thinking it in a more unified way. This means: to espy more essentially what is essential within gathered thinking, and the relations therein. We are referring here to saying 112:

τὸ φρονεῖν ἀρετὴ μεγίστη, καὶ σοφίη ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν ἐπαΐοντας.3

Initially, we shall now turn toward one of the more conventional translations in order that that we may recognize how disconnected the saying remains from what is, for Heraclitus, the authentic to-be-thought (i.e., the Λόγος). However, we also turn to this rendering in order to see how hollow the saying becomes through this conventional translation—so hollow, indeed, that one is no longer inclined to attribute it to thinking. One such rendering—for example, that offered by Snell—is as follows:

Thinking is the highest completeness, and wisdom is to say and to do the true according to the essence of things, hearkening to them.

The saying speaks of ἀληθέα—one translates this word, according to longstanding custom, as ‘the true.’ What this means—and, most importantly, what this means in the Greek thinking of the early thinkers—is not at all reflected upon. ‘The true’—it appears as though anyone can understand what this means. ‘The true’— whoever claims to know what it is makes the claim to know not [360] only what is true and of what the true consists, but also to know what truth is in general, and to know the essence of the true. In the same manner, this translation of Heraclitus’s saying assumes that one is in the know when it comes to ‘the true’ itself, and that according to Heraclitus, all that matters is ‘to say’ and ‘to do’ what is ‘the true’—that is, to say the correct correctly, and to translate it correctly into action. What matters is to heed the true in word and deed, and to put it into effect. Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether or not this hits upon Heraclitus’s thinking, who could argue that in this a difficult demand is being enunciated? And yet—from where does ‘the true’ come to word and deed? Moreover, what is ‘the true’? Heraclitus himself seems to give some information regarding this in his saying. For, according to the translation cited above, Heraclitus says: “wisdom is to say and to do the true,” “according to the essence of things” (i.e., κατὰ φύσιν). Saying and doing become true and are true if they “orient themselves toward the essence of things”—that is, when they are in ‘accordance’ with them. Truth is the accordance of saying and doing with things. In a continuance of the thinking of Aristotle, in the medieval era one said: veritas est adaequatio intellectus et rei. Even Kant holds

3 [Diels supplies σωφρονεῖν instead of τὸ φρονεῖν—Ed.]

On the illumination of inceptual being    269