The present paper has a negative aim and a positive aim, both limited in the present context to a sketch or outline. The negative aim, today less controversial, is to show that Aristotle’s theory of final causality has little or nothing to do with the teleology rejected by modern science and that, therefore, far from having been rendered obsolete, it has yet to be fully understood. This aim will be met through the identification and brief discussion of some key points on which Aristotle’s theory differs from teleology as still commonly understood. The positive aim is more controversial as it proposes that we take an ontology of life as the proper context for understanding the significance and nature of final causation in Aristotle. The argument for final causation, in other words, is that, without it, we would lose the phenomenon of life and, indeed, of nature altogether, reducing nature to the inanimate and mechanical.
Faced with the impossibility of saying Being directly given that all language is language of beings, Heidegger proposes an overcoming of logic in favor of what he calls Sigetik: a way of addressing Being in and through silence, i.e., without asserting anything of Being. After considering what such a Sigetik actually involves and how it is possible, this paper asks why Heidegger rejects the alternative of that indirect saying of Being that he identifies with dialectic. It is then argued both that Heidegger's arguments against dialectic are not compelling and that the Beiträge itself, in mostly failing to achieve and sustain the Sigetik it prescribes, cannot fully escape some form of dialectic. Sigetik may prove a lure more threatening to philosophical questioning than the dialectic it seeks, unsuccessfully, to overcome.