The Logos 1. 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 logos is 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 Presocratics p. 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 . These are its main ingredients:
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