[215] c) λόγος and ἦθος . The universal role of λόγος as ratio and reason in the determinations of the human essence and its consequential consummation in the “will to power” (Nietzsche)

In the term ἐπιστήμη λογική, the word λόγος means something akin to “assertion”: λέγειν τι κατά τινος—“to claim something about something,” and at the same time to hold fast to it, thereby establishing it and showing it. The essential feature of λόγος, of making an assertion, lies in saying in the sense of a making apparent of something that each time allows a particular being to be seen and grasped in the manner that it is. Saying brings and places what is said, and what is shown through the saying, before us, presenting and delivering it to us. The essential feature of λόγος, of the assertion, is not, therefore, a saying in the sense of a speaking and of making a verbal statement. This is already implied by the fact that the Greek word λόγος, and what it actually means, does not have anything directly to do with language and discourse. What this means for the essence of λόγος, the insight into its essence, and also for the misapprehension of its essence (and consequently for the origin of ‘logic’ and its role and limitations), will reveal itself to us in what follows. Above all we will have to consider when and how the words λέγειν and λόγος arrived at the undeniable meaning of saying and asserting, even though the original meaning did not include a connection to saying and language.

However, first it is still necessary to bring the designation of logic as ἐπιστήμη λογική—the knowledge pertaining to that which belongs to asserting—into its correct connection with the given designations of ‘physics’ and ‘ethics.’

Physics and ethics both have, albeit in different ways, the fundamental feature of an understanding about beings as a whole. They are oriented toward this one whole, they are versus unum, universal in the simplest sense of the word. Physics and ethics are each an understanding of beings as a whole. Does this also apply to ‘logic’? If so, in what sense? [216] As a human activity, λόγος—assertion, judgment—only appears in one particular region of beings: namely, in the region of the human, but not, for example, in that of plants, stones, or even animals. Assertion is thereby not like what may be encountered everywhere in every being, and thus also continuously and universally in beings. This statement applies also to ἦθος which, as the abiding of the human’s sojourn amidst beings, only pertains to the human. However, ἦθος pertains to the human in just such a way that he, in ἦθος and through it, stands in relation to beings as a whole, and in such a manner that, reciprocally, the whole of beings addresses itself to him alone. Could not something similar apply also to λόγος, since as assertion it is a behavior of the human that can relate itself to all beings and somehow also always beings as a whole, especially and particularly when the assertion hits upon the unsayable? For the unsayable and unutterable is


Logic, ἐπιστήμη, τέχνη    163

Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger