﻿ Heraclitus (GA 55) 200

said of all, mean the effacement of all difference? All— πάντα—would then be comprised out of [262] that which has no differentiation. But this would be the indifference that belongs to the emptiness of nullifying nothingness. Or, does ἕν mean neither the one of the numerical one, nor the one of sameness, but perhaps rather the one in the sense of unifying, which is called such because it unifies and unites? If so, how and from what perspective can this unifying one be thought? Is the unifying of πάντα, a unifying that unites all, itself something separate from ‘the all’? If so, then πάντα, the all, would not be everything. The unifying one would then stand over against the all and would preside over it. ἕν would be the one and πάντα the other, and then they would be two and not ἕν, not one.

Or, is ἕν the one in the sense of a unifying that, as the unifying of all, unifies itself with what has been united in such a way that it cannot be said to wrap itself around it or be above it, but rather incorporates itself into, and binds itself to, what has been united? How shall we then think this unifying one?

Or, does ἕν, the one, mean something like the one, the singular, which excludes all else, but that excludes in such a way that it still precisely thereby manages to include the other (πάντα)? In this case, a simple uniting of the manifold would not merely be a holding together of multiplicity, but rather the unity that originally retains all in its ‘unifying.’

How obscure and without toehold remains the ἕν for a thinking sufficiently conjoined to it, even though it is so easily pronounced. Perhaps we should not differentiate the various meanings of ἕν—the numerical one, the one of sameness, the one of the unifying oneness, the one of singularity—and exclude them from one another through an either/or dynamic. Perhaps all of the above-named meanings of ἕν are thought in the ἕν that Heraclitus thinks. But, if this is the case, the question is only intensified for us: in what oneness, and in which One, are all these different meanings of ἕν themselves united? It is easy to see that all the questions concerning the possible meanings of ἕν return when we attempt also to think πάντα in a correspondingly clear, concrete, and concise way. [263] Does πάντα only indicate the all in the sense of a somehow concluded summation of the possible many? Is the ‘all’ only an accumulation of the various and the differing? Is the ‘all’ the totality of the real and possible multiplicity of things? Is the ‘all’ the whole of the many sorts of divided and divisible parts? Of what does the wholeness of the whole consist?

What can we add to the determination of the recent popular conception of ‘wholeness,’ if the oneness and essence of the One remain indeterminate? It is easy to say that the totality determines the parts and their divisibility in the process of classification, and that this totality is thereby not simply the result of an accumulation of pieces. It also makes some sense that the manner in which the quantity of pieces comprise a sum is different from the manner by which the totality alone predetermines the way in which its divisions and parts are joined. This difference between sum and totality, already familiar to thinking, does not

200    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos