Heidegger and Language
Publication Year: 2013
The essays collected in this volume take a new look at the role of language in the thought of Martin Heidegger to reassess its significance for contemporary philosophy. They consider such topics as Heidegger’s engagement with the Greeks, expression in language, poetry, the language of art and politics, and the question of truth. Heidegger left his unique stamp on language, giving it its own force and shape, especially with reference to concepts such as Dasein, understanding, and attunement, which have a distinctive place in his philosophy.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Series: Studies in Continental Thought
Title Page, Copyright
It is well known in many quarters that Martin Heidegger’s long encounter with the question of language was not restricted to a kind of linguistics or a traditional philosophy of language. This is not to say, however, that Heidegger’s writings concerning language had nothing to contribute to those approaches to language and many others. ...
ONE Heidegger’s Ontological Analysis of Language
Language occupies a central position in Heidegger’s later thinking, from his controversial yet telling pronouncements that “language speaks” and “language is the house of being” to his insistence on thinking through the language of poets, sensitive to how our very access to things hangs on our words.1 Much attention is thus rightly devoted to the interpretation ...
TWO Listening to the Silence: Reticence and the Call of Conscience in Heidegger’s Philosophy
In the sections of Martin Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit on being-towards-death that seem more and more to me to speak of mortal community, the passages on anticipation (Vorlaufen) are particularly telling. Heidegger says: “Anticipation discloses to existence that its extreme inmost possibility lies in giving itself up, and thus it shatters all one’s clinging to whatever ...
THREE In Force of Language: Language and Desire in Heidegger’s Reading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics
In the summer semester of 1931, Heidegger presented a lecture course devoted to an intensive and textually focused reading of Aristotle’s MetaphysicsΘ, dealing with the essence and actuality of force, or dunamis. Not only does this course limit itself to what appears to be a restricted and localized textual question, ...
FOUR The Secret Homeland of Speech: Heidegger on Language, 1933–1934
In the fall of 1933, Professor and Rector Martin Heidegger announces to his students that he has overturned his former understanding of language and silence. Whereas Being and Time described speaking and keeping silent as two modes of discourse, Heidegger now sees speech and discourse themselves as founded on a deep silence in which the world is disclosed. ...
FIVE The Logic of Thinking
From the beginning logic is conceived as the logic of thinking. Already in Greek thought logic is assigned the task of identifying, formulating, and formalizing the laws of thinking. Thus logic is obliged to investigate the ways in which concepts, judgments or propositions, and arguments in the shape of syllogisms are formed. ...
SIX Giving Its Word: Event(as) Language
Language is not simply one of the topics or issues in Heidegger’s vast work. Rather it is the issue of Heidegger’s work in the literal sense: Heidegger’s thinking issues from language, from the way-making of language and its signature trait of having always already arrived into signs, into speech and writing, into poetry ...
SEVEN Heidegger’s Poietic Writings: From Contributions to Philosophy to Das Ereignis
With Heidegger’s failure to complete the project of Being and Time1 and the subsequent turn in his thinking began a relentless quest for words and ways of thinking and speaking that brought the issue of language to the forefront of his concerns. This failure in the project of Being and Time—Heidegger calls it a ...
EIGHT Poets as Prophets and as Painters: Heidegger’s Turn to Language and the Hölderlinian Turn in Context
Heidegger’s approach to language from the 1930s onward was dominated by his relation to poetry, and his relation to poetry was dominated by one poet, Friedrich Hölderlin. Indeed, the model for the much vaunted dialogue between thinkers and poets was his reading of Hölderlin, and it was in the course of this reading that his own ...
NINE Truth Be Told: Homer, Plato, and Heidegger
The question that I want to ask concerns what Aristotle called the “κίνησις του βιου,” the basic movement of life. More precisely, I want to ask how we might speak of this movement without losing its elemental unity and its dynamic character. An assumption that I will make, but not defend, is that the language of philosophy—that is, the language of ...
TEN The Way to Heidegger’s “Way to Language”
The final installment to Heidegger’s long encounter with the thinking of language is illuminating, influential, and an experiment with another kind of thinking. The shock that precedes this experiment is prepared for by what is called the turning, a turning that results in the attempt to speak from out of beyng. This attempt at such a speaking is thus also an ...
ELEVEN Is There a Heidegger—or, for That Matter, a Lacan—Beyond All Gathering?
Is there a Heidegger beyond the seemingly omnipresent gesture of gathering? Is there a Heidegger who resists the unifying force of the One, τὸ ἕν, and who acknowledges the disseminating force of the many, τὰ πάντα? A number of Heidegger’s translators have suggested that there is indeed such a Heidegger. Yet let it be said at the outset: translators of ...
TWELVE Heidegger and the Question of the “Essence” of Language
Logik als Frage nach dem Wesen der Sprache: such is the title of Heidegger’s lecture-course from the summer semester 1934,1 in which Wesen should be understood in the new meaning that Heidegger gave to it in the mid-1930s. As he explained in 1936–1938 in Contributions to Philosophy, this word should no longer be taken in the generic meaning of koinon or ...
THIRTEEN Dark Celebration: Heidegger’s Silent Music
We shall begin with a letter. It dates from the winter months of 1950 and is addressed from Heidegger to Hannah Arendt.1 The letter reflects, as such a letter might, on the passage of time, on renewed affections, on political circumstances. But at the top of the letter, before it is even begun, before its addressee’s name ...
FOURTEEN Heidegger with Blanchot: On the Way to Fragmentation
Maurice Blanchot never masked the importance of Heidegger’s thought for his own trajectory of thinking and writing. Nor did he dwell on a relation that grew increasingly indirect in the later years, and whose public face was devoted to questioning regarding Heidegger’s debt to the metaphysical tradition and an even ...