the sphere of the ‘psyche’ (that is, of psychology) must fail, for they can never reach the boundaries of the soul and that which, in bounding and surrounding the soul, also ‘defines’ it. The saying of Heraclitus’s is therefore taken as the earliest testament to the difficulties of psychology and psychological self-observation. There is even a work about “General Psychology” that takes this saying of Heraclitus’s in the just touched-upon sense as its motto on the title page. The author of this work, Natorp, was also, at the time of its writing, an accomplished expert on Greek philosophy.

But in this saying, Heraclitus does not wish to say anything about the limitations and difficulties of psychological research. Such claims are altogether impossible, given that for the early Greek thinkers—and indeed, for all of the ancient Greek world—something like ‘psychology’ was entirely foreign. This is not meant as [285] a denigration of ‘psychology,’ but merely as an indirect reference to the fact that psychology, in essentially arising out of Christian thinking, is of one and the same metaphysical origin as modern historiography and technology, and is only today entering upon the path toward unfolding its historical determination and toward becoming that which, at its very core, it is: namely ‘psychotechnics.’ However, if in the above-cited saying of Heraclitus’s the first word to be heard is ψυχή, and if we translate this word as ‘soul,’ thereby thinking it as the Greeks did, and if we do not interpret the word λόγος that is named in the saying as ‘meaning’ and ‘concept,’ then we keep away from all ‘psychology’ and thus remain open to thinking this saying in harmony with fragment 50, which has already been elucidated.


2) A reconsideration of fragments 50 and 45. The Λόγος as the self-disclosing all-uniting One and the original meaning of λόγος and λέγειν. The Λόγος as the forgathering that dispenses the origin and thereby retains it

In order to approach what Heraclitus thinks in regard to ὁ Λόγος (i.e., the Λόγος), we have taken two paths, and have chosen a saying by Heraclitus, fragment 50, as the first guideline. We have done so because, in this saying, Heraclitus names the Λόγος from a perspective out of which it becomes apparent that the Λόγος itself announces itself and, in doing so, allows its own essence to be heard: ἓν πάντα εἶναι—one is all. This is revealed by the Λόγος. It can only reveal this when it itself

Answering the question: What is the Λόγος?    205

Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger