Logos ( UK: /, / , US: // ; Ancient Greek : λόγος , romanized: lógos; from λέγω , légō, lit. ''I say'') is a term in Western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion derived from a Greek word variously meaning "ground", "plea", "opinion", "expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "reason", "proportion", and "discourse". It became a technical term in Western philosophy beginning with Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge.
Ancient Greek philosophers used the term in different ways. The sophists used the term to mean discourse. Aristotle applied the term to refer to "reasoned discourse"or "the argument" in the field of rhetoric, and considered it one of the three modes of persuasion alongside ethos and pathos . Pyrrhonist philosophers used the term to refer to dogmatic accounts of non-evident matters. The Stoics spoke of the logos spermatikos (the generative principle of the Universe) which foreshadows related concepts in Neoplatonism.
Within Hellenistic Judaism, Philo (c. 20 BC – c. 50 AD) adopted the term into Jewish philosophy. Philo distinguished between logos prophorikos ("the uttered word") and the logos endiathetos ("the word remaining within").
The Gospel of John identifies the Christian Logos, through which all things are made, as divine ( theos ),and further identifies Jesus Christ as the incarnate Logos. Early translators of the Greek New Testament such as Jerome (in the 4th century AD) were frustrated by the inadequacy of any single Latin word to convey the meaning of the word logos as used to describe Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John. The Vulgate Bible usage of in principio erat verbum was thus constrained to use the (perhaps inadequate) noun verbum for "word", but later Romance language translations had the advantage of nouns such as le mot in French. Reformation translators took another approach. Martin Luther rejected Zeitwort (verb) in favor of Wort (word), for instance, although later commentators repeatedly turned to a more dynamic use involving the living word as felt by Jerome and Augustine. The term is also used in Sufism, and the analytical psychology of Carl Jung.
Despite the conventional translation as "word", logos is not used for a word in the grammatical sense; instead, the term lexis ( λέξις , léxis) was used. However, both logos and lexis derive from the same verb légō ( λέγω ), meaning "(I) count, tell, say, speak".
The writing of Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC) was the first place where the word logos was given special attention in ancient Greek philosophy, although Heraclitus seems to use the word with a meaning not significantly different from the way in which it was used in ordinary Greek of his time. For Heraclitus, logos provided the link between rational discourse and the world's rational structure.
This logos holds always but humans always prove unable to ever understand it, both before hearing it and when they have first heard it. For though all things come to be in accordance with this logos, humans are like the inexperienced when they experience such words and deeds as I set out, distinguishing each in accordance with its nature and saying how it is. But other people fail to notice what they do when awake, just as they forget what they do while asleep.— Diels–Kranz, 22B1
For this reason it is necessary to follow what is common. But although the logos is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding.— Diels–Kranz, 22B2
Listening not to me but to the logos it is wise to agree that all things are one.
What logos means here is not certain; it may mean "reason" or "explanation" in the sense of an objective cosmic law, or it may signify nothing more than "saying" or "wisdom".Yet, an independent existence of a universal logos was clearly suggested by Heraclitus.
Following one of the other meanings of the word, Aristotle gave logos a different technical definition in the Rhetoric , using it as meaning argument from reason, one of the three modes of persuasion. The other two modes are pathos ( πᾰ́θος , páthos), which refers to persuasion by means of emotional appeal, "putting the hearer into a certain frame of mind"; and ethos ( ἦθος , êthos), persuasion through convincing listeners of one's "moral character". According to Aristotle, logos relates to "the speech itself, in so far as it proves or seems to prove". In the words of Paul Rahe:
For Aristotle, logos is something more refined than the capacity to make private feelings public: it enables the human being to perform as no other animal can; it makes it possible for him to perceive and make clear to others through reasoned discourse the difference between what is advantageous and what is harmful, between what is just and what is unjust, and between what is good and what is evil.
Logos, pathos, and ethos can all be appropriate at different times. [ citation needed ] On the other hand, trust in the speaker—built through ethos—enhances the appeal of arguments from reason.Arguments from reason (logical arguments) have some advantages, namely that data are (ostensibly) difficult to manipulate, so it is harder to argue against such an argument; and such arguments make the speaker look prepared and knowledgeable to the audience, enhancing ethos.
Robert Wardy suggests that what Aristotle rejects in supporting the use of logos "is not emotional appeal per se, but rather emotional appeals that have no 'bearing on the issue', in that the pathē [ πᾰ́θη , páthē] they stimulate lack, or at any rate are not shown to possess, any intrinsic connection with the point at issue—as if an advocate were to try to whip an antisemitic audience into a fury because the accused is Jewish; or as if another in drumming up support for a politician were to exploit his listeners's reverential feelings for the politician's ancestors".
Aristotle comments on the three modes by stating:
Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated. Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. ... Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. ... Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. ... Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question.[ whose translation? ]— Aristotle, Rhetoric , 350 BC
The Pyrrhonist philosopher Sextus Empiricus defined the Pyrrhonist usage of logos as "When we say 'To every logos an equal logos is opposed,' by 'every logos' we mean 'every logos that has been considered by us,' and we use 'logos' not in its ordinary sense but for that which establishes something dogmatically, that is to say, concerning the non-evident, and which establishes it in any way at all, not necessarily by means of premises and conclusion."
Stoic philosophy began with Zeno of Citium c. 300 BC, in which the logos was the active reason pervading and animating the Universe. It was conceived as material and is usually identified with God or Nature. The Stoics also referred to the seminal logos (" logos spermatikos "), or the law of generation in the Universe, which was the principle of the active reason working in inanimate matter. Humans, too, each possess a portion of the divine logos.
The Stoics took all activity to imply a logos or spiritual principle. As the operative principle of the world, the logos was anima mundi to them, a concept which later influenced Philo of Alexandria, although he derived the contents of the term from Plato.In his Introduction to the 1964 edition of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations , the Anglican priest Maxwell Staniforth wrote that "Logos ... had long been one of the leading terms of Stoicism, chosen originally for the purpose of explaining how deity came into relation with the universe".
Public discourse on ancient Greek rhetoric has historically emphasized Aristotle's appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos, while less attention has been directed to Isocrates' teachings about philosophy and logos,and their partnership in generating an ethical, mindful polis . Isocrates does not provide a single definition of logos in his work, but Isocratean logos characteristically focuses on speech, reason, and civic discourse. He was concerned with establishing the "common good" of Athenian citizens, which he believed could be achieved through the pursuit of philosophy and the application of logos.
Philo (c. 20 BC – c. 50 AD), a Hellenized Jew, used the term logos to mean an intermediary divine being or demiurge. Philo followed the Platonic distinction between imperfect matter and perfect Form, and therefore intermediary beings were necessary to bridge the enormous gap between God and the material world. The logos was the highest of these intermediary beings, and was called by Philo "the first-born of God". Philo also wrote that "the Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated".
Plato's Theory of Forms was located within the logos, but the logos also acted on behalf of God in the physical world.In particular, the Angel of the Lord in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was identified with the logos by Philo, who also said that the logos was God's instrument in the creation of the Universe.
In Christology, the Logos (Greek : Λόγος, lit. ''Word", "Discourse", or "Reason'') is a name or title of Jesus Christ, seen as the pre-existent second person of the Trinity. The concept derives from John 1:1, which in the Douay–Rheims, King James, New International, and other versions of the Bible, reads:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the translations, "Word" is used for Λόγος, although the term is often used transliterated but untranslated in theological discourse.
Neoplatonist philosophers such as Plotinus (c. 204/5 –270 AD) used logos in ways that drew on Plato and the Stoics, but the term logos was interpreted in different ways throughout Neoplatonism, and similarities to Philo's concept of logos appear to be accidental. The logos was a key element in the meditations of Plotinus regarded as the first Neoplatonist. Plotinus referred back to Heraclitus and as far back as Thales in interpreting logos as the principle of meditation, existing as the interrelationship between the hypostases—the soul, the intellect ( nous ), and the One.
Plotinus used a trinity concept that consisted of "The One", the "Spirit", and "Soul". The comparison with the Christian Trinity is inescapable, but for Plotinus these were not equal and "The One" was at the highest level, with the "Soul" at the lowest. [ citation needed ] Plotinus specifically avoided using the term logos to refer to the second person of his trinity. However, Plotinus influenced Gaius Marius Victorinus, who then influenced Augustine of Hippo. Centuries later, Carl Jung acknowledged the influence of Plotinus in his writings.For Plotinus, the relationship between the three elements of his trinity is conducted by the outpouring of logos from the higher principle, and eros (loving) upward from the lower principle. Plotinus relied heavily on the concept of logos, but no explicit references to Christian thought can be found in his works, although there are significant traces of them in his doctrine.
Victorinus differentiated between the logos interior to God and the logos related to the world by creation and salvation.
Augustine of Hippo, often seen as the father of medieval philosophy, was also greatly influenced by Plato and is famous for his re-interpretation of Aristotle and Plato in the light of early Christian thought.A young Augustine experimented with, but failed to achieve ecstasy using the meditations of Plotinus. In his Confessions , Augustine described logos as the Divine Eternal Word, by which he, in part, was able to motivate the early Christian thought throughout the Hellenized world (of which the Latin speaking West was a part) Augustine's logoshad taken body in Christ, the man in whom the logos (i.e. veritas or sapientia) was present as in no other man.
The concept of the logos also exists in Islam, where it was definitively articulated primarily in the writings of the classical Sunni mystics and Islamic philosophers, as well as by certain Shi'a thinkers, during the Islamic Golden Age.In Sunni Islam, the concept of the logos has been given many different names by the denomination's metaphysicians, mystics, and philosophers, including ʿaql ("Intellect"), al-insān al-kāmil ("Universal Man"), kalimat Allāh ("Word of God"), haqīqa muḥammadiyya ("The Muhammadan Reality"), and nūr muḥammadī ("The Muhammadan Light").
One of the names given to a concept very much like the Christian Logos by the classical Muslim metaphysicians is ʿaql, which is the "Arabic equivalent to the Greek νοῦς (intellect)." In the writings of the Islamic Neoplatonist philosophers, such as al-Farabi (c. 872 – c. 950 AD) and Avicenna (d. 1037), the idea of the ʿaql was presented in a manner that both resembled "the late Greek doctrine" and, likewise, "corresponded in many respects to the Logos Christology."
The concept of logos in Sufism is used to relate the "Uncreated" (God) to the "Created" (humanity). In Sufism, for the Deist, no contact between man and God can be possible without the logos. The logos is everywhere and always the same, but its personification is "unique" within each region. Jesus and Muhammad are seen as the personifications of the logos, and this is what enables them to speak in such absolute terms.
One of the boldest and most radical attempts to reformulate the Neoplatonic concepts into Sufism arose with the philosopher Ibn Arabi, who traveled widely in Spain and North Africa. His concepts were expressed in two major works The Ringstones of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam) and The Meccan Illuminations (Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya). To Ibn Arabi, every prophet corresponds to a reality which he called a logos ( Kalimah ), as an aspect of the unique divine being. In his view the divine being would have for ever remained hidden, had it not been for the prophets, with logos providing the link between man and divinity.
Ibn Arabi seems to have adopted his version of the logos concept from Neoplatonic and Christian sources,although (writing in Arabic rather than Greek) he used more than twenty different terms when discussing it. For Ibn Arabi, the logos or "Universal Man" was a mediating link between individual human beings and the divine essence.
Other Sufi writers also show the influence of the Neoplatonic logos.In the 15th century Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī introduced the Doctrine of Logos and the Perfect Man. For al-Jīlī, the "perfect man" (associated with the logos or the Prophet) has the power to assume different forms at different times and to appear in different guises.
In Ottoman Sufism, Şeyh Gâlib (d. 1799) articulates Sühan (logos-Kalima) in his Hüsn ü Aşk (Beauty and Love) in parallel to Ibn Arabi's Kalima. In the romance, Sühan appears as an embodiment of Kalima as a reference to the Word of God, the Perfect Man, and the Reality of Muhammad. [ relevant? ]
Carl Jung contrasted the critical and rational faculties of logos with the emotional, non-reason oriented and mythical elements of eros .In Jung's approach, logos vs eros can be represented as "science vs mysticism", or "reason vs imagination" or "conscious activity vs the unconscious".
For Jung, logos represented the masculine principle of rationality, in contrast to its feminine counterpart, eros :
Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest.
Jung attempted to equate logos and eros, his intuitive conceptions of masculine and feminine consciousness, with the alchemical Sol and Luna. Jung commented that in a man the lunar anima and in a woman the solar animus has the greatest influence on consciousness.Jung often proceeded to analyze situations in terms of "paired opposites", e.g. by using the analogy with the eastern yin and yang and was also influenced by the Neoplatonists.
In his book Mysterium Coniunctionis Jung made some important final remarks about anima and animus:
In so far as the spirit is also a kind of "window on eternity".. it conveys to the soul a certain influx divinus... and the knowledge of a higher system of the world, wherein consists precisely its supposed animation of the soul.
And in this book Jung again emphasized that the animus compensates eros, while the anima'compensates logos.
Author and professor Jeanne Fahnestock describes logos as a "premise". She states that, to find the reason behind a rhetor's backing of a certain position or stance, one must acknowledge the different "premises" that the rhetor applies via his or her chosen diction.The rhetor's success, she argues, will come down to "certain objects of agreement...between arguer and audience". "Logos is logical appeal, and the term logic is derived from it. It is normally used to describe facts and figures that support the speaker's topic." Furthermore, logos is credited with appealing to the audience's sense of logic, with the definition of "logic" being concerned with the thing as it is known. Furthermore, one can appeal to this sense of logic in two ways. The first is through inductive reasoning, providing the audience with relevant examples and using them to point back to the overall statement. The second is through deductive enthymeme, providing the audience with general scenarios and then indicating commonalities among them.
The word logos has been used in different senses along with rhema . Both Plato and Aristotle used the term logos along with rhema to refer to sentences and propositions.
The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek uses the terms rhema and logos as equivalents and uses both for the Hebrew word dabar , as the Word of God.
Some modern usage in Christian theology distinguishes rhema from logos (which here refers to the written scriptures) while rhema refers to the revelation received by the reader from the Holy Spirit when the Word (logos) is read,although this distinction has been criticized.
In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term "demiurge". Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal or the product of some other entity.
Heraclitus of Ephesus son of Bloson, was a pre-Socratic Ionian Greek philosopher, and a native of the city of Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey and then part of the Persian Empire.
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic, is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the capacities of writers or speakers needed to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law; or for passage of proposals in the assembly; or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies; he calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". Rhetoric typically provides heuristics for understanding, discovering, and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. The five canons of rhetoric or phases of developing a persuasive speech were first codified in classical Rome: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.
Apophatic theology, also known as negative theology, is a form of theological thinking and religious practice which attempts to approach God, the Divine, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God. It forms a pair together with cataphatic theology, which approaches God or the Divine by affirmations or positive statements about what God is.
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC and continued throughout the Hellenistic period and the period in which Greece and most Greek-inhabited lands were part of the Roman Empire. Philosophy was used to make sense out of the world in a non-religious way. It dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, mathematics, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, logic, biology, rhetoric and aesthetics.
Kairos is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature. Kairos also means weather in Modern Greek. The plural, καιροί means the times. Kairos is a term, idea, and practice that has been applied in several fields including classical rhetoric, modern rhetoric, digital media, Christian theology, and science.
In Greek mythology, Pistis (Πίστις) was the personification of good faith, trust and reliability. In Christianity and in the New Testament, pistis is the word for "faith". The word is mentioned together with such other personifications as elpis (Hope), sophrosyne (Prudence), and the charites, who were all associated with honesty and harmony among people.
Techne is a term in philosophy that refers to making or doing. As an activity, techne is concrete, variable, and context-dependent.
Eros is one of the four ancient Greek terms that can be rendered in English as "love". The other three are storge, philia, and agape. Eros refers to "passionate love" or romance. The term erotic is derived from eros. Eros has also been used in philosophy and psychology in a much wider sense, almost as an equivalent to "life energy".
Iamblichus was a Syrian Neoplatonist philosopher of Arab origin. He determined the direction that would later be taken by Neoplatonic philosophy. He was also the biographer of the Greek mystic, philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.
Ethos is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence emotions, behaviors, and even morals. Early Greek stories of Orpheus exhibit this idea in a compelling way. The word's use in rhetoric is closely based on the Greek terminology used by Aristotle in his concept of the three artistic proofs or modes of persuasion.
Pathos appeals to the emotions of the audience and elicits feelings that already reside in them. Pathos is a communication technique used most often in rhetoric, as well as in literature, film and other narrative art.
Inventio, one of the five canons of rhetoric, is the method used for the discovery of arguments in Western rhetoric and comes from the Latin word, meaning "invention" or "discovery". Inventio is the central, indispensable canon of rhetoric, and traditionally means a systematic search for arguments.
Aristotle's Rhetoric is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion, dating from the 4th century BCE. The English title varies: typically it is titled Rhetoric, the Art of Rhetoric, On Rhetoric, or a Treatise on Rhetoric.
Nous, sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a term from classical philosophy for the faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is true or real. English words such as "understanding" are sometimes used, but three commonly used philosophical terms come directly from classical languages: νοῦς or νόος, intellēctus and intellegentia. To describe the activity of this faculty, the word "intellection" is sometimes used in philosophical contexts, as well as the Greek words noēsis and noeîn. This activity is understood in a similar way to the modern concept of intuition.
Matter is the substrate from which physical existence is derived, remaining more or less constant amid changes. The word "matter" is derived from the Latin word māteria, meaning "wood", or “timber”, in the sense "material", as distinct from "mind" or "form". The image of wood came to Latin as a calque from the Greek philosophical usage of hyle (ὕλη).
This page is a list of topics in ancient philosophy.
Neoplatonism was a major influence on Christian theology throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in the West. This was due to St. Augustine of Hippo, who was influenced by the early Neoplatonists Plotinus and Porphyry, as well as the works of the Christian writer Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, who was influenced by later Neoplatonists, such as Proclus and Damascius.
Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul". It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of ruach רוח in the Hebrew Bible, and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche (ψυχή), which originally meant "breath of life", but is regularly translated as "spirit" or most often "soul".
Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic philosophy that emerged in the third century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as it encapsulates a chain of thinkers which began with Ammonius Saccas and his student Plotinus and which stretches to the sixth century AD. Even though neoplatonism primarily circumscribes the thinkers who are now labeled Neoplatonists and not their ideas, there are some ideas that are common to neoplatonic systems, for example, the monistic idea that all of reality can be derived from a single principle, "the One".
Ibn al-'Arabi uses no less than twenty-two different terms to describe the various aspects under which this single Logos may be viewed.
For Ibn Arabi, the Logos or "Universal Man" was a mediating link between individual human beings and the divine essence.