process. Learning is directed toward the knowing appropriation of the possession of knowledge. But this possession does not belong to us: rather, we belong to it. We must first learn how to learn. Everything must be preliminary, decidedly anticipatory, and slow if the true, as the singular fate, shall be able to approach us and our descendants without our already calculating when and where and in what form this event [ereignet] shall come to pass. A generation of the slow must be awakened if the rush for action and quick fixes, along with the greed for immediate information and cheap solutions, is not to carry us away into the void or force us into the flight toward merely conventional thinking and believing—a flight that is simply an escape that can never be, nor become, an origin.

b) ἐπιστήμη and τέχνη in relation to modern science and technology

To think is a necessity, and learning to think even more so. Do we learn this through ‘logic’? What does thinking have to do with ‘logic’? What does this term even mean? What is it, precisely, to which the term ‘logic’ refers? ‘Logic’: perhaps a half-understood [191] task that has been led astray and never originarily taken over by the historical human? In that case, the term ‘logic’ and its use would only be a stopgap measure for us, used to hint at something else by way of a reference to something long known, thereby admitting that we are just beginning our journey toward that something else, and are still at great remove from it. If that is the case, then we must surely, and for that very reason, first gain sufficient clarity about ‘logic,’ both the name and the thing itself.

Logic’—we know and use other terms like this, such as ‘physics’ and ‘ethics.’ These are abbreviations of the corresponding Greek words λογική, φυσική, and ἠθική. Before and above all three of these words must be placed the word ἐπιστήμη, which we initially translate as “knowledge.” λογικόν/λογικά names all that is pertaining to λόγος. In a corresponding way, φυσικόν/φυσικά names all that belongs to φύσις. In the very same way, ἠθικόν names all that pertains to ἦθος. ‘Logic,’ understood as the abbreviated expression of ἐπιστήμη λογική, is the knowledge of what pertains to λόγος. But what does λόγος signify here?

Before we answer this question, it would be good to elucidate the word ἐπιστήμη first. This we shall do in a three-fold respect and with a three-fold purpose. To begin with, this elucidation will set out to experience what that particular Greek word means that we also find in the two corresponding Greek terms ἐπιστήμη φυσική and ἐπιστήμη ἠθική. Second, the elucidation of precisely this Greek word will prepare us for the elucidation of λόγος and what it names. Finally, the elucidation will help us provisionally learn how to consider what it means that the word and the matter of ‘logic’ originate in the Greek world.

146    The Inception of Occidental Thinking

Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger