interpreting it. Yet it is not by chance, either, that interpretations have gone astray here, because in thoughts on the essence of the λόγος prior to Aristotle there indeed arose two theories or theses that make it look as though Aristotle took one side of this debate. Aristotle states: The λόγος is not φύσει, is not some product of a physical event or process; it is not anything like digestion or the circulation of the blood, but has its γένεσις in something quite different: not γένεσις, but κατὰ συνθήκην. Corresponding to this is that part of the earlier theory of the λόγος which says that language is θέσει: Words do not grow, they do not occur and form like organic processes, but are what they are on the basis of reaching an agreement. Since Aristotle also says κατὰ συνθήκην, it looks as though he were of the opinion that language formed in this way, that sounds are produced and humans reach an agreement: we will understand such and such by this. This does happen, but it does not reach the inner essence of the γένεσις of language itself, which Aristotle saw much more profoundly by indeed starting from these theories in a certain way, yet by taking decisive new steps to overcome them. Words emerge from that essential agreement of human beings with one another, in accordance with which they are open in their being with one another for the beings around them, which they can then individually agree about—and this also means fail to agree about. Only on the grounds of this originary, essential agreement is discourse possible in its essential function: σημαίνειν, giving that which is understandable to be understood.
b) Discourse as exhibiting (λόγος ἀποφαντικός) in its possibility of revealing-concealing (ἀληθεύειν-ψεύδεσθαι).
We have thus achieved some initial understanding of what the inner possibility of the λόγος consists in, taken in this quite broad sense. However, Aristotle says: λόγος ἄπας μὲν σημαντικός, every λόγος indeed gives something to be understood—ἀποφαντικός δὲ ούπας,4 but not every discourse is an exhibiting, i.e., one which, in the manner in which it gives something to be understood, has the specific tendency merely to exhibit as such whatever it is referring to. By propositional statement we mean only the λόγος ἀποφαντικός, discourse that points out. Requesting, εὐχή, for example, is a non-apophantic λόγος. If my discourse is a requesting, then it is not attempting to inform the other person about something in the sense of increasing his or her knowledge. Nor, however, is the request a communicating of the fact that I desire something or am filled with a desire. Nor is this discourse a mere desiring, but rather the concrete act of 'requesting of another'. Aristotle says: οἱ μὲν οὖν ἄλλοι
4. Ibid., Chap. 4, 17a 2f.