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1Kor 13,5,1
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ἄξια * αγγλικά : value (en)
* γαλλικά : valeur (fr)


In ordinary, non-technical Greek, logos had two overlapping meanings. One meaning referred to an instance of speaking: "sentence, saying, oration"; the other meaning was the antithesis of ergon ("action" or "work"), which was commonplace. Despite the conventional translation as "word", it is not used for a word in the grammatical sense; instead, the term lexis is used. However, both logos and lexis derive from the same verb λέγω. It also means the inward intention underlying the speech act: "hypothesis, thought, grounds for belief or action." [3]

[edit] Use in ancient philosophy

[edit] Heraclitus

The writing of Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BCE) was the first place where the word logos was given special attention in ancient Greek philosophy.[4] Though Heraclitus "quite deliberately plays on the various meanings of logos",[5] there is no compelling reason to suppose that he used it in a special technical sense, significantly different from the way it was used in ordinary Greek of his time.[6]

This LOGOS holds always but humans always prove unable to 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. (Diels-Kranz 22B50)[7]

[edit] Aristotle's rhetorical logos

Aristotle defined logos as argument from reason, one of the three modes of persuasion. The other two modes are pathos (Greek: πάθος), persuasion by means of emotional appeal, and ethos, persuasion through convincing listeners of one's moral competence. An argument based on logos needs to be logical, and in fact the term logic derives from it. Logos normally implies numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data.

Logos has many advantages:

* Data is hard to manipulate, so it is harder to argue against a logos argument.
* Logos makes the speaker look prepared and knowledgeable to the audience, enhancing ethos.

[edit] The Stoics

In Stoic philosophy, which began with Zeno of Citium c. 300 BCE, the logos was the active reason pervading the universe and animating it. It was conceived of 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.[8]

[edit] Philo of Alexandria

Philo (20 BC - 50 AD), a Hellenized Jew, used the term logos to mean the creative principle. Philo followed the Platonic distinction between imperfect matter and perfect idea. The logos was necessary, he taught, because God cannot come into contact with matter. He sometimes identified logos as divine wisdom. He taught that the Logos was the image of God, after which the human mind (νοῦς) was made.