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Logos
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Logos

This page is only about the meaning of the word Logos in (ancient Greek) philosophy (prefiguring the meaning of this word in more recent psychological schools) and it's meaning in (early) christianity - for other uses of the word Logos (as proper name, etc...) see: Logos (disambiguation)

The Greek "λόγος" or Logos means "word".

Logos was used by Heraclitus, one of the more eminent Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, to describe human knowledge and the inherent order in the universe, a background to the essential change which characterizes day-to-day life. Logos as the inherent rationality of the universe is also something of a precursor to the concept of the collective unconscious described Carl Jung, as this fragment from Heraclitus suggests:

By the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Logos was the term used to describe the faculty of human reason and the knowledge men had of the world and of each other. Plato (who had many mystical tendencies) engaged in the conceit of describing Logos as a living being in some of his dialogues. Aristotle, who studied under Plato and who was much more of a practical thinker, first developed the concept of logic as a depiction of the rules of human rationality.

The Stoics understood Logos as the animating power of the universe, which further influenced how this word was understood later on (e.g. in 20th century psychology).

In early christianity, from its use in the Gospel of John (especially the opening paragraphs of this gospel), Logos has come to be understood as another name of Jesus Christ which defines his nature. See Christology. Some translations of the Gospel of John into Chinese have used the word "Tao" to translate the word "Logos" into that language.

See also: Rhema