§ 1. The term ‘logic’

a) The logic of thinking and the logic of things

‘Logic’—this term is commonly understood to be ‘the doctrine of correct thinking,’ and has been so understood since time immemorial. Still today, occupying oneself with ‘logic’ means: learning to think correctly by informing ourselves about the structure, form, and rules of thinking, memorizing these and applying them in given cases. In an admittedly somewhat colloquial expression one says: “this person does not have a logical bone in his body.” Usually, two things are meant by this: on the one hand, it means that the ability to think correctly is an innate part of human nature, that it is part of embodied human life, and that correct thinking should result from out of itself naturally. On the other hand, the saying also means that the human must be taught ‘logic,’ and that through a specialized form of education it must become incorporated so that his thinking lives and exists from out of ‘logic,’ and is thereby correct at any given moment. According to this view, as soon as the human has become familiar with logic and is at home in it, he can easily recognize in each particular case what is ‘logical’ and what is not. One says: “that is logical,” and one thereby means: this clearly results from the given situation and from commonly known prior facts. The ‘logical’ is thereby the consistent, i.e., that which corresponds to ‘logic.’ But with this use of ‘logic’ we are not so much referring to the lawfulness and orderliness of thinking, but rather to [187] the inner consistency of a matter, a situation, a process. Here, things in themselves have an innate ‘logic,’ their own ‘logic.’ We are thus only thinking ‘logically’ in the properly understood sense when we follow and think the logic innate to some thing.

That is why we will never learn ‘to think correctly’ so long as we only take note of the structure and rules of thinking and, as one says, ‘learn them by heart,’ without proceeding from out of the innate logic of a thing and allowing ourselves and our knowing to be guided by it. Many a person seemingly possesses ‘logic,’ but still never thinks a single truthful thought. Now, granted, truthful thoughts are rare.