act and song

“Words can be hard to utter: those, for example, with which one renounces something, or confesses a weakness. (Words are also deeds.)”

— Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (546; boldface mine)

“So, λόγος, ‘speaking’, is to exhibit beings in themselves, if this speaking is of such a character as it shows being in their having–of–limits, that it limits being in their being. That λόγος which is ὁρισμός* is the genuine mode of entry into beings; speaking as ὁρισμός is the genuine addressing of the world.”

— Heidegger, Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy (§8)

“[…]the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void and it was not void. Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilúvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased.”

— J.R.R. Tolkien, “Ainulindalë” in The Silmarillion (boldface mine)

“The providence of God which is ‘without beginning or end’ consists precisely in this providential ‘pre–loving’ of existent things in their logoi…”

— Nikolaos Loudovikos, A Eucharistic Ontology**

… and I could go on like this for a while.

* Ὁρισμός is used for a number of concepts related to limitation, but the Aristotelian sense is (as far as I know, always) that of definition. The line where Heidegger says—late in life—about his book on Kant, “It may not be good Kant, but it’s awfully good Heidegger.”, stands for his work on Aristotle, as well.

** Perhaps eccentrically—and definitely stubbornly—I prefer to literally translate “πρόνοια” as “forethought” rather than “providence”, because I think the meaning is clearer. Also, I am endlessly fascinated by the direct link of this literal rendering and the traditional literal–rendering of Prometheus’s name as “forethinker” (though, perhaps, his would be better thought of as “The One who Thinks Before He Acts”).

Regarding the book… it’s not very good Maximus, but it’s pretty decent Heidegger. Well, it’s a lot better Heidegger (and Maximus) than Zizioulas, anyhow.


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