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PART II

The Old English thencan, to think, and thancian, to thank., are closely related; the Old English noun for thought is thanc or thonc—a thought, a grateful thought, and the expression of such a thought; today it survives in the plural thanks. The "thane," that which is thought, the thought, implies the thanks. But perhaps these assonances between thought and thanks are superficial and contrived. In any case, they still do not show what is designated by the word "thinking.,

Is thinking a giving of thanks? What do thanks mean here? Or do thanks consist in thinking? What does thinking mean here? Is memory no more than a container for the thoughts of thinking, or does thinking itself reside in memory? In asking these questions, we are moving in the area of those spoken words that speak to us from the verb "think." But let us leave open all the relationships between those words—"thinking," "thought," "thanks" and "memory"—and address our question now to the history of words. It gives us a direction, though the written account of that history is still incomplete, and presumably will always remain so.

We take the clue that in the speaking of those words the decisively and originally telling is the "thanc." But this word does not mean the current meaning still left over in our present usage of the word "thought." A thought usually means an idea? a view or opinion, a notion. The root or originary word says : the gathered, all-gathering thinking that recalls. Thinking, in the sense of that telling root word "thane," is almost closer to the origins than that thinking of the heart which Pascal, centuries later and even then in conscious opposition to mathematical thinking, attempted to retrieve.

Compared with the root thanc, thought in the sense of logical-rational representations turns out to be a reduction and an impoverishment of the word that beggar the imagination. Academic philosophy has done its share to stunt the