From logos to logos

In the beginning was the word, and the word was made flesh and became brand.

Heraclitus and the Presocratic philosophers of ancient Greece put the concept of logos, a word capturing everything from reason, opinion, discourse, foundation of things existing in the world, on the map. Between them they created the market of ontology, the beginning of the reflexion on the meaning of being and existence.

I logogize, therefore I am.

The idea sold well and opened store in countless schools of thought. Those stores are still open. The Gospel makes it clear: in the beginning was the Logos. A huge inheritance and a giant legacy.

The answer to the question, what is the basis of logos, has received so many answers in the history of European thought that one may have forgotten that it was the question, rather than the answers, that triggered the explosion which, not unlike the Big Bang, produced European philosophy. For all questions about epistemology, ethics, politics, theology, metaphysics, go back to the one question: what’s the ground of being, what lies at the heart of it all?

If the ancients worried about the logos of the cosmos, we postmoderns care about the logos of things. We are concerned not with what lies beyond, or below the surface, or behind the curtain, the ground of all grounds and the beginning of all things, the first principles configuring the texture of the universe and of reality – but with the appearance of things. The logo of the universe, unlike its logos, is the readable imprint available on all things, that which makes them easy-to-notice, easy-to-understand, easy-to-use. It’s not so much what addresses the underlying rationality of all things seen and unseen, their ontological guarantee, but their proximate meaning, their affective impact, their immediate relevance.

We gave up the eternal in exchange for the instantaneous, the permanent for the fugacious, the logos for the logo. As we stare the brand in the face, the material sign and the transitory feature, circling again and again above our heads in countless, yet monotonous iterations, we are reminded that the logos, whether identified or not, of things existing within our mind and without, will be there long after all the paraded logos of the world will have passed away.

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