Kant’s Critique of Judgment. (One can say this also of Schiller’s thought.) The twenty-six-year-old Hölderlin, under the sway of Kant’s and Fichte’s philosophies (on account of having attended their lectures in Jena), writes the following to his brother on October 13, 1796: “You must study philosophy, even if you don’t have any more money than what is needed to buy a lamp and oil, and no more time than those hours between midnight and the cock’s crow.”2

[231] In the age of this kind of thinking, the matter and even the term ‘logic’ attained a new dignity. This is made apparent by the fact that Hegel changes the name of the highest level of his thinking, and that of Occidental thinking in general, from ‘metaphysics’ to ‘logic’—more precisely, to Science of Logic. In the ‘logic’ thought by Hegel, absolute reason (i.e., pure consciousness) attains its own, pure essence. Prepared by Leibniz, established by Kant, fueled by Schelling, and developed by Hegel into an absolute and a system, this ‘logic’ could be called ‘metaphysical logic.’ All new thinkers who think along the lines of this new logic continue to hold fast to the memory of the old ‘logic’ and its beginning in Greek thought, while also attending to the differences and distance of this new ‘logic’ to that of the Greeks. Thus, Kant states the following in the preface to the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (1787):

That logic has taken this straight path (namely, that of a science) since time immemorial can be seen in the fact that since Aristotle, it has not been allowed to take one step backward.... Nevertheless, it is strange that until now it has not been able to take a step forward, thereby remaining to all appearances closed and perfected.3

In writing this, Kant clearly knew that this appearance was deceptive, and that logic was not only capable of taking a step beyond Aristotle, but that it had in fact already done so in his own 1781 work Critique of Pure Reason. From these observations, we can surmise that within Occidental thinking, ‘logic’ was more than just an academic discipline for the scholastic training of thinking. Before all else, ‘logic,’ at times explicitly and at times implicitly, is the path and dimension [232] of metaphysical thinking. It establishes and builds the fundamental bearing of the Occidental human amidst beings as a whole. And how could it be otherwise? For the human receives the imprint of his essence from the determination ἄνθρωπος ζῷον λόγον ἔχον—the human is the living being that has a λόγος. Should not λόγος, and with it ‘logic,’ therefore remain essential for the human? But how does ‘logic’ understand λόγος? If ‘logic’ is the doctrine of thinking, and if ‘logic’ sustains and directs the true authentic thinking of the thinkers, then it must surely understand λόγος as thinking, as the capacity for thinking, as ratio, as



2 Hölderlin, Werke, II, 379.

3 Kant, Werke, III, 13.


Logic and λόγος?    175

Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger