It remains to be asked why λέγειν is named before νοεῖν. The answer is that it is from λέγειν that νοεῖν first receives its essence as apprehending that gathers.
This determination of the essence of Being-human that takes place here at the inception of Western philosophy is not brought about by picking out just any properties of the living thing “human being,” in contrast to other living things. Being-human is [130|178] determined by the relation to beings as such and as a whole. The human essence shows itself here as the relation that first opens up Being to humanity. Being-human, as the urgency of apprehending and gathering, is the urging into the freedom of taking over τέχνη, the knowing setting-into-work of Being. Thus there is history.
The essence of λόγος as gathering yields an essential consequence for the character of λέγειν. Λέγειν as gathering, determined in this way, is related to the originary gatheredness of Being, and Being means coming-into-unconcealment; this gathering therefore has the basic character of opening up, revealing. Λέγειν is thus contrasted clearly and sharply with covering up and concealing.
This is demonstrated directly and unambiguously by a saying of Heraclitus. Fragment 93 says: “The lord whose soothsaying happens at Delphi οὔτε λέγει οὔτε κρύπτει, he neither gathers76 nor conceals, ἀλλὰ σημαίνει, but instead he gives indications.” Gathering here stands in contrast to concealing. Here, gathering is de-concealing, revealing.
Here a simple question may well be posed: where could the word λέγειν, gathering, have gotten the meaning of revealing (de-concealing) in contrast to concealing, if not on the basis of its essential connection to λόγος in the sense of φύσις? The sway
76. Conventional translation: “speaks.”