§2. The subject matter of “logic”

The division and the status attributed to logic as a discipline come about later than the issue they deal with—and the same goes for the emergence of the word λογική. For example, we find ἡ λογική in Cicero,8 in Alexander of Aphrodisias9 (ca. 200 c.e.), in Galen.10 It does not yet show up in Aristotle, although the word λογικῶς does. By clarifying the meaning of the word λόγος, we have already indicated the arena that is the topic of logic: speech in the broadest sense. We will now pursue that indication so that as we move toward a concept of the word, we may also get an initial concept of the subject matter.

§2. A first indication of the concept of the subject matter of “logic”

If we desire a more vital concept of “logic,” we have to ask a more penetrating question: What is the subject matter of the science of logic? In doing so, we leave aside any consideration of logic as one discipline among others—viz., the science of speaking and therefore of language—and focus instead on what it is about. [6] That might seem to imply that the proper science of λόγος would be linguistics or the study of grammar in the broad sense. In fact, even among the Greeks logic developed in connection with grammar understood as the study of language. More precisely, logic and grammar—the two disciplines that deal with λόγος—were not originally distinct. In fact, they were so indistinct that the Greeks lacked a word for what we call “language.” That is, in the first stage of understanding λόγος, there was no distinction between λόγος as the act of speaking and λόγος as language. The word for “speaking” subsumed what we call “language.” On the other hand, [speaking as] making verbal sounds was the most direct way that “language” was experientially

8.[Cicero uses λογική at De finibus bonorum et malorum I, 7, 22 (“iam in altera philosophiae parte quae est quaerendi ac disserendi, quae λογική dicitur”), and at De fato I, 1 (“Explicandaque vis est ratioque enuntiationum, quae Graeci ἀξιώματα [i.e., ‘logical propositions’] vocant; totaque est λογική, quam ‘rationem disserendi’ voco”). See Cicero, De Fato, in De Oratore, trans. H. Rackham (London: William Heinemann / Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960), vol. 2, p. 192. Also see Carl Prantl, Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande, 4 vols. (Leipzig, 1855–1870; reissued Leipzig: Gustav Fock, 1927 / Graz: Akademische Druck, 1955), vol. 1, pp. 535, 514 n. 27.]

9. [Alexander of Aphrodisias, In Aristotelis Analyticorum Priorum Librum I Commentarium, ed. Maximilian Wallies, Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (Berlin: Reimer, 1883), vol. 2, p. 1 (the opening sentence of his commentary): ἡ λογική τε συλλογιστικὴ πραγματεία ἡ νῦν προκειμένη: “Logic or syllogistics is the study that now lies before us.”]

10. Cf. Carl Prantl, Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande, vol. 1, p. 533 n. 7.

Martin Heidegger (GA 21) Logic : the question of truth

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