and almost helplessly it wrestles with the way this question can first be posed and thus become elevated to a question- worthy question. In relation to this question, it must come to pass—and the first tentative steps of this have already been taken— that somehow logic and its essence are brought to language. However, to bring the essence of logic to language means to think- aft er what λόγος is. To think- aft er what λόγος is does not mean to locate a concept about λόγος, but rather to question- aft er the Λόγος itself, to embark down the path toward it in order to let a relation of the Λόγος toward us become possible. If we attempt this, then surely we cannot hold ourselves solely to what logic thinks about λόγος : for logic thinks it metaphysically, thereby preventing any progress toward the foundation of metaphysics, and that means any progress toward that realm in which the fate of metaphysics, and with it Occidental history, decide themselves. But is logic the only—and more importantly, the originary—knowledge of that for which it is named (i.e., λόγος)? Supposing that the Λόγος did not become [273] the λόγος of logic overnight and without reason, we must think- aft er what the essence of the Λόγος has revealed of itself before the beginning of metaphysics. We thus question the thinker who thought the Λόγος before Plato and Aristotle, and who perhaps thought it so essentially that the word ‘λόγος’ remains the foundational word of his thinking. This thinker is Heraclitus.

We will first think through fragment 50, paying attention to what the Λόγος named in this saying of Heraclitus’s itself offers up to an attentive, hearkening listening. Th at which can be heard from out of the Λόγος states, said in human words: ἓν πάντα εἶναι .

(As an aside, it is once more worth recalling that the young Hölderlin inscribed the Heraclitean λόγος “ἓν πάντα” into his university friend Hegel’s guest- book in the following form: Εν και παν . At the same time, it must be pointed out that one and a half decades later, the same Hegel used a saying of Heraclitus’s regarding the Λόγος as a maxim at the beginning of his work The Phenomenology of Spirit, a work that founds the absolute metaphysics of Spirit and at the same time, from a certain perspective, consummates Occidental metaphysics altogether. Th is saying will also be elucidated in what follows.)

According to the saying of Heraclitus’s, ἓν πάντα εἶναι becomes audible from out of the Λόγος . Approaching this from the outside, we initially attempted to grasp in a more stringent way the first two words, ἕν and πάντα, in their possible meanings. In doing so, each time we hit upon a strange ambiguity pertaining to ἕν as well as to πάντα . However, the matter had to be put to rest with a simple enumeration of the various meanings of “one” and “all,” for these words do not provide us with any guidance as to how their respective, various meanings can be thought coherently, or even any guidance to think in what sense πάντα (i.e., the all) is, in effect, ἕν (i.e., one). But it almost appears as if this strange indeterminacy [274] of ἓν πάντα εἶναι is what continually assures that this phrase becomes the guiding thought for all thinking about the entirety of beings.


Answering the question: What is the Λόγος?    207