6
Introduction

accessible to the Greeks. That is why they first came to understand “language” with regard to the differences between the various forms of words and between the different possible ways words can be brought together [in a sentence]. But the Greeks likewise, and just as basically, understood that λόγoς consists in speaking about something, speaking of something. That is, they saw that the basic achievement of speech consists in showing or revealing what one is speaking about, what one is discussing. Indeed, making vocal sounds was quite secondary to that.11

In such acts of revealing, whatever one is speaking about shows up, becomes perceivable, and, as something perceived, gets defined in and by the discussion about it. This revelatory defining of what is experienced and perceived is the very same thing that we generally call “thought” and “reflection.”

In summary: in our primary, natural experience of how human beings live together with each other, we understand speech as the revealing of something by speaking about it, and as a thinking that determines and orders it. Language, speaking, thinking: they coincide as the human way of being. They are the way we reveal and illumine (both for ourselves and for others) the world and our own human existence [Dasein], so that in this luminosity we gain sight: human insight into ourselves and an outlook on, and a practical insight into, the world. Logic as the science of speaking, studies speech in terms of what it properly is: the revealing of something. The subject matter of logic is speech viewed with regard to its basic meaning, namely, allowing the world, human existence, and things in general to be seen. [7]

The fact that existence has and understands and strives for this basic form of revealing implies that, for the most part, much of the world stands in need of “revelation,” of being un-covered and made known. In other words, much of the world and much of human existence is by and large not un-covered. So beings can be drawn out of their not-un-covered-ness, their hiddenness. They can be un-covered or un-hidden. This uncoveredness or unhiddenness of beings is what we call truth.12


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Logic investigates speaking—the thinking that defines things—inasmuch as speaking uncovers things. The topic of logic is speech, specifically with regard to truth.

In other words, to the degree that we clarify the meaning of truth, we will be in a position to properly understand speech, λόγος. The


11. [From Moser (p. 11), fleshing out GA 21, p. 6.17.]

12. [Here Heidegger ends his first lecture, Thursday, 5 November 1925.]


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

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