to only one thing: that the essence of ‘logic’ and its demand to grasp λόγος are questionable. This is true, however, because the essence of λόγος remains obscure. In fact, it could even be the case that λόγος itself, from out of itself and on its own accord, casts obscurity around its essence. If so, the common determination of the human as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον would evince a strange constitution, and we would have to seriously doubt the privilege of ‘logic.’ It would no longer be enough to appeal to Aristotle as the ‘father of logic.’ Now, aft er two thousand years, the time would finally have arrived to ask about the mother of logic. She seems forgotten and unknown. But perhaps the origin of logic lies neither with the father, nor with the mother, nor with them both. What is λόγος itself? To what extent do the essence of thinking, and the doctrine of thinking, derive their determination from it? What is λόγος, such that thinking, and only thinking, properly belongs to it? For that matter, what is thinking? For logic, λόγος is assertion; as assertion, it belongs to saying; saying is speech and language; λόγος is an occurrence of language: λόγος is, thereby, the word. All of this is already familiar enough to Occidental thinking. Nevertheless, we must impress upon ourselves that λόγος neither means “word,” nor “speech,” nor indeed “language.” This is already evident in the fact that the fundamental meaning of the Greek word λόγος can in no way mean the same as “speech” and “language,” and in fact does not even point toward anything linguistic or language-like. At the same time, it is equally certain that λόγος and its attendant verb λέγειν already meant something akin to “speaking” and “saying” very early on for the Greeks. These are two inarguable facts that we must face. In their co-existence, these two facts conceal something enigmatic.

[240] Unnoticed for two and a half thousand years, this enigma is situated in a strange historical background. Supposing, however, that precisely in these millennia a peculiar imprinting of the essence of λόγος is the concealed ground of the Occidental history of this time-period, then a consideration wishing to inquire about a turning-point of this history of logic as the doctrine of λόγος must first recognize and acknowledge the enigma as such.

We present the riveting nature of this enigma once more: λόγος and λέγειν mean speech, word, and saying. At the same time, the meaning of λόγος and λέγειν is not at all related to anything language-like or to any linguistic activity. How do λόγος and λέγειν then come to mean speech and saying? To what extent, and why, is the originary essence of the word λόγος lost in this meaning? What is at stake in this disappearance of the originary meaning? Wherein lies its ground? Is this reclusiveness of the originary meaning of the Λόγος—i.e., the reclusiveness of what is named by it—permanent, or is it rather the inconspicuous portent of a long-awaited return? So long as we only begin to ask a small number of these questions—and we cannot even speak yet of an adequate answer—we can never achieve an understanding of the λόγος from which ‘logic’ gets its name, but which since the onset of ‘logic’ has also been in its ward. Without asking these questions,

184    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos