A Hermeneutic Inquiry
Section Two. Structures of the historical and structures of the transcendental grounding of scientific knowledge
Chapter 1. ‘History’ in Misch and in the methodological subsections of Heidegger’s Being and Time
§ 1. ‘History’ in Misch’s course on logic513
Misch regards being in agreement with Plato on questions of logic to be ‘the highest endorsement’, höchste Bewährung. Socrates was concerned to produce a conceptual clarification of the phenomenon of life. He asked for example what courage is, what it is essentially, not what we mean by the word ‘courage’. So he directs his question toward those who incorporate this virtue, for instance the soldier Laches, those who have knowledge of it and so must be capable of telling us something about what it is. This aim is never attained in Plato’s dialogues.514 Misch asks why this attempt fails where the aim is correctly envisaged. The reason for the failure is that Socrates seeks something other than conceptual determination that springs from concepts of life, namely determinations that are discursively defined (Aufbau, p. 526). Plato had grounded in things themselves this kind of conceptual determination by genus and species. It is for him an ontological principle. Only through a formalisation is attained, in Kant’s words, the logical law of the genus upon which the traditional theory of definition is based.515
Misch says that we no longer regard this basic metaphysical conception as binding. Ancient ontology with its belief in the conformity to thought of the All has divided itself, and in such a manner that on the one...