Notes: John Kress, “Plato’s Name for Being: Eidos” After Eidos: Heidegger, Plato, and the End of the Ideas

Kress, John A. (1998). Plato’s name for being: EidosAfter eidos: Heidegger, plato, and the end of the ideas. Dissertation.


Kress outlines Plato’s meditations on Socrates’s life in order to come to why eidos is used as Plato’s determination of being, ending that eidos intertwines itself around the whatness and presentness of being.

Keywords: Eidos, Philosophy, Plato, Being, Rhetorical Theory


“The aiton not only gives the being to be, but is the sustaining nurturing power of the being in its being” (8).

“Philosophy aims at the aitai of beings, that which properly is responsible for beings” (10).

“The eidos of the aiton is shown as—eidos. The look that Socrates has had in view since he turned to philosophy is nothing other than the look of the look, the look itself, eidos itself” (12).

“Being is properly what-being. Beings are what they are. What a being is determines it not only as this or that kind, but at the same time, as it is and that it is. That is, the what of a being, according to Plato, is at the same time the aiton of the being, sustaining it in being, and guiding its course of being. The what governs and sustains beings in their being; but being true is one of the ways in which being is said, one of the ways in which the Greeks experiences beings as being” (13).

“According to Plato, the what-being of a being lies in its eidos, the outward look whereby we see that a being is what it is” (14).

“being is what-being, what-being is eidos” (14).

Eidos, as the whatness of beings is at the same time the presentness of beings, the ouisa, because only the whatness of beings reveals itself as stable in the mode of constant presence” (26).

eidos shows itself to be the ontos on, that which strictly and properly deserves to be called being” (26).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s