elucidations of other sayings—as “knowing.” Given all that has been elucidated thus far, one thing surely remains clear: namely, that the words ‘thinking’ and ‘knowing’ are initially only designations for questions, and, for the most part, questions that remain unasked. The translation of these words, and the other words mentioned, is almost like the translation of ἀληθέα with our word “the true.” We will now attempt to head down one of many paths that are possible here, on our step-by-step attempt to elucidate this saying. We will nevertheless keep in mind that we are reflecting on this saying precisely in order to clarify the essence of the Λόγος more clearly, which is named here as λέγειν in connection with σοφόν.

The saying is comprised of two sentences. The first says something about ‘thinking’; the second states of what knowing consists. The saying says nothing about the relation between ‘knowing’ and ‘thinking,’ at least not directly. Indirectly, however, we can certainly surmise enough from the saying regarding this relation, if only the saying is elucidated according to its essential aspects. Because the relation between φρονεῖν (“thinking”) and σοφίη (“knowing”) initially remains obscure, it is advisable to leave the καί that begins the second sentence undefined. Although καί indeed means ‘and,’ it almost never means merely ‘and’ in the language of Heraclitus. We will begin the interpretation of the saying with an elucidation of the second sentence, and will bring it into connection with what has already been singled out within it: namely, ἀληθέα—for it is in relation to this that the λέγειν spoken of in the saying is said. The Λόγος is encountered here in relation to ἀλήθεια. According to its conventional translation and interpretation, one understands λέγειν as “saying” and “asserting.” ἀληθέα understood as “the true,” in connection [363] with which saying and asserting are named, corresponds exactly to the pervasive doctrine of metaphysics, according to which ‘the truth’ is an inherent characteristic of asserting and belongs to it. If we direct our inquiry about the use of language by the Greeks even further back in time, then we learn that in the oldest, documented testimony—namely, in Homer—the words ἀληθέα, ἀληθές, and ἀληείη appear consistently, and do so solely in relation to expressions of saying, recounting, reporting, answering, and asserting.4 The conventional view of ἀλήθεια, λέγειν, and their relation is thereby confirmed in the most welcoming way. And yet, ἀληθέα means the unconcealed: and what could the Greeks have meant other than what, and only what, their own word clearly and unambiguously says to them? What, then, becomes of our crude and late-coming interference regarding the meaning of that word? What, then, of our translated word ‘the true,’ to which we also affix a later, metaphysical explanation of its meaning? ἀληθέα means what is unconcealed, and for now we must hold ourselves to that. However, λέγειν means gathering and collecting, and it is this that we must first consider.

4 Such words occur three times in the Iliad : ἀληθείη, at Ψ 361 and Ω 407; ἀληθέα at Ζ 382. [According to the editor’s reckoning, there are 14 instances in the Odyssey.—Ed.]

On the illumination of inceptual being    271