding itself in the work. since death is that wherein “it holds This is why Heidegger. Sich-in-seinem-Ende-Halten in einem endgültigen Sinne. even though the absolute τέλος always remains outstanding while motion exists. Aristotle uses ἐνέργεια instead of ἐντελέχεια. wenn er vorsichtig spricht. 321. 36 GA 18. the traditional equivalence between ἐνέργεια and ἐντελέχεια does not hold for Heidegger. 380.The most radical and important aspect of Heidegger’s interpretation is revealed at this point: ἐνέργεια and ἐντέλεχεια are sharply distinguished. death is its ἐντελέχεια and not ἐνέργεια. muß Aristoteles. then “[i]n diesem Sinne kann man sagen. 380. At Metaphyiscs K 9. is “im Fertigwerden Begriffensein” and “Im Selbst der Arbeiter seiner selbst sein. 296. their being is necessarily incomplete.” (emphasis mine). although Heidegger does not recognize this. 34 GA 18. 35 Ibid. p. p. what marks them as inherently kinetic is that for the time during which there is work. because of its identity with motion.”36 That is to say.”34 while ἐνέργεια. See also SZ. Heidegger also points out that because the work itself is the being of motion.1 in order to define motion: “Sofern Sein letztlich heißt In-seinem-Ende-Sein. p. and because activity is present only insofar as its work remains unfinished. 1065b15-16. 244-245. das Dasein des Seienden-in-Bewegung als ἐνέργεια bezeichnen. Ἐντελέχεια is defined by Heidegger as “Gegenwärtigsein eines Seienden als Ende” and “Sichim-Fertigsein-Halten. 33 21 . 321.

Dasein is wholly finished at the very moment it no longer exists. 89-90. Abwesenheit). GA 18. 39 GA 18. it is precisely because of its activity that it is complete as incompleteness since it is always preserving itself in this way. pp. Cf. the visibility of the potency is in fact nothing but motion. interpreted as ἐνέργεια. for this is the moment where it no longer makes visible its potentiality-for-death. but rather to be towards it (Sein zum Ende). 89. Death is Dasein’s “being at the end” (zu Ende sein). 321. κίνησις and ἐνέργεια GA 18. It is always an ἐνέργεια: In making. since such is not to be at the end. In death. at least as Heidegger reads Aristotle: because there must be a potency for there to be motion. Κίνησις is a way of being-there. Dasein is never an ἐντελέχεια. but not ἐντελέχεια. This clearly stands in contrast to the presence of Dasein’s motion. being-made is a determinate way of being-there—only if one sees it. Ἐνέργεια is κίνησις. we can see why κίνησις must be aligned with ἐνέργεια. is incomplete since it holds its τέλος as a potential. pp. Cf. Still. the paradoxical nature of Dasein’s motion is this: Dasein. the moment where its “being-there-no-more” (Nichtmehr-Dasein) is. such visibility is found only in an activity. p. Cf. 296. pp.38 Thus. then such potency must be present in the same way. However. while active in motion. for this is the working-out of such potency. what is visibly present is one’s absence (ἀπουσία. 37 38 22 . the disappearance of activity. is it possible to see what motion is: the being-there of a being that is in the midst of becoming-finished. 553-554. an ἐνέργεια. while it exists.37 The ἐντελέχεια of Dasein is the presence of its absence. Therefore. 296-297. GA 9. As Heidegger sees it.itself in being-done” (Sich-im-Fertigsein-Halten) in the sense of being-done with acting. Gonzalez. and since motion is something visibly present (Gegenwart).39 Herein. But. but is not yet finished. p. in death.

One of the clearest indications that Heidegger articulates Sein zum Tode in terms of motion is in his argument for the difference between the potentiality belonging to Dasein and that belonging to things present-at-hand (Vorhanden) or ready-to-hand (Zuhanden). therefore. Dasein is neither what is merely present nor what is equipmentally ready to be used for some purpose. therefore. or something with the potentiality intending to be completely actualized: At the same time. we have seen how Dasein’s Sein zum Tode is foreshadowed in Heidegger’s interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion: constancy. It is. II In many ways. critical also to square the analysis of κίνησις with Heidegger’s account of authenticity in SZ. Still. we can say with confidence that Heidegger’s early thoughts on Aristotle’s definition of motion provide the basic framework of the Daseinsanalytik in SZ. this is articulated as Sein zum Tode. for Dasein is authentically when it understands itself as Sein zum Tode. In SZ. is the being of Dasein according to the Grundbegriffe: the being whose Being is always to be actively stretching itself out towards its death by the continuous preservation and maintenance of the potentiality-for-death. From all of this. since the potentiality belonging to the latter is one that is always out for actualization (Aufsein auf Verwirklichung). The reason we must continue to SZ is to reveal more fully what role Eigentlichkeit plays in this kinetic structure. This. internal stretching. it is necessary to identify being-towards-death as a being-towards-apossibility and indeed one that is towards a distinctive possibility of Dasein itself. what has gone largely unaccounted for is the extent to which Heidegger’s interpretation of κίνησις bears any significance on how authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) and inauthenticity (Uneigentlichkeit) operate in the arguments for Sein zum Tode in SZ. Being23 . and incompleteness.must be identical. These themes will become even more apparent as we proceed through SZ.

passable. the same sense holds for Dasein's inauthentic attitude toward death. as an example of Herstellen. The motion of shoemaking aims at exhausting the leather’s potential to be a shoe precisely because the being of such activity is grounded in a finished product. In shoemaking. 24 . Heidegger insists that Dasein does not—indeed. the potential to be a shoe is one that is out for being-finished—ἐντελέχεια. Thus. 261. The τέλος of Dasein—death—is not one that is able to be actualized for Dasein. Heidegger retains the Grundbegriffe’s sense of τέλος as being-finished. p. one that is towards a particular possibility—can mean: “being out for” something possible as concern for its actualization [Verwirklichung]. manageable. it is to have a completed shoe. First of all. And yet. The concernful being-out-for something possible has the propensity to destroy the possibility of what is possible through the obtainment of it [Verfügbarmachen]. Shoemaking does not seek to preserve the potential in the leather. the actualization of the τέλος is paramount. As we shall see.towards-a-possibility—that is to say. the potential for the leather to become a shoe is such only insofar as the activity aims at being-fulfilled. In the field of things ready-to-hand and present-to-hand we encounter constantly such possibilities: the achievable. for this kind of potentiality. Here.40 Anything which is ‘out for’ actualization pertains to a kind of existence whose aim is to do away (vernichten) with the potential. and the like. this is exactly the sort of potentiality that is wholly inconsonant with Dasein’s Sein zum Tode. cannot—be ‘out for’ actualizing its most fundamental end since that fulfillment entails Dasein’s termination: In no way can being-towards-death have the character of concernfully being-out-for its actualization. Hence. death as something possible is not something possible as ready- 40 SZ.

what is meant by “being-towards-death” is not an “actualization” of death. Dasein exists when its death is only potentially. then its potentiality would be of the sort to be actualized for Dasein. The authentic being of Dasein is its active pursuit of itself as potentiality. the concern for actualization of this possibility would have to signify the occasioning of one’s demise. but primary point here is that as Sein zum Tode. always to have death as its foremost potential while it exists. but rather a possibility-of-being of Dasein. in being- 41 Ibid. It cannot be something whose activity aims at termination. Dasein’s being cannot be like that of a tool or a thing lying around. for Dasein to be out for itself as potential is for it to be an active potentiality—motion. So. precisely because what is meant by Verwirklichung is the destruction (vernichten) of the potential. what might best characterize Dasein’s activity? What is Dasein’s κίνησις? Heidegger. shortly after the argument given above. the potential that is in some way active. however. this contradicts the very being of Dasein as being-towards-death. therefore. Dasein is not mere latent potential. if death were a potential of the type found in something usable (zuhanden) or merely present (vorhanden).to-hand or present-at-hand. suggests a kind of preservative activity which Dasein performs with reference to itself—understanding: If. Therefore. Dasein would have already stripped itself of the ground for existing as being-towards-death.41 The being of Dasein is to be moving toward death. It acts in the world. Dasein cannot be ‘out for’ its actualization. then it cannot mean “dwelling upon the end in its possibility. Dasein must be a particular kind of potential. since these activities (ἐνέργειαι) are its worldly concerns (Besorgnisse).” […] However. However. Still. Thus. like the piece of wood lying there on the table. With this. Heidegger’s tacit. Thus. 25 . For. but not fully—tätige Möglichkeit.

where in this understanding. but to be “understood as a potentiality” (als Möglichkeit verstanden). understanding is an activity. as the visibility of potentiality? Before seeing how it preserves Dasein’s potentiality. then Dasein’s self-understanding is its authentic motion of being-towards-death. 26 .towards-death. if the being of Dasein is not to be at death (zu Ende Sein). because it retains a potential. But. the potential is “cultivated” (ausgebildet) and “maintained” (ausgehalten) as such? Obviously. For. Authentic Dasein cultivates and maintains its potentiality through self-understanding.42 What does it mean for Dasein’s potentiality not to be “attenuated” or “held back” (geschwächt). but to understand itself as always being towards the end. Self-understanding is the activity that does not aim at the destruction of a potential. at least according to Heidegger and Themistius. Dasein is to do the same by understanding its potentiality for death as something to be maintained. but rather at its preservation. first of all. However. but cultivated and maintained as a possibility in our comportment towards it. maintaining its motion so as to keep it unfinished. possibility as such—then the possibility of death must be understood so as not to weaken it as a possibility. if it has to make accessible understandingly ‘possibility’ as has been characterized—that is. how might self-understanding capture Heidegger’s initial characterization of motion? We can see this in how Dasein “unwraps” (ent-hüllen) itself—makes itself visibly present—by revealing through the anticipatory (vorlaufende) nature of self-understanding that it is inherently the potentiality-for-death: 42 Ibid. not to actualize its own cessation. it reveals that the being of Dasein is a motion. Just as Aristotle argues that motion preserves (σῶζει) its potential. does not Heidegger interpret κίνησις in Aristotle.

as the possibility of authentic existence. SZ. Furthermore. to anticipate death is not “to lie in wait” (erwarten) for it. Dasein makes itself accessible for itself with respect to its utmost possibility. Dasein runs ahead towards death authentically by seeing how the termination of its existence in the world is possible at every moment of existence. To project one’s self. Dasein knows itself to be Sein zum Tode. pp. Anticipation manifests itself as the possibility of the understanding of one’s ownmost distinctive ability-to-be— that is.Being-towards-death is the anticipation of an ability-to-be of some being whose sort of being is anticipation itself. It is here that I think Heidegger’s interpretation of motion—the making-visibly-present (Gegenwart. to exist. Since κίνησις is defined as the ἐνέργεια of a potential. We already know that Dasein’s understanding is its ἐνέργεια. since this supposes that death is something actualizable for Dasein.44 Rather. 43 44 SZ. anticipation entails that Dasein understands death as immanently imminent. p. what does it mean for Dasein to anticipate death? When Dasein runs-ahead. 262. emphasis mine. ἐνέργεια) of a potential as a potential—helps us see this even more clearly. 43 First. How so? In Vorlaufen. In the anticipatory revealing of this ability-to-be. since understanding is how it is authentically toward death. such that Dasein grasps for itself that it is by nature always near death. it is neither seeking out death so as to actualize it nor supposing that death is distantly detached from Dasein’s present moment. upon its ownmost ability-to-be means to be able to understand one’s self in the being of the particular being so revealed—that is. however. 27 . In understanding itself as the potentiality-for-death. then understanding must somehow be the making-visible of Dasein’s potentiality. 262-263. Dasein understands itself in such a way that it actively reveals (enthüllt) this potential for death as its own potential—Dasein’s immanence—such that Dasein recognizes that death is always imminent as a possibility.

This is. factical concerns. For the most part. what Heidegger means by das vorlaufenden Enthüllen: the activity of making-visible the potentiality of death in anticipation—self-understanding. Dasein is being-toward-death even while inauthentic. 306 & 312. not 45 SZ. it is the towardness to death. While it is ‘on average’ (durchschnittlich) in the everyday mode of life. the motion. one’s possibility-to-be opens up and is given to Dasein for it to grasp.In this seeing. See also pp. this does not mean Dasein no longer remains in motion. Dasein often falls (verfallen) and forgets (vergessen) about its authentic way to be towards its death. however. since it is how Dasein properly reveals to itself that it is always tending towards death. But. dates. commitments. Dasein is indeed moving through life. deadlines. In it. In forgetfulness. In this way. Dasein is inauthentic. rather. and always to be maintained as such. Dasein makes its potentiality visible in an activity of taking hold of one’s self in terms of its utmost potential (äußersten Möglichkeit). 259. 28 . Anticipation lays open. Self-understanding is the how of authentic beingtowards-death. it takes up externally given possibilities in such a way as to be fulfilled. Instead. and not in the actualization of death. therefore. the possibility to be as a possibility. p. it fails to understand how its death is always imminent. etc. so to speak. Dasein loses sight of its true potentiality for being—death—by forgetting that it is not something that can be actualized. Thus. Dasein’s kineticity. the end is not Dasein’s genuine concern. but moving in such a way as to be absorbed in its daily routines and taking up possibilities mostly given over to it by others. Dasein discloses to itself that its being lies in the sway. It takes up tasks whose ends are of primary concern—products. of concrete existence. the collapse of possibilities.45 Dasein often forgets about its kinetic character. and becomes preoccupied with more everyday.

but as possibilities that will be finished—ἐντελεχείαι. One is hired for a specific job on the presumption that it will be successfully completed. and not the cultivation of the possibility itself. 247-248 and p. is that this sense pertains only to inauthenticity. 46 29 . Heidegger infers from Schusterei and Spaziergang two senses of Besorgen: “There are two different forms of concern. 71. There. Inauthentic Dasein focuses on ends." but instead means the completeness of always being incomplete." which Heidegger calls "demising" (SZ. then one runs the risk of reading being-towards-death as merely "being-towardsperishing. 47 GA 18. The caveat. pp. Thus. but rather to make successfully a particular shoe. which are distinguished according to the being-character of that which accounts for the τέλος. Inauthentic Dasein exists as being-out-for the exhaustion of possibilities. This is because inauthentic Dasein acts in the world in order to actualize particular potentials. I thank Crowell for his thoughts on this issue. is Dasein’s forgetfulness of its fundamental kineticity.”47 In what sense are there “two forms of concern” and how does the character of the τέλος of each differentiate them? The clue is in Heidegger’s use of Eigentlichkeit in the sentence prior. The shoemaker is not asked by a customer either to work indefinitely on the leather. and implies the second: “The authenticity of completeness [Die Steven Crowell has raised the following concern for my reading here: if death corresponds to Fertigsein.46 Inauthenticity. I agree that there is a sense of Fertigsein with which being-towards-death means a kind of perishing. Fertigsein does not mean "termination. the orientation is not upon the end. For the moment. p. since Dasein sees the need to finish as many projects as possible before one perishes. 251). cultivating one’s shoemaking ability. therefore. The expediency (Beiträglichkeit) of these possibilities exemplify Dasein’s everyday. even to the extent of fixating on death as that which one must possibilities. but on being towards the end. for authentic Dasein. since it evinces one of the two senses. inauthentic concerns insofar as the focus is upon the completion of the end. On the other hand. or even to work for the sake of working. since the concerns in which it finds itself are determined by particular purposes. let us return to the Grundbegriffe in order to accentuate further the distinction between Dasein’s authentic and inauthentic motions. however.

when Dasein engages in the world in like manner as Schusterei.Eigentlichkeit des Fertigseins]. from this. or even a summation. or perishes. Spaziergang is the Besorgen that is authentically complete. to actualize it (verwirklichen). That is to say. then Schusterei must be inauthentic precisely because it aims to destroy a particular potential. Spaziergang can be taken as a whole (ganz) even if it is a motion because it is always incomplete as long as it exists.”48 Not only should we immediately recall Heidegger’s use of Eigentlichkeit in SZ. what is forgotten is that genuine (eigentlich) being lies in the motion itself. that of ‘going for a walk. What is more. It is the motion of life defined in such a way that its genuine activity is to aim at the constancy (Beständigkeit. Shoemaking is only because of the concerns of others (i. In this motion. It might be said. but also its contrary—Uneigentlichkeit. that in inauthenticity. inauthentic Dasein is analogous to Schusterei. 30 . The motion of shoemaking is absorbed in its activity similarly as Dasein’s fallenness in das Man. because it is the Besorgen which intends to exhaust particular possibilities. So. of particular projects. but determined by something beyond it—by others.’ is grounded in this: how I go for a walk. The authenticity of Dasein is much the same. and neither in its cessation nor in the concerns of others. Stetige) of its potentiality. the wholeness of authentic motion is its complete incompleteness. and not by its own activity. therefore. needing or wanting shoes). If Spaziergang is authentically complete because it sustains a potential. it has forgotten about its motion. Thus. Conversely. and neglects the preservation of the ‘towardness’ in Sein zum Tode. since it presumes its wholeness pertains to finishing a variety. the potential given to shoemaking is not self-given. The potential simply finishes. Dasein 48 Ibid. since its activity is such that it holds itself together precisely by maintaining its potentiality.e.

The not-yet is already included in the fruit’s 31 . Strictly speaking. to be engaged in daily concerns which are grasped as issues and activities to be resolved and terminated. The fruit brings itself to ripeness. therefore.forgets how to live. stretching out ones potentiality for arriving at the end. Authentic life is never about coming upon the end. with indifference to the fruit. had this being not come to ripeness on its own accord. the not-yet of the fruit is in no way appended to it as what is not-yet-present-at-hand. In the course of its ripening. and such self-bringing [Sichbringen] characterizes its being as fruit. but more so that while ripening. however. Nevertheless. The not-yet of unripeness pertains not to something else beyond [außenstehendes] the unripeness. especially any particular end. could be present-at-hand in and with it. One of the most apparent instances of Dasein’s ‘complete-incompleteness’ in SZ is Heidegger’s appeal to ripening (das Reifen) as a preliminary way to characterize the Being of Dasein as Sein zum Tode: The unripe fruit. For Dasein to be in motion inauthentically means. A full summation of what is not-yet is like what is ready-to-hand indifferently going towards the absent. Nothing conceivable that one could procure would be able to eliminate the unripeness of the fruit. un-ready-to-hand remainder. the ripening fruit is not only not indifferent to the unripeness [nicht nur nicht gleichgültig gegen die Unreife] as what is other than itself. the fruit is unripeness. for example. goes toward its ripeness. the not-yet can be neither beyond nor not indifferent to the ripening. It pertains to the kind of being of the fruit in itself. but about becoming more and more incomplete. The completeness of this way of being is simply the constancy of incompleteness. which.

Dasein is “je schon sein Noch-nicht. its ‘way to be. The end. The reason that the totality of the fruit is not indicated by the summation (die volle Summe) of all the intermediate steps the fruit takes along the way to its maturation is that what is not-yet is not something that is detached from the being of the fruit. pp. Dasein is the potential of death because it is Dasein’s Weise zu sein.49 Dasein’s towardness is akin to ripening. See also GA 18. And. which Dasein embraces [übernimmt] as soon as it is. for the fruit to be not yet ripe also means that it is still in the process—the motion—of ripening. 97-98. as being-towards-death. Like the fruit. emphasis mine. so too it is always already its end. for this would be for Dasein to perish. to say.50 Dasein is what is not-yet—the potentiality of death. what does it mean for Dasein to be its ‘not-yet’? For anything to be not-yet is to be the active potentiality for whatever remains outstanding. Being-not-yet is itself something being-at-work (InArbeit-sein. Death is a way to be. Γ. 201a19 for ἅδρυνσις. Thus. ἐνέργεια). just as Dasein is constantly already its not-yet. but rather Dasein’s being-toward-the-end [Sein zum Ende].1. Heidegger then ties this to Dasein’s motion: Instead. Dasein is always-already its not-yet. pp.own being. the mature fruit. the fruit is actively ripening. p. To be not-yet is a kind of incompleteness. 32 . so long as it is.” it is “always already its ‘not-yet. because Dasein 49 50 SZ. in no way is the not-yet a random determination. Analogously.” is to say that at this point in time. Phy. but rather is something constitutive.’” But. by which we mean death.” SZ. the fact that it is maturing makes visible that it has been and continues to be on the way to maturation. 245. the being of Dasein is its Sichbringen.’ Its towardness is not to be at its end. This is because. cannot mean the being-at-the-end [ZuEnde-sein] of Dasein. 243-44. But. “the fruit is not yet ripe. “coming to maturity. What the noch-nicht of the fruit suggests is that thus far (noch) the fruit is actively the potential to be what remains outstanding. Furthermore. Cf. even though the fruit has not fully matured. For. so long as it is.

The more uncoveredly one understands this possibility. To bring this section to a close. Thus. let us tie everything together by returning to the issue with which this essay initially opened: is not self-stretching an integral aspect of Dasein’s motion in SZ? Why is Dasein defined as the motion or the “movedness” of Being that stretches out by stretching itself out? It is because of Dasein’s authentic activity—self-understanding: The nearest nearness of being-towards-death. what lies within anticipation is the possibility of an existentiell assurance [Vorwegnehmens] of the whole of Dasein. noch gar je ein Dasein als das Seiende. das ständige Sichvorweg.always (ständig) exists in this way. since it is always the whole motion at every moment of its existence. das es ist. the more purely the understanding penetrates within the possibility as the possibility of the impossibility of existence in general. zu sein hat.e.51 What is it that makes Dasein complete if it is always incomplete? It is precisely the fact that Dasein is always incomplete: “Was am Dasein die ‘Unganzheit’ ausmacht. 33 . SZ. p. 308. cf. 264. […] In anticipation of this possibility. therefore. emphasis mine. p. that is. attentively preserving its potentiality-for-death. death] all of the possibilities available for Dasein. is as far as possible from something actualized [einem Wirklichen]. Dasein exists als ganzes Seinkönnen. 244. ‘as the being-potential which is itself whole’: Because anticipation makes accessible in the possibility that cannot be outstripped [i. as a possibility.”52 There is. it reveals itself as what 51 52 SZ. which is to say the possibility of existing as a whole ability-to-be. p. the possibility becomes greater and greater. an inherent dialectic to Dasein’s kineticity such that its incompleteness is complete so long as Dasein exists. ist weder ein Ausstand eines summativen Zusammen. Dasein’s authentic wholeness is defined by always being towards its end.

in one respect. This is the indefiniteness (Unbestimmtheit) of Dasein’s finitude. Here.knows no measure at all. Still. As such. Because the only thing that can limit such potentiality is the actualization of death. no more or less. since it prolongs death as a potential. then the more Dasein stretches out by stretching itself out—das erstreckte Sicherstrecken. its motion confronts no limit. the greater and greater (immer größer) such potentiality becomes. To the contrary. I suggested. Above. Heidegger has not merely appropriated Aristotle’s philosophical apparatus and applied it straightforwardly to the Daseinsanalytik. albeit tacit. the movedness of Dasein’s being is such that it indefinitely stretches itself out towards death by way of a self-understanding. The longer Dasein exists. emphasis mine. but according to the temporality of the motion.53 As I said above. such that the indefiniteness of Dasein’s motion is indicated by the constant towardness of its being-towards-death. without much 53 SZ. the more Dasein dwells in self-understanding. III It should be quite evident by now that Heidegger’s interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion is one of the driving. 262. p. however. but rather points to the possibility of the measureless impossibility of existence. the more time it takes to understand itself. it cannot be left unsaid that Heidegger’s ‘use’ of Aristotle comes at a cost of misreporting Aristotle’s text. components in the Daseinsanalytik. Thus. To anyone familiar with Aristotle. For. 34 . no definite “amount” (Maß) of time to be in motion. Dasein’s “nearest nearness” (nächste Nähe) to death is simply that Dasein is always-already the potentiality-for-death. the application actually relies on a fundamental misreading of Aristotle. we see how intimately kineticity and temporality are connected for Heidegger. as long as Dasein exists. motion need not be measured according to how near (nahe) it is to its cessation.

Instead.8.” (συντιθεµένη zu ersetzen 35 .3. übertragen zu werden auch auf das andere. Prior to the initial explication of Phy. he would have used ἐνέργεια instead of ἐντελέχεια. When Heidegger first explicates the definition of motion.argument or explanation. [Heidegger’s translation:]“Es kam nämlich der Name ἐνέργεια dazu. he defers to ἐνέργεια. I think.1. Following this. Heidegger garners textual support for this identity from Meta. It is not immediately apparent why Heidegger thinks such equivalence between ἐνέργεια and κίνησις is originarily argued by Aristotle. καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἄλλα ἐκ τῶν κινήσεων µάλιστα· δοκεῖ γὰρ ἡ ἐνέργεια µάλιστα ἡ κίνησις εἶναι.3.’ which allows Heidegger to suggest that Aristotle himself sharply distinguishes ἐνέργεια and ἐντελέχεια. that Heidegger’s reading of Meta. 201a10. In order to appreciate fully the manner in which Heidegger draws from Aristotle. read through the lens of Θ. 1047a30-32. it is important to place all that has been said in the context of the degree to which Heidegger manipulates Aristotle’s text to his advantage. 1050a20: Für die Aufklärung der Bedeutung [von ἐντελέχεια] ist intruktiv eine Stelle aus der Metaphysik Θ 3: ἐλήλυθε δ᾽ἡ ἐνέργεια τοὔνοµα. neither his translation nor his explanation addresses explicitly the use of ἐντελέχεια in the definition. Γ. was an Bestimmungen an der Bewegung entgegentritt. especially in the definition of motion. Θ. nämlich ἐνέργεια ist in sich bezogen πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν. 1047a30-32 is the key to recognizing the collapse between ἐνέργεια and κίνησις. Heidegger tersely comments that if Aristotle were to have been more attentive. The reason for this. Θ. involves a kind of interpretative ‘sleight of hand. where the former must be understood as κίνησις and the latter as the cessation of κίνησις. ἡ πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν συντιθεµένη.

to immaterial.” Traditional: “The term ‘ἐνέργεια. p. which he sees given at 1047a30-31—that ἐνέργεια is κίνησις insofar as it is the activity which “stretches itself out toward the end.54 Let us first square Heidegger’s translation with a more traditional. 54 GA 18. Heidegger: “It came about that the name ἐνέργεια was also carried over to the other [i.durch συντεινοµένη. p. dialectically (δοκεῖ).’ which is set down with ἐντελέχεια. “has come upon other things”] aside from mostly motion. straightforward one. this might seem odd on Heidegger’s part. has applied to other things [ἐλήλυθε… καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἄλλα: literally. the true meaning of ‘actuality’ extends further than motion. καί συντείνει πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν). we can see that “in sich bezogen” gives us an important clue to why Heidegger appeals to συντεινοµένη (“that which is stretched out with/toward another”) as a replacement for συντιθεµένη (“that which is referred with another”). it is commonly thought that [δοκεῖ] ἐνέργεια is κίνησις most of all. however.e. vgl. that in contrast to the others who hold that actuality seems to be ontologically identical to motion. e. is that Heidegger only translates 1047a30-31.” Heidegger’s translation obfuscates Aristotle’s claim by glossing over much of the text. namely that ἐνέργεια refers/moves within itself [in sich bezogen] πρὸς τὴν ἐντελέχειαν [towards ἐντελέχεια]. which is set down in contrast to the determinations of movement. Cf.g. 295. since a32 reads “for it seems that ἐνέργεια is κίνησις most of all. 36 . Instead. For.” If we look carefully at Heidegger’s translation. δὶο καὶ τοὔνοµα ἐνέργεια λέγεται κατὰ τὸ ἔργον. unmoved things. GA 33. emphasis mine.” Why not translate this apparently auspicious claim that ἐνέργεια is κίνησις? I suggest that Heidegger thinks that the equivalence made at a32 is clear on its own in the Greek. he focuses more on explaining the character of this equivalence. 224. What is peculiar. ἐντελέχεια]. At first. Aristotle means only to say.

e.” However. therefore. in Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 47 (1916). not in the middle-passive. since it implies κίνησις). 1050a22. Still. 246 faults Diels for a false parallel between συντιθεµένη and συντεινοµένη. saying that it “implies that Aristotle was in the habit of connecting the words ἐνέργεια and ἐντελέχεια together in his lectures” (emphasis mine). συντιθεµενή connotes neither locomotion nor stretching. den ‘Vollendungzustand’ zu bezeichnen” (emphasis mine). p. it suggests “to stretch one’s self out. Without “auf” it is not clear whether sich beziehen means “to refer” or “to move one’s self into. seeing that the word from which Diels derives συντεινοµένη—συντείνειν—occurs only in the active voice for Aristotle.” i. συντιθεµένη should be read as “συντεινοµένη nach 1050a23. and “that which refers to another. 55 37 . 201. it has only the logical sense of combining or referencing another term.” This twofold sense is due to the root of συντεινοµένη—τείνω—meaning “to stretch out” both literally in terms of a physical elongation and metaphorically as a linguistic term which indicates how a word “tends” or “stretches toward” another in meaning—that is.While sich beziehen auf unequivocally means to refer to something linguistically. 193-210. W. Heidegger uses sich beziehen. In his Etymologica. So. In fact.8. pp. since Diels makes no argument to the effect that συντεινοµένη indicates a strong ontological correspondence between ἐνέργεια simpliciter and κίνησις. to refer. But. Diels suggests that. inconsonant with Heidegger’s: “Hier scheint der Terminus [ἐνέργεια]. This. Diels. Heidegger’s parenthetical remark provides a justification for sich beziehen: συντιθεµένη in a30 needs to be replaced (ersetzen) by συντεινοµένη. which is the participial equivalent of συντείνει given at Θ. 1924). a change of place (φόρα). p. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. it should be noted that it is Heidegger who is takes advantage of Diels’ suggestion. Like sich beziehen auf. Ross. p. read as sich be-ziehen. Aristotle’s Metaphysics: A Revised Text with Introduction and Commentary. commenting on 1047a30-32. However. Heidegger’s use of sich beziehen is unjustifiable.55 Συντεινοµένη means both “that which stretches out towards” (obviously Heidegger’s preference. im Gegensatz zu der noch in Bewegung gedachten ἐνέργεια geradezu den Endpunkt. vol. Ross’ reading is the most reasonable. which therefore would have been a suitable translation of συντιθεµένη. what is most significant about sich beziehen in this context is that. without a significant caveat. Even though he does not explicitly cite Diels at this point. or at most ambiguous.D.” since ziehen can mean “to stretch out. 201.Ross. advances a more straightforward reading. in light of a manuscript discrepancy. 1958. sees no problem with συντιθεµένη. Heidegger is clearly relying on Diels’ Etymologica.” Clearly.

but only because Heidegger identifies ἐνέργεια with κίνησις in Aristotelian ontology. Contemplation is the highest activity because it is finished (τέλειον) at every moment. Clearly. It is to reveal philosophically that meaningfulness is authentic only when Dasein understands the logical. one of the most definitive human ἐνέργειαι is the life of contemplation (θεωρητική). a deathless life. precisely because. ἐνέργεια is what stretches itself out towards the state of being fully finished. referential structure of the world on the ground of its own motion towards death. θεωρητική is the most 38 . its authenticity lies precisely in an actuality bereft of all potentiality. θεωρητική is not a motion. by being κίνησις. πρός τι) of being the motion towards a state of cessation. For Aristotle. allows Heidegger to use sich beziehen. the linguistic referentiality of ἐνέργεια as meaningfully (bedeutsam) pointing to ἐντελέχεια is grounded in its ontological referentiality (Bedeutsamkeit. Another telling piece of evidence suggesting that Heidegger departs from Aristotle's doctrine of actuality is his interpretation of EN K. Dasein’s stretching towards death is the ontological context according to which the referential structure of the world operates.therefore.6-7. Heidegger’s emendation of Aristotle’s texts is not simply to correct a manuscript error or to clarify the text. Therefore. given in the 1924-25 Sophist lectures (GA 19). even as Heidegger understands this. Heidegger’s interpretation of ἐνέργεια as what “stretches itself out toward the end” strongly informs the notion of das erstreckte Sicherstrecken. From this. Heidegger is able to conclude rather straightforwardly that ἐνέργεια in contrast to ἐντελέχεια means “what stretches itself out towards the end” (spannt sich aus zum Ende). That is to say. But. But. As such. why should Heidegger retain both meanings? It allows him to interpret Aristotle as arguing that ‘ἐνέργεια’ points to ‘ἐντελέχεια’ in meaning. therefore. since it expresses both senses of συντεινοµένη.

since for life to be fulfilled in the ways specified at b21-22 is rare and difficult. if not impossible. However. it is that activity in which human beings act most excellently. as much as humanly possible. this would be the complete happiness of man. καὶ ἔχειν τὴν ἡδονὴν οἰκείαν (αὕτη δὲ συναύξει τὴν ἐνέργειαν). nothing is incomplete concerning these things belonging to happiness. having lead quite disparate and dissatisfied lives. it does not always follow that one has attained complete happiness. happiness is not a motion. ἡ δὲ τοῦ νοῦ ἐνέργεια σπουδῇ τε διαφέρειν δοκεῖ θεωρητικὴ οὖσα.virtuous activity. καὶ παρ’ αὑτὴν οὐδενὸς ἐφίεσθαι τέλους. at least initially. καὶ τὸ αὔταρκες δὴ καὶ σχολαστικὸν καὶ ἄτρυτον ὡς ἀνθρώπῳ. Aristotle draws the curious conclusion that the contemplative life "would be the complete happiness of man. and to have the proper pleasure. which enlarges the activity. tirelessness." The syntax would have us think. Becoming happy might be some sort of motion or change. but this is not the unchanging activity that is supposed to be happiness. 1177b19-26. even when there is a complete span of life. self-sufficiency. and whatever else assigned to the happy person appear to be those things pertaining to this activity.56 Because there is nothing about happiness that is ἀτελές. leisure. τὰ κατὰ ταύτην τὴν ἐνέργειαν φαίνεται ὄντα· ἡ τελεία δὴ εὐδαιµονία αὕτη ἂν εἴη ἀνθρώπου. People often die never having achieved much happiness. at EN K. seems both to be superior to the political life. For. Nevertheless. Also. λαβοῦσα µῆκος βίου τέλειον· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἀτελές ἐστι τῶν τῆς εὐδαιµονίας.7. This is why. which is the life of contemplation. it is for these very reasons that complete happiness seems to be more divine than human (1177b29-24). if one were to have received a complete span of life. it is the highest form of happiness (εὐδαιµονία): The activity of thinking. the ἐνέργεια of happiness must be complete. καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα τῷ µακαρίῳ ἀπονέµεται. that complete happiness depends upon an unlikely "complete span of life" (µῆκος βίου τέλειον). In EN A. Hence. 56 39 . to aim at no ends beyond itself. In fact. Thus.10. if one were to have received a complete span of life.

motion is not admitted into happiness because motion is an incomplete activity by nature (Phy. While one strives after contemplation as a motion insofar as one becomes wise.. since contemplation "is the pure visibility of life with respect to its possibility of being which has been brought to its end" (Sie ist die reine Gegenwart des Lebenden hinsichtlich seiner zu Ende gebrachten Seinsmöglichkeit). happiness is a pure τέλος (τέλος schlechtin…im reinsten Sinne). as the höchsten Seinsmöglichkeit. Why then does Aristotle draw this seemingly strange conclusion at 1177b24-25? Why talk about a complete life? It is to point us to the divine character of θεωρητική. p. is complete in everyway and at all times [τέλειον…πάντῃ πάντως]. contemplation." In this way. 40 . In contemplation. 90. which is the inauthentic sense of Fertigsein. As Heidegger reads Aristotle in the Grundbegriffe. 173. das Fertiganwesendsein) for the living human being. Cf. it is precisely on this point that Aristotle disputes Solon. 57 58 GA 19.57 It is "the finished presence of life with respect to its highest possibility of being” (das Fertiganwesendsein des Lebenden hinsichtlich seiner höchsten Seinsmöglichkeit). cit. See also Gonzalez. even though this is rare and difficult. Heidegger holds fast to this assumption. Because it is absurd to predicate an activity to the dead. op. but that "since the future is obscure to us. and since the future is not certain—that is. Γ. τέλειον means beingfinished. its motionlessness.2.1101a17-19. p. 37. admits of change—happiness must be that complete activity which pertains to the living insofar as it is living. ought to coincide with pure happiness when its possibility is fully actualized (zu Ende gebrachten. living humans are called happy (1101a20).58 In other words. when in contemplation. 173. GA 19. Therefore. 202a3-12). In the Sophist lectures. GA 18. we set down that happiness. p. p. its activity is free of motion. Just in this way. arguing that happiness ought not to be predicated of a human being after a complete life. as an end.

pp.there is a kind of deathlessness (EN K. a kind of being for man in which he has the highest possibility of not arriving at his end. no deathless activity. 1177b34).7. But. a particular possibility of ἀθανατίζειν (1177b33) is present for man. and consequently deathless. It is genuine only “if one has seized hold of a complete course of life. of course. which is the theme of this kind of comportment. Since what always is. contemplation is the genuine (eigentlich) human ἐνέργεια which is motionless.59 For Aristotle. Herein lies the curious tendency of measuring the temporality of human Dasein with respect to the eternity of the world. λαβοῦσα µῆκος βίου τέλειον (b24sq). This is the consummate [äußerste] position granted to the human Dasein by the Greeks. Abiding in the eternal—θεωρεῖν—is not to be haphazard or occasional. this is not the picture painted by Heidegger in Sein und Zeit and the Grundbegriffe. The most genuine life of Dasein is that mode of being where Dasein understands itself as cultivating its own possibility to be insofar as it is constituted by the possibility of death. but is constantly sustained as its proper mode. 177-178. In this. is constantly identified beforehand. it is determined as sustaining. only if this kind of comportment does not simply determine human existence from time to time. Dasein's Seinsmöglichkeit is given over to Dasein 59 GA 19. if it λαβοῦσα µῆκος βίου τέλειον (b24): ἡ τελεία δὴ εὐδαιµονία αὕτη ἂν εἴη ἀνθρώπου. such that even the visibility of Dasein within it is constant. and therefore. This is precisely how Heidegger understands Aristotle: This mode of human Dasein is a genuine one. but rather it is to be sustained continuously throughout the duration of life. This is.” only if in fact Dasein stretches itself out over the whole duration of human existence. 41 .

7.” Not only. The fullest expression of actuality for the living human being is not a motion. emphasis mine. but to be one that attempts to lay hold of divinity (1178b1924). Heidegger argues that Dasein is the being whose being is to understand Being. is not to be self-aware of being-towards-death as a life that embraces its mortality. in θεωρητική. however. 12. then. allows Heidegger to justify that das Sein is actually das Seinkönnen. in the first introduction. p. of course. 60 61 SZ. To be fully alive. does the deathless character of θεωρητική set in relief Heidegger's identification of ἐνέργεια with κίνησις. At the beginning of SZ.because of what it is: the possibility of death that is unable to be outstripped (unüberholbar). p. “a kind of being for man in which he has the highest possibility of not arriving at his end. it discloses Being in the same way. 1177b34-35). and to disclose it as such by way of Dasein’s understanding of its own being. Complete happiness. but so does the call to pursue it in the face of mortality. where Heidegger interprets the definition of motion as the disclosure of das Seinkönnen des Seins. ἐνέργεια as such. entails that one "place aside mortality as far as possible [ἐφ᾽ὅσον ἐνδέχεται ἀθανατίζειν] and carry out in every way the life that is in accordance with the best things in ourselves" (EN K. which is absurd. This. 307. This is indeed implied in the Grundbegriffe. There is. or at least one that most resembles it.61 If Dasein can be defined as ἐνέργεια insofar as it is κίνησις. then when Dasein truly grasps itself as motion. The actuality of Being. and if Dasein is to disclose Being as such through self-understanding on these terms. as Heidegger says. a sort of outstripping in Aristotle's formulation of human contemplation. It is.60 To surpass one's possibility for death would require that death be actualizable (verwirklichbar) for Dasein. but a changeless life. cannot help but be motion as well. the call to overthrow one’s own possibility for death. SZ. 42 . for Aristotle.

and because Being is disclosed through the being of Dasein. if Dasein is to make the actuality of Being visible as motion.’ Thus. Being itself is really nothing but ‘the ability-to-be. Thus. Dasein is. the how (Wie) of Being’s disclosure. for Heidegger to articulate ἐνέργεια as such in terms of motion. the ‘forthe-sake-of-which’ by which the world is to be understood. Rather. the true work of Being.Because Dasein is the being who reveals this by way of understanding its own being in terms of potentiality. Being is κίνησις. activity itself. unlike for Aristotle. is disclosed in the activity of Dasein’s authentic self-understanding as motion. Dasein’s motion is the voice of Being. This also allows Heidegger to suggest that δύναµις holds priority. always on-the-way-toward death. The fundamental reason? Because Dasein’s nature is motion. κίνησις is not merely a region of Being for Heidegger. indeed. Being is disclosed as the ability-to-be because that through which it is made visible is the motion of one being according to which all of Being is structured. It makes sense. from this. Being is disclosed also as always being-on-the-way (Unterwegssein) 43 .

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