Philosophy Today 64 (2):423-439 (2020)

Geoffrey Bennington
Emory University
At an important moment in his reading of Heidegger in Geschlecht III, Derrida wields a pair of semi-technical terms from his own earlier work, and uses them to identify a classical, indeed Aristotelian, vein in Heidegger’s reading of Trakl. This gesture is complex, both in that, in spite of appearances, the Mehrdeutigkeit Heidegger identifies in Trakl is not essentially to do with the term Geschlecht, and in that Derrida’s presentation of Aristotle’s views about polysemia is perhaps over-simplified, or at least leaves open the possibility of a more generous reading. Derrida’s notion of dissemination is shown not to entail a mere exacerbation of polysemia, but a quasi-semantic re-marking of the “syntax” that allows for any semantic effects at all. It is suggested that the fact that this marking can be described by Derrida as “monotonous” might open onto a slightly different reading both of Aristotle’s understanding of pollachos legomenon and pros hen, and Heidegger’s understanding of the Einklang of Trakl’s poetry.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/philtoday202062342
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