Philosophy Today 23 (2):154-159 (1979)

If one were to try to imagine two philosophers of language who would be more opposed to each other than wittgenstein and heidegger, It would seem to be, At least at first glance, A quite difficult thing to do. After all the wittgenstein of the "investigations" stresses the "use" of words, Whereas heidegger emphasizes the exact opposite, That is, The role of the poetic in language, Which is to say the non-Use aspect of language. For wittgenstein ordinary language is a kind of court of last resort beyond which no appeal is possible, While for heidegger the ordinary language of our daily "usage" is all too frequently not authentic discourse which reveals ("rede"), But rather a trite sort of idle chatter which conceals ("gerede"). And so one might go on and on pointing out differences between these two great thinkers in their approaches to language, With the result that the very enterprise of attempting to bring them into some sort of dialogue which might prove mutually fruitful might seem, From the very outset, A questionable undertaking at best. (edited)
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DOI 10.5840/philtoday197923226
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