The Logos1.Heraclitus stresses the importance of (what he calls) “the logos”. This term can have a variety of meanings: word, statement, reason, law, ratio, proportion, among others. (Barnes translates it as account.) It is related to the verb “to say” -a logosis something that is said. 2.Consider fragments 1, 2, 44, 104 (=B1, B2, B50, B45). We are told that a (or the) logos can “hold” and be “heard” and “understood” and things “come to be in accordance with” it (1), that it is “common” (2), that it is wise to “listen to it” (44), and that it can be “so deep” (104) that its limits can never be discovered. What kind of a thing, then, is a logos? 3.Barnes thinks there is no special importance to be attached to Heraclitus’s use of this term (see Presocraticsp. 59) — a logos is just “what is said.” But this strikes me as too deflationary. There does seem to be some genuine content to Heraclitus’s notion of logos.
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