§ 13. Concerning λόγος and soul

reason. If we do this. then everything becomes clear in one fell swoop. The animal may indeed have a certain kind of exploring and perceivinγ, but nevertheless it remains without reason, in contrast to humans. who are animals with reason. As Kant formulated it: The cow cannot say "I." it has no self. To be sure, in this way everything becomes clear and simple—but the question remains whether we thereby stay close to the core of the Aristotelian posing of the question, and whether we thereby adhere to the original ancient content of the concept of λόγος. With this we disregard entirely the difficulty of having to say what reason means here, and in what sense "reason" is to be understood. We must above all adhere to what Aristotle presents as fact: that indeed the animal is αἰσθητικόν, κριτικόν—in the manner of bringing out. And just as little are we allowed to shove aside the developed meaning of λόγος in the sense of conversance. For the matter surely demands that we do not deny λόγος to the animal as it now stands—or else leave the question open. And this is just the position that Aristotle takes unambiguously at De an. Γ 9, 432a30f.: τὸ αἰσθητικόν, ὃ οὔτε ὡς ἄλογον οὔτε ὡς λόγον ἔχον θείη ἄν τις ῥᾳδίως. "No one may easily settle, with regard to the ability to perceive. whether this is a capability without conversance or a conversant capability." This caution with regard to deciding and questioning must even today remain for us exemplary, irrespective of the further question of where the essential boundary runs between animal and human.

Λόγος does not mean reason. The Aristotelian problem makes sense only if λόγος has a certain kinship to αἴσθησις. This kinship lies in the fact that both-the exploring and being-conversant as well as the perceiving-in some way uncover and unconceal that toward which they are directed. Both αἴσθησις and λόγος are connected with ἀληθεύειν (which at first has absolutely nothing to do with knowledge in the sense of theoretical comprehension and intention).

The extent to which Aristotle also intends in a certain sense to ascribe to animals λόγος—conversance in the sense of a circumspection which knows its way around—can be seen in Met. A 1, where Aristotle attributes to some animals the possibility of φρονιμώτερον and thus a certain φρόνησις (something like circumspection)

Martin Heidegger (GA 33) Aristotle's Metaphysics θ 1-3