Metaphysical Thinking

Heidegger writes that “metaphysical thinking rests on the distinction between what truly is and what, measured against this, constitutes all that is not truly in being.”3 In the long history of philosophy, this distinction has been variously interpreted. Generally, however, it has involved taking the true world as invisible yet intelligible and the nontrue world as visible but not per se intelligible. To illustrate this point, four examples should suffice. I will limit myself to Plato’s, Descartes’, Berkeley’s and Kant’s expression of this distinction. For Plato, “the very being of to be——is to be “always in the same manner in relation to the same things.” As Plato explains, this is to be “unchanging” and, thus, to remain the same with oneself. The ideas () “beauty itself, equality itself, and every itself” are..
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