Article published in:Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter: Band 12. 2007
Herausgegeben von Burkhard Mojsisch, Olaf Pluta und Rudolf Rehn
[Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 12] 2007
► pp. 1–14
Logos as the Message from the Gods
On the Etymology of ›Hermes‹ in Plato's Cratylus
In the Cratylus, Socrates seems to present the logos essentially as an always already present yoke binding us to our world. However, this prior and necessary bond does not entail that the world is revealed perfectly and completely in the terms and structures of our human language. Rather, within this bond, the logos opens up a distance between being and appearance, insofar as it points to ›what is‹ as the withdrawn possibility condition for the appearances ordered, gathered and separated according to names. Plato presents the essential ambivalence of logos not only in Socrates’ elenctic arguments, but also in the etymology of Hermes, where the possession of language is a cryptic message indicating to humans a divine wisdom. Thus, as essentially the recipient of such a message, as having been called toward being by the gods, the proper, indeed pious, human response is dialectical question and answer, Socratic searching and investigating together.
Published online: 01 April 2009
Cited by 1 other publications
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