Language as the House of Being? How to Bring Intelligibility to Heidegger While Keeping the Excitement

Philosophy Compass 9 (4):253-262 (2014)

Authors
Pol Vandevelde
Marquette University
Abstract
At the core of Heidegger's philosophy, there lies this nagging question: what is the link between language and being? Using a famous formulation by Heidegger as a guide (‘When we go to the well, when we go through the woods, we are always already going through the word “well”, through the word “woods”’), the analysis focuses on the connection Heidegger establishes between being (what woods and well ‘are’), understanding (something is understood ‘as’ woods or well), and temporality (human understanding of woods and well has changed since ancient Greek times, for example). Language is both what grants things their way to matter to us and thus to ‘be’ for us to the extent that we understand them, but language is also linked to a ‘happening’ (Geschehen) or an event so that things are not bound to their Geek being or current being: things ‘become being’ (seiend werden). Language is both the means for things to materialize in historical times: ‘being woods’ or ‘being a well,’ as well as a testimony to their entry into being. This is why language in its poetic use can make beings ‘more being’ (seiender)
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12117
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Margins of Philosophy.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - University of Chicago Press.

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