Heidegger and Language

Heidegger and Language

Heidegger and Language

Heidegger and Language

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

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. Quite the contrary; Heidegger’s influence on those interested in the question of language has been far and wide. To that end, the essays in this collection speak to many disciplines and many concerns, including but not limited to metaphysics, poetry, the political, logic, and the very possibility of philosophy.

Many of the above concerns and more have been joined to the question of language for the simple reason that the twentieth century has been characterized as the century of language. The beginning of the century was especially fruitful in this regard. Linguistics in its contemporary form, as well as a proliferation of French discourses with different yet related concerns, began with Saussure. The analytic tradition was particularly intense as evidenced by Russell, Frege, and Wittgenstein. Within the continental tradition, the question of language occupied the center of debate beginning with Husserl’s Logical Investigations, and it remains either at the center or in the background of virtually every debate today. Granted the importance of Husserl, it is nevertheless Martin Heidegger who has shaped and given force to the question of language throughout the twentieth century and now into the twenty-first. The power of this question, as launched by Heidegger, was first formally introduced with the publication of Being and Time in 1927, although it was already present in a number of the earlier . . .

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