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Monthly Archives: February 2013

The question sounds definite. It seems unequivocal. But even a slight reflection shows it to have more than one meaning. No sooner do we ask the question than we begin to vacillate. Indeed, the ambiguity of the question foils every attempt to push toward the answer without some further preparation.

We must, then, clarify the ambiguity. The ambiguousness of the question “What is called thinking?” conceals several possible ways of dealing with it. Looking ahead, we may stress four ways in which the question can be posed.

“What is called thinking?” says for one thing, and in the first place: what is it we call “thought” and “thinking,” what do these words signify? What is it to which we give the name “thinking”?

“What is called thinking?” says also, in the second place: how does traditional doctrine conceive and define what we have named thinking? What is it that for two and a half thousand years has been regarded as the basic characteristic of thinking? Why does the traditional doctrine of thinking bear the curious title “logic”?

“What is called thinking?” says further, and in the third place: what are the prerequisites we need so that we may be able to think with essential rightness? What is called for on our part in order that we may each time achieve good thinking?

“What is called thinking?”says finally, in the fourth place: what is it that calls us, as it were, commands us to think? What is it that calls us to thinking?

– Heidegger


If one loves others, and they do not respond in the same way, one should turn inward and examine one’s own love. If one treats others politely, and they do not return politeness, one should turn inward and examine one’s own politeness. When one does not realize what one desires, one must turn inward and examine oneself at every point.

– Mencius