The human ‘thinks’ oft en and about many different things: however, the thoughts thus produced are not necessarily reliable. True thoughts, which are quite rare, do not arise out of self-produced thinking, nor do they reside in the things themselves, like a stone in a field or a net in the water. True thoughts are thought toward the human and directed toward him, and only when he is in a correctly thoughtful disposition—i.e., when he is in a state of practiced readiness to think what approaches him as the to-be-thought.

The term ‘logic’ therefore reveals itself to us through a strange ambiguity. On the one hand, it means the logic of thinking; on the other hand, it means the logic of things; on the one hand, it refers to the regulatory dimension of the conduct of thinking; on the other hand, it refers to the structure of things themselves. Initially, we do not know from where this ambiguity of ‘logic’ and the ‘logical’ arises, nor in what sense it became necessary and why it has established itself as something common and familiar in which we scamper about thoughtlessly, tossed this way and that. In most cases, certainly, we understand the term ‘logic’ exclusively in the sense of a doctrine of forms and rules for thinking.

This is a strange explanation of ‘logic’ and the study of ‘logic.’ If one understands it as the doctrine of thinking, then one should also like to hold the opinion that [188] everything depends upon not only learning the rules of thinking set out by logic, but also how to apply them correctly. But apply them to what? Obviously to the experience, observation, and treatment of things, matters, and humans. However, how are we to apply our thinking to matters if we do not correctly know these matters and things with regard to their own innate ‘logic’? Supposing, however, that we are always familiar with the ‘logic’ of matters themselves and with the ‘logic’ of the realm of things, for what reason would we then still need to apply the rules of logic to things in the sense of a doctrine of thinking? We think ‘logically’ when we think ‘factually’ and ‘properly.’ But when and how do we think ‘factually’? On what path and by what instruction do we learn to think this way? To what extent must we think from out of matters and things? What kind of ‘must’ comes upon us here? Does it arise from a demand that was formulated by someone during some era to think ‘objectively’? But only ‘subjects’ can think ‘objectively,’ i.e., in a manner corresponding to ‘objects.’ Objectivity as an ideal only exists in the realm of subjectivity, wherein the human understands himself as a ‘subject.’ And yet, is the demand for objectivity readily the same as what we are here calling ‘the factual’? How could that be, if it were true that everything objective were only the particular way in which the subjectivity of humans ‘objectifies’ matters, i.e., throws them up as opposite, counter-posing objects? How could that be, if the ‘objective’ does not yet penetrate into the realm of ‘things themselves’? Once again we ask: why and how must we think from out of matters and things themselves? What kind of a necessity is it that determines our thinking here, determining it in such a way that, without such determination from out of the matter, thinking has not yet become thinking? What is going on with the human that he feels compelled by this

144    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos