For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Nietzsche: Volumes One and Two

by Heidegger, Martin (1991)


A landmark discussion between two great thinkers, vital to an understanding of twentieth-century philosophy and intellectual history.

Key Passage

[Quoting Plato] "But, of course, the Ideas for the clusters of these implements are two: one in which 'bedframe' becomes manifest, and one in which 'table' shows itself." Here Plato clearly refers to the fact that the permanence and selfsameness of the "Ideas" is always peri ta polla, "for the cluster of the many and as embracing the many." Hence it is not some arbitrary, undefined permanence. But the philosophic search does not thereby come to an end. It merely attains the vantage point from which it may ask: how is it with those many produced items, those implements, in relation to the "Idea" that is applicable in each case? We pose the question in order to come to know something about mimesis. We must therefore cast about, within the realm of our vision, with greater penetration, still taking as our point of departure the many implements. They are not simply at hand, but are at our disposal for use, or are already in use. They "are" with that end in view. As pro-duced items, they are made for the general use of those who dwell together and are with one another. Those who dwell with one another constitute the demos, the "people," in the sense of public being-with-one-another, those who are mutually known to and involved with one another. For them the implements are made. Whoever produces such implements is therefore called a demiourgos, a worker, manufacturer, and maker of something for the sake of the demos. In our language we still have a word for such a person, although, it is true, we seldom use it and its meaning is restricted to a particular realm: der Stellmacher, one who constructs frames, meaning wagon chassis (hence the name \Vagner).* That implements and frames are made by a frame-maker-that is no astonishing piece of wisdom! Certainly not.  (p.174)


Heidegger, Nietzsche, Machination, Technology


The Nietzsche Lectures, Heidegger Citations

Links to Reference



How to contribute.