The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking

“Only what aletheia as opening grants is experienced and thought, not what it is as such.

This remains concealed. Does this happen by chance? Does it happen only as a consequence of the carelessness of human thinking? Or does it happen because self-concealing, concealment, lethe, belongs to a-letheia, not just as an addition, not as shadow to light, but rather as the heart of aletheia? And does not even a sheltering and preserving rule in the self-concealing of the opening of presence, from which unconcealment can be granted to being with, so that what is present can appear in its presence?

If this were so, then the opening would not be the mere opening of presence, but the opening of presence concealing itself, the opening of a self-concealing sheltering.

If this were so, then with these questions we would reach the path to the task of thinking at the end of philosophy.

But isn’t all this unfounded mysticism or even bad mythology, in any case a ruinous irrationalism, the denial of ratio?

I ask in return: What does ratio, nous, noein, apprehending, mean? (…) As long as ratio and the rational still remain questionable in what is their own, talk about irrationalism is unfounded. The technological scientific rationalization ruling the present age justifies itself every day more surprisingly by its immense results. But this says nothing about what first grants the possibility of the rational and the irrational. The effect proves the correctness of technological scientific rationalization. But is the manifest character of what is exhausted by what is demonstrable? Doesn’t the insistence on what is demonstrable block the way to what is?

Perhaps there is a thinking outside of the distinction of rational and irrational. more sober-minded still than scientific technology, more sober-minded and hence removed, without effect, yet having its own necessity.


We all still need an education in thinking, and first of all, before that, knowledge of what being educated and uneducated in thinking means.


The task of thinking would then be the surrender of previous thinking to the determination of the matter for thinking.”

Martin Heidegger