Reason (as in the cognitive skill, human property, logic latu sensu, thought) is translated in Greek as Λόγος.

But Λογος is also the ability and the skill of persons to speak, write and word their thoughts (the ability and skill to translate thoughts, reason and Λόγος in the first sense, into words and language, the ability to give thoughts a form an external or intelligible substance)

Would we use Reason in English for the second meaning too; can we distinguish between the two meanings with 2 distinct words?

I don't know if discourse serves that purpose. Discourse analysis is translated as ανάλυση λόγου.

For example Λόγος και Γλώσσα would be Discourse and Language.

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    See Wikipedia logos. But this looks more like a matter of philosophy and/or translation, rather than the use of English as such. Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 11:36
  • Is "logos" used for the process of expressing one's thoughts as well as one's ability to express them? We would use "reasoning" to describe the proceess of expressing, and often the mental process of using analytical thought but "reason" in this sense (there are other senses) is more abstract than "reasoning".
    – BoldBen
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 12:20
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    @BoldBen Logos has multiple meanings. greek-language.gr/greekLang/modern_greek/tools/lexica/… But I am not interested in all of them. One is the cognitive ability alone (most closely related to reasoning, thinking and logic). A second one is the system/method of expression/communication (most closely related to language in itself). A third one is the ability to express or word oneself (I believe something in between the first 2 definitions/usages). It is not the process (or the result) in the 3 definitions of interest. Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 12:34
  • Analytical skills vs communication skills. Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 13:44
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    @EdwinAshworth I didn't understand your comment at all. I can only see 2 terms (no verb and no context otherwise). What about analytical skills vs communication skills? Is the distinction between analytical skills and communication skills equivalent to the distinction between reason and discourse? Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


This is a reasonable opposition, logos as reason vs logos as expression.

However, the classical Aristotelian analysis which is that rhetoric (the art of persuasion) encompasses three parts: logos or reason, ethos or credibility/author context, and pathos or emotion/values/audience perspective.

Though 'expression' seems to fit the opposition the closest (logos as concepts vs words), your description seems to point to 'rhetoric' (the expression of an idea with three parts one of which is reason).

  • Which means discource would be a misfit? Λόγος doesn't have the meaning of the action of expression but the ability to express oneself (at best the method of expression but certainly not its action). Also Λόγος is devoid of any Cogency and Persuasion nuances. Ρητορική instead has that exact meaning. The art and the ability to dominate (through cogency, persuasion) in others' people thoughts (rivet them figuratively). Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 16:12

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