that way, that it decides what is to be understood by thinking? Is logic perchance itself the calling that calls on us to think? Or is logic in tum subject to the calling? What is it that calls on us to think?
The first question, "What does the word 'thinking' signify?," has directed us to the second, "What have we understood since ancient times by the word 'thinking'?" But the second question can be raised only within the context of the decisive fourth. We shall be attending to that fourth question as we now attempt to deal with the second. The second question runs: what, according to the so far prevailing doctrine of thinking, do we understand by "thinking"? Why does this doctrine have the title "logic"?
Such questions bring us into the realm of what is familiar, even most familiar. For thinking, this always remains the real danger zone, because the familiar carries an air of harmlessness and ease, which causes us to pass lightly over what really deserves to be questioned.
Some people get stirred up because, after the reference in my inaugural address "What is Metaphysics?" (1929), I keep on raising the question of logic. Those who are here today cannot know, of course, that since my lectures "Logic," given in the summer of 1954, this title "Logic" conceals "the transformation of logic into the question of the essential nature of language"—a question that is something else again than philosophy of language.
Those issues, then, that we shall discuss in subsequent lectures, cannot be urged too strongly and too often upon our reflection. Whether we shall let ourselves become involved in that reflection by clearing its path further, each man for his part, or whether we shall pass it over as something presumably done with : that belongs to a decision which only the few can face.
The name "logic" is an abbreviation of the complete title which, in Greek, runs ἐπιστήμη λογική—the understanding