LOGOS is ‘universal law’. Other similar ways to translate this popular ancient Greek term are ‘anima mundi‘ and ‘founding principle‘. Nonetheless, <logos> has a variety of other meanings, like ‘opinion’, ‘expectation’, ‘word’, ‘speech’, ‘account’, ‘reason’, ‘proportion’, ‘discourse’.

In philosophy, Hērákleitos ho Ephésios (Heraclitus) is possibly the first to use the term <logos>. He mentions it to indicate a (the) principle of order and knowledge. Therefore, it becomes the word which conveys the ideas of ‘nature’, ‘god’, ‘structure’.

Sokratiko Logo

Aristoteles (Aristotle) uses the same word to indicate a ‘discourse with reason‘. Also he uses <logos> for the notion of ‘argument’ in rhetoric. So <logos> is one of the three modes of persuasion along with <ethos> and <pathos>.

Stoics speak of <logos spermatikos> that is the generative principle of the universe. Such a notion is close to several concepts of Neoplatonism.

Philon (Philo) imports  the term <logos> into the Jewish philosophy. He distinguishes between <logos prophorikos> (the uttered word) and <logos endiathetos> (the word remaining within).

The Gospel of John identifies the Christian <logos>, through which all things exist, as divine (<theos>) and further identifies Jesus Christ as the incarnate <logos>.

The term is also present in Sufism, and in the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung.

Despite the conventional translation as ‘word’, for us <logos> is ‘universal law’. In fact we do not use <logos> for ‘word’ in the grammatical sense. Instead, we use the term <lexis>. Anyway, <logos> and <lexis> both derive from the verb <légō> which means ‘count’, ‘tell’, ‘say’, ‘speak’.