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MARTIN HEIDEGGER Critical Assessments Edited by Christopher Macann

VOLUME m : LANGUAGE

London and New York


First published 1992 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge a division of Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc. 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Selection and editorial material © 1992 Routledge Individual chapters © 1992 the respective authors Phototypeset in 10/12pt Times by Intype, London Printed in Great Britain by TJ Press (Padstow) Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Martin Heidegger: critical assessments. I. Macann, Christopher 193 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Martin Heidegger: critical assessments/edited by Christopher Macann. p. cm.—(Routledge critical assessments of leading philosophers) Includes bibliographical references. 1. Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976. I. Macann, Christopher E. II. Series. B3279.H49M2854 1992 193-dc20 91-46751 ISBN 0-415-04982-2


Contents

VOLUME m : LANGUAGE Acknowledgements Introduction Christopher Macann 32 Heidegger's conception of language in Being and Time Jan Aler 33 Language and silence: self-inquiry in Heidegger and Zen Tetsuaki Kotoh 34 Heidegger's language and the problems of translation John Macquarrie 35 Thinking more deeply into the question of translation: essential translation and the unfolding of language Parvis Emad 36 Heidegger's idea of truth Ernst Tugendhat 37 Heidegger on logic /. N. Mohanty 38 The essence of transcendence Christopher Macann 39 The language of the event: the event of language Theodore Kisiel 40 The transformation of language at another beginning Robert Bernasconi 41 Language and reversal John Sallis 42 Meaning adrift John Sallis

ix 1 14 39 50 58 79 93 121 151 168 190 212


viii Contents 43 Poetry and language in Heidegger Walter Biemel 44 Heidegger and Holderlin: the over-usage of 'Poets in an impoverished time' Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert 45 'The flower of the mouth': HGlderlin's hint for Heidegger's thinking of the essence of language Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann 46 Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics Joseph /. Kockelmans 47 Heidegger and Ryle: two versions of phenomenology Michael Murray 48 Wittgenstein and Heidegger: language games and life forms Karl-Otto Apel

222 247 277 293 321 341


Acknowledgements

Jan Aler 'Heidegger's conception of language in Being and Time\ First published by Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois, in On Heidegger and Language (ed. J. Kockelmans), 1972. Reprinted by kind permission of the author and editor. Tetsuaki Kotoh 'Language and silence: self-inquiry in Heidegger and Zen'. First published in an English translation in Heidegger and Asian Thought (ed. G. Parkes), 1987 and reprinted by kind permission of the editor and of the University of Hawaii Press. John Macquarrie 'Heidegger's language and the problems of translation'. Hitherto unpublished paper made available by kind permission of the author. Parvis Emad 'Thinking more deeply into the question of translation: essential translation and the unfolding of language'. First published by Indiana University Press and reprinted by kind permission of the author and editor of the Press. Ernst Tugendhat 'Heidegger's idea of truth'. Originally published as 'Heideggers Idee von Wahrheit' in Heidegger (ed. O. Pdggeler), Berlin, 1969. Translated from the German by Christopher Macann and published by kind permission of the author. J. N. Mohanty 'Heidegger on logic'. First published in the Journal of the History of Philosophy vol. 26, no. 1, 1988 and reprinted by kind permission of the author and editor. Christopher Macann 'The essence of transcendence'. Original piece written for this collection. Theodore Kisiel 'The language of the event: the event of language'. First


x Acknowledgements published in Heidegger and the Path of Thinking (ed. J. Sallis) by Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, 1970 and reprinted by kind permission of the author, the editor and Duquesne University Press. Robert Bernasconi 'The transformation of language at another beginning'. First published in Research in Phenomenology, then reprinted in Radical Phenomenology (ed. J. Sallis), Humanities Press, 1978. Reprinted in this collection by kind permission of the author, the editor and Humanities Press. John Sallis 'Language and reversal'. First published in the Southern Journal of Philosophy vol. 8, 1970, then reprinted in Heidegger (ed. C. Scott) and reprinted in this collection by kind permission of the author and the editor. John Sallis 'Meaning adrift'. First published in Delimitations, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1986 and reprinted by kind permission of the author and Indiana University Press. Walter Biemel 'Poetry and language in Heidegger'. First published in On Heidegger and Language (ed. J. Kockelmans) Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois, 1972 and reprinted by kind permission of the author, the editor and Northwestern University Press. Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert 'Heidegger and Hdlderlin: the over-usage of "Poets in an impoverished time" '. First published in Research in Phenomenology (ed. J. Sallis), Humanities Press, 1989 and reprinted by kind permission of the author and the editor. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann 'The flower of the mouth: HGlderlin's hint for Heidegger's thinking of the essence of language'. First published in Research in Phenomenology (ed. J. Sallis) vol. 19, Humanities Press and reprinted by kind permission of the author and the editor. Joseph J. Kockelmans 'Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics'. First published in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 47e, Jaargaang - Nummer 3 September 1985 and reprinted by kind permission of the author. Michael Murray 'Heidegger and Ryle: two versions of phenomenology'. First published by Yale University Press in Heidegger and Modern Philosophy (ed. M. Murray), 1978 and reprinted by kind permission of the author and the Press. Karl-Otto Apel 'Wittgenstein and Heidegger: language games and life forms'. Originally published in Philosophisches Jahrbuch (Freiburg), vol. 75, 1, Halbband, 1967, then reprinted in Heidegger (ed. O. Pdggeler), Berlin, 1969. Translated from the German by Christopher Macann and reprinted by kind permission of the author.


Introduction Christopher Macann

So lernt ich traurig den Verzicht. Kein Ding sei wo das Wort gebricht (Stefan Georg, 'The word') Language is the House of Being. (Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache) This third volume of the four-volume set is devoted to what might be called 'meta-theoretical' issues. As the medium through which philosophy is articulated and communicated, language and therefore any discussion of the use made of language is, by its very nature, meta-theoretical. But I have also grouped under this head other issues of a meta-theoretical character, for instance, truth and logic (in the Heideggerian sense), as well as transcendence. So this third volume might have been given the same title as Professor Ayer's most famous work - language, truth and logic. There can be no doubt that one of the most remarkable shifts in the focus of philosophical attention through this century has been the shift from reality (whatever one might choose to mean by this rather ephemeral term) to language, from things to words, from the subject-matter which is addressed in philosophical inquiry to the medium through which it finds expression. In so far as philosophy may be regarded as a characteristically 'reflective' discipline, it would seem that philosophy has of late become doubly reflective, a reflection upon that (language) which has itself often been presented by philosophers as a reflection of something else - experience, consciousness, being, world (one is reminded here of Wittgenstein's 'picture' theory of meaning). This shift probably took effect in the English-speaking world earlier than it did on the Continent. While, on the Continent, philosophers were still inspired by the Husserlian and Heideggerian injunction to get 'back


2 Christopher Macann to the things themselves', in the English-speaking world, and especially in Britain, ordinary language had become not just the acknowledged focus of philosophical attention but also the identifiable locus of all socalled pseudo-philosophical problems. When I was being introduced to philosophy at Oxford, in the early 1960s, the linguistic revolution then in progress was so far identified with the work being done at that time in Oxford that the new way of doing philosophy was often simply called 'Oxford' philosophy, even though the dominant inspiration was still the work of a German, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who, through the good offices of Bertrand Russell, had been adopted by Cambridge. Thirty years on little is heard of 'Oxford' philosophy, or the linguistic way of doing philosophy, though the broader title 'analytic' philosophy still applies to mainstream philosophy in the English-speaking world. Initially, the self-destructive implications of linguistic philosophy were by no means as apparent as they became later on. The linguistic philosophy to which I was initially exposed possessed, and has indeed always retained, a spirit of direct confrontation with the problems. Thinking, in a sense defined by the analytical parameters of 'Oxford' philosophy, was so conceived that the humblest student could challenge the conclusions of Oxford's most exalted philosophical stars, and his or her position or objection would be considered at its face value, and in accordance with criteria of truth and validity assumed to be universal and therefore binding upon all and sundry. Furthermore, from the very beginning, the 'revolution in philosophy' went along with a certain disinterest in the niceties of historical scholarship. A glance at the four books which constituted the classics of the linguistic philosophy of my day at Oxford, Gilbert Ryle's Concept of Mind, Peter Strawson's Individuals, Stuart Hampshire's Thought and Action and A. J. Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic suffices to confirm that it was indeed then possible to make major contributions to philosophy without an extensive critical apparatus. The Concept of Mind has no notes at all and nor does Thought and Action. Individuals has virtually no notes and Language, Truth and Logic sports only a modest sprinkling. Going back a little further, it goes without saying that Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations contains no supplementary notes since it itself consists of nothing but notes. But there was another and much less positive side to the linguistic revolution. Every attempt by the analytical philosophers of that day to establish some kind of (ultimate) foundation for philosophical thinking was quickly met with a devastating critique which proved precisely what was in question, namely, the non-foundational character of analytical epistemology. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, H. H. Price, Ayer attempted to develop an empirical phenomenalism only to be con-


Introduction fronted with a savage critique by John Austin who showed convincingl that Ayer had simply presupposed the very reality for which he wa attempting to provide a phenomenal foundation. The upshot of Sens and Sensibilia (disregarding the barely concealed infighting) was that i you are going to be an empiricist (and most British philosophers ar empiricists of one variety or another) you might as well be a realist since you are effectively appealing to the very same world view as tha which realism relies upon and since realism offers much the simpler an< more straightforward account of this world view and one which, more over, is already enshrined in ordinary language. The non-foundational character of linguistic philosophy brought wit] it a sweeping critique of the history of philosophy in so far as this histor attests to the manifold attempts of philosophers to establish some sue) foundation. The then fashionable representatives of linguistic philo sophy' were apt to contend that the history of philosophy was the histor of the grammatical errors committed by the great philosophers of thÂŤ past, errors which would be resolved (not solved) just as soon as thÂŤ necessary philosophical therapy had been carried through, just as soon to employ the peculiar, and peculiarly Wittgensteinian, expression, a the 'fly had been shown the way out of thefly-bottle'.Ordinary language it was assumed, was devised for the ordinary purposes of everyday lif< and had been perverted by philosophers who, having drawn thei concepts from the available stock, then twisted arid deformed the term in question to meet demands entirely foreign to their native function Doing philosophy therefore meant un-doing this misplaced perversion o language. The 'revolution in philosophy' which owed its origins to the informa researches of Ludwig Wittgenstein soon demonstrated a marked tendency to esoteric insularity. Metaphysical philosophy, including not merely phenomenology in all its shapes and forms but the then fashionabl< existentialism of the Sartrian variety, became highly suspect. At th< famous (or infamous) Royaumont conference, held in France in the earl? 1960s, the abyss that had opened up between British and Europeai philosophy became amply apparent as philosophers from the tw< sides of the Channel talked past each other with little or no basis fo: communication. But no matter how convincingly the new revolution in philosophy wa? portrayed, it was difficult not to notice that an element of frivolitj seemed to have crept into the discipline. In compliance with the ther fashionable dictum: 'ask not for the meaning of a word, ask for its use' seminars were devoted to debating the question whether or not it mighi be possible to 'want a cup of mud', that is, to construct a context ir which it would make sense to use the word 'want' in this way. And this kind of discussion passed for a final resolution of the time-honourec


4 Christopher Macann problem of the will. The conceptual connections between such key concepts as conditionality and possibility were examined by asking whether 'cans' were 'iffy' or, conversely, whether 'ifs' were 'canny'. Oxford philosophers modestly disclaimed the possibility of solving the problems of the universe in an armchair of an afternoon. But one was left with the disquieting suspicion that the modesty of linguistic philosophy might have something to do with the fact that linguistic philosophers had much to be modest about. An implication of this programme was the self-effacing, if not the bleakly self-destroying, character of philosophy. In time, as one pseudoproblem after the other was unmasked, the scope of philosophy would be progressively reduced until, effectively, there would be no more 'problems' for philosophers to resolve. From 'under-labourers', philosophers would eventually be reduced to the ranks of the unemployed, or rather, the unemployable. For, having successfully applied the 'therapy', philosophers would be cured of the very linguistic disease which their discipline was defined as being. Having used the ladder to climb the wall, the ladder would then have to be thrown away, leaving the few surviving representatives of the discipline peering nervously down from heights which could never again be scaled and from which they themselves could no longer descend. Apris moi, le deluge! Even while I was still mastering the techniques of linguistic analysis it struck me that this dismissal of the history of philosophy was highly premature. The aims and objectives of philosophy, it struck me then, were not the ordinary aims and objectives of everyday life and communication. They were, by the very nature of things, extra-ordinary. He for whom common sense (enshrined in ordinary language) is already a philosophy needs no philosophy; and he who needs philosophy can surely not be satisfied with the common sense enshrined in ordinary language. When I went to Paris to do my graduate work under Paul Ricoeur, I was happy to find in phenomenology a foundational thinking that seemed capable of getting to the bottom of things and of arriving at conclusions which were relevant to life as well as merely to knowledge and the possibility of knowledge. Indeed, I was doubly impressed, not merely by the persistence of what seemed to me a legitimate commitment to the things themselves but also by a masterly command of bodies of knowledge only indirectly connected to philosophy. The Oxford philosophers under whom I had studied 'linguistic' philosophy appeared, at that time, to know little or nothing (or to show little sign of knowing anything) about the science of linguistics, an area of inquiry which formed the centre of Professor Ricoeur's attention in the late 1960s (after his massive exploration of psychoanalysis), and which is reproduced in his book La metaphor vive. Indeed, a glance at Ricoeur's list of publications suffices to establish that his intellectual mastery extends to almost every branch


Introduction .' of the humanities - psychology, theology, sociology, anthropology, myth ology, linguistics and so on. As I was finishing my doctoral thesis a young man, named Jacque Derrida, was just beginning to come to prominence with a series of shor works in which he displayed outstanding critical acumen, particular^ with respect to the writings of Edmund Husserl and who, at that time appeared to belong to the new school of structuralist thinking. Th< specifically French structuralism of that time traced its ancestry back t< the science of linguistics and in particular to the lectures of Ferdinanc de Saussure, whose basic distinction between langue and parole made i possible to consider the more exactly constituted structure of langin independently of its more variable and ephemeral expression and com munication in parole. This isolation of the text from its expression ii discourse made possible a peculiar synthesis of Heideggerian 'destructive hermeneutics with a structuralist examination of the text. And befon very long we had 'de-constructivism'. Once again philosophy had taken up residence in language - this tim< not so much in an analysis of the practice of language in everyday speed contexts as in a critical assessment of the inscription of language in texts Writing could no longer be regarded as the shadow of the spoken won but had to be treated in its own right, and in accordance with its owi intrinsic structures. Philosophical texts which relied upon what has nov become known as the 'doctrine of presence' had fo be examined with i view to disengaging the concealed premises upon which they relied am which were actually contrary, or even contradictory, to the avowed inten tions of their author. Once again, language had become both the acknowl edged focus of philosophical attention and the identifiable locus of mis conceptions which it was the task of philosophy to uncover. Derrida': later interest in, for example, the work of John Austin, showed that thi: conjunction was by no means accidental. I happen to find these developments disquieting. And perhaps the bes way to bring out my sense of concern is to draw a brief analogy witl contemporary developments in the arts, particularly the plastic and th< musical arts. It seems to be the case that when the medium througl which an art form finds expression becomes the central theme of tha same cultural form we witness a peculiar deterioration in the characte of the work produced in that field, a deterioration which is perhaps mon noticeable in the arts precisely because this reflective turn inevitable brings with it an intellectual focus which cuts the moment of artistit expression off from its creative source, feeling or imagination or th< unconscious or, as Bergson would have it, the moi profond. Music, a* the most structured art, is particularly sensitive to this kind of intellectua self-cancellation. From modal tones music took a great leap forward witl a harmonic theory based upon the eight-note scale. The eight-note seal*


6 Christopher Macann was in due course superseded by the twelve-tone scale, from where the only possible theoretical advance could be in the atonal direction of pure and simple sounds. Or even silence. But 'three minutes of silence' is not so much a musical statement as an intellectual statement about the development of musical theory and the same goes for blank canvases or canvases which go by the name of the one colour with which they are covered. In turn, the vacuum created by this excessive mtellectualization of the arts has been filled by the emergence of simpler and more directly appealing 'pop' forms. Artists with the talent to work productively in the classical tradition are tempted to slip into the popular mode by the potentially vast sums of money which 'pop art' is capable of generating for its practitioners. 'Art', said Andy Warhol, in one of his more infamous pronouncements, 'is whatever sells.' And 'artists' have been laughing all the way to the bank ever since. The medium of philosophy is language. If the analogy holds good, excessive emphasis upon the medium is likely to lead in the same direction as that briefly mentioned above; on the one hand, an ever-increasing sterilization of the officially (which means institutionally) sanctioned discipline complemented, on the other, by pop forms which take up again, in a more readily assimilable, and for this reason often miserably inadequate, fashion the vital themes that have been abandoned by the classical exponents of the discipline. Nothing could illustrate better the consequences of an abandonment of traditional themes by official philosophy than the proliferation of cult movements (often headed by leaders whose motives are utterly exploitative) which has grown up in the vacuum created by the withdrawal of philosophical thought from an area which once constituted its central concern. Almost inevitably therefore, one volume of this four-volume collection has had to be given over to the topic of language. However it should be noted from the outset that Heidegger's approach to language does not fit into any readily available category or school. Though de-constructivism is apt to trace its roots to the Heideggerian programme of a 'phenomenological destruction of the history of philosophy', in a very real sense, Heidegger's approach to language was highly idiosyncratic and so has not furnished the basis for a distinctive conception of philosophy or of a distinctively philosophical conception of language. Neither ordinary language nor the science of linguistics was of much concern to Heidegger - which is not to say that Heidegger was not acutely aware of the way ordinary language works in discourse or of the advances that have been made in the scientific understanding of language. His interest in language was of another kind altogether. Summarily, Heidegger's interest in language can be brought under three heads, logical (in the distinctively Heideggerian sense of logik), etymological and poetic. At the same time


Introduction 7 these, so to speak 'horizontal' demarcations are subject to a 'vertical' transformation which goes by the name of the Kehre or 'reversal'. In accordance with the phenomenological slogan (to which Heidegger himself initially adhered): To the things themselves!, language plays a relatively subordinate role in Heidegger's first philosophy, that of the articulation of intelligibility. The term Heidegger adopts in Being and Time to talk about language is Rede (discourse), a term which belongs within the priority Heidegger accords to praxis over theory {parole before langue). Even the more theoretically appropriate term assertion {Aussage) is still connected with the communication of meaning through language and is directed toward a pointing out {aufzeigen) which is itself linked to the term employed to characterize the manifestation of being: sich zeigen - to show itself. 'To significations, words accrue' (SZ, p. 161). The pre-lingual character of language as Rede (discourse) is moreover linked to the extra-lingual character of Rede as logos in this respect; Heidegger is still thoroughly Husserlian, assuming an essential meaning core with reference to which language becomes an incidental or even an accidental overlay, a tool employed for a given purpose, that of speaking forth {Heraussage) and communicating {Mitteilung) - language as the overt expressedness of logos, Indeed, so radically decisive is the pre-lingual and extra-lingual character of Rede in Being and Time that its inauthentic derivative 'small talk' {Gerede) can almost be defined in terms of the collapse of this pre- and extra-lingual character, a collapse by virtue of which the words themselves become all-important, the word for the sake of the word rather than the word for the sake of what can be signified thereby. And what calls Dasein away from the inauthenticity of the They? Conscience as a call, that is, as a voice which calls Dasein to itself - in silence. In silence, not in expression, let alone communication. Hence the significance of the emphasis placed upon the phenomenon of silence by Kotoh in his piece on 'Language and silence'. In the context of a phenomenology defined, as Heidegger does define it in Being and Time, as the logos of the phenomenon, questions of truth and validity not only arise but form an integral part of the programme. Nobody is better qualified to talk on this subject than Tugendhat, whose Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger not only demonstrated an impressive command of the thinking of these two major phenomenologicalfiguresbut already pointed in the analytic direction which Tugendhat adopted later. Tugendhat assumes as his task the need to critically assess the value of Heidegger's identification of truth with disclosedness. He goes about his business in a characteristically roundabout way, first exhibiting the Husserlian transformation of proposition^ truth into selfevidence and then using this phenomenological transformation of the problematic as the bridge between the ordinary conception of truth (as


8 Christopher Macann correspondence) and the conception at which Heidegger himself ultimately arrives through a kind of suppression, or elimination, of certain key elements in the Husserlian conception. The strength of Tugendhat's procedure surely lies in this, that he uncovers the surreptitious reasoning which leads Heidegger to his conclusions, but in such a way that the weakness of this reasoning is itself concealed, so that the reader is left in the dark as to what has actually taken place. Once this surreptitious reasoning is uncovered, the seeming validity of 'truth as uncovering' itself gets uncovered as something which relies upon a certain ambiguity and which has, in consequence, already covered over its own weakness and so is allowed to appear more reasonable than in fact is the case. What is so interesting about Tugendhat's account is not that he dismisses Heidegger's extension of the concept of truth to mean disclosedness but that he criticizes Heidegger for doing so in such a way as to deny himself the fruits of his own labour. Such an extension could have been made in an ontologically profitable manner provided only that a clear distinction were drawn between what Tugendhat calls the 'broader' and the 'narrower' concept of truth, a distinction which would still permit Heidegger to claim that the narrower concept finds its ultimate foundation in the broader. But by failing to draw the necessary distinctions and leaving things in a state of deliberately unresolved ambiguity he either opens himself to a critique capable of calling in question the validity of the theory or is only able to defend the validity of the theory at the cost of trivializing its significance as a contribution to the theory of truth. Tugendhat's paper seems to me a superb example of the sort of critical assessment of Heidegger's contribution to philosophy which is eminently fruitful, in the sense that it is capable of distinguishing what is positive and what is negative in a given Heideggerian position and, moreover, in such a way, that a revision is implied which would be capable of preserving the positive while eliminating the negative. He not merely exposes the weakness of unresolved ambiguities but suggests an alternative line of approach, based upon a clarification of these same ambiguities, which would preserve most of what Heidegger sought to accomplish while at the same time eliminating those very elements to which he (Tugendhat) takes exception - thereby advancing the very same cause as that to which Heidegger himself was committed. Professor Mohanty undertakes the task of explaining what Heidegger meant by Logik, a particularly unusual task in that, although Heidegger did talk about logic in his own sense of Logik and although a volume of his Gesamtausgabe is entitled Logik, nothing that is done in the name of logic has much to do with what is ordinarily understood by the term, not even when the term is extended to include Hegel's Logic or Husserl's


Introduction 9 Logical Researches. In effect by Logik Heidegger really means that by virtue of which it becomes possible to call ontology 'onto-logic', in the strictly etymological sense of the word - the logic of being. The importance of Heidegger's work, as Mohanty points out, is that, on the one hand, he should, while recognizing the relative validity of formal logic, have seen that this validity is dependent upon a derivative world view that, namely, of the present-at-hand conception of entities while, on the other, and because of his recognition of the merely relative validity of formal logic, he called for a more primordial investigation of the essence of truth, the significance of the copula, interpretative understanding, disclosedness and so on which, in some other sense, also deserves to be called 'logic'. My own contribution to the general problematic of truth focuses upon the theme of transcendence. The connection between the theme of truth and that of transcendence is particularly apparent in the Kant book, no doubt because the theme of transcendence arises in its most acute form within the context of transcendental philosophy, and especially the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl. That the theme is still vital to the development of phenomenological philosophy in general is evidenced by the fact that two of the most creative of contemporary philosophers, Michel Henry and Emmanuel LÂŁvinas, take their stand in a certain conception of, or reaction to, the problematic of transcendence. While Michel Henry's Essence of Manifestation takes its start in the ambition to develop what might be called an ontology of immanence (against Heidegger's ontology of transcendence), LÂŁvinas' work might be summarily presented as an attempt to accentuate, to the limit, the structure of transcendence - the absolute and unqualified alterity of the other. Because Heidegger resisted the tendency to abstract language from the context of thinking there are relatively few texts in which he focuses specifically upon the issue of language. One of these few is Unterwegs zur Sprache, a text from the later period the importance of which is carefully analysed by Robert Bernasconi. In a crucial passage from 'The transformation of language at another beginning', Bernasconi makes a remark which links his paper to that of Theodore Kisiel. In his 'The language of the event: the event of language', Kisiel uses the 'reversal', made explicit in Time and Being and formally instated in the concept of Ereignis, as the key to his understanding of the transformation of Heidegger's conception of language, thereby confirming the position assumed by Bernasconi when he writes: What looked like a task we set ourselves - to bring language to language as language - becomes the way-making [Be-wegung] which is Ereignis itself. The transformation of the formula about bringing


10 Christopher Macann language as language to language is the passage from Being to Ereignis. John Sallis' double contribution (in adjacent papers) is specifically intended to highlight a reversal effective in the writing of a philosopher who has been working with Heidegger over an extended period of time. In 'Language and reversal' Sallis talks about the reversal in Heidegger's treatment of language. In 'Meaning adrift', a paper taken from a new book Delimitations, Sallis addresses Heideggerian themes in accordance with the rubric of 'reversal'. The 'reversal' about which he wrote now becomes a reversal operative in the act of writing itself. The use Heidegger makes of etymology (and this is the second main category) to bring out the basic significance of words is so sweeping that it almost constitutes a stylistic signature. Jean Aler gives us an excellent example of a new word created by Heidegger which is immediately recognizable on etymological grounds alone - Entfernung: meaning, for Heidegger and in conjunction with a strictly etymological semantics, removing the distance, or getting close, but through a double negative which dramatizes the significance of this word in his theory of space. But in generating this compound Heidegger actually succeeded in creating a word whose philosophical meaning is the very opposite of what the word ordinarily means in German, namely 'distance' as opposed to proximity or, as I have rendered it in my own account of space, 'approximation'. Etymological novelty is never, with Heidegger, a matter of the new for the sake of the new but the new for the sake of a renewal of the old. Hence the link with the history of philosophy. Heidegger's etymological creations are by and large directed against the philosophical language of his day and intended to revive older conceptions which, he thinks, are needed 'to preserve the force of the most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself, and to keep the common understanding from levelling them off to that unintelligibility which functions in turn as a source of pseudo-problems'. Here we find the connection with both linguistic philosophy and de-constructivism clearly expressed in terms of the phrase 'pseudo-problems'. Ontological 'destruction' follows naturally from this countermovement directed against the levelling off into unintelligibility and is directed to re-awakening the primordial force of philosophical words. Heidegger's use of Greek terms is critical in this respect. For, as terms drawn from what Heidegger takes to be the origin of Western philosophy, they already possess that 'primordial force' which only original conceptions can express. This reference back to supposedly original conceptions enshrined in Greek etymology leads to constructions which are, in a certain sense, untranslatable. However, once the basic, primordial conception has been understood, terms can be coined which more or less


Introduction 11 satisfactorily reproduce the original force of the word. Thus, Alethia is not only taken over from the Greek to confirm Heidegger's conception of what truth is as an existential, the stress laid upon the negative prefix (a-lethia) is then reproduced in its German equivalents whichfinallyhave to be translated over into the English through the use of such strange terms as un-concealedness or un-covering. But especially in the later work, etymological plays of this kind can lead to lines of thought which have no equivalent in many other languages and which, in this sense, are literally untranslatable - even though the basic drift can be conveyed by circumlocutions of one kind or another. The 'es gibt' which plays so prominent a role in Time and Being and which leads to conceptual resonances which play upon the term 'give-gift (Geschenk therefore Geschick, or even Geschichte) cannot be reproduced in English, which follows the French in saying 'there is' (// y a, literally, it has there). This might, in English, lead to other equivalent kinds of reflection upon, for example, the 'there' of 'there is' (the Da to which Heidegger repeatedly recurs as an element in Da-seiri), though such reflections would necessarily lead off in a completely different direction. One of the implications of this way of doing philosophy would be that each language locks its philosophy into a semantically sealed system with only indirect translational possibilities. Hence the relevance of Emad's piece on 'The question of translation'. Finally, no discussion of Heidegger's approach to'language would be complete without a consideration of his later reflections upon the nature of the relation of poetry to philosophy - or thinking, to give the proper name to that which, according to Heidegger, transpires after the end of philosophy. Although, as has been mentioned, Heidegger has no philosophy of language in the ordinary sense, it could be said that he takes language more seriously than any philosopher before him, and precisely because of the ever-increasing importance accorded to poetry. Biemel's paper furnishes an excellent guide to the theme of the relation of poetry and language in Heidegger's thinking and can perhaps be summarized in three steps. (1) Poetry brings beings into being through language. 'The aboriginal language is poetry as establishment of Being'. (2) As the element in which openness happens, poetry is also the advent of the truth of beings. The Work of Art is 'the letting come to pass of the advent of the truth of beings as such'. (3) As the art of language, poetry is also the paradigm case with reference to which it becomes possible to assess the language of art. 'The arts which do not realize themselves in the realm of language presuppose the disclosure of being through language.' Thus, in the end, the essence of language is the language of the essence whereby, as Biemel is careful to point out, a radical shift of meaning takes place in the term 'essence'. In the first instance, it retains its


12 Christopher Macann metaphysical significance as the essentia of a subject-matter, in this case, language. In the second instance, it is better translated as Being, since it refers to a thinking about Being which is only possible in so far as man dwells poetically in language. As that which takes place in saying (Sagen - Heidegger's later term for language), poetic thinking is itself a happening (Ereignis). It is not so much a matter of the locus of the 'event' being displaced (from being to language) as rather a matter of language being replaced at the very heart of being - so that 'thinking' ultimately assumes the role originally accorded to the logos. The logos of Sprache thereby in the end becomes, through the poetizing of thinking, the Ereignis of Sagen. Tracing the progress of this full circle makes it possible both to preserve the identity (or continuity) of Heidegger's thinking and also to let the difference become manifest, that difference which emerges in the course of Heidegger's philosophical itinerary. Starting from two commonplace observations, that Heidegger, more than almost any other philosopher, makes use of metaphor, and that poetry is concerned with, or has always been regarded as concerning itself with, metaphor, Kockelmans makes a connection between metaphor, as a figure of speech, and metaphysics. The metaphysical distinction between the sensible and the non-sensible finds its linguistic equivalent in the distinction (conventionally taken to explain metaphor) between the literal and thefigurativeuse of a word. The key term in Heidegger's dismissal of this conception of the role of metaphor in poetry is that of 'image', where by 'image' Heidegger means something that can be aligned with thefigurativeand non-sensible side of the equation. Because Heidegger wants to call in question the metaphysical distinction between the sensible and the non-sensible, he is able to deny that his response to the address of Being is metaphorical. Here we find Kockelmans defending Heidegger's conception of the place of metaphor in philosophy against the criticism brought by such philosophers as Ricoeur, Derrida and Greisch. It is impossible to discuss Heidegger's conception of the relation of philosophy to poetry without discussing his engagement with the German poet HOlderlin. In this regard, we are fortunate to have two pieces specifically devoted to this topic, one by von Herrmann and one by Gethmann-Siefert. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann presses poetry to its source in the sounding of the word and so is able to connect Heidegger's concern with sounding (and its relation to saying) with the emergence of the two regions of earth and world - a notable theme of his later philosophy: This beautiful and evocative piece attests to the blossoming Qf language as 'the flower of the mouth'. Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert's paper on 'Heidegger and Holderlin' leaps into a completely different domain altogether. By explicitly connecting Heidegger's devotion to Holderlin with his own attempt at a


Introduction 13 coming to terms with his political mistake, she is able to raise the question whether in fact the new kind of thinking which emerges, in large part in response to Heidegger's later concern with poetry (and in particular the poetry of Hdlderlin), actually offers a corrective and redeeming vision, a pathway from insight to discerning action. Gethmann-Siefert's conclusions are, on the whole, negative. While admitting the possibility that such a pathway leading from Being and Time through poetic thinking to discerning action might indeed have been opened up (along other lines) she feels that Heidegger himself obstructed this path. Neither his earlier 'unthinking' political commitment nor his later, poetic consideration of-the relation of poetry and praxis actually served the cause of philosophically enlightened action. I have chosen to close this volume with two comparative studies connecting Heidegger's conception of language with thefindingsof linguistic philosophy, represented by two of its most notable figures, Wittgenstein and Ryle, both of whom were at least acquainted with Heidegger's major work Being and Time. The two papers are strongly contrasted. Michael Murray manages to bring out the underlying affinities between two thinkers who, on the surface, appear poles apart. The linguistically oriented, but behaviouristically inclined, thinking of a Ryle finds its match in the ontologically oriented, but practically inclined, thinking of a Heidegger. Karl-Otto Apel, on the other hand, though admittedly from the loftier standpoint of a comparison between Heidegger and Wittgenstein, brings out certain negative implications which, he thinks, follow from the underlying agreement which he notes between two of the most influential philosophers of the century. As different as Wittgenstein and Heidegger might appear to be, they both represent, according to Apel, a detrimental encroachment upon the time-honoured ideal of philosophical rationality. Briefly, the reduction of philosophy to self-therapy, a reduction which Wittgenstein's critique of language and meaning linked with the pseudo-problems of traditional metaphysics, was paradoxical from the very beginning; for it represented a negation of critical philosophy's own claims to meaning and truth. Precisely this tendency created its own disciples. Moreover, in Heidegger's ever more radical 'Destruction' of Western metaphysics (and more completely in Derrida's 'Deconstructivism' and in Lyotard's 'Post Modernism', which refer back to Heidegger and Wittgenstein) this tendency is strengthened to the point of attesting to something like the self-destruction of philosophical reason [editor's italics]. Indeed!


32 Heidegger's conception of language in Being and Time Jan Aler

Reflections on language occupy an important place in twentieth-century philosophy due to the situation in which philosophy finds itself today. This is particularly true for Heidegger's work. Not only do Heidegger's reflections on language stand out, but also his use of language is especially remarkable. Two aspects of his use of language must be considered: his mode of expression and the manner in which he presents his argumentation using linguistic (or also literary) data. It is worthwhile to analyze this complex issue in detail. Many of Heidegger's admirers, as well as some of his adversaries, fascinated by the Heidegger publications that have appeared since 1936 (written when Heidegger was almost fifty years old) are inclined to deal with Being and Time as if the work were only of minor importance. Such neglect is unjustifiable and, furthermore, constitutes a serious obstacle if one wishes to concentrate fruitfully on the later publications. There is no doubt that the idiomatic peculiarities as well as the conception of language found in Being and Time offer ample material for reflection. This essay will therefore be limited to an analysis of Heidegger's work from this perspective. It will deal with Heidegger's style, his attitude toward the history of language and toward literature, and his conception of language. It will become apparent how the relationship between language and understanding in Heidegger's conception of language becomes more complicated because of the role played by logos (Rede). By taking these considerations as a unity and reflecting on them from the viewpoint of Heidegger's analysis of temporality, it will be possible to get a sharper picture of their genuine meaning.


The conception of language in Being and Time 15 Heidegger's style When one is first confronted with Heidegger's analysis of man's Being, the linguistic peculiarities used in the explanations are among the most . conspicuous aspects of the work. Not only are they found in some places in the book, but they pervade the work as a whole. However, the peculiarity of his mode of expression is most striking in one determinate sector of his language usage: in his effort to grasp the Being of man Heidegger's philosophical terminology particularly attracts our attention. A peculiar tension in the choice of words strikes the reader immediately. The formal connection of concepts in particular is indicated through the use of a Latin, or at least a Latinized, technical terminology; this underlines the strictly theoretical character of the exposition, which is intended to be a contribution to ontology. For example, Heidegger frequently uses common terms, such as structure, mode, character, and constitutive, and also words now more or less obsolete, such as derivative, explicate, privatio, and deficient, to structure his argument. These technical expressions constitute the skeleton which Heidegger clothes with the fundamental concepts of man's Being. The latter concepts are indicated, however, if we disregard a very few exceptions, by words that have their origin in ordinary language or at least could have easily occurred there. One would expect such words to appear in lyric poetry or in edifying prose ratter than in explanations of an intellectual nature in which the words are used in such a technical manner. Here we think immediately of Dasein, and then of Zeug, Bewandtnis, Befindlichkeit, Entwurf, Sorge, Schuld, and Gewissen andfinallyof gewiirtigen, gegenwdrtigen, geschichtlich, and Wiederholung, to mention just a few. The key word Existent, which delineates the context of this anthropological concept formation, still belongs to the formalizing terminology that (not by accident) is strongly reminiscent of Scholastic philosophy. But the titles of the concepts employed within this context - that is, the titles of the 'existentials' (which, in contradistinction to the 'categories', are immediately related to man's Being) - are remarkably German. Heidegger prefers to use complicated German expressions rather than the very common technical terms such as functionality or instrument (although, on the other hand, he deals with the formal structure of the concepts in a manner that is certainly not puristic). The term facticity seems to be an exception; but this term, via the adjective factical, has a closer relationship to the everyday German language than one would be inclined to think at first sight (for faktisch is as German as success is English). No doubt this choice of words surprises the reader, especially in contrast with the technical language that naturally accompanies it throughout Being and Time* Within the terminology this opposition of abstractness and a closeness to everyday life marks Heidegger's explanation.


16 Jan Aler However, in this contrasting phenomenon a basic unity of purpose manifests itself, saving the whole from ambiguity. This must occupy our attention next. In the technical idiom previously mentioned, which is bound so strongly to a very old tradition, a certain freedom in regard to that tradition is manifested. The most obvious illustration of this freedom is found in the fact that Heidegger complements the existing vocabulary with a new term whenever it seems desirable for the clarity of his formulation. In addition to the adjective existentiell onefindsexistential, which plays an important role as a noun. In opposition to the immediacy of a concrete, individually lived existence, it refers to the concept of man's existence which has been formalized to abstract generality.1 Such an addition, although not always completely new, is incorporated into the technical language and used throughout Heidegger's work - for example, ontic in addition to ontologic. Anyone who reflects on these additions will note that such renewals adhere to the idiom: the differentiation of existentiell and existential completely corresponds to a tendency in this direction that is common in German. Such an addition is a taking of liberty but not a sign of arbitrariness. The regauging of an existing term such as existence goes even further, and yet this, too, is not arbitrary; it closely follows the word form itself, which indicates a 'going out towards'. This attention to the suggestion contained in the parts of words accordingly becomes manifest in the syllabized spellings ek-sist and ek-stasis, which recall the Greek origin of these words. Such a splitting up of the unity of the word intensifies the plasticity of the idiom. Although in this case the word form does not become absolutely meaningful, the word nonetheless gains signification; it no longer appears as a completely contingent label for the concept but, to a certain degree, shows a natural relationship with the concept. Once the spelling of a word is made conspicuous, one experiences himself as grasping an original connection between term and concept. Furthermore, the syllabizing process increases the emphatic character of the linguistic usage; an idea is hammered home with the aid of words that have been made more plastic. Such a usage of technical terminology searches for accuracy of language as the instrument of thought and, at the same time, enlivens the use of language by closely connecting itself with the 'spirit' of the language. The possibilities of using such a procedure are naturally still greater in the author's living native language, and Heidegger has grasped every opportunity his language has to offer him in this regard. He lets himself be led by the language and is as frank as he is cautious in so doing. Concretely, one may point to the following: First, in his terminology Heidegger systematically avoids expressions which are current in these kinds of considerations. At the very beginning


The conception of language in Being and Time 17 of Being and Time, man is replaced by Dasein, and the book only incidentally employs such expressions as consciousness, spirit, mind, and souL Second, Heidegger often strictly sets apart - and thus distinguishes between - synonyms of the everyday language, specializing them by means of definitions. In this way he distinguishes between fear (Furcht) and anxiety (Angst), disregarding the less strict, common usage.2 By Mitsein he means something different from Mitdasein. Third, Heidegger expands his well-considered stock of words by specifying and varying them with prefixes and suffixes, which he uses in a very strict sense. In this way he can create new words that are nonetheless wholly German, such as Zuhandenheit. In other cases an ancient word comes into play again - for instance, Befindlichkeit, which was used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. When the author combines such variants in one determinate context, the radical word is uncommonly accentuated; this is particularly the case when the variants are accumulated. (The type which is found very often is 'Das sich Uberhdrende Hinh6ren\) Fourth, notwithstanding the fact that in this way it is possible to originate linguistic forms that are as much like current words as possible, in Heidegger's terminology the systematic signification of such derivations sometimes differs completely from the one commonly used. For instance, zeitigen is perfectly good German, but in common usage it never signifies 'to create time structures'. It indicates, rather, that in time certain processes bring something about. It pertains specifically to a vegetative development ('to ripen', 'to make something become ripe') or to a causal connection analogously associated with such development. It suggests that something is propelled to completion by the stream of time and reaches this completion when the time is ripe. All of this is intratemporal (innerzeitlich), whereas, in Heidegger, time (chronological time) is itself a temporalization (Zeitigung) - that is to say, one among others. The existential-aprioric structure of temporality temporalizes itself (zeitigt sich) in this way (or in another). Heidegger's term penetrates much more deeply into all of this. It makes us become aware of that which constitutes the foundation of the Zeitigung in the common sense of the term and nonetheless somehow gives it the emotional value that the current signification possesses. A striking example of such a creation of language, one that completely adheres to the rules of word derivations (etymology) and yet offers us a new word that can be recognized atfirstsight, is Entfernung. Heidegger uses it in the most literal sense conceivable - namely, as 'making distance disappear'. Prefix and radical are employed correctly; and yet the result is a word signification that is the exact opposite of what one customarily understands by this word - namely, 'distance'.


18 Jan Aler In all of these cases, Heidegger enlivens the use of language by means of etymology. But this linguistic virtuoso achieves the same effect by following the opposite road also - by isolating the simple form from its compounds. Zeug, for example, in itself, rarely has the signification that it often possesses in compounds - namely, 'tool' or 'piece of equipment'. The result of these and similar manipulations is a style of writing that is especially accurate, plastic, lively, emphatic, and original. There is seldom a case as paradoxical as that of Entfernung. Heidegger openly violates the rules of the language only once; namely, at a most central point in the explanation he departs, in his linguistic renovation, from the grammatical system of the German language by using the form gewesende. The gigantic battle over Being really leads here to disruption: gewesen is a perfect participle; with this ending, however, it is used as a present participle and is made active. Heidegger surrounds this bold venture with excuses - which are found elsewhere in connection with a number of more common changes in signification. Such excuses are not as superfluous as the almost coquettishly emphasized introductory apology for the awkwardness of his explanation. For, next to Scheler, Heidegger is certainly the best stylist in modern German philosophy. He handles the most variegated figures of speech with greatest ease. Sometimes one suspects a kind of professional pleasure on his part - for instance, in his preference for the paradoxical connection of opposites in the oxymoron. The deliberate weightiness of many of his formulations can serve not only to clarify thought but to hinder it also. When the latter occurs, a laboriously controlled pathos breaks through, placing the reader under the pressure of its expressive force. The summaries following the careful and detailed descriptions are, in a sense, crushing. When one reads how the 'there of the there-is stares man in the face with inexorable mysteriousness\ and how man 'is shipwrecked on that mystery', then one is prepared to experience as an oppression the concatenation (Verklammerung) of the existentials, to which Heidegger has rightly given the greatest possible attention. Without anticipating Heidegger's reflection on language, it is possible to understand the tendencies mentioned from the perspective of the range of ideas found in Being and Time, First of all, in the introduction Heidegger explains his plan to develop a scientific philosophy that would fulfill an old desideratum - namely, the development of the idea of the natural world - and to do this with the assistance of phenomenology. Phenomenology describes phenomena, that is, those things that show themselves the way in which they themselves are. Now the combination of a scientific philosophy and a philosophy that remains close to life is what is so striking in his choice of words. And the philosophy is close to life, also, in the sense that its formulation forcefully influences life itself.


The conception of language in Being and Time 19 Second, in his analysis of man's Being Heidegger always distinguishes between authentic and inauthentic Being. The latter is characterized by, among other things, a conventionality that never comes to self-activity. This is why Heidegger's close affiliation with the German idiom reserves for itself a language-creating freedom in opposition to the conventional. Literature and the history of language Upon reaching this point one is able also to account for Heidegger's position regarding the history of language and for his usage of linguisticohistorical data. The inauthentic way of living, which does not appropriate the possibility of self-realization, similarly does not obtain that which, in the handing down of a cultural tradition, could serve that purpose. The possibility of self-realization is not even recognized in its authentic meaning. However, for a living tradition such a testing self-activity is a necessary condition. Heidegger's critical attitude toward the current use of language, which he sees as an eminent factor in the governing conventions, is thus complemented by his selective openness with respect to the history of language, which he sees as a branch of utmost importance of the history of the mind. Heidegger's bold but by no means arbitrary use of the German language certainly seems to 'make' new expressions, but upon closer inspection all of these appear to be not so 'new'. It is, rather, a renewal of the 'old'. This 'old', the original, is therefore essential to the quest for a natural conception of world, a conception which is directed against the conventional. In the course of the mind's history the becoming aware, insofar as man himself is concerned, has obviously not become more 'natural' in the conceptual elaboration of reflection. That natural conception of world has become sedimented in language. It is still there, at one's disposal, but one must uncover it. Let us suppose that someone wishes to clarify the fact that in the structure of Being-in-the-world the existential Being-in is not identical with the categorial Being-in. In clarifying this one can appeal to data of the history of language - for instance, to the origin of in as a prefix and to the etymology of / am? These data suggest that originally Being-in was understood, or at least was conceived of, as a 'Being-with', a 'Being familiar with'. These data obviously <Jo not 'prove' that 'indeed' the Being of man is to be characterized by this relationship toward reality. At the most they provide a hint of the original awareness of this relationship within a determinate linguistic community - and this awareness, given the line of development of the mind's history, is important enough in itself. But the ancient usages of words obviously do not possess the value of an argument (because . . . therefore . . .) and are not employed


20 Jan Aler in that way in Heidegger's explanation. Rather, they serve the purpose of orientation; they constitute a valuable indication of the direction to take in uncovering a structure4 which one sees oneself and to which one wishes to draw the attention of others ('See what I mean there'). It is possible that the attention one pays to a certain state of affairs was aroused by these or similar data from the history of language. To this extent the explanation is circular, and this is by no means kept secret. Heidegger conceives of aletheia, for instance, as 'unconcealment' and then uses this conception to confirm his explanation of what truth taken as an existential is - namely, 'Being discovering'. This confirmation plays a part in the framework of the detailed explanation of this existential.5 Much earlier, in Heidegger's introductory remarks concerning his method, his use of the Greek word hints in this direction.6 The initial explanation is not much more than an assertion ('dogmatic interpretation') concerning the Greek idiom.7 But the later phenomenological descriptions focus attention on relationships which constitute support for these 'assertions' concerning the Greek idiom. The explanation of the Greek terms suggested earlier is now clarified insofar as their content is concerned. In this regard the explanation can be objectively justified. But is this sufficient for a historical proof? Certainly not; but, on the other hand, it at least justifies searching for a solution in this particular direction - that is, such an explanation is phenomenally justified. If the explanation can be deepened in this context, and if, furthermore, by taking a special view of the mind's history it is possible to clarify how it could ever happen that this original intention gradually came to be forgotten, then one's explanation of the Greek idiom is in turn reinforced.8 Such a striking case shows not only the illustrative but also the inspirational value of a word's history. However, one can experience at the same time the limitations which, in such an argument, are to be placed on the value of such an inspiration. Yet there is a third important aspect for delineating the limits of the function of linguistico-historical data. This aspect is connected with the whole nature of the transcendentalphenomenological argumentation. In each case such an argumentation, along very general lines, develops a structure in its constitutive moments. Then it proceeds from this most general horizon to more detailed explanations within the projected context. In this way the context becomes clarified at the same time. This road from the general via the particular back to the general does not have the character of a deductive foundation; if it did, this particular way of proceeding would be absurd. The phenomenologist does not want to deduce but rather wants to bring to light and make manifest.9 This relationship between the general and the particular is found in


The conception of language in Being and Time 21 each case to be the relationship between transcendental structure and concrete mode. After the structure is described initially, the connection that was so developed is put to the test with the help of a concrete mode (Bewtihrung). Will one succeed, for instance, in using the structure of the mood of finding oneself in (Befindlichkeit) as a guiding clue in analyzing a concrete mood - namely, that of fear?10 If this is the case, then the analysis has confirmed the general scheme: the scheme itself is tenable. Can the structure of original understanding (Versteheri) be applied generally to concrete assertions?11 If so, one has shown that this construction is not merely afigmentof the imagination; for it has proved its usefulness in the clarification of our experience. This experience, this concrete mode, is then a variation of the theme of the transcendental structure; and this structure in turn becomes more richly developed in such variations. This principle of verification is found in no other way in the further course of these trains of thought. Concrete verification (konkrete Bewtihrung)12 is desirable after the proof (Nachweis) of an ontological fundament is given. An existential project is in need of an attestation to be given by the analytic of Dasein (daseinsmtissige Bezeugung).n A thesis that can be tested in this way, on concrete facts of life,14 and can stand the test has become phenomenally accessible. It is in this way, also, that the analysis of the traditional concept of truth develops the relationship between assertion and phenomenon.!5 The linguistico-historical data can in their own way very well serve a purpose in verifying a general theory on the basis of the phenomena. That is why the data also appear to confirm the phenomenological results. Confirmation by means of the sources cited means that the results are not arbitrary constructions, that they did not come about forcibly. The analogy between this linguistico-historical argumentation and Heidegger's use of language is, within the perspective of the phenomenological method, self-evident: in both cases Heidegger tries to unveil original meanings, to bring the past to life again, and to free once more the forces that have produced the past. The quest for the natural conception of the world is set in motion by suggestions from language. The results of this search in turn confirm and clarify these suggestions. Because of the value that is necessarily attached to the elementary original, such a confirmation is not without meaning for the tenability of the structure that was developed in this way. Heidegger announces his use of aletheia as follows: The ultimate business of philosophy is to preserve the force of the most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself, and to keep the common understanding from levelling them off to that unintelligibility which functions in turn as a source of pseudo-problems.16


22 JanAler His warning against 'uninhibited word-mysticism' means in this connection that, on the basis of the results of his investigation concerning the content (Sache), he sees through the word in its signification. He concludes: 'When Dasein so expresses itself, does not a primordial understanding of its own Being thus make itself known?'17 Heidegger thus recognizes in linguistico-histoncal data what he has found in the analyses in Being and Time. 'What is ontologically "new" in this interpretation is ontically quite old. . . . We are conceptualizing existentially what has already been disclosed in an ontico-existentiell manner.'18 With the help of the insight thus acquired, Heidegger tests the vocabulary and distinguishes the irrelevant data from the relevant in a manner such as we have dealt with here. This explains why he calls validity, as it is used in the terminology of logic, an 'idolized word'.19 Yet with the help of the etymological data for this word, it would have been easy enough to accentuate the ancient religious-ethical nuances in its signification. If one were offended by the development of the signification of Geld ('money'), he could still turn to the ennobling term Gilde ('guild'). But logical validity (as a further characterization of the truth of a judgment) does not fit at all in this conception. The concept does not speak; in this case the history of the word does not come into action. Thus Being and Time does not mention the data that are available here but are not actual.20 Heidegger also finds fruitful points of departure in the history of ontology. But for that purpose ontology, too, must first be judged in regard to its tenability on the basis of the phenomenal structure. This leads to a revision, the ontological 'destruction'. The genuine experiences that gave rise to the concepts handed down become then rediscovered: namely, as the existential starting point of the existential-ontological theory. But it is not only the vocabulary in general that can mediate this starting point; Heidegger incidentally taps yet another source of preontological becoming aware of man's Being. This source comprises literary documents that can confirm his existentials such as 'care', 'death', 'authentic Being': the ancient Cura ('Care') fable, Pindar's as well as Goethe's 'Become what you are', the enactment of the experience of death in a Renaissance poem, and a work by Tolstoi. While Heidegger conceives of the question of Being as the radicalization of a tendency that essentially belongs to man's Being taken as ek-sistence - that is, as the radicalization of man's preontological understanding of Being - at the same time he shuns conventions and searches for original experiences. His confrontations with poets thus have a function analogous to that found in linguistic foundations: they confirm what was already established.21 In both cases the phenomenologist apparently feels a need to legitimate the results as being already predelineated in order to show that they are not merely constructions andfigmentsof the imagination.


The conception of language in Being and Time 23 The explanation given in connection with the Cura fable calls such a conclusive force 'merely historical' (nur geschichtlich).22 The expression, which Heidegger purposely puts within quotation marks, is a fine example of irony in a thinker who, at the moment he first delineates his investigation, posits that man's Being is essentially like time, and thus necessarily possesses historicity, so therefore each concrete mode of Being including the ontologically questioning mode - is characterized by this fact. With this 'merely historical' (nur historisch) the full weight of Heidegger's theory is thrown behind the Cura fable as well as behind the literary documentation that follows. Language and understanding Once Heidegger's appeal to language and literature is recognized and the quality of his command of the language is known, it is to be expected that his theory will attach an especially important significance to language as existential and in so doing will pay particular attention to the word in its meaning with regard to thought. Let us therefore examine this aspect in greater detail. It is well known that Being and Time is mainly concerned with man's Being in order to lay the foundation for a general ontology. This preparatory reflection is performed in two phases. First, a number of structures of man's Being are developed in an 'analytic', which in itself is again 'preparatory'; second, these structures are explained as modes of temporality. Temporality is the essence of man's Being; thus, time is comprehended as the horizon of that understanding of Being which is characteristic of man. In the preparatory analytic of man's Being, one obviously expects also to find an explanation of language. Heidegger realizes who this man is who, in his Being, always comports himself with this Being in one way or another. The essence of man consists in this peculiarity, in the mode of Being as Being towards, in his ek-sistence. In man's ek-sistence his Being is disclosed to him; he himself discloses to himself the there of his Being-there. Two different things are found in this disclosedness. The fact that I know that I am there implies that in being-there I have to be thrown into a Being in which I always already find myself. But eksistence also means, on the other hand, that in being-there it is left to my own ek-sistence to decide what I will make out of it: this is the project of self-realization in which, anticipating the goals and returning from the goals to the means with which they could be achieved, I will never be able to escape from this thrownness. The chasm of such a conflicting twofoldness is the heart that Heidegger's analytic tries to make explicit in a way as tenacious as it is cautious. Its point of departure is


24 Jan Aler man's ek-sistence as concernfully being in the world together with others, and from this it develops this structure as a coherence of existentials. But there is still another, equally essential dualism that determines the train of thought, and, at least for the time being, it must be distinguished from the first. This duality involves an opposition that we have already mentioned - namely, that of authentic and inauthentic being. Again, this distinction cannot be carried through as an absolute separation in the factual exsistence of man, but on the other hand it is necessary for clarifying the structure of this existence. It is true that in principle this distinction rests on an ontological structure which is neutral in regard to this contrast and which gives to both of these modes of Being as such their foundation. In fact, however, this neutral structure is practically identical with the inauthentic one. The thinker who, as we have seen, at all costs wishes to avoid the semblance of finally coming out with 'an idea of [his] own contriving', does not wish to deduce this anthropological structure from an Idea', either.23 His phenomenological clarification is oriented toward man in his everyday doing, toward the most ordinary data concerning man. With this attention to this first and for the most part {zunachst und zumeist), to the everyday indifference {alltagliche Indifferenz), the difference between the neutral structure and its inauthentic variant is blurred; they sometimes blend imperceptibly into one another, and the inauthenticity, the fallenness, is an extreme form of appearance with regard to the indifferent point of departure. Only relatively late - in the next to the last chapter of the preparatory analytic - is language even mentioned. The analytic concentrates least of all on this anthropological, pre-eminently fundamental phenomenon. It does not deal with language as the range of systematized possibilities of expression by means of symbols which appear in the possible combinations of vocal sounds; it is concerned, rather, with speech as that form of human behavior in which these possibilities become materialized. In this analytic, linguistic phenomena are dealt with in the same way as other basic forms and principles of man's Being - for instance, consciousness, intuition, thinking,24 and even experience {Erlebnis), that key word in the philosophy of life.25 Heidegger's investigation goes 'behind' such phenomena in search of some primary mode of man's Being as their ontico-ontological condition. This mode is reached here not via the basic forms mentioned but from the phenomenological characteristic of man's Being-in-the-world, which is to be developed with the help of the average everydayness of man's ek-sisting and is guided by the idea of a transcendental foundation of the immediate living reality. In the introductory description of the disclosedness of Being-in-theworld Heidegger mentions language, among other things, as one manifestation of an existential called logos {Rede). Earlier, he briefly touches on this theme in mentioning the relationship between observation of


The conception of language in Being and Time 25 objects. (Vernehmen des Vorhandenen) and language.26 Corresponding to this cursory indication in the investigation of ek-sistence is a passage in the methodological prelude to the investigation: in characterizing the logos of phenomenology, Heidegger also considers the relationship between logos and phone?1 Both of these earlier passages give rise to the supposition that language will come to the fore only in a much later phase of the transcendental derivation and, as the first passage confirms, as an ontological derivative of logos. However, when in Being and Time the structure of man's disclosedness is brought to light in greater detail, it appears that in the final analysis language is reached in the continuing explication of man's understanding. We must dwell on this subject somewhat longer. Language as found in words and sentences appears as a communicating speaking forth and constitutes the third and most accidental28 moment in the structure of the assertion - namely, a mode of the predication in our judgment. This predication is, at this point, by no means thought of explicitly as a linguistic phenomenon. It is true, however, that in the predication there comes about the transition from being occupied with something to speaking to others about something, about something which merely occurs. Such a determination presupposes the indication of the this-here about which one wishes to speak. From such an indication the members of the predication grow forth;29 for, in order for one to be able to indicate the this-here and point it out, he must dwell with it. On the other hand, the pointing out of something that is to be further determined presupposes some meaning or signification which, in the judgment, is formally attributed to what has been pointed out; but this signification must also belong to what was pointed out. These conditions for the possibility of a pointing out as the origin of a speaking out are fulfilled by the interpretative explanation (Auslegung). With this existential we have penetrated one layer deeper into our derivation of language from the disclosedness of man's ek-sistence. The meaning which, in our concernful dealing with (characteristic of our concern for our own Being), is to be attributed to a thing is laid out in interpretative explanation. This explanation comes about in such a dealing with. It does not consider, but instead it handles. When someone gets something ready in order to use it later, he lingers with that piece of equipment. The tool becomes conspicuous to him as such, delineates itself in its meaning. In all other cases one keeps moving within the routine of the mutual relationships, a routine in which the things used refer to one another and in this way acquire and grant meanings. Signs are not the only bearers of meanings. They refer explicitly; namely, their usefulness is in referring to a context of usages as to a world in which one lives. Signs make us aware of their use and of the course of action


26 Jan Aler we have to take in their regard; but all tools refer in their serviceability for to this for-what. This functional referential context always reaches finally beyond the tool to man himself. He ek-sists. In the world his own Being-in-theworld is at stake for him. The tools are therein at his service and constitute the realm of his possibilities. Man does not just encounter them; he does not just passively run into them. He discovers these possibilities in bringing them to the fore. In this way his meaning-giving behavior, his project of his own Being-in-the-world, co-constitutes the world of his labor, this equipmental totality. Within this project the things present themselves in their meanings. Interpretative explanation develops these possibilities projected by man's understanding; it unfolds these meanings. Explanation grasps the meanings that understanding has established. This totality of references, this whole that has been articulated before all explanation, this multifarious unity of meanings, is disclosed primarily by understanding. It is only on this third layer that the foundation, the ontological ground, of language is reached in the structure of man's ek-sistence. Then the long road from assertion to understanding comes to an end. But was it not said that language is a derivative of the existential logos! Yet Being and Time develops the context that has been briefly outlined here in minute detail in order to be able finally to dwell on language as a late derivative mode of the speaking forth of logos,

The role of logos Within the framework of the analytic this way of dealing with language is an intended consequence of the phenomenological method and is by no means a 'jumbled' explanation to be straightened out afterward. The description repeatedly distinguishes a multiplicity of ontological determinations as the moments of a correlativity which, forced to its extremes, underlines the equivalence of the moments as well as their mutual determinateness. Heidegger's explanation describes the structural unity in which the ontological determinations are to be understood, beginning with a nucleus which is always carefully adhered to. Again in a circular movement such a description passes through the moments of the structure almost with desperate tenacity, guarding against its splintering.30 But what is the case here with disclosedness? It consists of the basic mood of finding oneself in (the realization and emotional experience of the thrownness), understanding (the capacity to project), and logos. The first two in this sequence are dealt with separately, but they are understood together and through one another. Moodness has its understanding, and understanding always has its mood.31 In this way the threads are


The conception of language in Being and Time 27 knit to and fro, back and forth. This procedure is repeated for these two moments in regard to logos, although there is some difference insofar as this strict interdependence is established explicitly only at the very end and not, as it unambiguously appears, as the guiding clue throughout the train of thought.32 In the meantime, however, the activity of logos is co-thought in the whole series of existentials derived from understanding and extending to assertion. For our discussion it is important that this occurs as well in regard to aspects characteristic of language: the understandability, although it is in principle wordless, is nonetheless articulated, comprising a context of significations; the disclosedness of ek-sistence is articulated by logos in the original sense of the word. This, in turn, constitutes the ground for the possibility of the derivative modes of understanding with which Heidegger deals. Parallel to this, it is always shown how fundamental moodness is articulated - for instance, in the coherence of the relating elements in a concrete mood33 or as a sequence of distinguishable nuances in our being tuned (disposition)34 - and thus how logos plays its part here also. Language came to the fore as an accidental moment in the structure of assertion - namely, 'speaking forth* (Heraussage), 'statement* (Aussagesatz).35 Logos, however, is a constituent of assertion as prelingual but articulated explanation. Thus it is consistent that this same moment appears accordingly as expressedness (Hinausgesprcfchenheit).36 In this way language approaches, functions (in both aspects of foundation) in our Being with others in the world with things. Language is thus in every respect constitutive of our ek-sistence. That it is an ontologically derivative phenomenon by no means excludes this fact. But the mode of ek-sistence in which Heidegger's exposition reveals the constitutive character of language is, within the general perspective of the preparatory analytic, the average everydayness: language is a tool to be used in social intercourse. We employ this instrument because we are essentially in the world and committed to it: language is a consequence of man's thrownness. Understanding, of which language is an ontological offshoot, was fundamentally explained, however, in its meaning-giving project character as the counterpart of original moodness, representing the thrownness in the structure dealt with. This understanding is prelinguistic. With the significations, it lays the existential-ontological foundation for language. However, as soon as understanding manifests itself as a phonetic expression of significations - as an expression in words - one can observe that the project appears in its being thrown. Looking back one notes how, with the introduction of the speaking forth (Heraussage), a transition is completed - one that could not be sufficiently elucidated earlier. Is this why the transition took place so incidentally and almost reluctantly?


28 Jan Aler Although one believes that he is dealing with linguistic phenomena, the issue remains one of ontological foundation. This is why Heidegger needs a distinction such as that between assertion (Aussage) and speaking forth (Heraussage), a distinction between words that at first sight appear to mean the same thing. A corresponding reservation, although expressed in another way, characterizes the mention of language in connection with the observation of objects.37 However, is it perhaps possible that, when the transition from logos to language expressly constitutes the theme of the exposition, the precision of the analytic increases? Meanwhile, this can scarcely be contended in regard to the formula that introduces such an analysis: To significations, words accrue.'38 This is metaphorical language. However, in view of Heidegger's subtle use of language, thisfigurativerepresentation of the phenomenal context should not be taken merely as a 'flower of speech'. There is still another reason to take this metaphor seriously. As we have seen, it appears earlier,39 and there is objectively the closest possible connection between these passages. In thefirstreference the issue is the appearance of significations within the indication when interpretative explanation discloses the equipmental context in its meaningful articulation; in the later reference the issue is the manner in which these significations become word significations. The presupposition common to both these indications is a process of growth, a thought-less (unpremeditated), and yet teleological, 'organic' occurrence of immanent lawfulness. But this presupposition is not approached both times in the same way. In the genesis of the significations, indication unfolds itself, as if it were to differentiate itself and begin to flourish (erwachsen). The process of the growth of the words, on the other hand, adds these words to the significations (zuwachseri), and at the same time the significations are on their way to the words (zu Worte kommen). The organic lawfulness comprises a wider occurrence within which this process of enrichment (Zuwachs) comes about. But the reader remains uncertain as to the nature of this organic compass. Being and Time is silent about the origin of this enrichment. The reader is puzzled not only by the incompleteness of the metaphor but also by its organicistic character. How can this metaphor be applied to an instrument, to a factor in the equipmental context? On the other hand, in his preparatory reflection on the analysis of man's ek-sistence Heidegger has clearly spoken against a vitalistic easygoingness in philosophical anthropology.40 His existentials certainly cannot be interpreted in that sense. At a decisive moment in the analytic this becomes fully clear: In his analysis of man's finitude Heidegger rejects among other things the conception of life as a kind of 'ripening process', 'completed' by death.41 By applying the organicistic metaphor to language, its genesis and relationship with man's Being become problematic.


The conception of language in Being and Time 29 The perspective that is opened here is surprising within the framework of the analysis. Would it be better still - keeping in mind the peculiar 'coloring' of what is perhaps the most fundamental existential, namely, 'temporalization' (Zeitigung) - to take such metaphoric suggestions as incidental and strictly accidental? This is forbidden, however, by the accurate rebuttal of the passage with which we have just dealt, which certainly excludes all accidentalness. For, in the same way that Being and Time introduces the analysis of language, it also drops the subject again. A number of questions that present genuine challenges to linguistics and philosophy of language keep the horizon open. Heidegger reminds us of three phrases about language in which language is conceived of as a living being.42 The applicability of such metaphors illustrates the basic problem formulated therein: Does language have the character of a tool, does it have an anthropological character, or is there a third possibility? In the light of our foregoing reflections, the direction in which Heidegger searches for the answer is clear. This interpretation, however, concerns merely the "marginal phenomena' that surround Heidegger's analysis. In more direct descriptions his analysis develops a structural connection between logos and language that better harmonizes with the main lines of the exposition. In a certain respect, however, this connection offers a remarkable contrast to the characterization of the nexus between understanding and language. For, as far as the word assertion (Aussage) is concerned, one is dealing with an ontological fundament of the wording, although one believes that the issue is the wording itself. Conversely, the term logos (Rede) refers repeatedly to speech phenomena and linguistic phenomena although, on the basis of the meaning introduced, one expects to hear more about the prelingual existential. German promotes this obscuring even more strongly than English.43 Heidegger's terminology is guided by this tendency, although his exposition precisely underlines the distinction.44 Such an obscuring contrasts with the foregoing pertinacity but nevertheless is also a symptom of the same intrinsic difficulty: the construction of the transition from existential to linguistic phenomena remains a point of concern. If this explanation is correct, the ontological description must confirm it. In the description found in Being and Time Heidegger devotes his attention to the aprioric structure of logos. In the complex of phenomena to which this structure is related, one can distinguish four moments. In a conversation: (1) I say (2) something (3) to some one (4) concerning certain events that happened. These moments constitute the structure if all four of them are indispensable and irreducible. In this, 'neo-realism' (4) obviously fulfills these requirements. Since Bekundung (1) and MitteiU ung (3) cannot be reduced to wording, they likewise fulfill these requirements. Heidegger even calls attention to the fact that their essential


30 Jan Aler realization is at stake in such an independence. Genuine understanding is something completely different from giving information.45 When listening attentively, one does not concentrate on the acoustic phenomenon (Verlautbarung) but on what the other intends to say; one is not 'with' the linguistic phenomenon but 'with' the thing. Insight into the thing does not follow from but forms the foundation of our attention. What is genuinely expressive in language is precisely that which strikes us in the wording but nonetheless does not possess a word character. How meaningful silence can be! Such reflections all point in the same direction: these two constitutive moments of logos - namely, (1) and (3) - come to the fore most conspicuously extralingually and prelingually and in doing so possess the same relationship to language as the situation or event, the 'subject matter' (4). They found the possibility of language usage; but they do not form the correlate of language and certainly not its result. Developing the irreducible character of these necessarily presupposed moments with the help of such experiences is obviously performed at the cost of the wording factor. The indispensability of this factor then becomes positively doubtful; the lingual element in speech seems to become ontologically irrelevant. Another reflection also leads to this conclusion. The correlation between moodness and understanding is constitutive of the structure of disclosedness. Both existentials find full expression in the structure of logos through expressing and understanding.46 But in this way the latter is completely present in logos (as the articulation of disclosedness), and there is no need to appeal to a lingual moment {das Geredete (2)). The opposite procedure, however, is found in Heidegger's dealing with logos in the mode of inauthenticity, where the wording is of prime importance and places its mark on speech. In a very colorful way Heidegger describes manifold variants of small talk (Gerede), in which the objective fundament (4) is lacking and where, without understanding (3) and without personal involvement (1), the word (2) dominates.47 In 'Gerede' the structural moment of 'das Geredete' has made itself independent and absolute at the cost of what is ontologically constitutive in Rede* Within the framework of this analysis we may note that (1) logos founds language, (2) that in the neutral structure of logos language is mentioned as a constitutive moment, (3) that the description of the structure disqualifies this moment, and (4) that language, however, dominates in one particular mode of logos. This complexity is a result of the modal variability that characterizes the structure of man's Being-in-theworld. In their variation and transition the different modes show a dynamic orientation. Thrownness tends toward falienness. Man's Beingin as a Being-with is inclined toward Being away from. The neutral


The conception of language in Being and Time 31 ontological structure is fundamental in regard to this event but is also abstract. Viewed from the standpoint of logos, it suffices to distinguish three constitutive moments within the ontological structure. Logos then is not language, and consequently there is no language in logos. But, when we are in the world with others and with things, we express our insights in mutual understanding. Language then appears as the expressedness of logos, and in this way logos is existentially language. Language as 'the totality of words'49 is a means toward mutual understanding and is at one's disposal as an element in the equipmental context. This phenomenon, with which we were concerned earlier in connection with the relationship between understanding and language, compels us to suppose a constitutive moment in logos which enables logos to manifest itself as speech (and therefore as language). The structure of logos then becomes (reluctantly on the part of Heidegger) enlarged. If such a moment is lacking in the neutral aprioric structure, then the transition from logos to language cannot be accomplished. However, when one introduces that fourth element, the structure that is so constituted is no longer purely neutral, and one prepares in it the mode of inauthenticity. In this way an essential determination is introduced into the structure of disclosedness, giving us an opportunity to consistently develop from this structure the fallenness. Man employs equipment within a system of references and is thus committed to this equipment also. In-the-world he is permanently exposed to the temptation of being taken up by the world, of losing himself in it - of losing himself in, among other things, language as the mundane mode of Being of logos.50 When logos, which is already exteriorized in speech, is furthermore taken up with language, then it is language.51 Logos taken in this verbal form of fallenness is mere banter, small talk. It is in this manner that, in the changing determination of the relation between logos and language, the mode of Being of man decides the ontological character of language. Then one may posit that the mode of authenticity implies a characteristic of language that is fundamentally different from all of this. From the discussion of the phenomenon of language, what has been stated generally in the introduction to this investigation is manifested in detail: the neutral ontological structure is concretely never so neutral that it can keep itself outside the alternative of inauthenticity and its counterpart. If one approaches a structure in its everydayness, the everydayness determines its concretization. The disqualification of the moment of wording cannot remedy this; the structure of logos is merely made ambiguous by this disqualification.52 Furthermore, the transition to the fourth element does not solve the puzzle that occupied us in the organicistic metaphors. Just the opposite is the case: the fourth factor rests on this puzzle. Without words it is impossible to get to linguistic phenomena. Such phenomena cannot be derived from


32 Jan Aler the significations and thus not from understanding as logos articulates it. Logos taken in its fundamental function in the structure of disclosedness is therefore not a sufficient foundation for the significations of the words. There are words, and this phenomenon must he recognized; that is why Being and Time mentions them. But at the same time the hint concerning their origin transcends the horizon of the transcendental analysis of man's Being. Word and language transcend man's ek-sistence. In the constitution of logos as speech this phenomenon is taken into consideration. But does not logos equally transcend this ek-sistence? Care, temporality, and language In conclusion I wish to call attention to the way in which the continued investigation in Being and Time confirms the characterization that has been developed here. The general scope of Being and Time implies, as we have seen, that the same phenomena will be discussed again with greater clarification and that language, too, will again be dealt with. This occurs first in the conclusion of the preparatory analytic and, much later, in connection with the temporality of disclosedness. In the concluding part of the preparatory analytic the various series of constituents are integrated into the structure of care (Sorge). This structure is finally clarified - naturally in the mode of inauthenticity with the help of the problematic of the current reality and truth conceptions.53 Truth as adaequatio is just as equally a third-rate phenomenon in regard to the fundamental existential of revealment (Entbergung) via discoveredness (Entdeckt-sein) as was language in regard to the existential principles of understanding via interpretative explanation and of logos via speech. Like understanding and logos, truth is found in the realm of assertion and small talk - that is, in the realm of man's inauthenticity. The fact that in characterizing language we have focused our investigation in this direction begins to bear fruit. After the recapitulating description of disclosedness,54 the exposition mentions fallenness as being essential but says nothing about logosl When logos is finally mentioned,55 one comes to know it on this basis, consistently and one-sidedly, as small talk (Gerede). The recapitulation thus does not completely parallel the preparatory analysis, in which the fallenness of disclosedness was thematized only after the structure of language and was illustrated with the help of an extremely deficient mode. This narrowing of the theme is taken for granted in advance in the concluding part of the preparatory analytic. The same process occurs with regard to disclosedness and logos in the explanation of the temporality of the structure of care. What until this point was included in disclosedness as a constitutive moment because of the mode of 'everydayness',56 is now mentioned as an integral part of its


The conception of language in Being and Time 33 'completeness'.57 In addition to understanding and moodness there is fallenness. This is why the temporal structure employed in the explanation of the phenomenon of 'logos' is that of fallenness (gegenwtirtigeri).58 In the latter, man alienates himself from his genuine life-possibilities.59 Immediately before this passage, small talk was again central in the temporalization of fallenness - namely, when it became clear that this phenomenon could not yet be temporalized because of the anticipation (in the reversed order of the exposition).60 It appears that in a more general sense, too, the logos structure cannot be made visible in its own temporality within the context of an interpretation of man's ek-sistence precisely set up for that purpose.61 The extremely careful formulation of the relationship between diclosedness and logos as found in the preparatory analysis clearly gives its tone away. In addition to the direct confirmation of the interpretation developed in this paper, an indirect confirmation is equally important. In Being and Time linguistic phenomena are brought up a third time - and in this case for the first time in the mode of authenticity. The authentic ek-sistence does not hover above everydayness but is a special mode of rooting therein, of appropriating Being to oneself. Thrownness inevitably tends toward inauthenticity and fallenness. Thrownness and fallenness both express an ontological conception of motion, a continuous and oriented course of motion. He whofindshimself again, retrieving himself from this fallenness, radically changes the character of the motion. In the mode of authenticity one is indeed concerned with a movement against the grain. This is successfully suggested by such terms as pull, push, plunder, and violation, which help Heidegger to characterize the authentic mood.62 Accordingly, all attention is drawn (as far as logos is concerned) to the 'call' (Ruf), a phenomenon that stands in sharp contrast to the endlessly babbling chatter of everyday talkativeness. The call is a way of speaking that possesses a concentrated intensity. The existential possibility of Being-one's-Self comes to the fore in Heidegger's analysis and is furthered by an explanation of the phenomenon of 'conscience'. The 'voice of conscience', which makes us understand something, presupposes language. But this logos, the genuine logos, is wordless.63 TTie response to the call of conscience obviously is merely small talk. Such a response is an attitude within the world: man projects himself resolutely and silently toward the most proper possibilities of Being.64 The authentic mode of logos thus does not properly belong to language, just as was the case with its counterpart, the effective dealing with equipment. The reflection on language becomes caught and pressed between the characterization of speechless dealing with and the picture of a speechless Being-one's-Self. Conversely, where Being and Time deals with language more fully, for the most part it depicts the empty talk of fallenness.65 The authentic Being of man (das eigenste Seinkonnen) is


34 Jan Aler brought up only once in connection with language and logos. There, in the midst of an exposition that is extremely objective and abstract, the intimate and sensitive indication concerning 'the voice of the friend whom [den] every man carries with him' surprises us.66 In using these metaphors the author sometimes gives only half a word 'to the wise'. If the reader strains his ears, he accomplishes exactly what the passage wished to teach him and illustrates the point that listening is constitutive of speaking. After one finishes reading Being and Time, he no longer needs to be a 'wise one' to recognize the presence of the voice of conscience as early as on page 163.67 The subject was touched on there in order to shed light on the prelingual and extralingual aspects of man's understanding in the ontological characterization of speech. The entire terminology, from logos via interpretative explanation to speaking forth, tends directly toward language and speech; but in so doing Heidegger expresses for one series of derivatives a thesis which he then posits as a general rule: namely, that, ontologically viewed, all origination is degeneration. The series from logos as articulation to language as expression in sounds illustrates this. The cause of this remarkable twist in the reflection on language is obvious. If in methodically striving for phenomenal accessibility one concentrates so attentively on that which 'in the first place and in general' is the case, then phenomenology substantially examines man's Being in the mode of appearing of everydayness. If in addition 'a tactical ideal of Dasein'68 promotes the one-sided focusing on the criticism of culture in the description, then one gives a strong voice to the inauthenticity found in everydayness. In this way method and tendency converge. If one still adds to all of this the fact that, with respect to a number of statements, the reflection on language has to remain within the framework of the substance of fundamental ontology, then the exposition of language as found in Being and Time is being considered with some understanding of the relativity of these statements, just as their functional determination implies. A certain discrepancy between the reflection on language and Heidegger's actual practice is thus explained. His characterization of language usage cannot be applied without adaptation to his own style of writing. It also seems difficult to combine the role given to language and literature in the method of Bewahrung with the disqualification of the word which we have discussed earlier. Yet one must also learn to notice the discord with respect to the governing language convention, a discord which manifests itself in Heidegger's choice of words. This is positively in accordance with the reservation in regard to language that appears in section 34 and the sarcasm of section 35. Such a style goes against the grain. Heidegger's linguistico-historical documentation travels upstream, back to the source. It undoes that degeneration in the same way as was


The conception of language in Being and Time 35 done in the struggle with the use of language. Heidegger obviously does not resign himself to the available language tool. In the process of gradually becoming aware of things, he does not let himself be guided by that tool; he does not understand man from his equipment but forges linguistic means in order to make a new insight communicable. Viewed in this way - that is, from the creativity of an original writer - the assertion that words accrue to significations receives a new emphasis from within. What is at stake here, just as in the case of silent selfrealization, is the undoing of fallenness; what is at stake is thus an aboriginal experience that forces itself on us in dealing with our familiar equipment. If one considers the restrictions which are placed on this reflection on language by the function that this reflection has in Being and Time, then such an assertion receives a meaning that transcends its immediate contribution to the exposition. In conjunction with cognate indications, such a remark moves away from the periphery to which these indications were pushed by the plan of the book to a somewhat more central position. It is true, however, that even then the vegetative suggestion of the formulation (zuwachsen) does not match the grandeur suggested by. the style of writing. But is it not a question of whether or not both of these aspects are characteristic of creativity? Does this vegetative suggestion not have much in common with the "struggle for a gift'? In light of the functional determinateness of the exposition of Being and Time, another remark from section 34, this one concerning literature, is of special importance for an adequate explanation of Heidegger's conception of language. Precisely how literature appears as a linguistic work of art is not explained.69 This is quite consistent; for otherwise Heidegger would be dwelling on the linguistic tool (albeit as plaything). What literature is able to accomplish is what Heidegger is concerned with: literature discloses ek-sistence; it communicates possibilities of moodness. It brings man to the there of his Being-there. The ontological rank of such language usage then becomes evident. One must take into account the epistemological valuation of moodness, which in its unveiling capacity reaches much further than theoretical knowledge.70 The primary discovery of the world takes place in moods.71 From this point of view the essential significance of literature is already delineated in the explanation found in Being and Time. This again throws light on language and word. In linguistic art the sensitive (by no means to be taken yet as 'filled with feeling') explanation of our Being-in-the-world takes place in such a way that it also speaks to others. If this had not been touched on in principle, it would then have been impossible in Being and Time to develop the phenomenon of being united by a common fate within the framework of man's historicity.72 In such cases the harmony between Heidegger's reflection on language


36 Jan Aler and his style of writing stands out. The author not only repeatedly demonstrates his ability to create such a harmony but also deals with the harmony explicitly in its own nature. Being and Time concentrates on a very special series of moods: fear, anxiety, concern, guilt. But, in reading the passages that follow the discussion of these moods, we are urged to distinguish in this respect the restriction imposed by the function of the book and therefore, to understand not only Heidegger's conception of language in a broader perspective but also the living reality he wishes to disclose. In the development of the instrumental perspective in regard to reality, all attention is focused on nature as equipment. This is obviously something other than nature in its pure being-present-at-hand but also different from nature as power of life: It is Nature as that which "stirs and strives", which assails us and enthralls us as landscape.' 73 Here the reader is again confronted - in passing, but nonetheless unmistakably - with a third possibility, the possibility of linguistic interpretation.

Notes 1 Heidegger is applying here a differentiation commonly used in German to a new case; in German one finds rationell and rational, funktionell and funktional. 2 In the common and current distinction between Furcht arid Angst, among other things the more bodily concentrated tendency of Angst (oppression, tightness of the chest) plays an important role; in the case of Furcht, in addition to the objective relationship underlined by Heidegger, one can establish, on the other hand, a more transcendental nuance due to the indeterminateness of the word. For example, the following differentiation occurs in common language usage: 'Man angstigt sich vor dem Kettenhund, und man hat Furcht vor dem Schicksal.' 3 SZ, 54. 4 SZ, 53-4. 5 SZ, 219-26. 6 SZ, 32-4. 7 SZ, 220. 8 SZ, 220ff. 9 SZ, 8. 10 SZ, 140-2. 11 SZ, 148-53. 12 SZ, 234. 13 SZ, 301. 14 SZ, 331ff. 15 SZ, 214-19. 16 SZ, 220. 17 SZ, 222. 18 SZ, 196. 19 SZ, 155-6. 20 See note 2 above. In this connection it may be pointed out that, according to German philology, Angst might very well be a relatively young derivative


The conception of language in Being and Time

37

from Latin (angustus, angor). In judging the method outlined, one must take into consideration this kind of complication also. 21 SZ, 183. 22 SZ, 197. 23 SZ, 196, 43. 24 SZ, 142-8. 25 SZ, 134-40. 26 SZ, 59-62, 130-4. 27 SZ, 32-4.

28 'Aussage ist mitteilend bestimmende Aufzeigung' (SZ, 156). The adverbial (undeclined) form makes 'communication' strongly peripheral in the definition. 29 SZ, 155. 30 SZ, 180, 351. 31 SZ, 142. 32 Logos is indeed as primordial as moodness and understanding (SZ, 161), but it is not always mentioned together with them in the same breath as a mode of Being-there. Therefore, it so happens that logos is lacking altogether in the encompassing, repetitive formula for resoluteness (SZ, 182). 33 SZ, 134-42. 34 SZ, 136. 35 SZ, 155, 157. 36 SZ, 161. 37 SZ, 59-62. 38 'Den Bedeutungen wachsen Worte zu' (SZ, 161). 39 SZ, 155. 40 SZ, 45-50. 41 SZ, 244. 42 SZ, 166. 43 The German word Rede does not mean 'ratio' (Vernunft) but 'oratio\ 'speech', 'conversation', or 'discourse', 'that which is said', 'oration' or 'address', 'phrase' or 'expression', 'rumor'. Heidegger uses the term in this context (1) to indicate the founding existential ('Rede liegt der Auslegung und Aussage schon zugrunde.' 'Die Hinausgesprochenheit der Rede ist die Sprache') and (2) as nomen actionis in addition to the infinitive made into a noun ('Reden ist Rede uber'). Even when (2) is introduced (SZ, 161), (1) nonetheless keeps resounding in the phrases. That is why the conception of 'Rede als Aussage' (SZ, 165) can be rejected. Otherwise Heidegger very often, although never in section 34, uses Rede-Redewendung to mean 'phrase' or 'expression' (for example, SZ, 180, 186, 189). 44 SZ, 153-60. 45 SZ, 162. 46 SZ, 162, 164. 47 SZ, 167-70. 48 Here the quality of Heidegger's usage of language is particularly outstanding. The terminology expresses uncommonly well the exact results of the structural analysis. On the other hand, this analysis is a fine example of Heidegger's capacity to clarify implications of the German idiom. 49 SZ, 161. 50 SZ, 161. 51 SZ, 167. 52 To illustrate this once more with another example: the term communication (Mitteilung) changes, as far as content is concerned, depending on the phase of


38 Jan Aler the exposition in which it occurs. (1) In the foundation of assertion in understanding, 'communication' is synonymous with 'speaking forth' (SZ, 155). (2) In the structural analysis of logos, 'communication' is the aprioric foundation of the possibility of such a speaking forth, which, as 'communication' is a special case (Sonderfall; SZ, 162). (3) In the characterization of small talk, 'communication' is again logos which speaks itself forth (SZ, 168). It becomes clear that, as early as in section 33, the last derivative of understanding constitutes the mode of inauthenticity, even though it is not mentioned. 53 SZ, 212-30. 54 SZ, 220. 55 SZ, 223. 56 See, for example, SZ, 167. 57 SZ, 249; see also SZ, 350. 58 SZ, 349-50. 59 SZ, 348. 60 SZ, 346. 61 SZ, 349. 62 These terms clearly suggest the fact that this mood has a discontinuous character, that of the leap. Just as genuine knowledge leaps into the circle of understanding (SZ, 310-16), so man leaps into authentic being. 63 The silent call of conscience (SZ, 296) alarms man, pushes him into anxiety, confronts him with his fallenness (SZ, lid). Conscience summons us to be quiet and to listen. 64 In this connection Verschwiegenheit is persistently brought to our attention. See SZ, 297, 301, 305, 382. 65 SZ, 167-70. 66 SZ, 163. 67 That is why Verschwiegenheit (belonging to resoluteness) appears familiar to us when we look back at section 34. 68 SZ, 310. 69 However, the context focuses all attention upon tone, modulation, speech tempo, thus upon those kinds of nuances which linguistics knows how to suggest so compellingly. 70 SZ, 134. 71 SZ, 138. 72 SZ, 382-7. 73 SZ, 70.


33 Language and silence: self-inquiry in Heidegger and Zen Tetsuaki Kotoh

I The question of the existence of the self Our existence is thrown into total darkness. No matter how much our insights may illuminate it, darkness not only obscures the path we have come along and where we are heading for, but also casts shadows over our everyday life. If we are thrown into this world and are to be taken away from it without knowing why, this means that we exist as merely ephemeral and lack an ultimate goal. It is impossible tcrthink that there are necessary reasons for human existence, which happens to be born on a small planet in the dark universe for such a short period of time in the vast history of the planet. Such a circumstance is not different at all from that of ants in the field. This absolute lack of ground constitutes the abysmal darkness of human existence. At the bottom of our existence is total nothingness which repels any kind of reasoning from the human perspective. However, awareness of the darkness of existence is extremely rare. We are busy in everyday life, and if we instinctively sense anxiety in facing the darkness of existence we nevertheless usually manage to forget or avoid the abysmal aspect of our being. The structure of our everyday lives is informed by a double concealment: oblivion of the darkness of existence and escape from one's self. We ground our existence in numerous purposes which we think necessary for carrying out actual life. 'Customs' or 'habit' would be a name for this. Thus, the everyday self dozes comfortably in the peacefulness of existence, of which only the surface is comprehended. There would be no problem if one could go through life in such pleasant somnolence without ever realizing its darkness. However, it is possible to share the tragic astonishment expressed by Kukai in Hizo Hoyaku: 'It is dark at the very beginning of one's birth and is still dark


40 Tetsuaki Kotoh at the very end of one's death.' Human beings do not only exist but are also capable of conscious rumination about existence - which constitutes both our dignity and misery. Once a crack starts to open up in a life which runs along the tracks of custom, the dark abyss begins to threaten our existence. Human beings are not sufficiently cunning to be able to conceal their true selves to the end; nor are they strong enough to endure such darkness. This is the very reason why, from the beginning, philosophy and religion have sought a way of being in which one interrupts the somnolence of everyday life, becomes aware of its darkness, acknowledges and illuminates this darkness, and rests with a peaceful mind. Illuminating and acknowledging life and death is the ultimate concern for Buddhism. Such inquiry into the self is what is urged by the 'Know yourself!' of Socrates, and is the essence of conversion in Christianity whereby one reaches the state spoken of in Galatians in which 'it is not I who lives, but Jesus Christ who lives in me'. There is no more urgent or basic concern for a human being than the conversion by which the everyday self becomes aware of its self-concealment, returns to the dark bottom of life and seeks a solid place in which to reside peacefully. However, self-transformation does not mean that the self changes to another self, but that the self whose true existence is concealed returns to the nonvacillating self, and in this sense means the birth of the true self. There is a variety of ways of self-inquiry. It is possible to look at it as a change in the way one relates to others or to society, or as a change in total world-view. This could even be studied from a psychological or neurophysiological perspective. In this paper I shall treat the problem from the perspective of language. To explain why I take this perspective, I must touch upon 'the linguisticality of human experience of the world', as discussed by Heidegger and his successor Gadamer. Since the idea of the primacy of language is more prominent in Gadamer's thought, I shall present it with reference to his work, though I shall end by suggesting that he ultimately misunderstands Heidegger's thoughts on language.

II The linguisticality of human experience In response to Heidegger's later thought, in which the emphasis on language is expressed in the famous dicta, 'Language is the house of Being' and 'Language speaks',1 Gadamer develops his theory of the 'linguisticality of human experience of the world'. 'The linguisticality of human experience' means that 'the human relationship to the world is absolutely and fundamentally linguistic' (WM 45; TM 432-3). The question whether or not pre-linguistic experience can be described is not the issue; it is rather that the existence of any pre-linguistic state is denied.


Language and silence 41 Gadamer's contention is that 'coming to language' (Zur-SpracheKommen) constitutes a universal ontological structure and, therefore, all that can be understood is language (WM 450; TM 431-2). Normally, the propositional statement is considered to be the level at which language first emerges; but, according to Gadamer, possible objects of propositional expressions, preceding propositions, are included in the horizon of the world (WM 426; TM 408). This means that even a perspective independent of language, such as the 'pure transcendental subjectivity of the self in Kant and Husserl, cannot escape involvement with a linguistic community and so cannot be posited at the ground of language as the subjective restriction which makes language possible and valid (WM 330; TM 311). In other words, language has invaded the transcendental domain as an a priori restriction that enables the world to emerge. Language in this sense has to be distinguished from linguistic phenomena (phonetic letters and forms of their representation) which are found alongside other beings within the world already constructed by language. Further, this function of language pervades not only linguistic phenomena but also the structure of all possible objects. An abysmal unconsciousness or self-oblivion which 'presents the world and itself disappears' envelops language perceived as 'a particular and unique process of life' (Lebensvorgang) (WM 422; TM 404), which enables the objectification of everything without itself becoming an object. How does the linguisticality of experience gain its foundation? Gadamer argues that experience is essentially understanding, and that understanding and interpretation (Auslegung) are essentially intertwined (WM 377; TM 361). "Die internal twining' means that 'conceptualization is internally woven into all possible understanding', in other words, 'linguistic formulation' resides tacitly as the 'historical sediment of meanings' (WM 380f; TM 364f). Behind this is the claim that 'language is the universal medium in which understanding itself realizes itself. Its mode of realization is interpretation' (WM 367; TM 350). What constitutes the basis of Gadamer's thought is the thorough study of the historically of human beings, and he connects this 'belonging-to-history' with Heidegger's elucidation of 'the structure of pre-predicative understanding'. Human beings are constantly thrown into finite circumstances formed by historical conditions, and these historical circumstances delimit their cognition and experiences. Historical tradition is formed by the interaction of 'my past and not-my-past' and it involves 'pre-concepts or pre-judgements' which have become an historically active reality in our existence beyond our will and actions. Understanding does not follow tradition blindly. It includes existential possibilities of the future which apply to and vitalize the past (tradition), and it integrates these into the present circumstances (WM 290; TM 274). Therefore, tradition does not wither but continues to live as a determinant which opens up new


42 Tetsuaki Kotoh understanding. Though restricted by tradition, understanding is a creative process which vitalizes it. As in Heidegger, understanding becomes further articulated in linguistic interpretation. Gadamer claims that the linguisticality of experience exhausts all possible experience. His argument for this rests on a combination of Heidegger's articulation of the 'as-structure' of experience with the historically of experience. An extensive network of linguistic meaning-associations, which, sedimented historically, is the linguistic community in which we were raised through acquiring a language, forms the tacit perspective (world horizon) or ground for beliefs which have not yet been thematized. This network serves as the source of fore-seeing and of the asstructure of experience. Language constitutes a 'medium' {Mitte - WM 432; TM 414) between people and the world through representing (darstellen) the world for human beings. Human being as being-in-the-world is a being in language. Why language is a guide to self-inquiry has become clear: it provides the encompassing perspective for all inquiry into the self. However, the question is whether this means that everything can be reduced to language. Can the entire reality of our being be grasped from the level of language? I shall not for the time being attempt to answer this interesting question in contemporary philosophy that has experienced 'the linguistic turn'. What I do want to say is that until one situates the approach to the question of self-transformation within the realm of linguistic phenomena it will not be possible adequately to illuminate the internal relationship between the reality of the self and language. Self-transformation can then be described as a process in which the normal relationship between language and reality breaks down into silence, and language then revives through such silence. It is only at the level of the everyday self that language as self-evident presupposition restricts our experience of the world. The true relationship between self and language is restored when the framework of everyday language breaks down to let silence emerge and give rise to creative language. This intimate relationship between language and the ground of self (silence), which is central to Heidegger's thinking about language, is something Gadamer fails to recognize. Furthermore, this emphasis on silence distinguishes Heidegger from the mainstream Western tradition, which makes logos central, and also brings him close to oriental thinking based on silence.

Ill The collapse of everyday language A major theme in Being and Time is that everyday Dasein suffers from loss of self (Selbstverlorenheit) through 'evaporating' (Aufgehen) into the world of its concern. Dasein allows itself to be absorbed into das


Language and silence 43 Man, the impersonal, collective 'one' - and a major factor here is language in its aspect of Gerede, 'idle talk' or 'chatter'. As Gerede language, rather than functioning as a medium, closes Dasein off from the world and from itself, and provides comfort and security by giving everything out as unmysterious and self-evident. In this capacity, language is, admittedly, necessary for carrying out the business of everyday life, but one should not be misled into thinking that it thereby discloses the world as it is. This becomes clear when language as Gerede collapses and is no longer viable. Various things can trigger the awakening from the everyday self incurable disease, the death of a loved one, the realization of one's own death, and so on. What is common to these triggers is a negative understanding such as loss of perspective or collapse of a value system, and the resulting feeling of insecurity and despair. In Nietzsche's words, 'We lose the center of gravity which has enabled us to live. For a while we lose all sense of direction.' {Will to Power, sec. 30) Existential questions like Kierkegaard's - 'Where am I? Who am I? How have I come here? What is this world called "the world"? Who has brought me here and left me here?' - surge forcefully forth. These are not the ephemeral questions of a weak soul, but derive from the very structure of human beings, who are able to reflect upon their own existence and to try to seek reasons and meaning for it. In everyday life, the purposes of practical life have been substituted for the reasons for human existence. When the meaning-relations of everyday language collapse as a whole, one is thrown into an incomprehensible chaos of phenomena without meaning. When the ultimate meaning of life fails, what one sees is mere nothingness which repels any attempt at rationalization. Language is unable to grasp such a bare reality. The world becomes disconnected from language and floats by itself. 'Our entire foundation cracks and the earth opens up into abysses' (Pascal, Pensies 72). The experience of Angst is so oppressively heavy that one is unable to speak.

IV The authentic self and the creation of language The experience of the abysmal nature of our being, of the nothingness at its ground, is not necessarily terrifying, as long as one has the appropriate attitude. From the perspective of Zen (and something similar is true for Heidegger) the experience of the,abysmal nothingness of the self and the world is the starting point for 'salvation'. In Dogen's words: 'One who falls to the ground gets up with the help of it' (Shdbdgenzo). For Zen, one who realizes the 'suchness' (tath&ta) or 'Buddha-nature' of all things may be called 'the true person who exists everywhere and


44 Tetsuaki Kotoh nowhere'. In the 'Birth and death' fascicle of the Shobogenzo, pogen writes: 'When one lets go and forgets both body and mind, throws them into the Buddha's house, lets things happen from the side of the Buddha, following along with them, one would not force things or strive to expend one's mind - and thus one leaves behind the world of birth and death and becomes a Buddha.' Here, beyond the concerns of life and death, there opens up a condition in which one's true self is freely ba$ed on no-ground. In such a condition there is no split between the world and the one who observes it. The mountains and waters of this very moment' (nikon no sansui) are at the same time 'the presence of the Way of the ancient enlightened ones' (kobutsu no do genjo). The true self is not separated from the world but has become one with it; there is neither subject nor object. What opens up within the horizon where subject and object are not yet separated is the state where experiences remain as they are without being judged (Nishida's 'pure experience'). There the world, which had hitherto been rigidified by linguistic segmentation, gradually becomes fluid, thereby dissolving the boundaries created by segmentation. The shapes of things which have been sharply distinguished from each other subtly lose their sharp definition, and with the elimination of distinct boundaries things come mutually to interpenetrate each other. What now comes to the fore is 'spontaneous arising' (jinen shoki), in which things inherently arise and open up the field of cosmic mutual interpenetration, and which is itself Nothing, without segmentation, and one with itself. This entire Ekstase is 'pure experience'. The Zen tradition offers many examples of such 'pure experience': 'samadhi in perception' (chikaku zammai), 'seeing color/forms, the self is enlightened' (ken shiki my6 shin), 'hearing sound the Way is realized' (mon sho go do). These expressions come from Zen masters' attaining enlightenment through seeing a flower, hearing a pebble strike bamboo, and so on. This state is also described in Dogen's poem: 'Since there is no mind in me, when I hear the sound of raindrops from the eave, the raindrop is myself.' The raindrop is me because at bottom there opens up another dimension - spontaneous arising - in which we are of the same 'element'. There is no mystery in this state; it is rather that we are facing reality as it is. However, this reality is totally different from reality as ordinarily experienced, since it is perceived without the overlay of everyday language. In the former state, life is experienced as transparently condensed combustion. The moment of combustion is pure silence beyond where language is exhausted. There the primordial reality of the world, which cannot be reached by language, keeps silently boiling up. The language of the true self emerges from this silence. It arises from and is nourished by silence to become something which expresses this


Language and silence 45 silence. Silence is also a feature of the experience of nihilism, in which one realizes the inadequacy and unreliability of ordinary language in describing the reality that is beyond it. In the case of nihilism silence is experienced 'negatively' in the severing of the thread connecting language with reality. Such silence is a dead silence which rejects linguistic articulation. However, for the true self silence is an echo of true reality, and it becomes the positive ground for the production of a language to describe the world. Kukai calls this level of true reality 'esoteric language9 or 'esoteric mantra9, which Mahavairocana (dainichi nyorai in Japanese - a mana-likc life-energy which pervades the totality of nature) speaks in the silence of nothingness. Mahavairocana is the working of spontaneous arising (which one might compare with Heidegger's Ereignis) which is the ground of the world without aspects or segmentations and makes possible the arising of all phenomena. Spontaneous arising, the genuine state without segmentation or differentiation, the source of all existence, is entirely hidden by ordinary language with its definitions of reality and its segmentation by means of standard constants. Kukai says: 'With ordinary people the true perception of true nature is prevented by "obscuring fantasies" ' (mumei moso). What he means by 'obscuring fantasies' must be this ordinary language as a network of standardized invariables. The very language which was acquired to describe the world has concealed it and has confined the everyday self into a life run by habit and inertia. However, the true self, by returning to silence as the pure manifestation of reality, joins with the flow of spontaneous arising's silent segmentation, and for the first time encounters the original segmentation which begins to create the worlds of individual things. The pulse in the silence of the original segmentation, which is audible in the world's beginning to produce its original meaning, is Kukai's 'esoteric language'. This is not of course a physical sound that can be acoustically perceived, but is rather what Dogen calls the 'expounding of impermanence' (mujo seppo), which should be heard 'through the entire embodied self (tsu shin sho)> or what Kukai calls 'the expounding of dharmakaya' {hosshin seppo) or 'the conversation language of dharmakaya* {hosshin dango). This can be considered as the original phenomenon (original segmentation of beings) which transcends language - corresponding to Heidegger's 'echo of silence' (Geldut der Stille). The original segmentation of beings that is esoteric language wells up within the silence of the true self. As Kukai says in The Meanings of Sound, Word and Reality (Shoji Jisso Gi): 'Sound resounds through the five great things, there is language throughout the ten realms, everything in the six dusts is text.' This echo of the silence of the original segmentation of beings, which can be called 'cosmic language', flows out wondrously into the arena in which people live. This silence cuts into and explodes the network of ordinary language which has degenerated into


46 Tetsuaki Kotoh mannerism. At the same time it restructures and modifies previous meanings in such a way as to create a new form of language. Ordinary language can thus be constantly questioned and nourished by silence and be reborn as a language capable of describing the life-breath of silence. The thread which was cut between reality and language is then retied through this silence. Silence is the source of language. V Heidegger and the echo of silence It is possible to gain a better sense of Heidegger's thinking about language, which has not been fully understood so far, if we consider it in the light of the Eastern ideas about language, silence, and esoteric language discussed earlier. Furthermore, Heidegger's philosophical analysis, being relatively systematic and quite rigorous, can help to clarify the idea of the realm of silence, the Eastern descriptions of which have been primordially mystical in nature. Heidegger has clearly affirmed the fundamental role of language in constituting the world and our experience. Language is not 'the means to portray what already lies before one', but rather it 'grants presence - that is Being - wherein something appears as existent' (US 227; WL 146). Since language is 'the house of Being', one reaches Being by constantly going through this house. 'Whenever we go to the well, or walk through the wood, we are always already going through the word "fountain" and the word "wood", even though we are not saying these words or thinking of anything linguistic' (Hw 286; PLT 132). In saying this, Heidegger means that language is correlative with experience of the world. 'Phenomena in the world occur simultaneously with the occurrence of language'; and 'the world exists only where words exist' (EH 35ff). It is obvious that such a view, which could be misunderstood as a theory of the absolute primacy of language, has influenced Gadamer's view of language (WM 461; TM 443). However, the central perspective in Heidegger's thought is that of viewing language in relation to Being - that is, questioning why language can be 'the presencing of Being' through returning to the truth of Being which constitutes the origin of language. Regarding the unhiddenness of Being, he says: 'This does not mean that we depend on what unhiddenness says, but that everything that is said already requires the domain of unhiddenness. Only where unhiddenness reigns can something be said, be seen, be indicated and be heard.' In other words, we stand in between Being and language, 'two principles which attract each other at the same time repel each other' (EH 43), and we try to find the way to the true nature of language where Being 'itself comes to language' (EH 74). What stands in between language and the truth of Being (the source of language) 'what has not yet attained birth (Old High German giberanY is


Language and silence 47 not language but silence (US 55) - 'blazing insight' trembling in 'the incandescence of sacred lightning' (EH 67; WL 186). This means that the basic phenomenon which Heidegger attempted to reveal is the movement whereby language issues from and is supported by 'the echo of silence' which is heard and followed within 'the silence of stillness' (Schweigen der Stille - US 67), and that this movement is a basic current which flows through not only his theory of language but also through his thinking in general. The extent to which Heidegger's thinking on this topic is consonant with the Eastern ideas discussed in the previous section should now be obvious. Section 34 of Being and Time, which Heidegger later called 'quite sparse . . . too short' (US 137; WL 41-2), already suggests the origin of language. In these chapters the way of being of language is defined as Rede (discourse). Rede is 'the articulation of the disposed (befindlich) intelligibility (VerstUndlichkeit) of being-in-the-world according to its significance' (SZ 162). Heidegger's early theory of language, developed through Rede, comprises the following three points: (1) the function of Rede is to articulate in terms of linguistic meaning our understanding of being-in-the-world and to make it possible to see it. Rede is the basic factor in disclosing the present 'there' (Da) of being-in-the-world. (2) However, both disposition (Befindlichkeit) and understanding (Verstehen) participate in the structuring of disclosedness. (3) What is essential in Heidegger's theory of Rede is the fact that language ts grounded in Dasein. Heidegger distinguishes meaning (Sinn) and significance (Bedeutung). Bedeutung (what is articulated by Rede) is preceded by alreadyprojected meaning as something which is possible prior to linguistic articulation; that is, Rede is post-articulation of Dasein. This does not mean that Dasein is dependent on language but that language has its roots within Dasein. In other words, language appears based on beingin-the-world as historical existence and is cultivated and defined there. After the so-called turning (Kehre), corresponding to Dasein's being seen from the perspective of the destiny of Being as the Da des Seins, the true being of language is vividly characterized as an echo or response to 'the soundless voice of Being'. Language, which functions in the disclosing of world, considers the world (and the clearing of Being *- Lichtung des Seins) as its own hidden source for appearing. It can be born for the first time only by responding to (Entsprechen) the calling (Anspruch) of the soundless voice of Being. Even though the openness of Being eventually manifests as language, it is itself the source of language and as such is not under our control. Language makes sense because it has its origin in the 'soundless voice of Being', which precedes and continues to accompany language, and without which language cannot say a word. Therefore, Heidegger says that 'according to the essence of the history of Being, language is the house of Being which arises from and is


48 Tetsuaki Kotoh structured by Being' (US 79). Just as a wave is always a sway of the ocean, language is language of Being' (US 119). However, this does not mean that the truth of Being quickly and at once becomes language. Being disappears the minute we thought it appeared (An-und-Abwesen). The truth of Being is not like 'a fixed stage where the curtain is left open' but appears from within in active tension where it constantly breaks out into openness. In order to correspond accurately to our original reality which appears as a duality of revelation and concealment, what is needed is a sharpened 'preparedness' which becomes aware of the hiding of the constantly escaping Being and which looks from the 'mystery' (Geheimnis) to the 'hidden source'. This awakened readiness is silence - a place of no language - and is a place of stillness (ZSD 75). Heidegger spoke earlier of the way in which anxiety silences speech and is 'one of the essential places of speechlessness in the sense of the terror that attunes man into the abyss of nothingness' (WM? 32 and 51). And later, in a different metaphor, he spoke later of 'looking at aspects of the invisible' (US 73). It will lead to the mistake of focusing too much on language, as Gadamer did, if one fails to place the 'stillness of silence' (EH 66) at the center of Heidegger's theory of the relationship between language and Being. It is silence that hears the echo of stillness which constitutes the essence and origin of language. It is not logos but silence as 'basic mood/voice' (Grundstimme) that encounters the wonder of the presencing of Being, being attuned (gestimmt) by the silent voice (lautlose Stimme) of Being and responding (abstimmen) from it (EH 74). Therefore, the echo of stillness which can be heard within this silence, even though it is the source of language (Ursprache - EH 40) which moves language from its ground and supports it, is not in itself 'something linguistic'. The echo of stillness is the silent logos of the ancient origin beyond the particular features of everyday-level language, such as history, society, or communication, and is 'an original announcement' (Urkunde - US 267; WL 135) of the world-reality which can exist purely only inside the silence which does not yet allow the invasion of linguistic articulation. The echo of stillness should be distinguished from the articulation by 'the language of historical human being' (IM 50) which resulted from it. And, therefore, no matter how genuine a word may be, generated as the echo of stillness, it is not itself linguistic, and it is impossible to articulate exhaustively the echo of stillness, which can live purely only in silence. Silence which belongs and listens to the echo of stillness clings endlessly to the language which corresponds to the truth of Being both at the beginning and in its phenomenological process. In this sense, the true nature of language is characterized as 'not saying and at the same time saying' or 'silent indication' (Erschweigen) (N 471f). If philosophy is to grasp the phenomenon itself, if it is to crystallize


Language and silence

49

into living language the primordial phenomenon by "exploding already existing meaning', rather than by organizing 'a chaotic world9 into an 'already acquired system of meaning', then it does not follow that philosophical thinking must necessarily consider language as ultimate and regulate everything in accordance with language. Rather, one should step into the circle of language and experience which are vitally and intensely tied together, and listen belongingly (gehdren) to the sound of silence which constantly emanates from the depths of the indescribable, and continue to let this be the source of one's own language. Translated by Setsuko Aihara and Graham Parkes

Note 1 Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings, p. 193, and Poetry, Language, Thought, p. 190. Subsequent references will be cited in the body of the text by means of the following abbreviations followed by the page number: BW Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. David F. Krell (New York: Harper and Row, 1977) EH Heidegger, ErlHuterungen zu Hdlderlins Dichtung (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1951) Hw Heidegger, Holzwege (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1972) IM Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. Ralffti Manheim (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959) N Heidegger, Nietzsche I (Pfullingen: Neske, 1961) PLT Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter (New York: Harper and Row, 1975) ZSD Heidegger, Zur Sache des Denkens (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1969) SZ Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1967) TM Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (New York: Seabury, 1975) US Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache (Pfullingen: Neske, 1959) WL Heidegger, On the Way to Language (New York: Harper and Row, 1971) WM Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1960) WM? Heidegger, Was 1st Metaphysik? (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1981)


34 Heidegger's language and the problems of translation John Macquarrie

Martin Heidegger's principal work, Sein und Zeit, appeared in 1927. Although the book is incomplete as it stands, it has nevertheless become recognized as one of the most important German philosophical writings of the twentieth century, and it has exercised a very wide influence. For a long time it was neglected in Britain, and several attempts at translation proved abortive. There even grew up the opinion that the book was untranslatable.1 The genius - or rather, the demon - of the German language' was blamed for this by Paul Tillich.2 But as well as the peculiarities of the German language, one has also to take account of Heidegger's own remarkable way of exploiting the possibilities of that language. In collaboration with the late Edward S. Robinson, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Kansas, the present writer spent seven years in the endeavour to make an English translation of Sein und Zeit. That translation was published in 1962. Although at times we came near to despair, and although we freely acknowledged that our translation, like all translations, could be improved and made more faithful, we nevertheless came to believe that, within limits and in spite of Heidegger's linguistic idiosyncrasies, a presentable English translation can be made, and our belief has been confirmed by the fact that the translation has been widely used on both sides of the Atlantic for nearly thirty years. The purpose of this article is to give some account of Heidegger's use of language, to illustrate some of the difficulties for the translator, to show that, with certain qualifications, translation is possible, and finally, to point out some of the wider problems raised by such a use of language as we find in Sein und Zeit. We shall not pause to consider the difficulties which are attendant on any translation - for instance, that offindingfor a foreign word an exact English equivalent which will not bring with it unwanted connotations. These difficulties are present in full force in translating Heidegger, but


Heidegger's language and the problems of translation 51 they are not peculiar to this field. We shall confine ourselves to those difficulties which arise from Heidegger's own linguistic idiosyncrasies, and further, we shall confine our view to Sein und Zeit, though the peculiarities found there are, if anything, intensified in the later writings. Heidegger's language is a complex and formidable structure, but there is nothing woolly about it. He is remarkably consistent in the use of his vocabulary. One may be pretty certain that anything which seems unintelligible when first encountered will soon click into place as one reads a little further. The difficulties arise largely from Heidegger's conscious rejection of much traditional philosophical terminology. Thus, for instance, where traditional philosophy would speak of Existenz, 'existence', Heidegger speaks of Vorhandenheit, 'presence-at-hand', and reserves the term Existenz for the being of man.3 But again, he does not speak of der Mensch, 'man', but of Dasein, a verbal noun which literally means 'being-there', and the reason for the choice of which only becomes clear as Heidegger's analysis of human existence develops.4 A powerful reason for his rejection of the traditional terminology is his belief that it represented the self as substance, and in Heidegger's view, this is an inappropriate way of conceiving human existence. Here we might venture to suggest a comparison with Professor Gilbert Ryle's critique of 'mindtalk'. Heidegger's novel terminology is not an arbitrary invention, but an attempt to get away from ways of speaking which he believes to have been misleading. *> A convenient way of outlining the peculiarities of Heidegger's use of language will be to divide these under three headings. First, we shall consider his terminological innovations; next, we shall look at his interest in etymology, and his way of using words in their supposedly original senses; and thirdly, we shall consider his habit of playing upon words of similar form, or upon two meanings of a single term. I Heidegger presents us with a large number of new words, which will not be found in any German dictionary. Of course, philosophers have a habit of coining new terms, but they rarely do so on the scale which Heidegger finds necessary. His new words fall into three main groups. The first group comprises artificial neologisms, but of these there are relatively few. Afrequentlyrecurring example is the adjective existenziell, for which we may coin as an English equivalent, 'existentiell'. This artificial adjective, in conjunction with the more orthodox form, existenzial, 'existential', provides Heidegger with the convenient pair of terms, 'existenziell-existenziar. Thefirstrefers to the raw material, as it were, of concrete existing, the second to the structures of existence as conceptually


52 John Macquarrie grasped in philosophical analysis.5 There are several similar pairs in Heidegger, for instance, iontisch-ontologisch\ 'ontical-ontological', i phanomenal-phtinomenologisch\ 'phenomenal-phenomenological', 'geschichtlich-historisch\ 'historical-historiological', but in these cases Heidegger has not found it necessary to invent artificial words, but has assigned his special meanings to words already more or less current. The second group consists of new words which are formed naturally in accordance with the conventions of word-building in German. 'Geworfenheit\ 'thrownness', for instance, is a perfectly natural word-formation, but it is just as remote from ordinary German usage as its English equivalent is from our usage. It denotes the character of Dasein as already 'thrown' into a situation which limits the range of possible choices.6 The example given is a relatively mild one. Perhaps the most extraordinary instance of a strange word-formation in the whole of Sein und Zeit is a term which Heidegger constructs by adding the suffix of the present participle to the stem of the past participle. He has been stressing the point that Dasein is what it has been. The past participle of the German verb, 'sein\ 'to be', is 'gewesen\ 'been', and the ending of the present participle is '-end'. To reinforce his point, Heidegger constructs the astonishing form, 'gewesend'.7 Quite literally, the corresponding English formation would be the impossible 'beening'; and if we express this by the more intelligible 'being what it has been', then Heidegger's linguistic tour de force is lost in the translation. Within the same group, we may note the many new compound words which Heidegger uses, some of them cumbrous enough, like 'Gewissenhaben-wollen\ 'the will to have a conscience'. A large number of these new compounds include the verb, 'sein\ 'to be', as one of the components. Thus we have 'Insein\ 'being in'; 'Mitsein\ 'being with'; 7nder-Welt-sein\ 'being in the world'; 'Seinkonnen\ 'potentiality for being'; and many others. In the third group of new terms, words are transferred in their function from one part of speech to another. Thus Heidegger can use adverbs, pronouns and relative expressions as nouns, and he frequently does so. We shall give one example of each. Heidegger has a good deal to say about das Da, 'the "there" '. It is common English usage to speak of the 'here and now', but it needs a little practice to become accustomed to the 'there'. The German indefinite pronoun corresponding to the English 'one' is 'man\ Heidegger has much to say also about 'das Man\ 'the "they" ', that is to say, man in the mass, undifferentiated collective humanity. 'Das WofUr\ the 'for-which' or the 'wherefor', is only one of many relative expressions which Heidegger makes into nouns. On the whole, Heidegger's new words do not occasion too much difficulty for the translator. Sometimes the latter must coin new English


Heidegger's language and the problems of translation 53 words, such as 'thrownness', on the analogy of Heidegger's - and it must be remembered that these words sound no more strange in English than Heidegger's equivalents do in German. Sometimes - as often with Heidegger's relative expressions used as nouns - it seems best to alter the structure of the sentence so as to avoid the awkwardness of a strictly literal equivalent. It must be pointed out, however, that when Heidegger does introduce a new word, he is usually careful to draw attention to it, and to say how he proposes to use it, and thereafter he sticks to the meaning that he has laid down.

II We turn now to Heidegger's interest in the history of words, and his habit of using words in what he considers to have been their original senses. Simple archaisms are not uncommon. The rare German verb, heischen, 'to request', is now used only in poetry, but Heidegger employs it several times in Sein und Zeit. Sometimes he uses an obsolete form of a current verb, as stiinden for the modern 'st(inden\ the imperfect subjunctive of stehen, 'to stand'. It is impossible to reproduce these archaisms in English. Fortunately, that makes no difference to the argument, though it does sacrifice the literary atmosphere of the work - if it is permissible to use the expression. Heidegger's archaisms are probably not just an affectation on his part, but are a way of suggesting to us his intention, in Sein und Zeit, of going back to the original sources of philosophizing. More important, however, is Heidegger's use of words in their etymological meanings. 'Insein\ 'being in', is a clear example. Heidegger explicitly tells us that in his usage this expression does not have its usual spatial sense but means rather something like 'being bound up with', and he cites the philologist, Jakob Grimm, for evidence that originally the preposition 'in' did not have spatial significance.8 Another interesting example is the verb, entfernen, which in German ordinarily means, 'to remove to a distance'. Heidegger can use it in that sense, but sometimes he writes it in the hyphenated form, ent-fernen, which draws attention to the structure of the word, and in particular to the privative prefix ent- (Latin: de). When thus written, the word has its supposedly original sense of something like 'to de-distance', that is to say, to take the distance away from, to bring near, the very opposite of its normal meaning.9 One further example may be added. The German verb, geschehen, normally means, 'to happen'. But for any event which happens within the world, Heidegger prefers to use the verb, vor-kommen, 'to occur', and reserves geschehen for Dasein. Dasein, however, does not just happen - Dasein exists and chooses its possibilities. But Heidegger


54 John Macquarrie lays stress on the fact that Dasein exists in history. Now 'history' is, in German, Geschichte. Heidegger has fastened on the etymological connection of geschehen and Geschichte, and he uses the former as the verbal form of the latter. Thus the force of geschehen, when applied to Dasein, only becomes apparent in English when we translate it as 'to historize'.10 Ill In the third place, we come to Heidegger's playing upon words - though the playing may be very seriously intended. This is probably the feature of Heidegger's language which causes most trouble for the translator, and it may, in some cases, defeat him altogether. Again we may subdivide this heading into three topics. First, we may notice how Heidegger sometimes groups together in constellations, as it were, words of similar structure. In discussing the nature of interpretation, he points out that every interpretation is made with certain presuppositions in mind. These presuppositions are listed as Vorhabe, Vorsicht, and Vorgriff11 - 'what we "have" in advance', 'what we see in advance', and 'what we grasp in advance'. Here it is possible to preserve something of the parallelism in English. In other cases, however, this is not possible. Thus, in describing how the structure of the instrumental world, normally taken for granted, may be lit up by something going wrong, Heidegger makes use of another trio of terms - Auff&lligkeit, Aufdringlichkeit, and Aufstissigkeit12 - 'conspicuousness', 'urgency', and 'obduracy'. Here there is no trio of English terms which would at once be faithful to the sense and similar to each other in form. This, however, would appear to be unimportant. There is a certain artificiality about these constellations in Heidegger. Their only advantage would seem to be that they help to throw into relief the structure of his argument. A second way of playing upon words is of much greater importance. Here the words involved have a common derivation, and again Heidegger's interest in etymology comes to the fore. For instance, the German word 'Lichtung' means a 'clearing' in a forest. It is applied to Dasein, because Dasein not only has being but also has some understanding of its being. Dasein is therefore like a clearing in a forest because it is the locus in which being becomes transparent to itself. But Heidegger links up this thought of Dasein as Lichtung with the word Licht, light', and with the traditional doctrine of the lumen naturaleP Heidegger's use of language here cannot be properly rendered in English, but only indicated in a note. The question, however, may be asked, 'What value is to be attached to a line of argument which appears to depend on the fact that in a particular language two words happen to have a common root?'


Heidegger's language and the problems of translation 55 Before we try to answer that question, let us look at another example. Heidegger discusses the problem of the self which endures through its changing experiences, and he designates this phenomenon as die Standigkeit des Selbst, which we may translate as 'the constancy of the self. We have noted already, however, that he rejects the notion of self as substance. For him, the self gets its unity from resolvedness, and die Sttindigkeit des Selbst is identified with Selbst-stiindigkeit,14 a word which, without the hyphen, is the usual German expression for 'independence', and which may be rendered here as 'standing by itself. Here English, by using cognate words, can give at least some hint of what is happening in the German. But again, what of the argument itself? Is being not made to rest on a peculiarity of Heidegger's German? Kant, for instance, in his discussion of the self, uses the term Beharrlichkeit, 'permanence', where Heidegger has Stdndigkeit. If Heidegger had used Kant's term, his remarks would lose their force. Does he then lend plausibility to his position - here, and in similar passages - by an arbitrary choice of terminology? We simply point out the problem. But it may be added that Heidegger would probably reply that his choice of language is not arbitrary. The very fact that Dasein can use such language points to something in Dasein's understanding of itself, which it is the business of Heidegger's existential analytic to elucidate. This last point is made explicitly by Heidegger in the course of his discussion of truth. In his view, the essence of truth 'lies not in any 'agreement' of a judgment with an entity, but in the 'unconcealedness' of the entity itself. But this view, he argues, is a return to the most ancient tradition in philosophy - indeed, it represents Dasein's prephilosophical grasp of truth. He supports this contention with an etymological consideration. The Greek word for 'true' is aX^e^s. Is it', he asks, 'an accident that the Greeks expressed themselves in a privative manner about the essence of truth?' Truth is d-Xin6â&#x201A;Źia, 'unconcealedness'. 'Do we not find proclaiming itself, in this way in which Dasein expresses itself, Dasein's own primordial understanding of being?'15 In this same passage, he acknowledges that we have to guard against what he calls a 'word-mysticism'. But he adds: 'Nevertheless, in the end it is the business of philosophy to preserve the power of those most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself, and to prevent them from being levelled down to unintelligibility through the ordinary understanding of them.' It may be that something of the 'word-mysticism' against which we are warned appears in Heidegger's own later works, but in Sein und Zeit his aim is to free words from popular glosses and distortions which conceal their elemental meanings. A third way in which Heidegger plays upon words is to use a single term with two well-defined meanings. A good example is the verb Uberliefern. If we translate this as 'to hand over', we preserve the double


56 John Macquarrie meaning in English, for we can think of the handing over either as surrender or tradition. In a complex passage,16 Heidegger allows these two senses of the verb to ring together. Dasein hands itself over to the situation into which it is thrown, and at the same time accepts the heritage of possibility which is handed over to it. We are far from having set out an exhaustive list of the peculiarities of Heidegger's language, but perhaps the samples given are enough to give a fair idea of what some of the most distinctive peculiarities are. In the main, an English translation can show, with reasonable fidelity, most of what is happening in Heidegger's German. But, as we have seen, there are limits to Heidegger's translatability, and in some passages only notes on the German text can give a clear idea of what he is doing. What are we to say of a philosophy which is so closely bound up with a particular language - and, indeed, with a highly individual exploitation of that language - that it scarcely allows itself to be expressed in any other? Here again we must be content with pointing out the problem, as when we raised the question of whether Heidegger sometimes engages in a kind of verbal sleight of hand. But it may be asserted that much of the criticism of Heidegger's language, which has been made from time to time, has been quite unjustified. When carefully studied, his language is seen to be an impressive and consistent structure. With all its difficulties, Sein und Zeit makes sense - though one would hasten to add that no claim is being made to understand this work in all its details. But the claim may fairly be made that Sein und Zeit is not the morass of verbal mystification that it is sometimes said to be. On the contrary, it is a work of quite extraordinary power and originality, expressed in a language which is never lacking in precision, though it may be complex. Heidegger is neither a pedant nor an obscurantist, but a careful and penetrating thinker whose work deserves to be studied with the greatest respect. The reader of this article, however, should not be left with the idea that we have come too easily to the conclusion that Heidegger is translatable. Whether it be genius or demon, the spirit of the German language is too closely bound up with Heidegger's thought for any translation to represent that thought more than partially. Yet even to do that would be worthwhile, if Heidegger has the stature that we have claimed for him. The ideal solution would doubtless be, not to try to translate Heidegger, but to rethink his philosophy in English, and to exploit the resources of that language in accordance with its peculiar characteristics, as Heidegger has exploited the resources of German. But that could only be done by an English-speaking Heidegger - and so we are driven back to the question, 'Could there be anything but a German-speaking Heidegger?'


Heidegger's language and the problems of translation Notes 1 For a long time, there have been Spanish and Japanese translations. 2 In an Auburn Lecture, delivered in New York. 3 Sein und Zeit, p. 42. 4 ibid., p. 7. 5 ibid., pp. 12-13. 6 ibid., p. 135. 7 ibid., p. 326. 8 ibid., pp. 53-4. 9 ibid., p. 105. 10 ibid., pp. 378ff. 11 ibid., p. 150. 12 ibid., pp. 73-4. 13 ibid., p. 133. 14 ibid., p. 322. 15 ibid., p. 222. 16 ibid., pp. 383-4.

57


35 Thinking more deeply into the question of translation: essential translation and the unfolding of language Parvis Emad

the difficulty of a translation is never merely a technical one, but pertains to the relation of man to the root unfolding of the word and to the dignity of language. Heidegger, Holderlins Hymne 'Der htef (GA 53, p. 76)1 Heidegger's thinking comes into contact with the question of translation in at least five significant ways: (1) As a thinker Heidegger is involved in the activity of actual translation of texts in many places in his work. Not counting translations that appear in the lecture courses prior to Being and Time, we can say that Heidegger is engaged in actual translation of texts at least as early as the Foreword to Being and Time. (2) Heidegger's translations differ significantly from existing versions of those texts - an obvious and often misconstrued fact. For example, his rendition of part of the Antigone differs significantly from any existing translation; and his translation of certain portions of Plato's work differs from that of Schleiermacher. (3) Unlike many philosophers who translate without stating their own viewpoints on translation, Heidegger does not take the process of translation for granted. In Heidegger's works there are sporadic and brief inquiries into the process itself. As he comes to grips with the essential character of language, he also comes to grips with the question of translation. Translation itself becomes philosophically significant. (4) For Heidegger translation is a form of interpretation. From very early in his work he abandons the naive assumption that translation is a detached and objective reproduction of immutable 'facts' that appear in interlingual space. (5) Finally, there is Heidegger's well-known practice of hyphenating the


The question of translation 59 German word ubersetzen and emphasizing either the prefix Uber or the suffix setzen, thus indicating that translation implies a process of crossing over and transposition. Adopted in the 1940s, this practice allows Heidegger to point out a process which the English word translation cannot easily say. Reflecting on these five dimensions of the issue, we come to realize that Heidegger carefully, concisely and specifically thinks through the question of translation at various junctures in his work. These various turns towards the question of translation have one important thing in common: they all explicate translation in terms of the root unfolding of language (das Wesen der Sprache).2 Heidegger is fully aware that translation i$ a commerce and an exchange between different languages. But it is not in this exchange per se that he finds the essential character of translation. Translation shows its essential character when it becomes an occasion for language to unfold in its core. (It goes without saying that translation of a business letter or legal document does not deal with essential translation.) Heidegger is not concerned with problems that dominate the discussion of translation in the 'sciences9 of language. Rather he takes translation as a unique opportunity for the root unfolding of language. And this opportunity presents itself in the way in which translation responds to the very foreignness or strangeness which calls for a deeper translation in the root unfolding of language. In Heidegger the question of translation has two poles. At one pole there are translation's undeniable attachments to the foreignness which rules between languages. At the other pole is the root unfolding of language as a response to that foreignness. Our co-enactment with Heidegger's thinking on translation requires that we consider what gathers in each of these poles. Thus we lay out the course of the following reflections in terms of these two poles. First, we must grasp Heidegger's appraisal of the foreignness which rules between languages in translation. We grasp this best by looking at how Heidegger views the problem of semantic equivalency of translated terms. Heidegger's opening up of this problem (which plays an important role in the conventional approach to translation) helps to understand his thinking on translation as such. Second, we must consider how this foreignness can elicit a response from language by holding it (the foreignness) to its (language's) root unfolding in and through translation. Here we must consider Heidegger's characterization of translation as 'essential or originary translation' (wesentliche oder ursprungliche Ubersetzung) and examine some instances of his work as a translator.


60 Parvis Emad I The problem of validity in translation The problem that occupies a central place in the long and interesting history of reflection on translation is the problem of validity - the problem of semantic equivalency of translated terms. The conventional approach to translation takes this problem so seriously that it is preoccupied solely with the equivalency of translated terms. Are chosen terms fully representative of the original, or do they cover the original terms only partially? Is translation an accurate and reliable version of the original? Does translation replace the original relatively or absolutely? From Cicero to Goethe to Walter Benjamin and beyond, conventional 'wisdom' about translation is plagued with the desire to have the words of one language cover fully those of the other language. This desire has given rise to at least three distinct positions: (1) that translations are nothing but distorted versions of the original and that all translations are to be rejected; (2) that it is possible to produce a translation that is absolutely identical with the original, i.e., that absolute identity with the original is a goal worth striving for; and (3) that translations are to be neither rejected off-hand nor accepted absolutely, for they take their place next to the original and do not replace it.3 Heidegger neither rejects translation as a distorted version of the original, nor does he take the translation to be absolutely identical with the original. He prefers to preserve to the fullest degree the difference between languages as this difference erupts within the problem of semantic equivalency in translation. When taken as they are, the differences between languages and the problem of semantic equivalency must be retained as a difference and must be seen for the problem that it is. The recourse to the dictionary, by which we try to alleviate or resolve the problem of semantic equivalency, is a recourse made in the hope that at some point we may do away with this problem and with the difference between languages. But a dictionary is not the ultimate authority, and it cannot resolve the problem of semantic equivalency and thus eliminate the differences between languages. To consider a dictionary as an undisputed arbiter is to overburden the dictionary with expectations that it cannot fulfil: *A dictionary can provide an indication for understanding a word . . . [but] it is never a simple [schlechthin] authority that would be binding a priori' (GA 53, p. 75). A dictionary cannot be the ultimate authority because it is the product of a particular way of looking at language and of interpreting it. No dictionary has descended from heaven; rather it results from a certain style of reflecting and interpreting language: "The appeal to a dictionary is always an appeal to an interpretation of language which is often not grasped at all in its style [Art] and limits' (GA 53, p. 75). Certainly dictionaries have an important function to fulfil. But this


The question of translation 61 function takes place only when there is traffic (Verkehr) between languages and when they are turned into means of transportation (Verkehrsmittet) (cf. GA 53, p. 75). But before languages enter this traffic, they have a historical spirit that dictionaries cannot grasp: 'Considered in view of the historical spirit of language as a whole, no dictionary provides an immediate standard; and none is binding' (GA 53, p. 75). To expect dictionaries to resolve the problem of semantic equivalency ignores the historical spirit of a language. Rather than attempting to 'resolve' this problem, we must see the semantic non-equivalency of translated terms for what it is, namely a confirmation of the ineradicable difference between languages. Translation is precisely where this difference shows itself to be ineradicable. For no translation can be perfect enough to minimize this difference: 'There is no translation at all in which the words of one language could or should fully cover the words of another language' (GA 53, p. 75). The difficulty of attaining a total identity between translated terms, along with the existing differences between languages, provides translation with a unique revealing power. The difficulty of attaining total identity between languages and the irresolvable difference between them are not entirely negative: they bring to the fore 'interrelations/interconnections [Zusammenhtinge] which lie in the translated language but are not brought out' (GA 53, p. 75). These difficulties and differences reveal translation as a way of dealing with language in which we not only see interrelations in the translated language, but also come to terms with our own language. As Heidegger puts it: 'Translation is an awakening, clarifying, and unfolding of one's own language by coming to grips [Auseinandersetzung] with the foreign language' (GA 53, p. 80). This means that there is more to translation than just a transfer of words from one language to another. To initiate the move in such a transfer is to face the difference between languages as the foreignness that rules between them. By forcing us to see the foreignness and unfamiliarity of the languages under translation, the activity of translation clarifies our relationship to our own language. Thus, rather than serving as a means for transporting 'meanings' across the so-called 'language barrier', translation invites us to return to our own language. When we, in translation, turn back from the foreignness of another language, we discover another translation, one that occurs within our own language. n Translation at the core of language In the general context of translation between languages and in the very process of translation between languages, this 'other' translation shows that language unfolds in an even deeper way than translation between


62 Parvis Emad languages. The fact that translation between languages is at all possible - regardless of its validity - points to a translation which occurs at the core of language itself. To see this 'other' translation properly, we must stop thinking of interlingual translation as the only form of translation. For, before translation takes the direction between two languages, it already occurs within our own language. Initially we grasp the process [of translation] from the outside as a technical-philological procedure. We believe that translation is the transfer of a foreign language into another tongue or, conversely, transfer of a mother tongue into another language. However, we fail to see that we constantly translate our own language, the mother tongue, into its own words. (GA 54, p. 17) Thus, in contrast to the conventional approach to translation, which considers it solely as interlingual, Heidegger sees translation as occurring first within our own language. As interlingual, translation does not manifest itself in its deepest sense, even though the occasion for such a manifestation is made possible when thinking confronts the problem of the validity of interlingual translation. Having observed what is gathered around that pole which is marked by the foreignness of languages and by translation's validity, we are then led to see what transpires in or around the other pole, which shows that language unfolds in its core in the process of translation. When we speak with ourselves or with others, we are always involved in translation: Speaking and saying are in themselves a translation whose essential unfolding is by no means exhausted by the fact that translated words and the words to be translated belong to different languages. An originary translation prevails [waltet] in every dialogue and monologue. (GA 54, p. 17) It goes without saying that, in order to gain access to this 'other' - which we call 'innerlingual' - translation, we cannot be guided by the questions that are concerned with validity of interlingual translation and semantic equivalency of translated terms. Rather we are guided by what Heidegger calls reformula:ion. Originary or 'innerlingual' translation includes the process of 'replacing one expression with another one of the same language and so using a "reformulation" [Umschreibung\ (GA 54, pp. 17-18). Originary translation which occurs within language and is innerlingual occurs in thfe closest proximity to reformulation. This involves changing the chosen words, sometimes even choosing a more appropriate word-context. This change indicates that thinking is already


The question of translation 63 moved, crossed over (is 'translated') into 'another truth, another clarity, or even another matter calling for questioning* (GA 54, p. 18). How else could reformulation be possible? In and of itself reformulation shows a proximity to and a connection with the 'words' that make up the reformulation. Thinking must be with those words if reformulation is to occur. To be with those words means that thinking crosses over to those words, translates itself into them. Thus reformulation indicates an onginary or innerlingual translation. In addition to reformulation, poetizing and thinking offer other possibilities for grasping the process of crossing over which is essential to innerlingual translation. To take thinking and poetizing as they occur in our own language in a manner that is appropriate to them, we must cross over and get translated into the word which originally harbours a work of poetizing or thinking. Understanding poetry or following along in thinking requires innerlingual translation: 'The poetry of a poet and the treatise of a thinker reside in their own unique and singular [einzig] word. They force us to hear this word again and again, as if we hear it for the first time' (GA 54, p. 17). In order to read a poem or a work of thinking, we must be 'translated' innerlingually into their essential word. What distinguishes the word in a work of poetizing is that it requires our being 'translated' into this word. What is called reformulation is also marked by a crossing/translating. Both movements occur when we cross over to the essential word of poetizing and to the word which is essential to reformulation; and both of these movements are movements of innerlingual translation which occurs prior to interlingual translation. Long before language enters the arena of interlingual translation, it must be heard in innerlingual translation. This is a translation which occurs independently of interlingual translation, whose validity is questioned by the problem of semantic equivalency. Occurring within language itself, this translation directs us to the root unfolding of language. What is this root unfolding of language all about? Before we respond to this question, we must take another look at reformulation and what it reveals - for two reasons: (1) Reformulation could be taken as a 'doubling' of language which shows that language is not co-extensive with itself.4 (2) Reformulation could also be taken as an essential indicator of what happens in the experience of being and language. Reflecting on this second point helps to put the first point into proper focus. If reformulation indicates the occurrence of an onginary translation within language, then it is incumbent upon us to take the phrase 'truth of being, die Wahrheit des Seins' as a reformulation of the phrase 'meaning of being, der Sinn von Sein\ The change that occurs in the movement in language from 'meaning of being' to 'truth of being' indicates an onginary translation within the language of thinking. (It goes without


64 Parvis Emad saying that this occurrence of originary translation is appropriately thought only when reformulation is placed in the context of the experience of being and language, i.e., as an indicator of originary translation within language. If we take reformulation as a mere 'rewording', then of course thinking ceases to address this significant aspect of Heidegger's thinking.) If we consider the proximity of Heidegger's thinking to the 'truth of being' as he is coming to grips with the question of the 'meaning of being', then we have to say that the first phrase is a reformulation of the second. This presupposes that Heidegger considers the question concerning the 'truth of being' as already within the perimeter of the work which deals with the 'meaning of being'. As we gather from Beitrdge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), this is indeed and precisely the case: truth of being already falls within the perimeter of Being and Time (cf. GA 65, p. 182).5 If the intention of this work is 'the concrete elaboration of the question of the meaning of being' (GA 2, p. 1) and if 'truth of being' already falls within the perimeter of this work, then 'truth of being' presents a reformulation of the 'meaning of being'. Originary translation as a translation that occurs within language already translates thinking of the question of the 'meaning of being' into a thinking of the 'truth of being' and thus reformulates it. Seen in this light, reformulation does not present a 'doubling' of language, but rather testifies to its showing power. To take reformulation as a 'doubling' amounts to blocking access to the originary translation that makes reformulation possible. If one insists on seeing reformulation as a 'doubling' - as an indication that language is not co-extensive with itself - then one runs the risk of missing entirely what Heidegger says about translation, what he means by originary translation, and what his thinking shows us about translation and the root unfolding of language, das Wesen der Sprache* in its relation to urspriingliche Ubersetzung, originary translation. Occurring within language itself, this translation directs us to the root unfolding of language.

Ill Root unfolding of language and originary translation In order fully to understand originary or innerlingual translation as one which occurs in response to the foreignness of another language, takes place in every dialogue and monologue, sustains reformulation and upholds an appropriate entry into works of poetizing and thinking, we must determine the way in which this translation reflects the root unfolding of language. This determination is necessary because it prevents misconstruing originary translation as a 'linguistic' episode isolated from the root unfolding of language. This determination allows originary translation to be seen as an innerlingual event which is sustained by the


The question of translation 65 root unfolding of language and is one of its most accessible indicators. Considering Heidegger's work on language as a whole, we can say that what distinguishes originary translation and reveals it to be an intricate and relatively accessible indicator of the root unfolding of language is the occurrence of 'way-making' that initiates and guides this translation. Thus to grasp originary translation broadly and essentially, we must focus on this occurrence of 'way-making'. This requires nothing less than outlining the fundamental way of Heidegger's thinking about language. First, we must note that for Heidegger language is not adequately and appropriately grasped when it is construed merely in anthropological and instrumental terms. For Heidegger language has a unique showing power that goes deeper than that. When language unfolds essentially, it allows things to show themselves and be manifest. Second, the root unfolding of language occurs as a 'way-making' (be-wâ&#x201A;Źgeri) so that things may appear and show themselves. What Heidegger means by the word way/Weg is captured by the word 'way-making'. When the word way/Weg appears at various junctures in Heidegger's work (for example, in the last lines of Being and Time) or when it appears as an adjunct to thinking (such as in Denkwegy pathway of thinking) or when it, finally, is used in designating the Gesamtausgabe as Wege, nicht Werke (pathways, not works) - these various uses of the word way/Weg receive their ultimate justification and meaning from 'way-making' as an occurrence which is central to the root unfolding of language. In its simple construction the word 'way-making' refers to the word way. For Heidegger this is not a metaphor that alludes to the task of thinking and to the incomplete and provisional character of its 'results' - thus implying relativism and perspectivism. Rather - third, and in view of what we have just said about this word - the word way/ Weg perhaps as no other word in Heidegger's language directs us to what transpires in the thinking of the question of being as a thinking of both being and language. This thinking is a thinking of being and language in so far as being is thought in stretches of the way that is laid out in language's 'way-making' movement. The word way and what it indicates requires that we think of being and language, not as two separate and independent entities, but as always connected and in accord. They are distinct from each other but are not separate and independent of each other. It is language's way-making movement that takes us underneath language as an ontologically neutral and independent tool of communication. It is also the manifesting/showing/appearing of the being of things that keeps us from thinking that being occurs in a language-free zone. To think of language as an ontologically neutral tool and to think of being as appearing in a language-free zone is to overlook that, as von Herrmann puts it: 'Heidegger thinks being as being in the horizon of the root unfolding of language; and, conversely, he thinks the root unfolding of language in the horizon of being as being.'7 This means that to think of language,


66 Parvis Emad we must think of its words' showing power, which is always a showing power that shows things in their being. When we state something in words, we always show something in its being. In short, every statement in language is stated in the horizon of the root unfolding of being; and being appears within the horizon of the root unfolding of language. Language's stating/showing/manifesting of things is a way-making. Heidegger captures 'way-making'/showing/stating in one word: Sage/saying. We must recall - and this is our fourth point - that the word saying/ Sage is appropriate for showing what transpires when language unfolds in its core because Sage in its original form, sagan, maintains close ties with the word zeigenlshowing. As it unfolds in its core, language shows things and makes them manifest. Unfolding in its core, language is a saying/Sage which lets things be manifest for what they are. When it unfolds as saying/showing, language makes way for things to be manifest. Thus: language . . . receives its determination from saying as from that which makes way for everything [Sprache. . . empftingt seine Bestimmung aus der Sage als dem alles Be-wggendenY (GA 12, p. 191; ET, p. 95). This suggests that 'way-making' occurs as saying in the realm of showing/manifesting, which is always the realm of being. Having outlined - albeit briefly, as is required here - the essential issues that are involved in the root unfolding of language, we can now turn to the question which prompted the outline in the first place: to what extent and in what manner is the 'way-making'/saying/showing of language involved in originary translation? And to what extent is originary translation involved in the 'way-making'/saying/showing of language? Our response is simply: originary translation occurs as 'way-making'/ saying/showing. Further, since this translation precedes interlingual translation, translating for Heidegger in its core implies, manifests, and is sustained by 'way-making'/saying/showing. We can see thefittingnessof this response in two ways: (1) by returning once again to what reformulation reveals and (2) by considering translation of a work of thinking into its own language. (1) Reformulation occurs when the matter that appears in the initial formulation (say as the 'meaning of being') reappears differently (say as the 'truth of being'). The mutual unfolding of being and language in their respective horizons 'makes a way' which requires a different safying. Heidegger's choice of word and its special spelling corroborates this essential occurrence of way-making. He chooses the word bewegen, which he hyphenates and to which he adds an umlaut, showing that he is concerned with a movement in language that is more than ordinary movement. This spelling is intended to stress the movement as a 'waymaking' movement. Hyphenated and with an umlaut, be-w#gen indicates Wege altererst ergeben und stiften: yielding and bringing about ways in


The question of translation 67 an originary way (GA 12, p. 186; ET, p. 92). Reformulation depends on and represents one such yielding and bringing about of ways. In reformulation saying is not something that is added to the matter that reappears differently and needs reformulation. Rather, saying is just this appearing/ showing itself. Thus reformulating or re-saying the question of being in terms of the 'truth of being' indicates that thinking moves along a path in language which opens unto the 'truth of being'. The path that thinking takes in reformulation points out an altered appearing and a translating into this appearing. Reformulation is called for, becomes necessary, and can be accomplished only because language 'makes ways' in this deep sense. (2) Besides reformulation, the special circumstance of translating a work of thinking into its native language involves originary translation (language's 'way-making'/showing/saying). We can see this involvement by considering what transpires in such a translation. Translation of a work of thinking into its native language involves originary translation because it requires translating the language of this work into words that belong to its own language. And this is a task that is quite different from translating this work into another language. This task is different because to translate one's own language into its ownmost [eigenstes] words is always more difficult. For instance, translation of the words of a German thinker into the German language is particularly difficult because here the obstinate prejudice holds sway that we are supposed to understand the German word automatically [von selbst], since it belongs to 'our' own language. (GA 54, p. 18) This difficulty is directly proportional to the 'way' which the thinker's language of thinking 'makes' in the thinker's own native language, i.e., is proportional to the extent that language is unfolded essentially and in its core. In so far as his work shows/manifests things in a special manner, his language of thinking 'makes' special 'ways' in his own native language. The difficulty of translating/interpreting the work of a thinker into his own native language consists in the fact that the translator/interpreter must translate himself (here the German #6er-setzen, with emphasis on the prefix iiber, works much better than the English word translate) into the saying, i.e., into the 'ways made' by the work of thinking in his native language. Here the success of the translator/interpreter depends largely on his grasping that a work of thinking presupposes the mutual and horizonal root unfolding of being and language. A work of thinking represents such an unfolding, and its language is a measure of that. A translation of a work of thinking into its own native tongue requires as its first step


68 Parvis Emad that the translator/interpreter gain access to the 'ways made' by that work in its own native tongue. Once these 'ways' are ascertained, then the language of the interpreter unfolds essentially and in its core. In this root unfolding, the originary translation of a work of thinking takes place as a translation into the 'ways made' by a work of thinking in its native tongue. Thus the difficulty of translating a work of thinking into its own language consists in gaining access to the 'ways made' in that language and in unfolding the interpreter's language in accordance with those 'ways'. Here is the place to offer a brief criticism - proceeding from this understanding of originary translation - of the contemporary hermeneutic and structuralist theories of interpretation. Contemporary hermeneutic and structuralist theories of interpretation struggle with that distance which separates the interpreter from the work to be interpreted.8 But they do not seem to succeed in overcoming that distance. On one level the interpreter is certainly separated and thus distanced from the work that he wishes to interpret. However, if we understand the interpreter's response to the 'ways made' in the language of the work to be interpreted as a response within the root unfolding of language, then we find that the distance which separates the work from its interpreter is already overcome in and through originary translation. Originary translation overcomes this distance in its character as a translation into 'way-making'/ showing/saying that occurs when the 'foreign-sounding' character of the language of the work of thinking elicits a response from its own native language. The distance between translator/interpreter and the work to be interpreted is already bridged by the originary translation as a response to the language of the work of thinking - a response which lets language unfold in its core. This means that it is language - and not the interpreter - that initiates, carries through, and completes originary translation. Thus originary translation confirms Heidegger's basic position: 'It is not man who speaks, but language. Man speaks only by resonating with language within the root unfolding of being [geschicklich].9 This way of saying originary translation confirms Heidegger's stance on the priority of language, in that this translation reveals a level of 'linguistic activity' that lies deeper than what usually happens in speaking and writing within a multiplicity of meanings. We tend to think of this multiplicity as something that is at our disposal as we speak. But considering the deeper 'linguistic activity' (as revealed in originary translation), we realize that the opposite is actually the case: Multiplicity of meanings of a term does not originate in the fact that, in speaking and writing, we humans occasionally mean different things with the same word. The multiplicity of meanings is in each case an


The question of translation 69 historical [geschkhtlich] multiplicity. It emerges from the fact that, when we speak the language, we are addressed and claimed by the being of beings in different ways, depending upon the root unfolding of being.10 Thus originary translation of a work of thinking into the words of its own language reveals the language of this work as one which 'makes ways' in its native tongue in accord with the root unfolding (Geschick) of being. Accordingly, this originary translation reveals being's most intimate involvement with language. This way of saying originary translation reveals that the language of a work of thinking is moulded in closest proximity to how language essentially unfolds in a work of thinking. Let us show how this happens with an example from Kant. We can say that this unfolding takes place when Kant interprets ratio as both Vernunft and Grund and translates principium reddendae rationis sufficientis as der Satz vom Grund. But stepping over to the 'way made' by the Latin ratio - first in Latin and then in German, with Vernunft and Grund - is moving into a 'way' wherein interlingual translation (i.e., the translation of the Latin ratio into German) and innerlingual translation (i.e., the translation within Latin and within German) intersect. This means that translation of a work of thinking into its native tongue sometimes requires stepping over to the 'way made' by*a word which is not a native word in a thinker's native tongue, but is none the less an essential word and gets translated into a thinker's native tongue. (In Kant's case this occurs when the word ratio is translated into German both as Vernunft and as Grund.) Heidegger regards this latter kind of translation - the one in which a foreign and essential word gets translated into another language, the one in which interlingual and innerlingual translations meet - as an instance of essential translation (wesentliche Ubersetzung). In order to understand more fully what translation is all about, we must take a quick look at essential translation.

IV Translation as essential translation The linguistic event which we pursued up to this point and which Heidegger calls 'originary translation' - which we call 'innerlingual translation' - takes place in reading a work of thinking or a work of poetizing, in essential reformulation, and particularly in that translation which occurs when a work of thinking is translated into the words of its own native language. However, sometimes translation of a work of thinking into the words of its own language unexpectedly brings us face to face with interlingual translation, in so far as the originary translation of that work


70 Parvis Emad comes upon a translation which takes place within the language of that work but involves another language - as is the case in Kant's rendition of the Latin ratio into German. What happens in and as translation, when translation is interlingual and hands over to an historical epoch a 'way' of showing/manifesting that is 'made' by essential words of another language? In short, what sort of interlingual translation is essential translation? In order to respond to these questions, we must draw attention to a naive assumption that often plays a quiet and persistent role in the debate on interlingual translation. (When this assumption is rightly understood, then we can see interlingual translation as a particular occasion for language to unfold essentially and in its core.) Debate on the interlingual translation of a work of thinking sometimes naively assumes that essential words and concepts of a work of thinking are clearly circumscribed and reside without ambiguity on the other side of the so-called 'language barrier', simply waiting to be transmitted to this side of the 'language barrier' with equal clarity and unambiguously. But this assumption overlooks the fact that essential words of a work of thinking are not instances of clear and unambiguous circumscription: they are cases of 'way-making'/saying/showing power. These cases of 'way-making'/saying/showing power emerge from 'being's root unfolding within the horizon of language and from language's root unfolding within the horizon of being'. Seen within the context of this mutual and horizonal root unfolding, interlingual translation of basic words of thinking is not primarily a matter of transmission of 'well-defined meanings' from one language into another. Interlingual translation as essential translation involves primarily being's root unfolding along with language's root unfolding. In view of this involvement, we can say that, strictly speaking, no wholesale transmission takes place in essential translations of works of thinking because 'way-making'/saying/showing power of elemental words of thinking cannot be transmitted intact. The most that essential translation can achieve is to convey a sense of what the 'way-making'/saying/showing is - that way-making that occurs in strict correspondence with the unfolding of the language which is to be translated. Essential or interlingual translation deals with being's unfolding within a given language as this unfolding shines through its words. Essential translation indicates that being's unfolding (das Geschick des Seins) corresponds to a certain way of speaking and that a certain way of speaking corresponds to being's manner of involvement in language. In Heidegger's words: 'An essential translation corresponds [entspricht] in each case to the manner in which language speaks within an epoch of unfolding of being and, in so doing, corresponds to the root unfolding of being.'11 The word entsprechen (correspondence) that appears in this characterization of essential translation marks the unfolding of language within the horizon of being. As a


The question of translation 71 language, German corresponds to being's unfolding when this language puts forth Vernunft and Grund as translation/reception of the Latin ratio. If this unfolding/corresponding would not take place, then the 'way' of showing/manifesting things that is peculiar to ratio - i.e., the 'calculative way' - would not be conveyed into modern German thought. Deliberately exaggerating, Heidegger says that there would then be no critique of pure reason. If in modern [German] thought ratio would not speak in translation equivocally as Vernunft and as Grund, then there would be no critique of pure reason as delimitation of the possibility of the object of experience.'12 In order that the 'way-making'/saying/showing peculiar to ratio be received by German thought, two words are utilized, a utilization whose philosophical justification may be found in Kant's work. By undertaking the project of a critique of pure reason, Kant lays out the principles and rules that heighten and intensify the 'calculative way' that was originally displayed in the word ratio. Critique of pure reason (the process, not the book) heightens the calculative way and thus sets the stage for the maximization of calculation as it occurs in modern technology. As a language Latin unfolds within the horizon of being; thus it is in correspondence with the unfolding of being when this language puts forth actualitas as a translation of €vep7€ia. But the Latin word is not and cannot be the exact replica of the Greek term because the mutual and horizonal root unfolding of being and language is not a selfsame and repetitive process. Being's unfolding as it gives rise'to 4v€p7€ia occurs in Greek as a language which unfolds within the horizon of being. Being's unfolding as it gives rise to actualitas occurs in Latin as a language which unfolds within the horizon of being. Being's unfolding within the horizon of Latin as a language in the unfolding of a withdrawal that marks the end of the First Beginning, the Beginning which initiates philosophy. This means that translation of the Greek 4v€p7€ia into actualitas mirrors the unfolding of being which is distinguished by this withdrawal. We can see this by contrasting the 'way' made in Greek by €V€p7€ia - for showing/manifesting things - with the 'way' made in Latin by actualitas. The Greek 4v€p7€ia makes a 'way' of showing/manifesting of 'the this' and 'the that' 'as presencing in work as work [das im Werk als WerkWesen]'.13 The Latin actualitas also makes a 'way' of showing/manifesting things as work, but actualitas accentuates the work aspect only in terms of 'what is effected in effecting, what is accomplished in accomplishing'.14 Thus actualitas covers over the work aspect as presencing by stressing the 'opus of operarV and the 'actus of agere'.15 Although actualitas covers over the showing/manifesting of €V€p7€ta (presencing in work as work), the Latin word is not entirely devoid of the original root unfolding of being: 'Beyond the indefinite relation to work, actualitas no longer preserves anything of the root unfolding of 4v€p7€ia. And yet in actualitas, too, the initiatory root unfolding of


72 Parvis Emad being holds sway.'16 The initiatory root unfolding of being holds sway in actualitas because, originating in a language which unfolds within the horizon of being, this word too 'makes a way' and has showing power. When Heidegger focuses on the translation of these two words, he demonstrates that the root unfolding of language extends into actual cases of interlingual translation. This extension is not an artificial imposition of a 'new' meaning into an already existing word. Rather it involves forming a word which conveys (does not duplicate) the 'way-making'/saying/ showing power of the original word. This extension tells us that, when a word of thinking is a foreign word, language of thinking unfolds in its core by corresponding to being's unfolding and by putting forth a word that evokes the original word's 'way-making'/saying/showing power. Since this unfolding occurs as language's 'way-making'/saying/showing, the very notion of an interlingual translation of the words of thinking no longer implies transportation of a word from one language into another. Rather interlingual translation of words of thinking is a response which for example, Latin provides in accordance with being's unfolding to the 'waymaking'/saying/showing that is Greek. Thus we can now respond to our earlier question, namely 'What happens in and as translation when translation of the words of thinking is interlingual?' The response is: when it is essential, interlingual translation of the words of thinking is a translation into 'way-making'/saying/showing. We come upon a specific case of this translation when we consider Heidegger's rendition into German of a segment of the Theaetetus which differs sharply from Schleiermacher's rendition. We begin by putting together a chart which enables us to survey at a glance a number of central Platonic concepts and their renditions into German by Schleiermacher and then by Heidegger (for details cf. GA 34, pp. 149-240). Plato 8tavo€iv emaKeiJjacr&ai

Schleiermacher Denken Erforschen

\€7€IV

Reden, Sprechen

dryaftos iiroXeyecrfrai

gut aufsuchen17 Liebe zu Schlussen gelangen Wahrheit Dasein

€pa><3

dva\o7i£€cr&ai d\fj{teia owta

Heidegger Vernehmen Im Hinsehen etwas einer Sache ansehen Sammeln, gesammelt etwas darstellen und offenbar machen tauglich auf etwas zustreben Erstrebnis hin und her iiberrechnen Unverborgenheit Seiendes


The question of translation 73 Just as the translation of the Greek evep7eia into actualitas mirrors the unfolding of being which marks the end of the First Beginning, so also translation of Platonic concepts into German must occur in such a way as to mirror the unfolding of being as (not at) the end of the First Beginning and the beginning of philosophy proper in Plato. Just as in 'actualitas the initiatory root unfolding of being holds sway', so also these central Platonic concepts must be translated by an unfolding of language which mirrors the initiatory root unfolding of being in the First Beginning, as this unfolding still holds sway in Plato. What is striking about Schleiermacher's translation of Plato's words of thinking (gathered in the above chart) is that his renditions of these words fail to mirror the initiatory root unfolding of being which still holds sway and is sheltered in Platonic words. True to the language that dominates the tradition that he inherits, Schleiermacher translates (to consider just a few) 8iavoeiv with Denken (intellection), Xeyeiv with Reden (speaking) and d\TJ$€ia with Wahrheit (truth). Despite the unmistakable Accuracy' of his renditions, Schleiermacher's language is essentially repetitive and traditional. He does not seem to be shaken by the 'foreignness' of Plato's Greek to the extent that is needed in order to come to terms with. the root unfolding of his own language. His renditions are 'good and accurate' interlingual translations, but they are not essential ones. Perhaps we can shed some light on this difficult and ^intricate issue by briefly examining Schleiermacher's and Heidegger's choice of terms for 8iavo€iv. Schleiermacher follows the prevalent practice of translating Siotvoeiv with Denken (intellection). In Heidegger's words that is 'not only ungreek, but also fails to see all the issues that we face here . . . such a harmless rendition, though correct according to the dictionary, undermines the poignancy and ground of the whole question' (GA 34, p. 181). For Schleiermacher the word Siavociv is not primarily a 'way-made' for saying/showing/manifesting things, but denotes an 'activity' by which things are intellectually grasped. For Heidegger Stavociv is primarily a 'way-made' for showing/saying/manifesting things. He translates 8tavo€iv as Vernehmen, i.e. taking in, interrogating and hearing. Heidegger keenly attends to the ambivalence (Zweideutigkeit) of the word 8tavo€iv, which on the one hand indicates 'receiving' as 'taking in' (Hinnehmeri) and on the other hand stresses interrogating (as in Vernehmung von Zeugen im Gericht, 'interrogating witnesses in court'): In 8iavo€iv we come upon [the occurrence of] 'receiving/taking in' of what shows itself as a receiving that interrogates. This interrogating takes something in and receives it in that this interrogating takes up something in view of something [else]. [Im btavoeiv liegt dieses


74 Parvis Emad vor-nehmende, eine Sache auf etwas hin durchnehmende Hinnehmen dessert, was sich dabei zeigt.] (GA 34, p. 181) There is a world of difference between translating Siotvoeiv with Denken and with Vernehmen. If we translate SCotvoeiv with Denken, then we lose sight of the initiatory character of this word which places it at the end of the First Beginning. That this word shelters such an initiatory character is borne out by the fact that, when Beitrage zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) offers a series of hints and indications for understanding how the First Beginning 'plays forth' (zuspielen) into the 'Other Beginning', this work mentions Vernehmen and Vernehmung as words that still reverberate with the initiatory root unfolding of being (as Ereignis) (cf. GA 65, p. 198 and passim). Thus the question that emerges from the above chart is not whether Schleiermacher's renditions are accurate - they obviously are - but rather this: are Schleiermacher's renditions into German 'an essential translation which hands over to an historical epoch a "way" of saying/showing/ manifesting, or are his renditions repetitive and traditional'? Schleiermacher's translation does not unfold the German language in accordance with the root unfolding of being which occurs as the Other Beginning. His translation is accurate and takes over the existing and circulating reserve of words of the German language, and by that very token his translation is not an essential translation. By contrast Heidegger's renditions of Platonic terms are the unfolding of the German language in such a way as to correspond to the root unfolding of being which marks the Other Beginning. Because the First Beginning 'plays forth' into the Other Beginning - and this means that the end of this Beginning which occurs in Plato also 'plays forth' into the Other Beginning - Heidegger's renditions of Platonic terms unfold the German language in such a way as to allow the initiatory character of these terms to emerge and reverberate. That is, the very words Vernehmen, Sammeln, Erstrebnis, Unverborgenheit, etc. are in each instance essential translation, i.e., move within the root unfolding of language within the horizon of the root unfolding of being {das Wesen der Sprache im Geschick des Seins). If essential translation is a translation into 'way-making'/saying/showing within an historical epoch, then language's unfolding as saying could be viewed as a formative power in that epoch. But how formative is saying that occurs in essential translation? We see the formative character of saying appropriately when we recall that saying occurs as soundless showing and as stillness (GA 12, pp. 243ff.). Thinking deeper into the question of translation, we realize that innerlingual translation turns us away from the differences between languages and leads us to a saying which is


The question of translation

75

soundless showing and occurs right at the core of language. Thinking deeper into the question of translation, we get a glimpse of this soundless and still showing. Gathering all of this, we can say: the unresolvable foreignness that always remains in interlingual translation is the occasion for experiencing the root unfolding of language as a soundless saying/ showing within the horizon of being.

Notes 1 Throughout this essay the volumes of Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe will be referenced within the text by using GA followed by the volume and then the page number (e.g., GA 2, p. 56). All of these volumes have been published by Vittorio Kostermann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, beginning with the year 1975. 2 Obviously the word Wesen presents great difficulties for translation. Rendition of this term with 'essence' does not reflect the movement of emerging in its ongoing character which is crucial for this word. In Beitrdge zur Philosophic (Vom Ereignis) Heidegger points out that essentia (hence also the English word essence) is a word that belongs to metaphysical thinking as a thinking that is concerned with 'beingness of beings' (GA 65, p. 270). Speaking of vi i<rnv and art â&#x201A;Ź<rriv, he says that the distinction between essentia and existentia 'springs from. the beingness of beings and thus pertains to the Wesung of being'. Then he adds: 'Essentia and existentia are not richer and do not originate from something simple. On the contrary [this distinction] is a definite impoverishment of the richer Wesen of being and its truth.' These remarks of Heidegger make it quite clear that, although the word essence pertains to the Wesung of being, there is a vast difference between Wesen and 'essence', which difference translation must not overlook. Several approaches to the translation of Wesen point out the difficulty that this word presents for translation: (1) Gail Stenstad proposes that this word be left untranslated (cf. her unpublished dissertation Heidegger's Question of Language: From Being to Dwelling). The disadvantage of retaining the German word is that, by keeping it intact, no translation actually takes place. (2) Wilson Brown translates the word Wesen with 'issuance and abidance'. This comes somewhat close to the movement of emerging and unfolding that the word displays. But by using two nouns instead of a verb, this translation stifles the movement character of Wesen (cf. Wilson Brown, 'The selfsame and the differing of the difference', Research in Phenomenology, xiv (1984), p. 225). (3) Kenneth Maly suggests the use of the expression 'root unfolding', which preserves the movement of emerging in its ongoing character (cf. his 'Imaging hinting showing: placing the work of art', in F.-W. von Herrmann and W. Biemel (eds), Kunst und Technik: Geddchtnisschrift zum 100. Gerburtstag von Martin Heidegger (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann Verlag, 1989), p. 195). In this essay we shall follow Maly's practice and refer to Wesen throughout as 'root unfolding'. Although the word root runs the risk of indicating some lower/deeper place/thing 'from out of which' the Wesen takes place - thus intimating a stability that runs counter to Wesen - nevertheless the expression 'root unfolding', when heard in the resonance of the phrase taken as a whole, comes closest to indicating the significant movement which occurs in Wesen. 3 Miguel de Cervantes, among others, articulates the first position; Jorge Luis


76

Parvis Emad

Borges, the second; and Goethe, the third. Cervantes advocates the first view when he suggests that reading a work in translation is like 'viewing a piece of Flemish tapestry on the wrong side' (Don Quixote (Modern Library Edition), p. 869). For Cervantes reading translation is equal to reading a distorted view of the original. On the other hand Borges suggests that translation is possible without distortion. His fictional Pier Menard envisions such a perfect translation in terms of actual writing, not rewriting the original. Three hundred years after Cervantes, Pier Menard plans to write Don Quixote in French. He knows 'Spanish well, "recovers" the Catholic faith, "fights" against the Moors and the Turks, and "forgets" the history of Europe between the years 1602 and 1918'; in short, he plans to be Miguel de Cervantes. This is a project which he 'should only have to be immortal' in order 'to carry out' (Ficciones (New York: Grove Press, 1962) pp. 49f.). Goethe's position is somewhere between the two extremes just mentioned. He assesses the status of translation and equivalency in different terms, in that he sets a different goal for translation. In Der West-Osterliche Divan he designates as the last and third period in the history of translation one in which 'we would want to make translation identical with the original in such a way that the new text does not exist instead of the original [anstatt], but in its place [an der Stelle\ (DTV Edition), p. 244. Goethe's view on translation touches the crucial points in Cervantes as well as in Borges. Unlike Cervantes, Goethe considers translation to be reliable and strong enough to be identical with the original. Unlike Borges, Goethe sees this identity, not as an absolute, but only a partial and functional identity. In so far as Goethe does not envision the possibility of an absolute identity of translation with the original - as Borges seems to do - (translation, he says, does not exist instead of the original, but in its place) Goethe's identity of translation and original is partial and functional. He leaves open the access to and the need for a return to the original. 4 Cf. 'Ontology of language, ontology of translation in Heidegger' by Eliane Escoubas. 5 To say that the 'truth of being' is a 'reformulation' of the 'meaning of being' is to heed the occurrence of originary translation (which indicates language's 'way-making') and to heed what Heidegger says about Being and Time in Sections 42 and 91 of Beitriige zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis). In Section 42 we are told that in the field of the question of being there 'are no straightforward "developments." There is much less that relationship between what comes later [das SpUtere] to what comes earlier [das Friihere], according to which relationship the former is contained in the latter' (GA 65, p. 85). In the light of this statement we can say that the 'truth of being' is not contained in the 'meaning of being' in Being and Time. However, this does not exclude taking 'truth of being' as a reformulation of the 'meaning of being'. That Being and Time falls within the ,, perimeter of the 'truth of being' emerges clearly from Section 91 of Beitr&ge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), where Heidegger characterizes Being and Time as 'the first step toward creatively overcoming metaphysics' and adds that this step 'had to be undertaken by holding firm, in one respect, to the posture of thinking [Denkhaltung] while at the same time, in another respect, basically overcoming this posture'. Both happen in Being and Time in so far as this work 'holds to the posture of thinking by inquiring into the being of a being and overcomes metaphysics in so far as [this work] inquires in advance into the truth of being' (GA 65, p. 182). Inquiring in advance into the 'truth of being' manifests a


The question of translation

77

proximity to this truth in language which allows an originary translation into it, in the reformulation of the 'meaning of being'. 6 See note 2 above. 7 F.-W. von Herrmann, Subjekt und Dasein, 2nd edn (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Kostermann Verlag, 1985), p. 169. 8 Only when thinking fails to experience originary translation - whose very occurrence denies the distance between interpreter and work - as translation into 'ways made' by the work, only then can thinking propose a 'fusion of horizons' (Verschmelzung der Horizonte), as Gadamer does, or utilize a 'deconstructive strategy', as Derrida is doing (cf. H.-G. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, 2nd edn, Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1965), pp. 289ff.; ET, pp. 269ff. and J. Derrida, 'Plato's pharmacy', in Dissemination, tr. B. Johnson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981). We can go one step further and suggest that, when originary translation does not take place, the distance which operates prior to this translation manifests itself by the demand for a 'fusion of horizons' or for Derrida's concern for detecting 'binary oppositions' - manifesting a certain insecurity of thinking that grows out of the very distance from the matter to be thought. For, in order for the interpreter's 'horizon' to be 'fused' with the 'horizon' of the work, the two must be separated from each other by this distance. Likewise, identification and detection of 'binary oppositions' in the text - as well as other elements of the Reconstructive strategy' - presuppose a distance and an assessive posture, which weigh and value one thing against another. (Is not this assessive posture what enables Derrida to detect 'binary oppositions' in every work that he reads?) However, originary translation is not assessive because it is simply this: moving/stepping into 'ways made' by a work of thinking. 9 Martin Heidegger, Der Satz vom Grund (Pfullingen: Verlag Giinther Neske, 1957), p. 161. The German words das Geschick and geschicklich, as used by Heidegger, present significant trouble for translation. The usual way of translating the words into English, i.e. as 'destiny', is inadequate - for it covers over the movement character of the word. Moreover the dimension of the unfolding in any given epoch gets hidden and covered over. In this essay I have opted for the translation of Wesen as 'root unfolding'. In view of the immense light that BeitrUge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) sheds on Heidegger's work, I find it necessary to use the word 'unfolding' also for translating the word Geschick. For, throughout Beitrdge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) Heidegger's use of the terms Wesen and Wesung suggests that Geschick too is a way of Wesen and Wesung, i.e., is a way of unfolding. This means that the movement named in Geschick emerges in the same place as the movement named Wesung, as this word is used in Beitrdge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis). The possibility of originary translation requires that interlingual translation focus precisely not on terms that are semantically equivalent, but rather simply heed that way of originary translation that takes place innerlingually, as the root unfolding of language. On this point see my discussion and translation of the term Betroffenheit (a term that appears in Heidegger's Nietzsche, volume II) as presented in my paper 'The question of technology and will to power', in von Herrmann and Biemel (eds), Kunst und Technik, pp. 137ff. See also by contrast translation of this term by David F. Krell in Heidegger, Nietzsche, vol. III. (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 189ff. 10 Der Satz vom Grund, p. 161. 11 ibid., p. 164. 12 ibid.


78

Parvis Emad

13 Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche, vol. II (PfuUingen: Verlag Gunther Neske, 1961), p. 404. 14 ibid., p. 412. 15 ibid. 16 ibid., p. 413. 17 In this text Heidegger uses the word erfassen, using an earlier edition of Schleiermacher's translation. The Rowohlt edition of the Schleiermacher translation replaces erf assert with aufsuchen (cf. GA 34, pp. 30, 203 and 337).


36 Heidegger's idea of truth Ernst Tugendhat

Heidegger is perhaps the only philosopher of our time who has tried to advance the classical tradition of ontologico-transcendental philosophy in a productive way. That this advance is presented as an overcoming and one in which philosophy isfinallybrought to a close, has of course made it suspect. The critique of Heidegger's thought is mostly carried out upon a plane which, for its part, is no longer that of the ontologico-transcendental tradition. Assuming that it still makes sense today to hold on to the formal idea of an ontological or transcendental philosophy as a desirable ideal, Heidegger's attempt must be examined specifically with regard to this guiding idea, if we are to arrive at an assessment of our own possibilities. In this connection, a particular significance can be attributed to the concept of truth. Crudely expressed, one can say that it is a characteristic of the philosophy of the classical tradition that, on the one hand, it is universal (questioning into being in general) while, on the other hand, it starts out from some first, or most original, principle. For ancient metaphysics, thisfirstprinciple was an absolute being. In modern, transcendental philosophy, the standpoint of knowledge and therewith that of truth comes to the fore, and this from two sides. All beings are questioned with regard to the condition of their possibility in so far as this condition can be known to be true, and the first and most original principle to which this question leads back is not so much an absolute being as rather something which is given with absolute certainty. Thus, Husserl understands his transcendental philosophy as a phenomenological clarification of everything posited as true, with reference to a transcendental subjectivity whose distinctive characteristic lies in its absolute selfgivenness, that is, in its character as the sphere of the absolutely evident and therefore of a conclusive truthfulness, Heidegger holds on to the idea of a first and most original principle and, in so far as he does so he


80 Ernst Tugendhat remains, formally speaking, in the tradition of transcendental-philosophy. However, the self-givenness of subjectivity is for him no longer an absolute principle but rather one that has already been mediated by the ecstatic temporality of Dasein through a precursory openness - its world as history. To this extent the transcendental (thesis) is surpassed. In order to have a word which describes both the continuity and the break, let us call this position 'meta-transcendental'. What is most originally given is no longer characterized by the evidence of an absolute subjectivity but by the disclosure of the finitude of Dasein and - in so far as this disclosure stands out in an open field of play - through the clearing of this very field itself. I do not want to offer an interpretation of this basic position of Heidegger's but only to ask what it means that Heidegger, for his part, also understands this transformed transcendental 'reference back' in terms of a first and most original truth, even though he abandons the standpoint of certainty and evidence. In Being and Time he describes the disclosure of Dasein as the first and most original phenomenon of Truth (SZ, 221) and correspondingly, in his later writings, he describes the clearing of the world as the Truth of Being'. This is not obviously in line with our normal understanding of truth and actually presupposes Heidegger's own theory of truth, a theory for which truth is determined as 'disclosure' and 'un-concealment'. One therefore has to subject this theory to an interpretation if one wants to understand with what right and with what meaning Heidegger chooses the word 'truth' to characterize his meta-transcendental reference back. In order to keep the interpretation within a controllable frame, I propose to limit myself to a particular text, section 44 of Being and Time. Here Heidegger develops his concept of truth for the first time. To be sure, all the various aspects of his position have not yet been developed and the conception as a whole experiences a characteristic modification later through the so-called Kehre. But the essential decisions, those which remain fundamental for everything that follows, are already taken here and can therefore best be grasped here. The treatment of the concept of truth is carried out in two steps. Iii a first section (a) Heidegger handles propositional truth and comes to the conclusion that it must be understood as 'uncovering' (or - as Heidegger says later - unconcealing). This finding then allows him in section (b) to extend the concept of truth to all that can be uncovered and to any disclosure. And since it has already been shown, in Being and Time, that all uncovering of inner-worldly beings is grounded in the disclosure of world, this latter proves, in the end, to be the 'most original phenomenon of truth'. Section (b) therefore brings us back to our initial question, how, for Heidegger, the concept of truth can be the fundamental philosophical concept. But the decisive step in the argument of ยง44


Heidegger's idea of truth 81 is certainly the thesis of section (a) that the truth of an assertion lies in its disclosiveness. Once this has been conceded, everything else follows almost deductively. So first, we have to carefully interpret this analysis of propositional truth. It is a methodological necessity that Heidegger takes propositional truth as his point of departure here, as also in the only detailed development of the concept of truth to be found later in 'On the essence of truth' (Wegmarken, GA 9). To be sure, the philosophical determination of a basic word does not have to be restricted to any natural understanding of this word but it has to start out from such an understanding all the same. From the standpoint of ordinary understanding, propositional truth is certainly not the only meaning of the word 'truth' but it is the most familiar. That a concept of truth agrees with the propositional concept does not perhaps accomplish much. But it does at least furnish the minimal condition that must be met if it is to feature at all as a concept of truth. Heidegger certainly did not recognize this requirement as clearly as this because he was of the opinion that propositional truth wasfirstbrought to the fore by Plato and Aristotle (probably the opposite lies nearer to the truth: it is precisely Homer who in general only speaks of truth in connection with an assertion and Heidegger could only arrive at his position because, in his own conception of the Greek pre-philosophical understanding of truth, he let himself be guided less by actual word usage than by a free interpretation of the etymology). Still, this much can be said: Heidegger does in any case take propositional truth to be primary for us, which places us in need of a new concept of truth. And so we do not run contrary to his intentions if we take him at his word in this respect. He follows another hermeneutical maxim in that he not only starts out from our natural understanding of language but also holds to the traditional philosophical conception, that is to say, to the well-known formula: veritas est adequatio rei et intellectus^ How, asks Heidegger, is this correspondence really to be understood? He prepares an answer by way of a critique of various contemporary conceptions, in particular, the so-called theory of ideas: if we ask about the truth of a statement, it is a question not of a correspondence between an immanent representation and a transcendent being; rather, in the statement itself, we are already directed to the state of affairs. And the statement or assertion is now true when it shows the state of affairs 'as it is in itself, when the state of affairs is discovered to be 'in itself just as it is pointed out in the assertion' (SZ, 218). In a remark, Heidegger refers at this point to the phenomenological theory of truth developed by Husserl in his sixth Logical Investigation, and quite rightly so, Just as Heidegger's critique of the theory of ideas only reproduces Husserl's line of argument, so does his positive


82 Ernst Tugendhat determination of the concept of truth seem at first only to take up again that of Husserl. Through his specifically phenomenological thematic, through his new distinction between the objective content and its intentional mode of givenness, Husserl arrived not only at a rejection of the theory of4deas but also at a comprehensive interpretation of the adequation formula* The distinction of different modes of givenness of the same object led to the knowledge that, according to the adequation formula, that which had to correspond with the facts is neither the subject (as this formula would wrongly have it) nor something else - for instance, the statement as a physical occurrence - but precisely the same thing, only in other modes of givenness. On the one^ida, we find the state of affairs as it is intended in so-called signifying givenness, on the other precisely this state of affairs, as it is itself. This 'being itself of the state of affairs is not something transcendent to experience, but is only the correlate of a distinctive mode of givenness. The state of affairs as it is itself is the state of affairs as it manifests itself when it is itself given to us. So when Heidegger says that the truth of an assertion consists in this, that it points out or discloses the entity 'just as it is in itself, one might at first suppose that he had simply repeated HusserPs thesis. In which case one would only be in a position to appreciate the specificity of his concept of truth if one asked how and why he still distinguishes his own from HusserPs position. Heidegger himself does not explicitly address the subject. Here we run up against an, atfirstpurely incidental, peculiarity of Heidegger's exposition. He develops hisuwn concept of truth in opposition to that of other contemporary theories but only to those Husserl had himself rejected a quarter of a century earlier. What Heidegger arrives at with his own Tine of reasoning is therefore only the position assumed by Husserl. And the decisive step beyond Husserl is not subject to further justification, indeed, is not even presented as his own step. In what respects Heidegger's conception differs from that of Husserl can only be extrapolated from the different variations which he presents on the side as equivalent formulations to the former. The firs? specification runs: the assertion is true when it so indicates or discloses the state of affairs as it is in itself. The 'so-as' is here bracketed by Heidegger. ^Obviously, tftis 'so-as' is essential to the truth-relation since it describes the correspondence of the state of affairs just as it is disclosed by the assertion with precisely this state of affairs 'as it is in itself^It is all the more surprising that ^Heidegger now introduces without justification a~ fclffiulation in which the \6-as~' is missing^ He says: 'Th^T^ertoST is .-flfte/me^ the slate of affairs in itself (SZ, 218). Nevertheless, this revised formulation is stifl entirely legitiffiate, for it still entirely corresponds to HusserPs conception. For, since the correspondence, when it proves correct, is an identity, one can, when the assertion points


Heidegger's idea of truth 83 out the state of affairs in the same way as it is itself, also simply say: it capturgsjfre state of affairs in itself. The 4so-as' is implied in the 4in itself. •flf a thirdyformulation however, Heidegger carries the simplification one step further. He cancels, again without justification, even the 4in itself. jy*Thejtesertion is true now means quite straightforwardly: it uncovers the state of affairs, In this way he arrives at the thesis: 'The truthfulness (truth) of the assertion must be understood as its disclosedness* (SZ,f 218)/^^Twi£htibisshift does HeidegjeTexphcitty distance himself ttomj Husseij^ and reach Ins own concept ot truth which, from now on, he upholds in this formulation alone. So it is all the more remarkable^that^ hg~does"not elucidate further precisely this small, but vet decisive, step. flow is this to be explained? Initially, the claim that an assertion is true if and only if the intended entity is 4in itself just as it is pointed out or discovered to be in the assertion' did not seem to place any special weight on the word 'discovered'. For in general Heidegger does understand the assertion in terms of pointing out and discovering (cf. Being and Time, §33). Andwhat the truth of the assertion brought out seemed not to be the fact that the entity should be uncovered by it but rather how it is uncovered i by it, namely^, just as it is in itsel£^In the latter formulation however^ If becomes clear that precisely this qualification, which appeared to bring out what is essentially at issue, has become dispensable for Heidegger; With the result that ft*

fr

" f h ™™cictc in th<* pointing ^nt^nfl ft* inigAWA |

ing as^suchrIn fact, Heidegger's characterization of the assertion as a pointing out and an uncovering makes an essential advance over HusserPs position. The question is only whether this new conception of the assertion also renders redundant any further qualification with regard to the determination of the truth of an assertion. With Husserl, the act of expression is understood statically, as it were, as a mode of intentionality, as the Jaolding before oneself of a specific objectivity, as representation. Just as Heidegger leaps over Husserl's intentionality in general with the concept of 'disclosure', so he also understands assertion dynamically as a mode of disclosure, as an uncovering and specifically as a pointing out (apophansis)£W}th the concept of disclosure, Heidegger seeks to themati^e the 'clearedness' of human being, a clearedness which is only implicit in Husserl's intentionality and the corresponding concepts of Jhfi ..tradition. Clearedness is not adopted as a ready-made state; rather, the question arises, how it is brought about^Hgnce, disclosure is to be understood as an occurrence which is actively related to itg opposite - qlosedness or concealment. In the special case of the assertion, it becomes clear that wherever it arises in a concrete connection withjife and with science it is not to be understood in a functionlesQSihion as the rigid positrniTof an objectivity, but^dtynamicaUy as a letting be seen in^ which we point


84 Ernst Tugendhat out something as something, in which we lift it out of concealment, both for ourselves and for others so that, as Heidegger says, it is 'unconcealed'. And now it is also possible to understand the reason why, with regard to the determination of the truth of the assertion, Heidegger omits the supplement 'as it is itself. As long as one understands the assertion statically, as a representation or meaning, one is, of course, not entitled to say: an assertion is true if and only if it means the entity in question; for the way in which it means the entity can also be false. One is therefore already obliged to say: it is true if and only if it means the entity as it is itself. If, on the other hand, we understand the assertion as a pointing out and an uncovering, it then seems to be sufficient if we say without further qualification: the assertion is true if it uncovers the entity, for, if it is false, it does not uncover the entity at all but 'covers it up' or 'conceals' it. It therefore already lies in the nature of uncovering as such that it must be true if it really is an uncovering. Heidegger must certainly have reasoned along these lines when he made the attempt to give grounds for thinking why, for him, the supplement 'as it is itself was redundant. As soon however as one lays out in clear steps the reflection which surreptitiously lies at the root of Heidegger's thesis, its weak point already manifests itself. It lies in the ambiguity with which Heidegger employs the word 'uncover'. In the first instance, it stands for pointing out, the diro<|>aivâ&#x201A;Źa6ai in general. In this sense every assertion uncovers, the false just as well as the true. At the same time however, Heidegger employs the word in a narrow and pregnant sense, in accordance with which the false assertion is not so much an uncovering as a covering over. Here, it goes without saying that truth lies in uncoveredness. But what does uncovering mean when it no longer signifies a pointing out in general? How is aX^Qeveiv to be differentiated from <4iro<|>aivâ&#x201A;Źa6ai? Heidegger gives us no answer to this question because he, in distinction from Aristotle on whom he relies (SZ, 219), does not explicitly distinguish the broad from the narrow meaning of uncovering. Hence, even after he first arrived at the conclusion that truth consists in uncoveredness, he can then still speak of an 'uncoveredness in the mode of the appearing' (SZ, 222). In this way, the thesis about truth as uncovering only becomes enlightening if one maintains that the false assertion does not uncover. Instead of this Heidegger now says that, in the false assertion, the entity is 'in a certain sense already uncovered and still not represented' (SZ, 222). The covering up of the false assertion does not exclude a certain uncovering. But then, in what sense does the false assertion uncover and in what sense does it cover up? Since Heidegger does not qualify more closely either the uncovering of the true assertion


Heidegger's idea of truth 85 or the covering over of the false, the only way out remains a quantitative determination. In the false assertion, the entity is 'not fully hidden' (SZ, 222). Should we therefore say: in the false assertion the entity is partly uncovered and partly hidden? In that case, the false assertion would be put together in part out of truth and in part out of ignorance. Of course, Heidegger never meant to say this. But then, if one limits oneself to the two concepts un-concealment and concealment, there remains absolutely no possibility of determining the specific sense of falsehood, and therefore also of truth. The characterization of falsehood as a covering up is undoubtedly a step forward. But this covering up is neither a simple subspecies of that concealment from which the apophansis receives its pointing out nor a mixture of just such a concealment with un-concealment. The false assertion does indeed conceal but what and how? One has to say: it covers up the entity as it is itself and indeed in such a way that it uncovers it in another way, namely not in the way in which it is itself. For this reason there is no possibility of distinguishing the uncovering in the narrower sense which makes up the truth of an assertion from uncovering in the broader sense of apophansis, save by saying that it uncovers the entity just as it is itself. It is simply not possible to get around the supplement 'as it is itself in the course of characterizing the true assertion. And the determination 'uncoveredness', which is supposed to make this point of view superfluous, does, for its part, actually have to make use of it, if it is going to be a determination of truth. Even in the smaller writings which follow upon Being and Time however, Heidegger, in his attempt to trace the truth of an assertion back to un-concealment, continually passes over the very respect which is at issue in the question of truth. In 'On the essence of truth' (Wegmarken, GA 9), 'On the essence of grounds' (Wegmarken, GA 9) and 'On the origin of the work of art' (Holzwege, S. 40) the thesis is advanced that, in order that the assertion should be in accord with the entity, the entity in question must show itself, must be uncovered. Thus the truth of the assertion as adequation is grounded in the truth of the entity as unconcealment. That one should call that in the entity which the true assertion is directed toward 'the truth' is meaningful and also corresponds to normal word usage. When, for example, we say: 'we are inquiring inter the truth', then clearly we are not asking about the correctness of the assertion. Rather, we are asking how the entity is itself.' For Husserl too, the primary sense of truth lay in the truth of the entity. But one sfmply cannot see that towards which the true assertion is directed as merely consisting in the self-showing, in un-concealment as sucfcJhFor the false assertion is also directed towards something that shows itself. Even semblance (Scheiri) is an unconcealing. To be sure, one might object, semblance is not a genuine un-concealment.


86 Ernst Tugendhat But then we only run up again against the same ambiguity that made its appearance in Being and Time with the concept of 'uncovering', an ambiguity which Heidegger nowhere clarifies. We then have to say that the true assertion is precisely not directed toward the entity as it manifests itself immediately but toward the entity as it is itself. This difference, within the self-showing, between an immediate and, as it were, obtrusive givenness and the thing itself is never taken into consideration by Heidegger. So although, with his concepts of uncovering and un-concealment, he deepens Husseri's intentionality and givenness, the difference between givenness in general and self-givenness escapes him. Heidegger has quite rightly seen that the distinguishing characteristic of Husseri's concept of truth as well as, in another sense, that of Plato and Aristotle lay in this, that truth must here be understood in a circuit of self-manifestation and givenness. He then went straight on to broaden this givenness in and for itself by inquiring into the condition of its possibility, without noticing that truth, for Husserl as well as for Greek philosophy, in no way resided in givenness as such but in the possibility of a distinctive mode of givenness. Perhaps Heidegger wanted to say that, in Husseri's talk about selfc givenness, there still lurks a surreptitious relation to an absolute being in itself transcending experience. That is nevertheless not the case. Selfgivenness, 'evidence', is for Husserl nothing but the - in the final analysis only partial - fulfilment of a significative intention and therefore still remains relative to the latter. The given possesses in itself a depth dimension, the so to speak obtrusively given points beyond itself. On the other hand, if instead of explaining it as experientially immanent, one avoids the reference to self-givenness altogether, then, in the interests of consistency, one also has to drop the concept of truth. Only in so far as the ambiguity in the talk about uncovering is not made explicit can one be misled about this. If the meaning of unconcealing were exhausted in this, that it lifted the entity out of concealment into the light, then we would have no occasion to talk about truth and untruth. Rather, such talk is called for only because our relation to beings is a specifically mediate one, a relation of such a kind that ordinarily it is not given in itself, though we can nevertheless refer to it and for this reason also refer to it as being other than in fact it is. If, as Heidegger has shown, assertion is dynamically directed from concealment to unconcealment then it is, at the same time (if its telos is not merely apophansis but truth), directed from the subject-matter, as it actually manifests itself, to its self-manifestation. And this second direction is in a certain sense the opposite of the first, in that it is here a question not of bringing the subject-matter to givenness but of validating the givenness with reference to the subject-matter. Only through this second direction does the first acquire a validity, so that the revealing, which would


Heidegger's idea of truth 87 otherwise be arbitrary, is directed toward the entity as it is itself. If, on the other hand, one lets the revealing get directed in accordance with the givenness of the entity, as it shows itself, then this arbitrariness is immediately sanctioned. Being itself is the critical instance of revealing. Only when this second direction is recognized as self-sufficient can it be fruitfully explained with the help of the first, so that one can now say that the false assertion covers up the entity, namely in its being itself and that the true assertion alone really does reveal the entity, namely, as being itself. Heidegger's new conception of the assertion as an uncovering and a revealing seems, on the one hand, and if it is suitably completed, entirely accommodated to a deepening of our understanding of the truth of an assertion. The functional-apophantic conception of the assertion is an advance upon the static intentional. In particular, this dynamic conception makes it possible to understand not merely the conclusive true assertion but the assertion along the way to the truth as an unconcealing of the thing itself and, in this sense, as a truth-relation (not as truth). On the other hand, this conception leaves out what is specific to the phenomenon of truth, at least in the form in which Heidegger actually worked it out. To be sure, it is implied even if only ambiguously, but for this very reason not conceptually articulated. The specific sense of truth is, as it were, submerged in the notion of uncovering as apophansis. And even the specific sense of untruth is, if not simply left out of account, then at least only subsequently taken into consideration, not only in Being and Time but also in 'On the essence of truth', so that its antithesis can no longer be essential to the meaning of truth but is instead taken up with it into the truth - which is of course only logical when truth is entitled apophansis. The specific problem of truth is overlooked but not in such a way that it is simply set aside and so still remains open. Rather, in as much as Heidegger holds on to the word truth but then deforms its meaning and this again in such a way that we still catch a glimpse of its true meaning, it is no longer possible to see what has been overlooked here. What Heidegger accomplishes with his new determination of the truth of an assertion first becomes clear in section (b) of ยง44 of Being and Time. Here Heidegger arrives at an unusual extension of the concept of truth over and beyond the domain of assertion. This takes place in two steps. In order to understand the first step, it is necessary to bear in mind that, in Being and Time, the word 'uncover' stands terminologically for any disclosure of inner worldly beings and so not merely for that disclosive assertion which points out but also for the circumspective disclosure of concern (cf. ยง18). It is on this point that Heidegger now rests his case. If the truth of the assertion according to section (a) lies


88 Ernst Tugendhat in uncovering, then it follows (or so he reasons), that in fact all letting be encountered of inner worldly beings is 'true' (SZ, 220). One sees that the thesis at which Heidegger had arrived in section (a), a thesis with regard to truth as uncovering which is only insightful in so far as one takes the term in the narrow sense, has actually been understood in the broad sense. Had it not been so understood, he would not have been able to reason in this fashion. Only because, for Heidegger, the truth of an assertion does not lie in the way in which it uncovers but only in that it uncovers is he then able to carry truth over to all disclosure in general without further justification. The question is no longer one of determining whether it is possible to find, in the realm of circumspective concern, a difference corresponding to that between the true and the false assertion. Rather, simply because it uncovers, concern is in general characterized as a mode of truth. That Heidegger should have extended disclosure beyond intentionality, beyond objective representation, is a significant and decisive step. What has thereby been gained for the problem of truth now has to be considered in detail, whether it be that it has proved worthwhile to draw a distinction between truth and falsehood even in modes of disclosure which lie outside the theoretical realm, or whether it be that, in contrast to other modes of disclosure, those which are truth-related acquire a new emphasis. But it is precisely these questions, questions which it has now become possible to raise as a result of the plane upon which he poses the problem, which are cut off by Heidegger in virtue of his simple equation of disclosure and truth. By comparison with the genuine gain in insight which the concepts of uncovering, disclosure and un-concealment bring with them, their equation with the concept of truth only implies a loss. Not only is what has already been discovered in connection with the truth of assertion left in obscurity again, the new possibilities of broadening the truth-relation which were opened up from the point of view of disclosure, are not made use of. Instead of broadening the specific concept of truth, Heidegger simply gave the word truth another meaning. The broadening of the concept of truth, from the truth of assertion to all modes of disclosing, becomes trivial if one sees the truth of assertion as consisting simply in the fact that it is in general disclosive. Where this all leads only becomes clear with the second step, which now follows. All uncovering of inner worldly beings is grounded, as \vas shown earlier (ยง18), in the disclosure of world. Hence, or so Heidegger is now able to conclude, disclosure of Dasein itself as being-in-the-world, the disclosure of its world (SZ, 220f.), is the 'most original truth'. We are now provided with an answer to our intial question, how Heidegger is able to describe as the 'most original truth' what is for him the most originally given, even though it is not characterized by evidence. This determination follows from Heidegger's peculiar conception of the truth


Heidegger's idea of truth 89 of assertion. But it also follows therefrom that, just as what Heidegger earlier called truth had nothing to do with the specific phenomenon of truth, so the same applies here too. In fact, this original disclosure or clearing is, for Heidegger, the product of a temporal field which first makes possible any self-manifestation of beings; any self-manifestation and not just the specifically true. That Heidegger speaks here of truth is due simply to the fact that he already calls self-manifestation itself truth. To the above, one might respond with the question: doesn't it all come down to a matter of terminology? Heidegger's question is in any case the more comprehensive. And in as much as it is questionable to what extent one can distinguish between truth and untruth in what pertains to the disclosure of world, to the understanding of our historical horizon of meaning, as well as in the assertion of matters of fact, is it not then legitimate to understand the opening up of a world as the event of truth? No! - and for precisely this reason: because then the question whether and how the disclosure of world can also be related to the issue of truth in its specific sense, would be covered up. This can no longer be regarded as a special omission but concerns the problem of truth as a whole. If, for instance, any truth-assertion about inner worldly beings is relative to the historical horizon of our understanding, then the entire truth problem is now concentrated upon this horizon and the decisive question now has to be: in what manner can one inquire into the truth of this horizon, or is it not rather the case that the question of truth can no longer be applied to the horizon itself? This question becomes untenable for Heidegger, in as much as he already calls any disclosive understanding a truth in and for itself. On the one hand, this makes it possible for us to still talk of truth in connection with understanding and its horizons. On the other hand however, it becomes pointless to inquire into the truth of this horizon since that would only mean inquiring into the truth of a truth. To be sure, we find here the same ambiguity as previously with the assertion. But the distinction between diro<|>aivâ&#x201A;Źa6ai and dX^SeOeiv is in reality so clear that no one would waive the right to inquire into the truth of an assertion simply because he was already prepared to attribute truth to apophansis as such. With regard to the meaning horizons of understanding, on the other hand, it would be necessary to first consider in what respects a question of truth was at issue here. In so far as our horizons are continually given in an opaque fashion, the immediately given refers beyond itself even here to the thing itself but obviously, in a manner other than the assertion. We could say: when we inquire into the matter at issue with a pre-given assertion, we are trying to verify it. When, on the other hand, we inquire into the matter at issue with a pre-given meaning, we are trying to clarify it. An untrue assertion is false, whereas an untrue meaning is confused or one-sided. The truth of


90 Ernst Tugendhat an elementary assertion is decidable. It consists in a correctly comprehended Mn itself. For the clarification of meaning, on the other hand, the in itself of truth, the 'as it is itself which emerges in the evidence of complete transparency, is only a regulative idea of the process of critical questioning. These crude indications suffice to show that in the realm in which Heidegger quite rightly grounds all truth, the explanation of what is specific to the truth-relation brought with it new difficulties and the question concerning the truth did in fact prove unsatisfactory in that a plain evidence and certainty, and therefore a positive hold on the truth, becomes unattainable, with the result that the meaning of the truthrelation comes to consist in something negative and critical. Hence the temptation to solve the problem, like the Gordian knot, by simply understanding truth as disclosure itself. Now, in the name of truth, even the challenge of the critique can be resisted, indeed, understood as the result of a subsequent historical restriction which, in its original meaning, was not contained in the truth-relation at all. If truth means un-concealment, in the Heideggerian sense, then it follows that an understanding of world in general is opened up but not that it is put to the test. What must have seemed so liberating about this conception is that, without denying the relativity and the opaqueness of our historical world, it made possible an immediate and positive truth-relation, an explicit truth-relation which no longer made any claim to certainty and so could not be disturbed by uncertainty either. Therewith however, what is specific to the truth-relation is not only overlooked but is converted into its opposite. In what way this renunciation of the idea of a critical consciousness made itself known and worked itself out in detail can be shown with reference to the later writings, in particular, the paper 'On the essence of truth'. But the interpretation of Heidegger's analysis of the concept of truth in Being and Time already made it possible to advance the thesis that Heidegger overlooks the problem of truth precisely because of the way in which he makes the truth into his foundational concept. That he already calls disclosure in and of itself truth leads to the result that it is precisely not related to the truth but is protected from the question of truth. This result is however not purely negative. It leaves unaffected the essentials of the position through which Heidegger distances himself from Husserl's transcendental position. And the question remains open whether, through his refusal of the critical approach, Heidegger did not give his own view an orientation which was not necessarily contained in it and, to this extent, left other possibilities open. Heidegger's thought is not so homogeneous as it makes itself out to be and we seem today to have gradually achieved that remove from him which permits us,


Heidegger's idea of truth 91 instead of taking sides for or against, to critically differentiate what does not appear to lead further from what should not be abandoned. Since Heidegger uses the term truth for what is for him the most originally given - the disclosedness of Dasein (i.e., the clearing of being) but then takes truth in a sense other than the specific one, it becomes all the more pressing to try to place what is most originally given in relation to truth. What is most originally given, 'world' in the sense of the clearing of being is, of course, not the world of the moment, in the sense of whatever is contained within the horizon but rather the open field of play - not in the first instance of beings but of this horizon itself. Correspondingly, disclosure is not taken up in any actual world project. If one now takes account of the specific meaning of truth then certainly one could no longer call disclosure itself, i.e., clearing 'truth*. But one could say that disclosure is essentially directed towards the truth (even though it can also prohibit the question of truth) and that clearing is a field of play whose depth dimension refers to truth and that therefore whoever is preoccupied with the latter is called upon to raise questions concerning the truth and concerning the truth not merely of beings but also of the horizon. In this way, Heidegger's radicalization of HusserPs transcendental position would be retained. The claim to a self-conscious subjectivity which finds itself in possession of an a-historical, absolute evidence would be discarded, without however giving up Husserl's concept of evidence as the idea of a specific givenness of truth. At the level at which Heidegger poses the problem, evidence does not lose its meaning but has simply to be understood (as in part it is already with Husserl) as a regulative idea, and the same naturally also holds of truth. The immediacy of the hold on evidence would be overcome but, instead of making way for a new but now pre-critical immediacy of truth, the critical consciousness would be retained, though held in that suspense which belongs to its essence. Precisely with regard to Heidegger's meta-transcendental position, for which the most originally given is neither substance nor subject but an open field of play, the critical consciousness would have been able to locate its own non-representative suspense. Here, when transcendental philosophy not merely takes in a historical dimension but where it opens itself up to it and gives up the idea of anchoring itself upon a last ground, it became possible to radicalize and to build up anew the idea of a critical consciousness. But, by the same token, it also became possible to give it up in preference for a new immediacy. In fact, the open field of play could not be held in suspense because, without the depth dimension of truth it was only thought as immediate, whether the immediacy in question was that of the project or of the destiny of un-concealment. And the step from the uncanniness of Being and Time to the belonging of the Letter on Humanism is only a small one because, what is for the


92 Ernst Tugendhat truth question the constitutive moment of reflection, is left out from the very outset. For this reason, Heidegger had to develop his position as an overcoming of the modern philosophy of reflection even though it could just as well have become the radicalization of the latter. Heidegger tied the philosophy of subjectivity down to the dogmatism of selfcertainty. But it would be more correct to say that, with the idea of certainty, if only it remains a regulative idea, modern philosophy has radicalized the Socratic challenge of a critical justification and that means the challenge of a theoretical responsibility. In this way, there arose the task of developing the concept of truth in its full scope, a scope which had already been indicated with disclosiveness, but without giving up the regulative idea of certainty and the postulate of a critical foundation. Translated by Christopher Macann


37 Heidegger on logic J. N. Mohanty

Why should one write on Heidegger's understanding of logic? After all, Heidegger was not a logician, nor did he do philosophy of logic. Indeed, there is no justification for expecting of any great philosopher whatsoever that he should have views, and reasonably plausible views, about the nature of logic or on specific themes belonging to the domain of logic. A moral philosopher may totally bypass any concern with logic, without detriment to his thinking. As an existentialist philosopher, Heidegger could have done that, and much of his Dasein-malyiic would yet have retained its value. But Heidegger was also an ontologist, and was deeply concerned, all his philosophical career, with metaphysics and with the various questions about the nature of thought and of being. These concerns, to say the least, bring him to the proximity of logic as it had been understood in the tradition going back to Aristotle. And, as a matter of fact, Heidegger's own access to the problems of ontology and metaphysics has been determined by his reflection on logic. Two claims may therefore be advanced. First, it is not unreasonable, and what is more important, not unfair to Heidegger, to enquire into his understanding of logic. Secondly, his reflections on logic may help us to gain a better understanding of his overall philosophical interests than would be possible otherwise. Even if he was not a logician he was concerned with the nature of logic, and with some central problems belonging to the domain of logic. This concern begins with his doctoral work on the problem of psychologism in theory of judgment,1 continues in the habilitation work on the semantic categories in Duns Scotus,2 and reaches its maturity in the Marburg lectures of 1925-8.3 In this essay, I will deal with three topics. In the first section, I will try to determine how Heidegger understood the nature of logic. In the second section, I will consider the one problem of logic to which he devoted a great deal of attention: the theory of judgment. In the third


94 /. N. Mohanty section, I will look into how his concern with logic opens up for him several paths to go beyond logic. At the end, I will reflect on this entire account, not so much to find faults with Heidegger's understanding of logic, as to determine its precise nature and limitations. 1 Nature of logic A A preliminary definition One commonly held view of the nature of logic, in the traditional accounts, is that logic is a normative science of thought, whose aim is to lay down those rules which one ought to follow if one aims at truth. This account may be faulted on various grounds. First of all, 'thought' is ambiguous, referring both to the process of thinking and the content of thinking. Of these two, the former belongs to the field of psychology. If the content of thinking is understood in the sense of objective meanings or structures of meaning, propositions or configurations of them, then only logic may be said to be concerned with them. Why then is logic to be still regarded as a normative science? Of course, once there is a logical law to the effect 'If p implies q, and p, then q' (where p and q are propositional variables), then it does follow that if a person believes in a proposition 'A implies B' and also believes that A (where 'A' and 'B' are names of propositions), then he also ought to believe that B. But such a normative demand on the person's rationality is no part of the business of logic. Finally, the term 'truth' is ambiguous, referring both to material truth (the sense in which the statement 'it is raining now in Norman' is true if and only if it in fact is raining in Norman) and formal truth or validity (the sense in which the inference 'All men are immortal, all Greeks are men, therefore, all Greeks are immortal' is valid, being a substitution instance of a logical law, even if one of its premises as well as its conclusion are materially false). It may appear as though logic is concerned with validity, rather than with truth understood, as it usually is, in the first of the two senses. If we accept these three emendations, then we can transform the initial account of logic into some such as this: logic is a science of meaning-structures in so far as they are valid. On this account, the task of logic is to lay down the laws of validity of meaning-structures. Heidegger, under the influence of Husserl's idea of a pure logic of meaning, concludes his dissertation with a formulation of the task of logic that is very much like the one we have just arrived at. The logician, he concludes, must aim at bringing out the precise meanings of sentences and then proceed to determine the forms of judgments according to objective differences of meanings and their simple or compound structures, and bring such forms into a system.4 Although the notion of


Heidegger on logic 95 validity does notfigurein this account, the way forms of simple meanings and compound meanings can be brought into a system must be by showing the relations of implication amongst them, and the laws of their implication should be able to yield laws of validity of meaning-structures. But Heidegger has no doubt, in those early works, that the proper logical object is neither the mental process of thinking nor the reality (whether physical or metaphysical) about which one thinks, but the Sinn, understood both as the meaning of a sentence and as the identical content of judgment. B Critique of psychologism Such a preliminary account of logic already implies a rejection of psychologism. Heidegger is aware of Frege's rejection of psychologism, but it is Husserl who, he writes, 'has systematically and comprehensively laid bare the essence, the relativistic consequences and the theoretical disadvantages of psychologism'.5 Basic to the overcoming of psychologism is the distinction between psychic act and its logical content, the latter alone being the 'in itself subsisting sense' ('in sich Bestand habende Sinn'). But can psychologism, which seeks to ground logic in psychology, be logically refuted? Perhaps not, Heidegger concedes in his dissertation, but that does not matter a great deal, he answers us: 'the actual. . . (also the non-actual) cannot as such be proved [bewiesen], but in any case can only be shown [aufgewiesen].'6 While psychologism, according to Heidegger, as it is for Husserl, must be rejected, one needs nevertheless (i) to be clear about the real point of Husserl's critique of psychologism, and (ii) to decide where one should go after the error of psychologism has been discarded. For purposes of (ii), it is necessary (iii) to think about what is to be understood by 'Sinn', a concept which up until now has been used to define the domain of logic. Part of Husserl's critique of psychologism in the Prolegomena relies upon a distinction between two modes of being, the real and the ideal. Thinking as a mental process is real being; the logical content of thinking has an ideal being. Psychologism confuses the two. The confusion does not lie in mistaking one given thing (the ideal content) for another given thing (the real mental process). It is rather based on the fact that the philosophers concerned were blind to, and prejudiced against, certain modes of being. So far Husserl's point was well taken. But Husserl's concept of Ideal being' is far from being univocal. In fact, Husserl appears to have brought under this concept things that are very different from each other, such as universals, essences that are not universals, truths as well as the idea of truth. We shall look into some of these equivocations a little later. For the present, what is important in Husserl's critique, according to Heidegger, is not that ontological distinction which, however provisionally useful, could not be the final truth, but rather the


96 /. N. Mohanty implied critique of a naturalistic psychology. Hans Sluga has recently shown that when Frege rejected psychologism, he was, in fact fighting against a more comprehensive philosophical naturalism of which psychologism was a consequence.7 This reading is corroborated by Heidegger's understanding of Husserl's anti-psychologistic critique. For Heidegger, it is a misunderstanding of Husserl's deeper intentions to read him as though he was improving upon Bolzano's platonism,8 or even as though his critique was rooted in Lotze's Geltungs- and valuelogic. These 'platonistic' readings of the Prolegomena have led to the standard complaint that in the second volume of the Logical Investigations Husserl relapsed into psychologism. If we are to make room for the charitable interpretation that Husserl's Logical Investigations, even the Ideas, constitute a progressive unfolding of the thoughts that were already anticipated in the early works, we have to say with Heidegger that Husserl rejected psychologism because it applied to logical theory a psychology which was not only poor as a psychology of the experience of thinking, but which was confused regarding its very project, which, in other words, did not understand its theme, i.e., the logicaL The critique of psychologism therefore is a critique of psychology, and an implied plea for an intentional, descriptive, and eidetic psychology to replace the prevailing naturalistic psychology.9 Such a reading of Husserl's intention makes it possible for Heidegger to go beyond the provisional distinction between the real and the ideal, and to ask how the logical contents or Sinne are related to the acts of thinking, and eventually to the thinking being that man is. It is well known that Lotze's ideas of Geltung or validity as the mode of being of propositions and truths influenced, in different measures, both Frege and Husserl. In his logic lectures of the twenties, Heidegger concerns himself at some length with Lotze. It is interesting to note that his assessment of Lotze underwent considerable change along the years. In 1912, Heidegger writes that Lotze's logic should be regarded as the basic book of modern logic.10 In the Marburg lectures of 1925/6 we find him, in the course of a critical examination of Husserl's notion of 'ideal being', tracing Husserl's equivocations to the confusions that characterized Lotze's concept of Geltung}1 I will return to Lotze's concept of Geltung when we turn to the theory of truth. For the present it should suffice to note that amongst the entities whose mode of being is characterized by Geltung, Lotze includes: propositional contents or sentential meanings (= Frege's Thoughts), truths, the mode of being of a truth and the Essence of Truth. Geltung also means: objective validity (being true of objects) as well as universality with respect to all knowers. No wonder, then, that Heidegger severely criticizes those who find in this term 'a magic band' capable of solving all problems.12 Heidegger was no more enthusiastic about Bolzano, the other major


Heidegger on logic 97 influence on Husserl. He cautions against regarding Husserl's Logical Investigations as nothing but attempts to improve upon Bolzano. It is, for him, more true to say that both Bolzano and Husserl were influenced by Leibniz. In any case, anti-psychologism does not lead Heidegger to the opposite camp of platonism. The goal is to be able to avoid platonism, without relapsing into psychologism. C Remarks on mathematical logic For one who was so deeply concerned with traditional logic as Heidegger, the rise of mathematical logic could not but be a challenge. We know that Heidegger was enthusiastic about Frege's papers on concept and object, and on sense and reference.13 Of these he wrote: 'G. Freges logisch-mathematische Forschungen sind meines Erachtens in ihrer wahren Bedeutung noch nicht gewiirdigt, geschweige denn ausgeschdpft. Was er in seinen Arbeiten . . . niedergelegt hat, darf keine Philosophic der Mathematik ubersehen; es ist aber auch im gleichen MaBe wertvoll flir eine allgemeine Theorie des Begriffs.'14 But the appreciation of Frege did not carry over into an appreciation of mathematical logic. In the same paper of 1912, he argues that logistic - as mathematical logic was alternately called - does not liberate itself from mathematics and so is not able to: penetrate into the proper problems of logic. Its chief limitations derive, in Heidegger's view, from an application of mathematical symbols and concepts (above all, of the concept of function) to logic as a result of which the deeper significance of the logical principles remains in the dark. As a calculus of propositions, it is unaware of the problems of the theory of judgment. Furthermore, the conditions of the possibility of mathematics, as well as of mathematical logic, lie in a domain which those two disciplines cannot reach.15 In the Dissertation, a new objection is raised against mathematical logic: it is formal, and so is unable to deal with 'the living problems of judgmental-meaning, its structure and its cognitive significance'.16 Similar complaints surface in later writings as well. In Sein und Zeit, logistic is said to 'dissolve' judgment into a system of 'Zuordnungen'; judgment becomes an object of 'calculation', and so cannot be the theme for ontological interpretation.17 Since judgment has always a relatedness to objects and a claim to be objectively valid, logistic cannot reach the essence of judgment. Of what worth are these remarks? There is no doubt that Heidegger's acquaintance with the logic that Frege laid the foundation of, and that by the time Heidegger was writing his dissertation had found its epochmaking systematization in Russell and Whitehead's Principia, was superficial and casual. Nevertheless, there may be some substance in his remarks. That mathematical logic may well be so much of mathematics that it therefore becomes poorer as logic, is already implicit in Frege's criticism


98 /. N. Mohanty of Boole and Schroder. The point of that criticism is that Boole and Schroder used mathematical concepts ('sum', 'product', for example) and often mathematical signs to develop their logics, which is unjustified inasmuch as logic, being more fundamental, cannot and should not borrow its concepts from any other discipline.18 Consequently, instead of reducing logic to mathematics, Frege reduced arithmetic to logic. He sought to make a fragment of mathematics logical, rather than make logic mathematical. It is true that Frege used at least two important notions in his logic which might be regarded as having been borrowed from mathematics. In fact, however, that is not so. Although the ideas of quantification and function are seemingly mathematical, they are not in reality. The mathematical notion of function Frege found confused and unhelpful. The logical notion that he introduced is that of any entity that is 'unsaturated', i.e., has empty places within its structure. Thus a concept is a function inasmuch as its true form, on Frege's theory, is (for example) * is wise', and this is an incomplete entity. The same may be said of the quantifiers; they are, for Frege, properly logical notions, and not mathematical ones. Thus we must recognize that Heidegger's anxiety is genuine, but, as against the original Fregean logic, unfounded. Heidegger's next complaint is that mathematical logic being a calculus of propositions, cannot raise the problems of judgment as discussed in traditional logic and metaphysics. What are these latter problems? As far as I can see, these problems are: (a) the nature of assertion/denial; (b) the nature of the copula and the predication; and (c) the problem of truth. Limiting our view for the present only to Frege (and the logic of the Principia Mathematical which is basically Fregean), we may say that Heidegger's critique is not justified if it means that Frege and the Principia Mathematica did not know of these problems. The only substance of the critique may be that the solutions offered by these new logicians were hardly satisfactory. Consistently with his critique of psychologism, Frege distinguished between assertion and the thought (or, in the Begriffsschrift, the judgable content, beurteilbare Inhalt) that is asserted. Thinking is grasping of the thought; judging is recognition of the truth value of the thought so grasped; and asserting is expressing that recognition. There is no doubt that the concept of assertion as a psychological (and linguistic) act and its relation (as well as that of grasping) to the thought (which on Frege's theory has an objective being) remains, in that theory, a 'mystery' - no less difficult to clarify than the role Frege assigned to 'assertion' in his logic, despite his anti-psychologism. These difficulties show that Frege's solution to the problem of assertion was not satisfactory, but there is also no doubt that he did concern himself with this aspect of the problem of judgment. As regards the problem of predication, which has been one of the central concerns of traditional logic and philosophy of logic, Frege's answer would run


Heidegger on logic 99 somewhat along the following lines: the problem of predication concerns the internal structure of the thought being asserted, and has nothing to do with judgment. Judging is recognizing the truth value of a total thought; the thought, or the judged content, contains a predicative structure, but even with regard to it one should note that what is the concept (or predicate) depends upon how one analyzes the thought and there is no one way of doing that. What about the copula? The copula as the connecting link between the subject and the predicate is no longer needed, for in 'Socrates is wise', the predicate is ' is wise' and not 'wise'. This new way of analyzing a proposition better explains its unity than the copula does, for if the subject and the predicate were to be linked by a copula one may want to know what links the copula to both the terms, whereas on Frege's theory a thought consists of an 'unsaturated' part (with a hole, as it were) and a 'saturated' part (which just fits into that hole), each made for the other, and so not in need of a link. What then is the point of Heidegger's remark that in mathematical logic, judgment is reduced to a system of Zuordnungen and not made a theme of ontological interpretation? If he means that modern logic looks upon a proposition as an unanalyzable primitive, then he is wrong. Firstorder propositional logic does so, but predicate logic precisely analyzes the proposition into its constituents. If he means a.proposition is, for modern logic, a mere connection of concepts (or representations), then also he is wrong, for as Frege taught, a thought consists of a concept (or a function) and an object. Further, the concept, for Frege, is not a subjective representation, but an objective entity. What then is the 'ontological interpretation'? It may mean either of four things: (i) interpretation of the fact that a judgment is about something, i.e., about a being; (ii) interpretation of the fact that a judgment is either true or false; (iii) interpretation of the mode of being of the judged content or proposition; and, finally, (iv) an answer to the question how something like a judgment is at all possible. Of these four questions, Fregean logic has an account of (i) in terms of the object constituent of the referent of a thought; and an account of (iii) inasmuch as a sentence which expresses a thought also names a truth-value. Logicians such as Frege and Quine, to take two extreme examples, have ontologized about propositions or thoughts. The spectre of platonism has loomed large before them. It is not clear what is being asked by (iv). In any case, Heidegger's concern goes deeper than these answers. They are not radical enough both in their questioning and in their answers. With regard to (i), the Fregean answer does not succeed in locating the intentionality or object-relatedness of judgment in the more general structure of intentionality, and gets by only with locating an object constituent. As far as (iii) is concerned, considering a sentence


100 /. N. Mohanty as a name of truth-value, in spite of the elegance it succeeds in bringing about in the semantics offirstorder propositional logic, does not question whether a sentence is after all a name,19 and it demands an unquestioning acceptance of the very obscure ontology of the true and the false. It also does not, and indeed cannot, raise the deep question, Why is it that a judgment alone is capable of being either true or false? Taken together with a deep understanding of the question (iv), all these foregoing issues constitute what Heidegger calls 'philosophical logic'. D 'Philosophical logic' In his Marburg lectures, Heidegger develops the notion of a philosophical logic as contrasted with the traditional 'school' logic. The latter had its philosophical basis, no doubt, but now is 'der verausserKchte entwurzelte und dabei verhartete Gehalt' of an original philosophical question. Philosophical logic has been developing through the centuries - its high points are reached in Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, and Hegel. Amongst his contemporaries, Heidegger appears to have rated Lask most; he is the one who consciously strives toward a philosophical understanding of logic and sought to extend the domain of philosophical logic.20 Husserl, in spite of the possibilities that phenomenology contained for a philosophical development of logic, did not succeed, in Heidegger's view, in conceiving logic philosophically: 'he even intensified the tendency to develop logic into a separate science, as a formal discipline detached from philosophy.' Nor did any other amongst the phenomenologists succeed. Pfander's Logik - widely regarded then as the phenomenological textbook on the subject - is dismissed as 'eine phanomenologisch ges&uberte traditionelle Logik'.21 Without pausing to evaluate these judgments on other philosophers (including those on Kant22 and Hegel,23 Bolzano24 and Lotze), I will proceed to determine the tasks and the problems which Heidegger assigns to philosophical logic. First of all, philosophical logic, as Heidegger conceives of it, is not a new discipline25 but rather actualizes a telos which has characterized historical logic since its inception. The idea of philosophical logic, Heidegger claims, will first render the history of logic meaningful.26 Philosophical logic, one may contend, can be brought about first by determining what philosophy is, and then by applying philosophy to logic. But where and how do we find the idea of philosophy to begin with? Heidegger prefers to follow another route. Let us begin with traditional logic (Aristotle or Leibniz, for example) and develop the central problems in it in such a manner that they will lead us into philosophy. We have no doubt a certain historical understanding of philosophy. With that much in our mind, we can question logic for its philosophical potentialities. What are the problems that lead us from within traditional logic towards philosophy? These are:


Heidegger on logic 101 1. Judgment, with which logic has ever been concerned, is characterized by intentionality; it is about an object, an entity. How to understand this intentional structure?27 2. What is the relation between the 'being' of the copula and the 'being' of ontology? How much ontological weight can we assign to the copula?28 3. What is predication and what role does it play in judgment?29 4. What is 'meaning', and what is its relevance for the possibility of judgment?30 째 5. What is the structure of judgment such that both the possibilities of truth as well as of falsity - belong to it?31 6. How is truth related to judgment? Is it a property of judgment?32 . 7. Why is it that traditional logic has had two concepts of truth: propositional truth, and truth as self-evidence? How are these two concepts related? Are these legitimate concepts? What is their common presupposition, if there is any?33 8. There is a theoretical truth, as well as practical truth. Which one of these is the primary sense of 'truth'?34 9. How is human thinking related to human existence?35 10. What is the metaphysical foundation of logic?36 To some of these questions we turn in the next parts of this essay. 2 Theory of judgment A Rejection of psychologistic theories of judgment In his Dissertation, Heidegger considers, in considerable detail, four theories of judgment - those of Wundt, Maier, Lipps, and Brentano. Each of these theories is examined with regard to the general definition of judgment it gives; that definition is then tested by how it works in the cases of negative, impersonal, hypothetical, and existential judgments. Of these four theories, Wundt's theory is concerned with the origin of judgment, Maier's with how a judgment consists of constituent act parts or Teilakten, and Lipps' with the completion of the process of judging. Brentano's comes closest to a purely logical theory, but still falls short of it. (a) Wundt defines judgment as the analysis of a total representation (or thought) into its components. Judgment does not put together concepts, but rather analyzes a thought into concepts. Of the latter concepts, the variable component is called the predicate, the relatively constant one is the subject.37 Heidegger shows that Wundt's theory has no satisfactory account of impersonal judgments (such as 'It rains'), existential judgments (the predicate 'existence' is not given in the total representation that is


102 /. N. Mohanty analyzed), hypothetical judgments (a ground-consequent relation cannot be extracted by analysis) and of negative judgments (Wundt does not in any case regard negation to be of special logical significance).38 (b) Maier rejects two common elements of the traditional theories of judgment: (i) the primacy accorded to the declarative sentence (Aussagesatz) as a grammatical entity (which, according to Maier, leads to the subject-predicate analysis that takes place under the misleading guidance of grammar), and (ii) the belief that 'true' and 'false' cannot be predicated of representations {Vorstellungen) themselves, but only of connections of representations. As against these, and in agreement with Brentano, Maier argues that judgment in its most basic form, is not a connection of representations. In 'The sun shines', the subject 'The sun' is already a judgment. I assert the sun to be actual on the basis of perception. Even in "This is sun', the 'This' is a judgment, a simple 'naming-judgment' .39 Judgments consist, according to Maier, of acts of presentation, which are then transformed into logical judgments by supervenient acts of objectification. An objectifying act is a positing of actuality, it is a sort of interpretive act. Besides these, there are two other component acts: an identification of the presently apprehended presentation with a reproduced one, and a Wahrheitsbewusstsein, which extends over all the three component acts. Obviously such an account is a psychological, genetic account. The elementary partial acts are generally, according to Maier, involuntary processes.40 Against it, Heidegger asks: Is the primitive judgment of Maier the same as an elementary judgment in the sense of logic? Above all, Maier is concerned with the act of judging, not with the content of judging, the judgment as such. Logic has nothing to do with the processes, be they what they may, that might be 'culminating' in the logical judgment. The logical judgment is not the completed final-state of the act; it is rather the objective content. (c) Brentano, in common with Wundt and Maier, rejects the theory that judgment is a connection of representations. It would not do to say that the content of a judgment is complex, while the content of a representation is simple. The content of a judgment may be as simple as in 'A is* (where one is not connecting 'A' with 'existence'); the content of a representation may be complex (as in the case of a question). This implies that, for Brentano, predication is not an essential component of judgment. What distinguishes a judgment from a mere representation is the presence of either recognition or rejection as a new manner of relatedness of consciousness to its object. Consequently, every judgment is existential, its object is being affirmed as existent or as nonexistent. Thus 'Some one person is sick* translates, for Brentano, into 'A sick man exists' and 'No stone is living* into 'a living stone does not exist'.


Heidegger on logic 103 Heidegger's criticisms of Brentano consist in showing in what sense Brentano's theory of judgment is psychologists. Judgment is, for Brentano, a class of psychic phenomena. The content of judgment, that which is recognized or rejected, is of no interest to him. Thus while the distinction between the act and its content could have helped him to overcome psychologism, Brentano's interest remains with the psychic phenomena and he does not succeed in isolating anything specifically logical. It is true that his psychology being 'eidetic', Brentano does not deny the universal validity of knowledge. But, as Heidegger insists, it is not a definition of psychologism to say that it denies the universal validity of knowledge.41 The latter is at most a consequence of psychologism. What is important is that Brentano wants to ground logic in psychologism. The .act of recognition as such is not of interest to logic. The recognition must be justified. And the justification must lie in what is recognized. When one judges a > b (if a = 5 and b = 3), what is recognized is not the relation 'greater than', but that the relation 'holds good', its Gelten. This Gelten, 'holding good', subsists independently of anyone's recognition.42 (d) Since Lipps' thinking underwent several major changes, he may be said to have held three different accounts of judgment. At first, he defines judgment as the consciousness of actuality (Wirklichkeitsbewusstseiri), this consciousness being identified with a feeling of constraint (Zwangsgefuhl). Next, he came to define judgment as consciousness of truth (Wahrheitsbewusstseiri), where this consciousness is described as being constrained, in one's representation, by the represented objects (im Vorstellen durch die vorgestellten Objekte gendtigt zu sein).** Finally, judgment comes to be defined as consciousness of an object (Gegenstandsbewusstsein), where 'object' is distinguished from 'content' in that a content is sensed or represented, while an object is thought or meant and demands recognition. This demand or Fdrderung is a logical concept, as distinguished from the constraint or Ndtigung (of the first two definitions) which is a psychological concept. In Heidegger's view, Lipps' theory even in its final form remains psychological. Judgment is still an act, 'my' response to the experience of Fdrderung. The 'feeling of necessity' even in the alleged logical sense should be kept out of logic. The dissertation concludes with certain general remarks which point to further reflections. First of all, psychologism cannot perhaps be logically refuted. One can at most exhibit the peculiar nature of logical entities. If a logical entity is a Sinn, a thought (as distinguished from the act of thinking), then the essence of this entity is to be found not in a Vorstellung, but rather in the fact that it alone can be either true or false. It is to this last theme that much of the Marburg lectures of the late twenties are devoted.


104 /. N. Mohanty Of the other conclusions Heidegger arrives at, some are more viable than others. I have already referred to his insistence that even if the logical entity has to be sharply distinguished from the mental process, the two must be set in some satisfactory relation. This, I think, is important. Both Husserl and Heidegger recognize this need, but pursue it along different paths. Besides these two general conclusions which suggest further enquiry, Heidegger also proceeds to establish some specific conclusions. He, in a way, reestablishes the subject, predicate and copula analysis, as against its critiques by Wundt, Maier, Lipps, and Brentano. A judgment such as 'a is equal to b' has to be construed as having 'a' and 'b' as subjects and 'being equal' as predicate (as against the grammatical analysis which suggests 'a' as the subject and 'is equal to b' as predicate). If the twomembered analysis holds good, then the copula is needed as a third component; it is just the relation between the two.44 The copula, Heidegger admits, signifies not real existence, but mere validity {Gelten). It is in fact characterized as 'something eminently logical', the most essential and proper element in a judgment.45 Logically more interesting is the next claim that the judgment relation has a certain irreversibility, a directionality, a Richtungssinn. Even in 'a = b', equality holds good of 'a' and 'b' (and not that 'a' and 'b' of equality). By this, Heidegger rules out the possibility of different analyses of the same proposition. As to negative judgments, he expresses dissatisfaction with the view that negative judgments are to be understood as judgments with negative predicates and refuses to regard a negative copula as an Unsinn.46 In fact, negation, he adds, belongs originally to the copula,47 and the two judgments, affirmative and negative, should be logically placed side by side.48 What about the impersonal judgment 'It rains'. The judgment, Heidegger insists, is not a naming judgment. It rather says, something happens, takes place, suddenly breaks in. The judgment, then, must be translated to 'Raining is actual', 'Of the raining, actuality holds good'. He adds that this translation is unable to capture what we mean. The true meaning rather is something like this: 'Of the raining, it holds good to take place now, the momentary existing.'49 These are topics which have little influence on his subsequent concerns. So let me turn to his really continuing concern. B Judgment as the locus of truth and falsity (a) Preliminary determination. If judgment is not a representation or a connection of representations, if its logical essence does not lie in its being a mental act, then we have to look for its essence elsewhere. It is generally agreed upon that judgments alone can be true or false. Perhaps


Heidegger on logic 105 it is here that we may be able to discern a clue to the nature of judgment, as also of logic. For logic alone deals with truth in general; the other sciences deal with truths.50 And logic thinks about 'truth' only in connection with assertive sentences. Heidegger looks for some determination of the nature of such sentences, or of their meanings or propositions, which would account for both the possibility of being true and the possibility of being false.51 Contrast Heidegger's problem with Frege's. Frege's problem was such that he could solve it simply by positing two ' objects which assertive sentences could name: i.e., the True and the False. This strategy works for the limited purpose of providing a semantic interpretation of propositional logic, but it leaves the main issue . untouched. Are sentences in fact names at all? If they are not,52 then what sort of structure must they (or their senses) have in order to be true or false? The structure that Heidegger identifies 4s opposition: putting-together (Zusammensetzen) and separating (Auseinandernehmen). The former is the condition of the possibility of truth and the latter, the condition of the possibility of falsity. But this is only an initial answer, and not quite correct. Not all affirmative sentences - in which elements are put together - are true, just as not all negative sentences - in which elements are separated - are false. The structure that is to be the condition of the possibility of both truth and falsity should consist in both putting-together and separation, in both at once.53 What we need is &' structure that is not merely a thinking together of the two surface structures of synthesis and separation, but which, being a unitary structure, precedes both.54 We cannot think of this structure - or even of putting-together and separation - as a purely linguistic structure of the sentence. In the false judgment The board is not black', the words are not more separated than in the true judgment The board is black'. Where then are we to look for this structure? (b) 'Copula'. Perhaps it is in the is' of the copula. We have seen that Heidegger does not go all the way with many of his contemporary logicians of different persuasions in rejecting the copula from theory of judgment. On the other hand, the precise sense of the is' of the copula - as distinguished from the is' of assertion - deeply interests him. In fact, as late as Sein und Zeit, Heidegger writes that the ontological significance of the copula has been lost to modern logic.55 Logic since Aristotle has imderstood the copula as the sign for a combination of ideas, a combination that does not occur among things, but only in thinking. But at the same time, the is' of the copula also signifies existence, essence (whatness), and truth or validity, in different contexts. (This ambiguity, we are assured,56 is not a defect, but rather an expression of the intrinsically manifold structure of the being of an entity. This is a suggestion we need not try to understand for our present


106 7. N. Mohanty purpose.) What we need to focus upon is: what unitary structure of synthesis-cum-separation is to be discerned by reflecting upon the nature of the copula? I do not think Heidegger's logic lectures lead to any definitive answer to this question. But taking up hints from his writings, the following points may be singled out: (i) In 'S is P\ what is asserted is not bare identity, which would make it a tautology; nor is, for that matter, P different from S, which would have rendered the proposition necessarily false. There is thus a relation of identity-cum-difference.57 (ii) But what sort of things are S and P? They are not Vorstellungen, that was the point of the critique of psychologism. They are not words for obvious reasons. Are they Fregean senses or are they things? (Frege admitted both possibilities, but kept them apart. The sentence 'S is P' expresses a thought that is composed of the senses of 'S' and 'is F; but the sentence also has a reference that is composed of the referents of the component terms.) I think Heidegger's answer to this is much more complicated, and, if intelligible, profound.58 Logos, in its totality, is a complex structure of words, meanings, the referent (what is thought) and what is. It is only when one separates them, that one seeks to tie them together by such relations as that of a sign to the signified. Verbal sound is not a sign for a meaning. Nor is the meaning a pointer to what is thought or to what is. There is an identity between these components,59 an identity which yet shows the differences. (iii) This last mentioned relational structure may be described as a structure of identity-cum-difference between thinking and being (where 'thinking' includes speaking, meaning and the meant, and 'being' includes being-as-referred, i.e., object and being as it is in itself). In judgment, thinking and being enter into a relationship. This makes it unacceptable to construe a judgment simply as a mental act directed towards a thoughtcontent. Such a construal would set thought (as a timeless, abstract entity) apart from the world, and the act of thinking and expressing (as real, temporal events) from that thought. Thinking is not, as Frege would have it, grasping a thought, but thinking about a real being. I think one of the deep concerns Heidegger expresses in the Logic lectures is, how to articulate this aboutness, or intentionality of judgment. With these three points (i)-(iii), we have already gotten some glimpse into the structure of judgment as involving both synthesis (identity, totality, involvement) and separation (difference, distinction). Traditional logic has not seen this interinvolvement of identity and difference, of thought and being, and on the basis of their absolute distinction, distinguishes between verbal and real propositions (Mill) or analytic and synthetic propositions (Kant). This latter sort of distinction has been questioned by many logicians in more recent times: by Quine, because no


Heidegger on logic 107 satisfactory criterion of synonymity is forthcoming, and by F. H. Bradley, earlier than Quine, because every judgment, in so far as it analyzes the totality of immediate experience, is analytic, and, in so far as it seeks to join together what analysis has torn asunder, is synthetic. Heidegger's reason is different from both. The distinction between 'the view of beings that makes itself manifest in common meaning and understanding, as it is already laid down in every language', and 'the explicit apprehension and investigation of beings, whether in practice or in scientific enquiry' can hardly be maintained; one passes over into the other. In fact, the so-called verbal propositions, Heidegger insists, are but Abbreviations of real propositions'.60 We still have to understand, how it is possible for a judgment to be about an entity. For Frege, it is so because the component name names an object (and the predicate refers to a concept under which that object falls). Heidegger's question is, how is that possible? Is he asking about the possibility of judgmental intentionality? To that, and some other related questions, we shall turn in the following part. 3 Grounding of logic (a) Possible Moves. There are various ways philosophers and logicians have sought to provide a 'grounding' or foundation fof logic. Starting with a logic, the most common move on the part of logicians, is to axiomatize it. This procedure will yield an axiomatic foundation. This is the most you can expect a logician qua logician to do. But in doing so, he is still doing logic, perfecting his logic, not 'grounding' it in a sense in which philosophers have understood that task. Another move is to provide a logic with an ontological interpretation. In this case one starts with an uninterpreted system, and then assigns to symbols of appropriate types suitable entities belonging to appropriate types: such objects as singular entities and concepts, individual concepts, and propositions. One may thus admit various sorts of entities into one's ontology, or if one distrusts abstract entities, then he can use the semantics of possible worlds. A more radical, and strictly philosophical grounding is called for when one asks about 'the conditions of the possibility' of logic. How are logical entities such as judgments possible? How is it that formal logic is able to legislate the formal structure of any object whatsoever? Or, what are the conditions of the possibility of the objective validity and not merely formal validity of logic? Faced with such questions, one may follow one of three possible paths. One may look for the transcendental foundation of logic in the structure of (human) consciousness; one may look for it in the structure of the


108 /. N. Mohanty world; or, finally, one may want to ground logic in man's intentional relationship with his world. The first is the path of Kant and Husserl, however different their conceptions of transcendental subjectivity, transcendental logic, and formal logic may be; the second is the path of platonistic metaphysics. Heidegger's path is the last one. (b) Logic and Intentionality. In his habilitation work, Heidegger characterizes the nature of the logical thus: 'The homogeneity of the domain of logic rests on intentionality, on the character of being-validof \Hingeltungscharakter\" Also: 'Intentionality is the "regional category" of the logical domain.' He proceeds to explicate intentionality' thus: There can be intentionality only in the case of what has meaning and significance, not in the case of what is just real.61 It would appear, then, that we can get at the roots of logic by following the guiding threads of this logical intentionality. This is what Husserl does in Formal and Transcendental Logic. But intentionality, for Heidegger, is not self-explanatory. It needs a 'metaphysical' grounding, for which Heidegger argues throughout his writings. An intentional grounding of logic will show how the logical entities such as propositions, or the logical principles such as the principle of non-contradiction, are 'constituted' in appropriate intentional acts. It will also show, as Husserl does in Experience and Judgment, how higher order intentional acts and their objects are built up on more primitive intentionalities and their objects. It should be noted that all this will be carried out within the scope of the transcendental epoch6. The classical Kantian way is different, but also shares the same overall orientation. Formal Logic has to be founded on transcendental logic, and transcendental logic lays bare the synthetic, worldconstituting functions of the pure rational subject. Once psychologism in philosophy of logic was rejected, two alternatives loomed large: the platonic hypostatization of the logical entities, and the Kantian-Husserlian thesis of 'constitution' which, for one thing, respects the ideality of those entities, and, for another, sharply distinguishes the transcendental subjectivity from the psychological. Heidegger looked for a third alternative. But, in fact, he tries two different paths, and all his life sought to bring them together. One of these I will call the metaphysical, the other may be called the practical They are brought together in a hermeneutic thesis. (c) Logic and Metaphysics. In the Logic lectures of 1928, called The Metaphysical Foundations [Anfangsgrunde] of Logic\ Heidegger forcefully argues for the thesis that logic must be grounded in metaphysics.62 Against such a thesis, there is a rather familiar objection which Heidegger considers at length. The objection is that since metaphysics involves thinking and since all thinking must conform to logic, indeed must presuppose logic, metaphysics must presuppose logic rather than the inverse thesis. Indeed, logic must precede all sciences.


Heidegger on logic 109 According to Heidegger this argument has the advantage that it proceeds from quite general ideas of logic and metaphysics, without considering their specific problem - contents. There is also an ambiguity in the word 'presupposition'. It is true that all thinking - prescientific, scientific as well as metaphysical - must make use of the formal rules of thinking. But use of the rules does not require a science of those rules, nor does it require a 'founded' knowledge of those rules. The fact of their use, as much as the unavoidability of their use for thinking, needs to be accounted for. For such an account, one has to think about the conditions of the possibility of science, about the relation of science to scientific thinking, and of such thinking to human existence; logic itself is a science, historically developed and so determined by a tradition. It therefore cannot be a presupposition of thinking. The barely formal argument to the effect that every thinking grounding must involve thinking, cannot be formally refuted - Heidegger concedes.63 But, he adds, it can be refuted only by showing how such an argument is possible and why, under certain presuppositions, it indeed is necessary. At this point Heidegger does not go on to show this. As far as I can see, his point would be something like this: pre-logical thinking which is in direct touch with being, thinking which, according to Heidegger's later writings, is either practical wisdom or poetic, does not follow the rules of logic and so no question arises about logic being its presupposition. It is only propositional thinking that follows the rules of (propositional) logic. A putative metaphysical grounding may remain within the limits of propositional thinking; it then does appear to presuppose logic (allowing for the sort of equivocation of 'presupposing' which was hinted at earlier). Such a grounding then does not go to the roots of the matter. A metaphysical grounding which does go to the roots of the matter would think, but think in a different, more originary manner. What is this more originary manner of thinking, and how could such thinking provide a grounding for logical thinking and for logic as well? To be able to understand Heidegger's answers to these questions, we need to do some more spade work to prepare the ground. (d) Logic as Metaphysics of Truth.64 Judgments alone can be either true or false. This is because in judgment, thinking and being enter into a peculiar relation of identity-cum-difference. Judgment is 'about' a being, and of this being it asserts a true predicate. Let us look closer at this 'being about' and also at the copula, the sign of predication. (i) The 'being about' or judgmental intentionality is possible, according to Heidegger, only because a being has already been disclosed prior to the judgment under consideration. A judgment does not first establish the relatedness to the entity-about-which. A judgment isfirstpossible on the basis of an already available disclosure of the entity, and the disclosure of that entity takes place within the context of an already latent


110 /. N. Mohanty relatedness to or Schon-sein-bei beings. A judgment is true if its content is in agreement with the already disclosed object-about-which. The metaphysical here is the disclosure of being as a being, a disclosure without which judgment cannot substantiate its truth claim and would not be, qua judgment, possible. Thus judgmental intentionality presupposes a prejudgmental manifestation of being. We need not have to understand this thesis in any weird and mystic sounding sense. The best way to understand Heidegger, at this point, is to take his thesis as exemplified in the familiar case of perceptual judgments. A perceptual judgment This pen is blue' is possible inasmuch as the object-about-which, this pen, is already disclosed in perceptual experience, as lying there before me. It is important that we do not construe this perceptual disclosure itself as a judgment. What this disclosure is like, I will briefly touch upon later, but only in so far as that is necessary for my present exposition. (ii) Predication likewise is founded upon display.65 In predicating, what is disclosed is analyzed into one of its constituent moments, and this separated moment is exhibited as belonging to the entity disclosed. Predication determines an entity as being such and such, but the determination is founded on exhibition and separation. This shows why every judgment is both analytic and synthetic at once. The copula signifies the 'togetherness', the 'belonging-together', that 'unifying gathering' which belongs to our very concept of being as the world. (iii) If the foregoing makes sense, then it makes sense to say that although truth in the sense of adequacy or correspondence has its locus in judgment, truth in the sense of disclosedness of being is prior to judgment. If this latter sense of 'truth' be called ontological, then logic is grounded in ontology. Hence Heidegger's enigmatic statement: 'Der Satz is nicht das, darin Wahrheit erst moglich wird, sondern umgekehrt, der Satz ist erst in der Wahrheit mdglich. . . . Satz ist nicht der Ort der Wahrheit, sondern Wahrheit der Ort des Satzes.'66 We thus find that when Heidegger claims to ground logic in metaphysics he should be understood in a sense that takes into account the above mentioned three points. He should not be construed as grounding logic either in the structure of the subject or in the structure of the world. (d) Logic and Practical Wisdom. Logic, we have seen, deals with meanings. With the rejection of psychologism, one is tempted to look upon meanings as eternally subsistent entities. At no stage of his thinking was Heidegger satisfied with such a hypostatization of meanings. The habilitation work ends with the 'metaphysical' suggestion that the opposition between real mental life and ideal meanings, between Sein and Sollen, be overcome in a more fundamental concept of living Geist.67 The Logic lecture of 1925/6 suggests that although the primacy of theoretical truth in logic is not accidental, it is possible to show that a more


Heidegger on logic 111 radical stance of questioning may lead to a revision of this naive point of departure of logic.68 In fact, not formal logic but philosophical logic has to settle the question, which truth - theoretical or practical - is primary. Heidegger opts for the primacy of the practical. To demonstrate this thesis of the primacy of the practical is to argue successfully that the meanings logic is concerned with, prepositional meanings and their constituents, are not the meanings originally experienced along with that disclosure of being which is presupposed by judgment. The word, as fixed and stabilized for purposes of logical thinking, presupposes a pre-logical experience of being as meaningful. This latter sort of meaningfulness is tied to the way we live in our world and concern ourselves - practically and affectively - with things and situations. Things acquire their original significance (Bedeutung) from what we have got to do with them, from Zutunhaben. A pencil is meant for writing, a hammer for driving nails, and so on and so forth. Original practical judgments express such a significance of things: they do not ascribe properties to a thing. They are about my (actual or possible) relations to a thing.69 It may be objected that this sort of practical and affective significance belongs only to tools and artifacts: pens and pencils, houses and automobiles, hammers and clocks, but not to natural objects such as rocks and mountains, rivers and trees, and animals and other persons. I think Heidegger's point is that in so far as these and other natural objects inhabit my Lebenswelt and not the world of physics, they fall within the horizon of my interests, passions, and possible actions directed at them. They are not mere objects of cognition. The logic of judgment is founded upon the prelogical disclosure of things as having the sort of practical significance that they have within our Lebenswelt. To say this, however, is not to show how apophantic judgment arises out of the practical. It would be the task of hermeneutic logic to show that. Heidegger has not himself done hermeneutic logic; some others have, and we need to turn to them. But before doing that we need to be clear about how the practical wisdom which recognizes for each object and situation its practical significance could be characterized as being hermeneutic. (e) Logic and Hermeneutics. It was said earlier that Heidegger tried, all his life, to bring together two different groundings of logic; the metaphysical and the practical, and that they were to be unified under the concept of hermeneutics. We now need to ascertain how this is done. The connecting link is provided by two theses: (i) that action is a mode of understanding the world and involves a certain self-understanding on the part of the agent; and (ii) that the originary disclosure of entities which must precede judgmental 'being about' is not disclosure to a cognitive subject, to an objectivating consciousness, but rather to a projecting, caring, and acting being whose mode of being is to be in the world and to-be-already-with-entities. Being-in-the-world is to be interpreted as a


112 /. N. Mohanty certain comprehension or understanding of oneself and one's world. Thus both practice and disclosure of entities involve a certain pre-conceptual understanding of oneself and one's world. To articulate and explicate this understanding is hermeneutics. If logic is grounded in a disclosure of being, and if logical meanings refer back to pre-logical significance, one can as well say that logic is ultimately rooted in a certain understanding of the world as well as of oneself. The same thesis may be supported in a slightly different manner. Judging is an intentional relation to a being. But every intentional relation carries within itself a specific understanding of the being of the entity to which the intentionality relates. If judging presupposes a prior disclosure of that entity, it also requires a specific interpretation of it as such and such. With this we are in a position to briefly consider Heidegger's thesis on logic as laid down in ยง33 of Sein und Zeit bearing the title: 'Die Aussage als abkunftiger Modus der Auslegung.' In this paragraph, Heidegger first distinguishes between three meanings of 'Aussage'; all three together constitute the full structure of Aussage. First of all, 'Aussage' primarily means manifesting an entity as it is. In 'The hammer is too heavy', the hammer itself, but not its representation, is manifested in the manner it is at hand. Secondly, Aussage also means predication. This sense is grounded in the first. Both the terms of predication, the subject and the predicate, belong to what has been manifested. Predication itself does not uncover anything but rather limits what has been uncovered to the subject, i.e., the hammer. Finally, Aussage also means 'communication', to let the entity be seen together with an other. What is stated can be shared, can be stated again. Taking these three meanings together, an Aussage may be characterized as 'communicating and determining, making manifest'. But how then is it also a mode of interpretation? The making-manifest that takes place in and through an Aussage, is possible only on the basis of what is already disclosed to understanding. It is not a worldless, transcendental ego who performs an Aussage. It is rather a Dasein who is a being-in-the-world and as such always has a certain preunderstanding of the world, who makes a judgment. The existential forestructures of understanding, which together constitute its anticipatory structure, form the horizon within which any judgment is possible. In this sense the judgment of logic is founded upon the hermeneutic of Dasein. Heidegger has still to give an account of how the entity with which one is practically concerned (the hammer as a tool for driving a nail here and now) becomes an object about which one pronounces a theoretical judgment. Obviously, if Heidegger's thesis is correct, the Zuhandene Womit des Zutunhabens has to be transformed into the 'Woriibe? der aufzeigenden Aussage. What transpires in this transformation? Something


Heidegger on logic 113 whose mode of being is to-be-ready-at-hand becomes an object that is present-at-hand, merely vorhanden. The original 'as', which was a hermeneutic 'as' (recognizing a hammer as what is just right for my purpose) for practical wisdom, becomes a mere apophantic 'as' (judging this object over there to be a hammer) which determines the object as possessing a certain property. The logic of theoretical judgments is committed to an ontology of objects present at hand. In an important, but not much commented upon paragraph, Heidegger concedes that between these two extremes, there are many intermediate phases, represented by judgments about happenings in the surrounding world, accounts of situations, depictions of events, etc. These intermediate cases, though expressed in linguistic sentences, cannot be reduced to theoretical statements, but rather refer back to their origin in the preconceptual interpretation of the world. What now has become of the concept of meaning or Sinn which was earlier used to define the domain of logic? This concept of Sinn is to be traced back to its origin in another, more originary concept of Sinn which Heidegger formulates with some precision in ยง65 of Sein und Zeit: 'Danach ist Sinn das, worin sich die Verstehbarkeit von etwas halt, ohne da6 es selbst ausdriicklich und thematisch in den Blick kommt. Sinn bedeutet das Woraufhin des primaren Entwurfs, aus dem her etwas als das, was es ist in seiner Moglichkeit begriffen werden kann.' Sinn is that towards which the originary project of being-in-the-world is directed. To understand the Sinn of a thing (not of a word, in this case) is to grasp, untfiematically, the possibility that the thing presents in the context of the prevailing project. (f) Hermeneutic Logic. It is one thing to claim that formal logic is rooted in a hermeneutic experience of being-in-the-world. It is quite another thing to work out in detail the idea of a hermeneutic logic. Without such a logic, the Heideggerian thesis would remain empty of content, for not only logic but all theoretical cognition, on that thesis, would have the same 'origin'. With such a logic, the thesis receives specific content, but loses some of its ontological grandeur, for now formal logic will be traced back to another kind of logic, but we would still be within the field of logic, which thereby would receive an extension beyond the formal-theoretical. Even if Heidegger does not give us sketches of such a logic, luckily we have excellent attempts in that direction. This is not the place to review those attempts, but it surely is appropriate that we briefly recall the more noteworthy amongst them. First of all, Husserl himself, in Experience and Judgment, extended the domain of logic to pre-predicative experience, and showed how truth-functional operators such as negation, disjunction and implication have their origin in pre-predicative experience. Husserl's thesis may be regarded as still being cognitive in


114 /. N. Mohanty nature, the pre-predicative experience is construed not as active or affective dealing with entities, but rather as modes of receptivity and various modes of responses to what is received. In this sense, HusserPs prepredicative logic does not come under the rubric 'hermeneutic logic'. The most striking development of hermeneutic logic, developed in close contact with both Husserl and Heidegger, is to be found in the works of Hans Lipps.70 If formal logic deals with logical entities which claim to be self-subsistent essences, and appear to have no connection with the living situations of everyday life, what Lipps does is to comprehend precisely the entities and structures of logic as arising out of human life, i.e., to bring out how they originally have the function of accomplishing quite specific roles in quite specific linguistic situations of everyday life. Thus judgment (Urteil) in its origin is not a statement, but an action by which a yet-to-be-decided question is finally decided, as in legal judgment. The concepts of traditional logic, according to Lipps, are quite different from the concepts of originary, practical thinking. To comprehend things, in practical life, is to come to terms with things, to know what to do with them, as in overcoming an opposition. Concepts in this sense are not definable, they can only be illustrated by examples. The same sort of distinction is made in the case of inference. In practical life one infers, not from premises, but from circumstances, situations, facts. Proof becomes necessary in a situation of conversation, when something has to be demonstrated for the other. An interesting development of the idea of pre-logical conception is Lipps' distinction between 'practical' and intuitive' (sichtenden) conceptions. Neither needs language, but both may function in a linguistic medium. The practical conception operates in knowing how; the intuitive conception operates in one's mastery over a wide range of diverse material without yet subsuming it under a common logical concept. Meanings of words are, for theoretical logic, precise and fixed entities. In practical life, meanings cannot be fixed with precision. (Lipps elaborates on the Wittgensteinian example: the word 'game'.) This imprecision is not a deficiency; it is rather a strength. The words derive their meanings not autonomously, but in connection with situations in which they are uttered. This leads Lipps to consider various kinds of words and the great variety of situations that call forth appropriate utterances. Josef K6nig studied with Husserl, but subsequently attended Heidegger's Marburg lectures, and sought to appropriate their methodologies into a basically Dilthey-oriented position. I would here mention only a few of his important distinctions: (i) In his Sein und Denkeri71 Konig distinguishes between the merely present (vorhanden) thing and the thing as so-working (so-Wirkende). The former is not an original subject of predication, but is rather a transformation of a judgment of the form 'X is present'. The true subject of a statement about something present is


Heidegger on logic 115 not this something present, but rather the X of sentences of the sort 'X is present'. But the latter, i.e., the so-working, or an entity that is not the merely present, is the original entity. The subject of so-working is nothing but a so-working being (a pleasing smile is a smile that so works on us; a sublime mountain is one which so works on us). Its being (Sein) is to be so-working. (ii) Konig also distinguishes between a practical 'this' and a theoretical 'this'.72 The theoretical this is a this of such and such kind: for example, 'under this circumstance' = 'under such circumstance'; this man Âť a man such as this. As contrasted with this, a practical this is a pure this. For example, What is this that lies there on the table? A practical this is the merely existing reality. The practical this belongs to someone's world; it is hardly compatible with the thought of a closed system or with a worldtotality as Vorhanden. (iii) Another of Kdnig's related distinctions is that between practical cause and theoretical cause.73 The former answers a practical 'why' question and the latter a theoretical question. A practical 'why' question is: 'Why does this ball start moving?' A theoretical 'why' question is 'Why do balls that receive an impact start moving?' The former is answered by giving another event as the efficient cause. The latter requires a ground in a general theoretical implication. (iv) All these lead him finally to a distinction that is of direct significance for logic: that between practical sentences and'theoretical sentences.74 A theoretical sentence (or proposition) can be rightly seen as built out of a sentential (or, propositional) function 'x is F' either by replacing 'x' by a constant 'A', or by quantifying over x (Some x is F; All x is F). A practical sentence, according to Kdnig, cannot be so construed without doing violence to its meaning and its role. The subject of a practical sentence is a practical 'this' or 'that'. The sentence, 'That is my friend Karl' cannot be regarded as having been built out of a sentential function 'x is my friend Karl'. Kdnig's valuable, carefully developed, but incomplete researches shall constitute a necessary part of any satisfactory hermeneutic logic. Lastly, I should mention the more well known and more recent attempt of Paul Lorenzen.75 Lorenzen develops a systematic constructive procedure for building up formal logical concepts and operations from simple practical situations (such as one in which one person gives an order which the other obeys or does not obey; or one in which two are engaged in a game; or dialogical situations in which there is a proponent and an opponent). Lorenzen, interestingly enough, sees his task as having been made possible only after Dilthey and Frege.76 One may want to say that these attempts fulfill the intention implicit in Heidegger's thinking about formal logic, in a more constructive and fruitful manner.


116 /. N. Mohanty 4 Critical remarks But what to say about Heidegger's own foundational thoughts? To recapitulate what has already been pointed out, these thoughts are mainly five: First, formal logic, historically, was possible within a metaphysical system (the Platonic), and can be possible only within a metaphysics. Secondly, formal logic is committed to an ontology of objects whose mode of being is to be present at hand (Vorhandenseiri). Thirdly, (in spite of the above) philosophical reflection on the copula yields an insight into the identity-cum-difference, and the togetherness of differentiated elements that belongs to the meaning of Being. Fourthly, judgmental being-about presupposes a prior pre-judgmental disclosure of an entity, which disclosure takes place within the context of Dasein's already-being-with the others. Fifthly, judgmental Sinn, as also logical-theoretical meaning of words, refers back to a practical understanding of the significance of things in relation to human projects, i.e., in the context of the totality of life situations. The final evaluation of formal logic would be somewhat as follows: formal logic has its own range of validity, no doubt, but philosophy should replace its naivete by reflecting on its sense and its 'origin'. This will require a philosophical logic which is double-pronged: at once ontological and hermeneutic. Modern mathematical logic is degenerate formal logic, for whatever hermeneutic and ontological glimpses the traditional formal logic permitted is, or at least appears to have been, totally lost to mathematical logic, whose main blunder consists in confusing between a science of quantity and a science of intentionality and which is, historically speaking, possible only in an epoch for which the meaning of Being is understood through technology.77 With regard to these thoughts, I would like to submit the following critical and, certainly, tentative reflections. 1. The historical judgment appears to me to be sound, namely, that formal logic arose within the Platonic metaphysics. One needed, to begin with, a doctrine of objective ideas and propositions. But the history of logic shows that logic has tried to free itself from that Platonic origin. Propositions have been replaced by sentences (even if they are 'eternal sentences'), concepts by words (even if they are type words, not tokens), and so on and so forth. To what extent, then, must we say that formal logic unavoidably presupposes a metaphysics (i.e., a theory of Being) and an ontology (a position as to what sorts of entities to admit)? My own view is that although formal logicians have sought to court a nominalistic


Heidegger on logic 117 ontology, that just has not worked. (See how sentences have become eternal sentences.) The logical relations and structures need abstract entities to hold good of, so some sort of Platonism is 'the original sin' of formal logic. But these Platonic entities are of the genre of meanings, Fregean Sinne or Husserlian noemata. A certain theory of meaning, and its attendant ontology may well be regarded as the minimum commitment of formal logic. No other ontology of Vorhandensein is presupposed. Events and happenings, situations and circumstances, tools and gadgets, can all be referents of 'objects-about-which' of propositions that are subjected to logical operations. 2. It is not clear how much ontological burden can be carried by the copula. Heidegger's multifarious attempts to extract out of it insights into the meaning of 'Being' have been far from successful. By saying that 'Being' involves identity-cum-difference or the togetherness of distincts, is not to say much that could not be divined by simple metaphysical speculation independently of the guidance of the copula. 3. The thesis of the pre-logical, pre-predicative disclosure is important, and its validity recognized. I should add that this thesis derives its strength from the case of perceptual judgments such as 'This pencil is blue'. But not all judgments are perceptual, and not all disclosure is prior to judgment. In a judgment about electrons, one does not have a pre-theoretical disclosure of the object-about-which: in verifying such a judgment, the disclosure comes afterwards as the 'fulfillment' of the meaning intention of an originally empty judgment. The thesis of prior disclosure, then, may be saved by liberalizing the sense of 'disclosure' and at the same time by relativizing it to the context of a judging. 4. With regard to perceptual judgments about persons and material objects, it is true that originary disclosure is not a theoretical-cognitive mode of givenness, but rather practical and affective.78 This alone justifies Heidegger's basing apophansis on hermeneutics. However, even if one does work out a hermeneutic logic in the manner of Lipps, Konig, and Lorenzen, one still needs to show how apophantic logic develops out of hermeneutic logic. Lorenzen's is the best attempt to show this, but it works for elementary truth functions, and even there a certain discontinuity between the primitive hermeneutic situation and the formal-logical is either slurred over or eliminated by choosing the former at a level that is not originary-practical, but rather primitively theoretical. 5. Heidegger is right, to my mind, in looking upon Husserl's antipsychologism critique as a provisional, though indispensable step. In fact, Husserl himself treated it likewise. The gap between real mental life and ideal meanings has to be bridged. Transcendental philosophy and hermeneutics are two ways of doing this. Their relative strength has to be measured, among other things, by the extent to which each is capable of accounting for the ideality of logical meanings. For hermeneutics, the


118 / . N. Mohanty question is: How do the practical-hermeneutic meanings of things get 'transformed' into the theoretical-logical meanings of words and sentences?

Notes 1 Die Lehre vom Urteil im Psychologismus. Ein kritisch-positiver Beitrag zur Logik. Dissertation, Freiburg in Br., 1913. Reprinted in Martin Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 1, Frtihe Schriften (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1978). Further citations to Gesamtausgabe are abbreviated as GA. The reader is referred to the following secondary literature on this topic: Thomas A. Fay, Heidegger: The Critique of Logic (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977). Reviewed by the present author in The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy, XI (1980): 174-9; Walter Brdcker, 'Heidegger und die Logik', Philosophisches Rundschau I (1953-4): 48-56; Albert Borgmann, 'Heidegger and Symbolic Logic', in M. Murray, ed., Heidegger & Modern Philosophy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 3-22. 2 Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus (Ttibingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1916). Reprinted in Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 1. 3 Logik. Die Frage Nach der Wahrheit. Vorlesungen 1925-6, herausgegeben von Walter Biemel. Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 21 (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1976); Metaphysische Anfangsgriinde der Logik, Vorlesungen, 1928, herausgegeben von Klaus Held, Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 26 (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1978). 4 GA, 1: 186. 5 GA, 1: 20. 6 GA, 1: 165. 7 Hans Sluga, Gottlob Frege (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980). 8 GA, 1: 87, fn 9. 9 GA, 1: 98. 10 GA, 1: 23 fn. 11 GA, 21: 62. 12 GA, 21: 79. 13 G. Frege, 'Begriff und Gegenstand', Vierteljahreschrift fiir wissenschaftliche Philosophie, 16 (1892); 'Sinn und Bedeuting', Zeitschrift fUr Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, 100 (1892). 14 GA, 1: 20. 15 GA, 1: 42-3. 16 GA, 1: 174 fn. 17 Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, Seventh edition (Ttibingen: Max Niemeyer, 1953), 159. 18 Cf. Frege: 'Anyone demanding the closest possible agreement between the relations of the signs and the relations of the things themselves will always feel it to be back to front when logic, whose concern is also the foundation of arithmetic, borrows its signs from arithmetic. To such a person it will seem more appropriate to develop for logic its own signs, derived from the nature of logic itself.' Posthumous Writings, ed. by H. Hermes, F. Kambartel and F. Kaulbach (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 12. 19 cf. M. Dummett, The Interpretation of Frege's Philosophy (London: Duckworth, 1981), 371, 409.


Heidegger on logic

119

20 M. Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Marburg Lectures of 1927, ed. and trans, by Albert Hofstadter (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982), 178. Henceforth to be cited as BP. 21 GA, 21: 28. 22 Kant, according to Heidegger, gave logic a central philosophical function but did not try to rescue academic logic from its 'philosophically alienated superficiality and vacuity'. (BP, p. 177). 23 Hegel, Heidegger holds, conceived of logic as philosophy, but did not attempt a radical reformulation of the problem of logic as such. (BP, pp. 177-8). 24 Bolzano, in Heidegger's view, was overrated by Husserl. (GA, 21, pp. 86-7). 25 GA, 26: 6. 26 ibid., 7. 27 GA, 26: 158f. 28 BP, 111, 211f; GA, 26: 26f. 29 BP 208ff 30 GA, 26: 151f; Sein und Zeit, 148f, 216f. 31 GA, 21: 134-50. 32 GA, 26: 125-6. 33 GA, 21: 110-29. 34 GA, 21: 11-12. 35 GA, 26: 24. 36 GA, 26: 170, 128ff. 37 Contrast Frege who regarded the predicate part or the function as 'the stable component' and the sign for the object, i.e., the argument as replaceable by others. Cf. Begriffsschrift, ยง9. 38 Again compare Frege who regarded the distinction between affirmative and negative judgments as 'eine fur Logik wenigstens ganz unndtige Unterscheidung, deren Grand auBerhalb der Logik zu suchen ist' ('Verneinung', reprinted in Frege, Logische Untersuchungen, G. Patzig, ed. (Gdttingen: Vandenhdck & Reprecht, 1966), 61). 39 Cf. Russell's thesis that 'this' is a proper name, together with Husserl's thesis that the naming act may be true or false. 40 Heidegger does not consider, in his critique of Meier's theory, a possibly transcendental-psychological interpretation of the theory in the sens6 of Kant's doctrine of three-fold synthesis. 41 GA, 1: 122. 42 GA, 1: 123f. Compare Frege's view that judgment is the recognition of the truth value of a thought. 43 Quoted by Heidegger in GA, 1: 135. 44 If only Heidegger had construed the predicate not as 'being equal', but as ' is equal to ' then he would have realized Frege's point that the names of the so-called subject terms just fill these blanks, and so no third connecting link is needed. 45 GA, 1: 178-9. 46 GA, 1: 183. 47 GA, 1: 184. 48 GA, 1: 185. 49 GA, 1: 186. 50 GA, 21: 7. Compare Frege: "The word "true" can be used to indicate such a goal for logic . . . of course all the sciences have truth as their goal, but logic


120 /. N. Mohanty is concerned with the predicate "true" in a quite special way.' Posthumous Writings, 128. 51 GA, 21: 135f. 52 Dummett rejects this part of Frege's semantics. 53 GA, 21: 136f. 54 GA, 21: 140-1. 55 Sein und Zeit, 159-60. Also see 349. 56 BP, 204-5. 57 Many Hegelian logicians, such as F. H. Bradley, have used this so-called paradox of predication to imply that judgmental thinking cannot know reality. One may, contrariwise, regard the puzzle as signifying that structure which makes both truth and falsity possible. 58 BP, 207. 59 HusserPs sixth logical Investigation has texts which suggest such a view, cf. §§6-7. 60 BP, 197. 61 GA, 1: 283. 62 GA, 26: 128-32. 63 ibid., 131. 64 GA, 26: 132. 65 BP, 209f. 66 GA, 21: 135. 67 GA, 1: 405. 68 GA, 21: 11. 69 GA, 21: 150-9. 70 Hans Lipps, Untersuchungen zur Phdnomenologie der Erkenntnis. Erster Teil, Das Ding und seine Eigenschaften (Bonn, 1927). Zweiter Teil, Aussage und Urteil (Bonn, 1928). But more specifically, see his Untersuchungen zu einer hermeneutischen Logik, Philosophische Abhandlungen, Bd. VII (Frankfurt am Main, 1933). 71 Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1937. 72 Josef Kdnig, *Uber einen neuen ontologischen Beweis des Satzes von der Notwendigkeit alles Geschehens', Archiv far Philosophic 2 (1948): 5-43. Reprinted in Josef Konig, Vortrdge und Aufsdtze, ed. G. Patzig (Freiburg/ Munchen: Verlag Alber, 1978). 73 Josef Kdnig, 'Bemerkungen uber den Begriff der Ursache', originally in Das Problem der Gesetzlichkeit, Bd. I (Hamburg: F. Meiner, 1949). Reprinted in Vortdge und Aufsdtze. 74 KGnig's GGttingen Lectures (1953-4) under the title 'Theoretische und praktische Satze' are still unpublished. They are being edited by G. Patzig for publication. 75 Cf. Paul Lorenzen, Konstruktive Wissenschaftstheorie (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974) and Methodisches Denken (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974). 76 Konstruktive Wissenschaftstheorie, 21. He also writes: 'Erst im AnschluB an Dilthey und Husserl haben Misch einerseits und Heidegger andererseits deutlich gemacht, was das heisst, da6 Denken vom Leben, von der praktischen Lebensituation des Menschen, auszugehen hat.' Methodisches Denken, 26. 77 For my present limited purpose, I desist from either expounding or commenting upon this last claim. 78 I have argued for this in my Phenomenology and Ontology (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1970).


38 The essence of transcendence Christopher Macann

The concept of transcendence plays a pivotal role in Heidegger's first philosophy. The text which addresses the issue of transcendence most directly is undoubtedly Vom Wesen des Grundes. But, in a footnote immediately preceding the third part of this text from 1930, Heidegger tells us that what has already been published from his investigation into Being and Time takes as its task "nothing other than a concretely disclosive projection of transcendence' (§12—§83; esp. §69).1 Not only in Being and Time but also in the Kant book and in a number of other publications written about the same time (Was ist Metaphysik?, Vom Wesen der Wahrheit), the concept of transcendence figures largely and is developed in relation to the question of being. However, unlike such issues as that of Space, Time, Existence, World and so on, the concept of transcendence has something of a meta-theoretical character and this in a double sense. First, the concept of transcendence is as much a methodological as it is an ontological concept, in the sense that it deals with the procedure to be adopted to make possible a disclosure of ontological structures. Second, Heidegger's own concept of transcendence owes its historical origin to transcendental philosophy, in the sense that Heidegger sought to offer an ontological alternative to the transcendental theory of transcendence, and this again in a double sense, Kantian as well as Husserlian. It will be our ultimate objective in this paper to distinguish, in Heidegger's thinking about transcendence, between what might be called a progressive and a regressive theory of transcendence. In a provisional way, the progressive theory can be defined as a transcending of Dasein toward the world or toward entities encountered in the world, the regressive as the transcending of beings toward their being. Strictly speaking, and particularly in the light of the historical sources of the theory of transcendence, these two sides to the theory of transcendence should stand in a complementary relation. But the tendency to disconnect the


122 Christopher Macann two sides and, furthermore, to rely largely upon the regressive interpretation of transcendence takes Heidegger's thinking in a direction where it is no longer able to play a foundational role and so, indirectly, accounts for the disappearance of Dasein after the Kehre. We will begin by considering the transcendental sources of Heidegger's idea of transcendence, go on to examine the connection between this concept of transcendence and that of being (section 2), the ground (section 3) and truth (section 4), before finally formulating our own conclusions on the subject. The transcendental sources of Heidegger's theory of transcendence Although references to the concept of transcendence are to be found throughout Being and Time, and although a specific section of the second part (ยง69) is devoted to 'the Temporality of being-in-the-world and the problem of the transcendence of the world', the references in question either rely upon an unclarified concept of transcendence or else they assume the form of a critique of the transcendental theory of transcendence. No doubt it was his own recognition of the need for further clarification which led Heidegger to his later, explicit, analysis of the concept of transcendence in Vom Wesen des Grundes. But precisely because there is nothing like an explicit theory of transcendence in Being and Time, his references stand in an essential dependence upon their historical source in transcendental philosophy. 'Being is the transcends pure and simple', he tells us in his Introduction, and then goes on to explain: 'Every disclosure of being as the transcendens is transcendental knowledge. Phenomenological truth (the disclosedness of being) is veritatis transcendentalis. '2 In the next work to be published after Being and Time, Heidegger makes extensive use of the concept of transcendence. But his use of this concept is peculiar in that, in name at least, the concept of transcendence (as opposed to that of the transcendental, or the transcendent) is not to be found in Kant's Critical philosophy. In making the concept of transcendence central to his Kant interpretation, he therefore really first imports the Husserlian concept of transcendence into his understanding of Kant's transcendental philosophy and then gives the latter an ontological twist. Let us follow up this detour for a moment. Husserl's theory of transcendence is most explicitly set out in the text The Idea of Phenomenology. For instance, in the third lecture we are told that 'transcendence is both the initial and the central problem of the critique of cognition'.3 But, as Husserl points out in his second lecture, the concept of transcendence is ambiguous. It is for this reason that Husserl comes up with two conceptions of transcendence and that


The essence of transcendence 123 his analysis proceeds from a preliminary, pre-critical, and to this extent still naive, concept of transcendence to a conclusive, more comprehensive and therefore more developed, concept of the same structure. The first and preliminary concept is based upon the (intentional) act-object distinction. 'The genuinely immanent [reell Immanente] is taken as the indubitable just on account of the fact that it presents nothing else, "points" to nothing "outside" itself, for what is here intended is fully and adequately given in itself.'4 This concept of the actually or, as it is translated genuinely5 (reel) immanent brings with it its own complementary concept of the transcendent. Whatever exists in some way other than that of being an actual item of consciousness is transcendent and is, as such, excluded from the sphere of immanence. It is this limitative concept of immanence which poses the problem of transcendence in the most acute form. The cognition belonging to the objective sciences, the natural sciences and the sciences of culture [Geisteswissenschaften] and on closer inspection also the mathematical sciences, is transcendent. Involved in the objective sciences is the doubtfulness of transcendence, the question: How can cognition reach beyond itself? How can it reach a being that is not to be found within the confines of consciousness?6 Qua actual lived experiences (reelle Erlebnisse) the iogitatio art singular existences. In so far as they are individual, transitory, irrepeatable, they belong to the act side of consciousness and are, in consequence, resistant to analysis. But, with the sole exception of hyletic data, Erlebnisse are directed toward, and in this sense intend, an object. Admittedly, the object intended is not, and cannot be, a real (real) transcendent object. But, for all that, the relation to an object does belong to the cognitive act. Cognition is concerned not merely with the actually (reell) immanent but also with what is immanent in the intentional sense - and this in a twofold way. Not only must the analysis focus upon the intentionally of consciousness, it must also take account of the 'what' that is intended. For, as a direct result of the reduction, this 'what' can be seen to display an essential structure. Erlebnisse are singular existences. Essences, on the other hand, are general structures which, as such, already transcend the consciousness in which they present themselves. At the same time, essences can only be given as the objective correlates of Erlebnisse, and so are also characterized by immediate or absolute self-givenness. From which Husserl concludes that it can no longer be taken for granted that the absolutely given and the actually immanent are one and the same. For that which is universal is absolutely given but is not actually


124 Christopher Macann immanent. . . . The universal itself which is given in evidence [Evidenz] within the stream of consciousness is nothing singular but just a universal, and in the actual [reellen] sense it is transcendent.7 Consequently, the concept of the reell Immanent turns out to be only a limiting case of a much wider concept of immanence. It makes clear to us in the first place that actual (reell) immanence (and the same is true of transcendence) is but a special case of the broader concept of immanence as such.'8 From this it follows that absolute or immediate self-givenness is no longer an adequate criterion of immanence. Rather, absolute self-givenness has now to be supplemented by the more fruitful criterion of evidence. Second, this wider concept of immanence has now to include what Husserl himself is ready to call 'reell Transzendenz*. And so we are brought to acknowledge the ambiguity of the concept of transcendence. In the first sense, immanent refers to the mental process itself and excludes whatever does not belong to the act side of consciousness. Immanent here means the actually (reell) immanent in the cognitive process. Husserl goes on: 'But there is still another transcendence whose opposite is an altogether different immanence, namely, absolute and clear givenness, self-givenness in the absolute sense.'9 In relation to this concept of immanence only that cognition which is not evidently given has to be excluded as transcendent. In Ideas! this broader concept of transcendence is further developed with reference to noetico-noematic structures. From the more comprehensive standpoint of transcendence as absolute self-givenness, the noema can be seen to belong within the sphere of immanence. In order to avoid the problem of a duplication of reality, Husserl introduces a notion of the transcendental object = x which, as it were, stands on the boundary between the immanent and the transcendent and so helps to solve the enigma of an independent reality which nevertheless must draw its very meaning from consciousness itself. Thus it remains as a result that the Eidos True-Being is correlatively equivalent to the Eidos Adequately given-Being and Being that can be posited as self-evident; and this, moreover, in the sense either of finite givenness or of givenness in the form of an Idea. In the one case, Being is immanent' Being, Being as a completed experience or noematic correlate of experience; in the other case, it is transcendent Being, i.e., Being whose 'transcendence' rests precisely in the infinitude of the noematic correlate which it demands as ontical material.10 The ultimate objective of the Husserlian programme is then to recover the very transcendent reality with respect to which the reduction first effected its suspension but in such a way that the meaning 'objective


The essence of transcendence 125 reality' is now no longer taken for granted but set out in terms of a priori rules, rules which sanction and sustain the reasonableness of the objective affirmations to which they attest. It is this phenomenological concept of transcendence which Heidegger has in mind when he undertakes his interpretation of Kant. In the very first introductory section of his Kant book, Heidegger makes known the central importance of the concept of transcendence. If truth pertains to the essence of knowledge, the transcendental problem of the intrinsic possibility of a priori synthetic knowledge becomes the question of the essence of the truth of ontological transcendence.'11 Here we see the double bias of Heidegger's interpretation clearly articulated; on the one hand, the identification of transcendental philosophy with ontology, on the other, the importation into the Critical philosophy of a structure drawn from Husserlian transcendental phenomenology. This latter bias is even more evident in a passage a few lines earlier where Heidegger seeks to interpret Kant's statement to the effect that transcendental knowledge is knowledge occupied not so much with objects as with the mode of our knowledge of objects in so far as this mode of knowledge is to be possible a priori. He comments: Thus, transcendental knowledge does not investigate the essent itself but the possibility of the precursory comprehension of the being of the essent. It concerns reason's passing beyond (transcendence) to the essent so that experience can be rendered adequate to the latter as its possible object.12 This use of the term transcendence in connection with Kant is at first sight surprising. For, in name at least, that term does not occur in the Critique of Pure Reason and certainly not in the form in which Heidegger wants to understand it. In the Critique we do find several sets of oppositions which imply a reference to transcendence (or at least which contain the etymological stem 'trans'), the opposition of the fra/wcendental and the empirical, the transcendental and the formal, the transcendent and the immanent. In fact however, none of these contrasts are at issue in those passages in which Heidegger talks quite explicitly of the concept of transcendence in connection with the Critical project. 'For example, in ยง16 entitled 'The explication of the transcendence of finite reason as the basic purpose of the transcendental deduction', perhaps the section in which the theme of transcendence is most obviously at issue, Heidegger's concern is with an investigation of the act of objectification in so far as it is proposed in advance of any actual experience. Hence in the next section (ยง17) he is able to say that 'the intrinsic possibility of ontological knowledge is nothing other than the revelation of transcendence*.13 Again, in ยง25, we are told: 'Ontological knowledge has proved to be


126 Christopher Macann that which forms transcendence.'14 And this affirmation is then confirmed by way of an interpretation of the transcendental object = x as the unthematic horizon which is held open in advance and in such a way that an object can be encountered in the first place. Here the Husserlian influence is only too apparent, not merely in the concept of horizon, but also in the way in which the movement of transcendence is itself characterized. The empirical reception of the object implies a movement from the world to Dasein. But the precursory holding open of the horizon implies an opposite movement from Dasein to the world, i.e., transcendence in the sense of a precursory passing beyond toward. . . . Hence the conclusion: ontological knowledge 'forms' transcendence, and this formation is nothing other than the holding open of the horizon within which the Being of the essence is perceptible in advance. Provided that truth means: the unconcealment of. . . then transcendence is original truth.15 This connection of truth and transcendence is then further specified: If ontological knowledge discloses the horizon, its truth lies in letting the essent be encountered within this horizon.'16 Though the concept of transcendence is not to be found, as such, in the Critique, we do find two sets of distinctions which make much the same point as that made by Heidegger's (Husserlian) conception of transcendence. These two sets of distinctions are: 'analytic' and 'synthetic' methods, on the one hand and, 'progressive' and 'regressive' procedures, on the other. It should also be noted that both these distinctions are also supported by a further distinction between an Objective (regressiveanalytic) and a Subjective (progressive-synthetic) Deduction.17 As is well known, the Subjective Deduction is the one primarily relied upon in the A edition while the B edition makes more use of the Objective Deduction. So there are two points to note. First, the analytic method goes with the regressive and the synthetic with the progressive procedure. Second, the two sets of terms are entirely complementary. More specifically, Kant tells us that analysis (separation) presupposes synthesis (combination)18 even though the investigation of the synthetic operations in question might never be possible without a prior analysis, if only because the analytic regression takes its start in what is already familiar, as given, and inquires back into the conditions of its possibility, which conditions can then be hypothesized as principles from which the given can be deduced. Despite the duality in the Kantian method, the use Heidegger makes of his concept of transcendence in the Kant book relies almost entirely upon the progressive, synthetic method. It is for this reason that he bases


The essence of transcendence 127 his interpretation largely upon the A (Subjective) edition of the Deduction (which adopts the progressive procedure) rather than the B (Objective) edition (which adopts a regressive procedure), to the point indeed of talking about 'Kant's RecoiP (from the insights of the A edition). This Recoil is attributed primarily to Kant's inability to comprehend the fundamental role of the imagination which, of course, Heidegger interprets as the faculty primarily responsible for creating that free-space (Spielraum) within which alone something can take up a position 'over against'. We shall take over from Kant this distinction between a progressive and a regressive procedure and we shall try to show that Heidegger's thinking about transcendence takes two distinct forms, according as to whether the regressive or the progressive side predominates. However, we shall see that Heidegger not only fails to maintain the essential complementarity of the two, he tends more and more to privilege the regressive at the expense of the progressive - with all the consequences that follow therefrom. The progressive, and therefore foundational, concept of transcendence proves, in the end, too Husserlian for Heidegger. For, it leads on in the direction of a grounding analysis the purpose of which it is to show how objects arise on the basis of a more fundamental involvement of Dasein in the world. This is the kind of analysis attempted by Husserl in his socalled genetic phenomenology, and it is the same kind of analysis which is employed by Merleau-Ponty. But it is a kind of analysis from which Heidegger withdrew, on the grounds that it represented nothing more than an extension of that traditional metaphysics which had to be overcome. In one sense, the progressive and the regressive employment of the concept of transcendence stand opposed to each other. The one takes its stand in the ontological realm and then, on this basis, seeks to show how ontic knowledge thereby becomes possible. The other takes its stand in the ontic realm and, then, on this basis, seeks to bring out the necessity for a regression to the ground. In Being and Time the two procedures still remain more or less complementary. But in Wesen des Grundes the emphasis is deliberately displaced - away from the progressive and toward the regressive procedure. This in turn leads eventually to the disappearance of Dasein as a fundamental concept and to the opening up of a new way of thinking which takes Being as its theme. Thus the concept of transcendence (which really only features in the first philosophy) not only serves to tie up many of the elements of Heidegger's thinking in this first period of his intellectual development, it also provides a clue to the further development of his thinking.


128 Christopher Macann Being and transcendence In Being and Time Heidegger makes extensive use of the concept of transcendence, but without ever working out the explicit meaning of this critical concept. This is clear both from the ambiguity with which the concept is articulated and the persistent tendency to refer this concept back to its transcendental origin. For both these reasons however, the progressive and the regressive employment of the concept tend to be linked up with each other. Where Heidegger does not merely take over the transcendental concept of transcendence he undertakes something in the way of a critique of the traditional concept. In ยง13, Heidegger points out the inadequacy of any theory of knowledge which tries to explain how the subject gets out of a self-enclosed sphere of immanence to achieve transcendence. The reference to a sphere of immanence is already enough to indicate that it is Husserl whom Heidegger has in mind since, in the Heideggerian framework, there is no place for a concept of immanence. 'The scandal of philosophy' he tells us in the section (ยง43) devoted to the problem of reality, this time with an implicit reference to Kant, is not that this proof (of the existence of an external world) has yet to be given, but that such proofs are expected and attempted again and again.'19 Obviously, if, as Heidegger insists, being-in-the-world is a fundamental way of being of Dasein then, in a certain sense, there can be no problem of transcendence, since the very constitution of Dasein, as self transcending, 'solves' the problem before it can even arise. Dasein always is already there where it is supposedly problematic that it should be, namely, alongside entities in the world. It is really only in connection with time, in the second part of the work, and especially in ยง69, that Heidegger begins to develop a theory of his own. Having established Care as the unity of being in the world, Heidegger then goes on to explore the temporalization of Care and in so doing encounters the problem of transcendence. 'If the thematizing of the present at hand - the scientific projection of nature - is to become possible, Dasein must transcend the entities thematized. Transcendence does not consist in objectifying but is presupposed by it.'20 Here the implication is regressive rather than progressive. The presupposition in question refers, of course, to the Kantian procedure whereby philosophical thinking starts from the objective to inquire into the conditions of its possibility. But Heidegger seems to forget that the analytic-regressive movement is complemented, in Kant, with a progressive-synthetic movement the object of which it is precisely to show how objectifying actually takes place. The point of this section (ยง69) is to bring out the connection of temporalization and world. 'Insofar as Dasein temporalizes itself, a world


The essence of transcendence 129 is too. In temporalizing itself with regard to its being as temporality, Dasein is essentially "in a world", by reason of the ecstatico-horizonal constitution of that temporality.'21 The temporalizing function of time means that time is transcendence and that therefore whatever is temporalized manifests itself as transcendent. This holds first and foremost of the world. 'Having its ground [griindend] in the horizonal unity of ecstatical temporality, the world is transcendent.'22 This sentence is doubly significant in that it employs the concept of ground, later to be thematized in Vom Wesen des Grundes, and in that it ascribes not transcendence but the characteristic of being transcendent to the world. This might seem strange in that the latter characteristic would seem to hold the world at a greater distance from Dasein than the structure of being-in-the-world should allow. It is clarified by another rather peculiar remark a few sentences later. 'The world is, as it were, already "further outside" than any Object can ever be.' This cannot mean that, as a totality, the world presupposes an aggregate of objects as that with respect to which alone such a totalizing procedure can take place, because Heidegger explicitly refuses any such interpretation. Rather it must mean that world is first projected as that within which alone beings can be encountered. This is why Heidegger then goes on: The 'problem of transcendence' cannot be brought, round to the question of how a subject comes out to an object, where the aggregate of Objects is identified with the idea of the world. Rather we must ask: what makes it ontologically possible for entities to be encountered within-the-world and objectified as so encountered. This can be answered by recourse to the transcendence of the world - a transcendence with an ecstatico-horizonal foundation.23 In other words, what was previously, and in the context of a critique of traditional conceptions, described as the being transcendent of the world is now, and in a more properly ontological perspective, regarded as a function of transcendence. Transcendence makes being-in-the-world possible and it is only on the basis of being in the world that entities can appear transcendent. Thus, to try to explain the being transcendent of objects on the basis of being-out-of-the-world and in terms of the question of how a subject transcends the sphere of immanence to reach what transcends that sphere is seen to be non-sensical in as much as this very same transcendent character can itself only be explained with reference to the being-in-the-world of Dasein. The etymological connection of ground (Grand) and abyss (Abgrund) makes it possible for Heidegger to bring his reflections on the ground into connection with his reflections on the abyss and therefore with his reflections upon nothingness and the way in which nothingness reveals


130 Christopher Macann being. The very first pages of his later text Einfuhrung in der Metaphysik make quite clear this connection between the concepts of 'being', the 'ground' and 'nothingness'. 'The question (why is there something rather than nothing) aims at the ground of what is in so far as it is.'24 Furthermore, we are told that the ground can be both a primal ground (ÂŁ/rgrund) or an abyss (Ab-grund). Indeed Heidegger deliberately directs his analyses away from any supposedly naive, because foundational, concept of the 'primal ground' and toward a supposedly more sophisticated, because non-foundational and therefore abysmal, concept of the ground. However, it is in the earlier text Was ist Meaphysik? that the concept of the nothingness of being is most fully explored. The central theme of Was ist Metaphysik? is not actually the nature of metaphysics, as the title would lead one to believe, but rather the concept, or better the experience, of nothingness. The theme of nothingness is however only employed as a strategy to get at the idea of being as a whole, or being as such, being before it has been broken up into the various regions of being investigated by specific sciences. Refusing the logical primacy of the concept of nothingness, Heidegger asks wherein the experience of nothingness reveals itself. His answer takes us into the realm of mood, in the first instance, the mood of boredom, then, mbre fundamentally, the mood of anxiety. 'Anxiety discloses Nothingness' (Die Angst offenbart das Nichts).25 The theme of transcendence is introduced through the possibility of holding oneself open to being in totality, which is itself revealed through the experience of nothingness. 'This being beyond [Hinaussein] is what we call Transcendence.'26 A more elaborate formula brings out the connection between 'nothingness', 'anxiety', 'being in totality' and transcendence. 'Dasein's projectedness [Hineingehaltenheit] into Nothing on the basis of hidden dread is the overcoming of what-is-in-totality: Transcendence.'27 What is at issue here is not just the priority of being in totality over beings, nor even the experience through which this priority becomes manifest but rather the nature of that structure through which this relation to being in totality is made possible. It is a 'holding oneself in', a 'being outside', a 'going out of, and what makes it possible is the fact that human being is always already in being - i.e., the primacy of transcendence. The fact that human being is always already in being brings with it a reversal of the traditional conception of transcendence (revived by Husserl) as an answer to the question how the self over-comes the limits of its self with a view to standing in relation to what is not itself and, in this sense, transcends its self. No such movement of transcendence is called for because it has always already been accomplished. From this standpoint, the critical question becomes the very opposite question, how human being falls away from this fundamental relation, this being held


The essence of transcendence 131 in relation. Heidegger's answer is interesting. The very structure (of transcendence) which accounts for the 'being always already in' also accounts for the 'having always already fallen away from'. On the surface such a position would seem to be contradictory. One and the same structure is produced to account for opposite characteristics. From Being and Time however, this contradiction is one with which we are already familiar. Because human being is from the first in being, beings are constantly encountered in such a way that effectively we lose ourselves in this very absorption with beings. In other words, what has to be explained is not how we come out of ourselves, come to be beyond ourselves and so to stand in a relation to what is other than ourselves, but rather the reverse, how we fall away from being and in so doing let being fall away until it can only manifest itself in the superficial relation to beings of one kind or another. This is the very procedure to which I would like later to give the name 'ontological delimitation of transcendence'. For the moment it will be enough to note that, quite characteristically, Heidegger describes this falling away in purely negative terms. The being out of oneself which first makes it possible for there to be something - and not nothing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; carries with it the seeds of its own self-annihilation in as much as the positivity of being (which becomes the positivity of beings) takes over from that sense of being in totality which can only be sustained against the background of the experience of nothingness. It is in this sense that Heidegger approves Hegel's equation of being and nothingness. 'Being and Nothingness belong together . . . because Being itself is in essence finite and so only manifests itself in the transcendence of a Dasein which is exposed to Nothingness.'28 Through this 'falling away from' and only through such a falling away can definite regions of being make themselves known and, on this basis, can a science of such a region arise. Science wants to know nothing about nothingness {will from Nichts nichts wissen) and in this sense can only establish a (superficially) positive relation to being. But this positivism (which is the death of the negativity needed to sustain nothingness and therefore the sense of being in totality) cannot so easily be dismissed as nothing. Whatever the consequences of the development of the scientific spirit might eventually turn out to be, there can be no question that it represents an accomplishment, one of the most gigantic intellectual enterprises upon which human kind has ever engaged, one which has become absolutely determinative for world-civilization at this particular moment in its development - as Heidegger himself later recognized. Perhaps his later fatalistic resignation before the seemingly illimitable conquests of science and technology is but the inverse of his earlier dismissal of the scientific spirit as something utterly alien to the discipline of ontology? Having been only too ready initially to dismiss the scientific


132 Christopher Macann spirit as alien to metaphysics, he eventually came to regard technology as the final working out of Western metaphysics. Transcendence as the ground Vom Wesen des Grundes is the text in which Heidegger seeks to articulate explicitly his own conception of transcendence. From the very outset Heidegger makes it clear that he intends to think the essence of the ground in connection with the problem of transcendence. Transcendence is said to be the domain (Bezirk) in which the essence of the ground is encountered and determined.29 The essence of truth is said to be connected with the essence of transcendence and so indirectly with the essence of the ground.30 Further, the transcendence of Dasein is said to be the ground of the ontological difference. 'This ground of the ontological difference we shall call Dasein's Transcendence.'31 And yet what is at issue is by no means clear, if only because Heidegger repeatedly links the question concerning the ground with a number of other historical issues only indirectly related to that of transcendence - the Aristotelian inquiry into first principles and causes,32 the Leibnizian principle of sufficient reason (nihil est sine ratione)?* the Kantian highest principle of all synthetic judgments,34 even Husserlian intentionality.35 It is in the second part that he begins the work of analysis. Transcendence, we are told, means passing beyond or surpassing (Uberstieg). In this movement of passing beyond three elements can be formally distinguished. (1) The relation 'from'-to'. (2) That towards which (woraufzu) the movement takes place, which is generally called the transcendent. (3) That which is surpassed, or transcended, in the very movement of passing beyond (was uberstiegen wird). Heidegger's next step is to connect this threefold structure of transcendence with the being of that very being which we are ourselves as human beings. However initially, and for strategic reasons, Heidegger leaves it open whether this being is to be called Dasein or, more traditionally, the subject. But he leaves this question open only in order to be in a position to criticize the Husserlian theory of transcendence, in the context of which the above threefold formal description would assume the following concrete application. (1) That which passes beyond in the relation 'from'- to' is the subject. (2) That toward which the subject transcends itself is the (intentional) object. (3) And that which is transcended in this movement of passing beyond toward is the sphere of immanence. It is this theory which Heidegger aims to refute when he states: Transcending Dasein neither passes beyond a "limit" stuck into the subject in advance and restricting it to an inherent immanence, nor a "gap" which separates it from the object.'36


The essence of transcendence 133 In place of such a Husserlian theory, Heidegger offers his own, threefold specification of the structure of transcendence, which may be summarily represented in three points: (1) That which passes beyond in the relation 'from-to' is Dasein itself. Here the parallel with Husserl is sufficiently close for one to be able to say that we are dealing only with a terminological recommendation - Dasein instead of the subject. (2) That toward which the self passes beyond is not the object but the world, with the result that the structure of transcendence can be determined as being-in-the-world. (Wir nennen das, woraufhin das Dasein als solches transzendiert, die Welt und bestimmen jetzt die Transzendenz als in-derWelt-seiri).37 Here the point is to replace the singularity of HusserPs intentional object with a totality, a totality the preparatory notions for which are however already to be found in Husserl with his concept of the 'world-horizon' or even the life-world'. So here again the difference is more nominal than real. (3) Finally, that which is transcended is neither a sphere of immanence nor a gap separating self and other but rather the whole realm of objectified beings - which are transcended towards their being. It is this third point which furnishes the key to the radical difference separating Heidegger's theory from that of Husserl. The replacement of subject with Dasein can be accommodated within a broader concept of the self. The difference of object and world is one which is already allowed for within the Husserlian frame. It is the refusal of the ultimate distance of self and other (introduced with the Reduction and consolidated with the disclosure of a sphere of Immanence) in favour of the immediate proximity of being-in-the-world which marks the more radical break. There is no equivalent for the Husserlian reduction. Or, if you prefer, the Heideggerian 'step back' is a step back out of the objectified world view to a more primordial involvement. Which means that the 'step back' takes Dasein 'closer to' not 'further away from'. And yet even here, a more Husserlian alternative might be proposed. For the 'step back' into the ground could have been formulated as a step into a sphere of being-in-the-world wherein Dasein transcends itself toward the world, qua own. In other words, the ownness of the world might have been regarded as an ontological immanence running parallel to the Husserlian transcendental immanence. In which case, the structure of transcendence could have been reformulated as a transcending of the ownness sphere toward the world, namely, toward that in which the ownness spheres of many selves join and interconnect. Had Heidegger taken this route, his theory of trancendence would have been committed to a progressive procedure, or at least to an essential complementarity of the regressive and the progressive procedures. In his own concept of 'world', more precisely of 'being-in-theworld', we do find a subtle admixture of a progressive with a regressive


134 Christopher Macann component. In as much as being-in-the-world is treated as an original structure constitutive of the very being of Dasein then Dasein must be regarded as always being already in the world and the world as that context in which, and in which alone, entities can be encountered and disclosed. Here the progressive procedure dominates. But Heidegger is only too well aware that by 'world' is generally meant a totality of objects amongst which Dasein itself simply figures as one among others. To be sure, we are told that 'world makes up the unitary structure of transcendence', and that 'with this term, everything that belongs to transcendence will be named'. But the false, because ontic, concept of world will still lead to a false conception of transcendence even when the latter is conceived as that 'toward which' the movement of transcendence takes place. 'The assertion: it belongs to the essence of Dasein that it should be in the world . . . proves to be false.'38 On the other hand, 'The thesis: being-in-the-world belongs as such to the essence of Dasein contains the problem of transcendence.'39 In sum, the ontological is to be distinguished from the ontic concept of world along three connected lines. (1) World does not so much mean a totality of objects as rather a certain way in which this totality is to be grasped as a totality. (2) This 'way in which' is a precursory determination. (3) The precursory determination of the world as a whole is a characteristic of the being of Dasein itself. The question then arises: how is the relation between the ontic and the ontological concept of world to be understood? By and large, and largely because, as a methodological principle, Heidegger's phenomenological descriptions take their start upon the ontic plane, the relation between the ontic and the ontological concept of world is regarded as a regressive relation which requires that the phenomenologist work back to the ontological from the ontic. This means that the ontic concept of world (which includes objects in the aggregate) has itself to be transcended. So that the world as that toward which the movement of transcendence takes place calls for a transcending of beings toward their being or, if you prefer, a transcending of beings apprehended in the aggregate, and outside of any essential relation to Dasein, toward the being-in-the-world of such beings in so far as the latter is grounded in the being of Dasein itself. But another, progressive procedure might have been adopted as the model for the theory of transcendence because it often is adopted by Heidegger as an explanatory procedure in Being and Time. This procedure consists in showing how the fundamental relation of being-in-the-world gives way to a derivative relation by way of deficient characteristics (the ready-to-hand into the present-at-hand, ontological truth into a correspondence theory of truth, ontological space and time into the formal spatio-temporal framework). Here, there would be no need for a transcending of beings toward


The essence of transcendence 135 their being, because the being-relation would be instated from the very beginning. The critical question would then be not: how the beingrelation is to be restored? but the very opposite question: how was it originally lost? In one sense this latter question is obviously the more fundamental. For the being-relation can only be restored if it was once in place. And if it was once in place then a critical question necessarily arises as to how it was lost, a question to which the existential structure of Fallenness offers a poor answer because it seems to suggest that the being relation was lost from the very beginning.40 And yet there are plenty of passages in Vom Wesen des Grundes where an original disclosure, prior to any representation of objects, is explicitly acknowledged. 'Disclosedness of Being [EnthUlltheit des Seins]firstmakes possible the revelation of what is. As the truth about Being, this disclosedness will be called ontological truth.941 Important here is the order of priority implied in the phrase "first makes possible9. This kind of disclosure as a truth about being is called "ontological9 and is expressly contrasted with the more derivative, because 'ontic', truth. Much more interestingly, a little later on, we find a passage in which Heidegger makes an effort to articulate more explicitly the relation between the pre-ontological and the ontological, a relation which, in Being and Time is left vaguely indicated as a kind of enigma (5Z, S. 12). Not only does Heidegger distinguish a pre-ontological understanding of being from a fully developed concept of being and not only does he insist that the apprehension and comprehension of being consists in nothing other than the thematization of this pre-ontological understanding, he also confirms that between the original unfolding of the former and the conclusive development of the latter many stages are to be found. "Many steps are to be found between the pre-ontological understanding of Being and the explicit problematic of an understanding of Being.'42 Unfortunately, he does not spend much time on the elaboration of these intermediary stages. But he says enough to indicate that these stages might include the working-out of the meaning of those pre-given regions of being which serve to demarcate the different branches of the sciences as well as the elaboration of an apriori description of regional ontologies - in other words, what might be called an objective as well as a transcendental or reflective stage in the understanding of being. In this distinction between a pre-ontological and a fully ontological conception of being we find the root of the confusion between a progressive and a regressive conception of the structure of transcendence. From a pre-ontological standpoint, being-in-the-world is an original given. Transcendence is already operative as the structure that ensures that, from the very beginning, Daseinfindsitself in a world. The movement to the ontic sphere can then only be explained negatively as a sort of loss or surrender of ontological truth. From the standpoint of a working-out


136 Christopher Macann of the discipline of ontology however, the problem is how to get back to the origin, given that one finds oneself in a world which has already been levelled down to an aggregate of objects. It is for this reason that Heidegger will connect the problem of transcendence with the ontological difference. (Diesen Grund der ontotogischen Differenz nennen wir vorgreifend die Transzendenz des Daseins.43) Although, for Heidegger, the question of the ontological difference is always presented as the question of how beings can be transcended toward their being, although in this sense therefore, the procedure adopted is always regressive, strictly speaking, the ontological difference could still be incorporated in a conception of transcendence which adopted the reverse direction, that is, which accounted for the difference as the emergence of the ontic out of the ontological rather than as a rediscovery of the ontological on the basis of the ontic. In a provisional way, we shall give the name 'ontological delimitation of transcendence' to just such a progressive account of the emergence of the ontological difference.44 That some such structure is called for is indicated by the fact that the re-discovery of the ontological ground is only itself possible on two conditions; first, that it originally existed as a fundamental structure of the very being of Dasein, and second, that it was lost, or given up or covered over. Even the regressive conception of the ontological difference therefore presupposes the progressive, which is never actually identified by name, though many of Heidegger's descriptions do presuppose some such structure. To bring out the peculiarity of the Heideggerian position, a reverse analogy with Husserl is in order. Had Husserl argued that what is transcended in the structure of transcendence is the natural attitude and that the natural attitude is transcended towards that transcendental consciousness from the standpoint of which the objectivities presupposed by the natural attitude can furnish the field for a transcendental investigation of constitutive processes, then we should have had the transcendental equivalent of Heidegger's regressive conception of transcendence. What Heidegger calls the 'ontological difference' would then have figured as the 'transcendental difference', i.e., the difference between objects and the subjective processes in and through which they can be constituted. For Husserl however, getting out of the natural attitude and back to transcendental consciousness could never have been an end in itself. In fact it was only a beginning, the beginning of a process of disclosing the subjective processes always already (though only implicitly) at work in the natural attitude; with the result that his transcendental concept of transcendence is foundational in the sense that it helps to explain how it is that objects come to possess the type of objectivity which is ordinarily ascribed to them. Much more hangs on this difference than at first meets the eye. For


The essence of transcendence 137 Husserl, the movement back (to transcendental subjectivity) is only the preliminary to a movement of return (to the world) as a result of which what was previously simply taken for granted in a naive and unfounded fashion can now be fully and properly comprehended. In other words, the movement back is not an end in itself but is only a means to effecting a transcendental clarification of the world (just as Kant's return from the empirically conditioned to the transcendental conditions of its possibility is only the prelude to a Deduction' of the conditioned from its transcendental conditions). For Heidegger, on the other hand, the regressive movement back (to being-in-the-world) tends to be an end in itself. I use the word 'tends' with the appropriate caution. There are many examples of the regressive step being undertaken with a view to investigating the emergence of the objectified world view. On the whole however, and this tendency becomes ever more marked later on, the move back is undertaken with a view to bringing to light concepts and structures which have little or nothing to do with any clarification of the objective world view. And often, it may be objected, this disregard of the ontic seems to reduce the value of the analyses to which it leads. It is in this spirit that Tugendhat, in his paper on the. concept of truth, complains that, in seeking to extend the concept of truth in the way he does, Heidegger not merely confuses matters but fails to throw light upon the naive and ungrounded character of the correspondence theory of truth. In so far as the regressive movement is not complemented by a progressive procedure, the return to the ground ceases to possess any foundational value. Fundamental ontology ceases to be foundational In arguing that what is transcended in the movement of transcendence is not Dasein itself or an ownness sphere and that therefore the latter is not transcended toward the world in which Dasein always finds itself (progressive conception), but rather that it is the entire realm of beings which are transcended towards their being (regressive conception), Heidegger gives an (unnecessarily) formalistic turn to his ontological investigation, a turn which, in the end, will so dis-connect the being-beings relation that, effectively, a transcending of beings towards their being ceases to throw any reciprocal light upon the realm of beings as such. The aim is to move back (regressive), and then not forward again (progressive) but further back, and then yet further back still. Historically, as Marline Zarader has shown (see chap. 17, vol. II of the present work), this will mean a regression to the Greeks, then more specifically to the pre-Socratics, ending up with speculation about an origin more original still than beginning Greek philosophy. And when the aim seems to be the very reverse, for example in the papers on technology (where technology is seen as the culmination of a telos inherent in Western philosophy from the very first), what might be called his pessimism with


138 Christopher Macann regard to the historical destiny of human thinking is surely nothing but the inverse of a refusal to provide ontological foundations in the sense of a progressive genesis. Because no attempt is made to offer an ontological grounding for formal thought (in a sense comparable to that in which Husserl offers a transcendental foundation for the same), the calculativemanipulative tendencies inherent in technology are simply taken to preempt the entire domain of theoretical inquiry, leaving nothing for the philosopher to do but to retreat into a marginal 'thinking' whose use of concepts is metaphorical (and poetic) rather than literal (and scientific). Let us summarize what has been accomplished so far. We have distinguished a regressive from a progressive procedure in the articulation of the structure of transcendence and we have suggested that, with Heidegger, the two are often not held in a complementary relation each with the other, as they are with Husserl. Further, even when a complementary relation is established between the two procedures, the priority lies with the regressive rather than with the progressive. If there is something like a regression with a view to a complementary progression, it is only in order to ground the ontic sphere with reference to deficient characteristics. But before we attempt to follow up the implications of this way of working with the concept of transcendence, it would be advisable to first glance briefly at other texts in which the concept of transcendence plays a role, with a view to determining whether the theme of transcendence can be connected with other themes, such as the theme of freedom, the theme of nothingness, the theme of truth and so on.

Truth and transcendence The central theme of Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, as its title implies, is that of truth. Wesen der Wahrheit begins with the conventional conception of truth as adequation in order to inquire back into the ground of the relation (between words and things, knowledge and its object) which makes such a conception possible. 'The essence of adequation [Angleichung] is rather determined by the kind of relationship prevailing between statement and thing.'45 The object arises out of a letting stand opposed (Entgegenstehenlassen) and only so can it be posited (Gestellt) and represented (Vorgestellf). Thus the critical question now becomes one of determining the ground of the inner possibility of this letting stand over against and it is answered in a preliminary way by the introduction of a concept of freedom which can only be further determined through a further investigation of the way in which freedom lets being take up a stand over against. 'The overt character [Offenstandigkeit] of comportment as the inner possibiliity of rightness [Richtigkeit] is grounded in freedom. The essence of truth is freedom,'46


The essence of transcendence 139 With a view to a further determination of the concept of freedom, the latter is now spelt out in terms of the possibility of letting-be. The freedom to reveal something overt lets whatever 'is' at the moment be what it is. Freedom is disclosed as the 'letting-be of what is'.47 It is at this point that Heidegger accomplishes an absolutely characteristic reversal which finally, and for, ever, makes it impossible for his concept of truth to throw any light upon the conventional concept, not even as a grounding of the latter. He draws a contrast between Seinlassen and Sicheinlassen. ' "Letting be" [Seinlassen] has here the negative meaning of disregarding something, renouncing something, indifference and even neglect.'48 Against such a negative concept of 'letting-be', Heidegger opposes his own concept of 'getting involved with beings' (Sicheinlassen auf das Seiende - literally, letting oneself in for) which is presented not merely as different from the former but as its very opposite. Sicheinlassen is then further determined in terms of uncoveredness and disclosure. The negative concept of Seinlassen might have been taken in the direction of a suspension of the original relation of being-in-the-world, a suspension which lets entities be what they are rather than seeking to interpret them in terms of the self. This would have allowed room for a progressive concept of transcendence which, admittedly, would have had to take the negative form of an ontological delimitation of transcendence. Instead Heidegger adopts the regressive route while still, nevertheless, making use of the essential complementarity of the two. The result is an inconsistency which is however exploited in terms of the equiprimordiality of hiddenness and un-hiddenness, of truth and error (Irre). To be sure, Heidegger is well aware of the inconsistency involved in equating being-in with letting be. In EinfUhrung in die Metaphysik, he links the appropriative element of being-in with willing and resolve. The essence of resolve, he tells us, consists in an un-covering through which human being is brought into the clearedness of being, and he points to §§44 and 60 of Being and Time as places in which the disclosive character of resolve is presented. But, he continues, the relation to being is here one of letting-be, an idea which is never explicitly developed in Being and Time. 'The idea that all willing should be grounded in letting-be offends the understanding', he admits, referring the reader to Vom Wesen der Wahrheit for a clarification of this apparent inconsistency.49 This inconsistency can perhaps best be brought out in terms of a concept which does not make its appearance in Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, even though it plays a dominant role in Being and Time. It is the concept of projection and, more generally, of projective understanding. Projection is, in an obvious sense, the projection of self (Dasein) upon, the interpretation of being in terms of that being for which the question of being first arises, human being. Such a projection does not so much let-be as rather appropriate, in the more narrowly circumscribed sense of 'making


140 Christopher Macann own'. 'Letting-be' can indeed be regarded as the very opposite of 'making own', in the sense that it lets beings be what they are rather than trying to make them over into what they can be projectively interpreted as. In as much as being-in is the fundamental condition, and in as much therefore as human being is, by its very nature, disposed to interpret projectively 'as', letting-be can only arise by way of a 'step back', a 'withholding' of projecting. It would then seem reasonable to see the being-in of Sicheinlassen as the ground of the possibility of that Seinlassen (letting-be) out of which beings become available for positing, representing and so on. Such a developmental possibility is indeed suggested by Heidegger in a passage where he states: Participation [Sicheinlassen] in the unhiddennes of what is does not stop there but is developed into a stepping back before beings, so that the latter may be revealed as what and how it is, may indeed be revealed in such a way that representational adequation [vorstellende Angleichung] gets its Tightnessfromit [aus ihm das Richtmafi nehme].50 The key to this insight lies in the phrase 'is developed into a stepping back before beings'. The theoretical possibility inherent in this insight is however never itself developed. Instead we are offered the more standard (from a Heideggerian perspective) prospect of an uncovering which is at the same time a covering over. (Die Entbergung des Seienden als eines solchen ist in sich zugleich die Verbergung des Seienden im Ganzen51) - though even here a developmental possibility lies concealed. The original uncovering is presumably an ek-static uncovering of being in totality. As soon as this original uncovering becomes an uncovering of beings as such, there is at the same time a covering over of being in totality. It is in this sense that letting-be is a covering over (Das Seinlassen ist in sich zugleich ein Verbergen), more precisely, the covering over of being in totality.52 What is lost in this hypothesis of the equi-primordiality of un-covering and covering over, of un-hiddenness and hiddenness, is the very possibility of recognizing the letting-be that first makes truth (in the conventional sense) possible as an accomplishment. The root of the difficulty lies in the absence of a developmental perspective. It is one thing to say that that very being-in which, as such, is disclosive at the same time makes impossible the letting-be without which beings cannot be understood as they are in themselves and that, with the develoment of just such a letting-be, on the other hand, the un-covering of an original openness to being is lost, another altogether to posit the two as equiprimordial, and therefore to account for contrary characteristics in terms of one and the same structure. What is common to the two conceptions is that, in both cases, where something is gained something else is lost.


The essence of transcendence 141 But by staging the process it becomes possible to recognize the rationale behind the development. Instead, the equi-primordiality of hiddenness and un-hiddenness is presented as the inevitability of a degeneration of being-in-the-truth, which goes along with the denigration of the represented world as philosophically insignificant, with the refusal to acknowledge, for example, the colossal achievement of Aristotle's invention of Logic (in the conventional, apophantic sense). Instead, the invention of logic becomes the colossal error through which Western metaphysics is set on the wrong track in so far as it loses the original sense of the logos as the unity of thinking and being. It is not the one-sidedness of the Heideggerian view which bothers me so much as the fact that by insisting so one-sidedly upon a dismissal of presentification (and all that goes with it) as a merely 'ontic affair', he makes it impossible for metaphysics (in the sense in which he is still ready to admit metaphysics in the very terms of the treatise What is Metaphysics?) to perform the grounding role for which, in certain respects, his fundamental ontology had already prepared it. Had he, for instance, adopted the developmental perspective suggested earlier, he would have been able to give an account of what, from the standpoint of the conventional doctrine of truth as adequation remains, and must remain, unthought, namely, the nature of the relation that prevails between the assertion and what is asserted in and through the assertion. The letting-be which first makes it possible for objects to stand over against could then be understood as an existential modification of appropriative projection. At the same time, the Sicheinlassen of appropriative projection would assume its proper place as that primordial disclosure of being in totality which is covered over with the step-back into letting-be. The grounds for this deliberate one-sidedness seem to me to lie in the regressive methodology which Heidegger habitually employs. Beginning typically upon the ontic plane, the entire thrust of his thinking is directed towards an opening up of what has already been closed down. But if the starting point which is assumed had been the 'beginning thinking' itself, then the closing down (from the standpoint of being) could have been understood as an opening up (from the standpoint of beings). And this, surely, is exactly how the transition was grasped by those very philosophers who helped to bring the presentified world view into being. Aristotle surely never imagined that he was doing philosophy a disservice with his invention of subject-predicate logic, nor could Descartes ever have suspected that his original insight into a new way of letting beings be would be condemned as a kind of commonsensical superficiality which stands in the way of any genuine philosophical progress. The superficial understanding against which Descartes struggled in his day was the medieval view of the world as God's creation.53 In ridding the


142 Christopher Macann world of the entelechies and teleologies which medieval philosophy had inherited from Aristotle but which had hardened and congealed into unquestionable assumptions, Descartes cleared the ground for a new scientific conception of the world which has only recently itself hardened into a dogmatic assumption, an assumption the grounds for which Heidegger quite rightly questions, though, to my mind, in the wrong way. Thus it is that with Heidegger we experience the strange phenomenon of progressing backward. The further back we go (historically), the more we progress (ontologically). And of course this 'progress into the past' also implies a 'regress into the future' which inevitably brings with it a tendency to denounce the last results of our intellectual development as the ultimate regression into a bottomless abyss. Only by undersanding how the scientific world-view came about will it ever be possible to arrive at a satisfactory evaluation of the motives which led to its occurrence. To suggest, as Heidegger does in his Nachwort zu: Was ist Metaphysik?, that the will to will (as the ground of the will to power) is what set philosophy on the fatal course towards science fails to do justice either to philosophy or to science. Is it really plausible to see in Newton or Einstein (both men of the utmost unworldliness, even, one might say, Godliness), for example, leading exponents of the will to power? Is Husserl's ideal of dis-interested inquiry really only a cunningly concealed disguise for a will-full desire to push the domineering tendencies of human subjectivity to the ultimate extreme? Or would it not be more reasonable to see in Heidegger's own regressive ontology the basis for a lapse into primitivity which goes some way to understanding his, at least partial, sympathy for the Nazi cause - without question the most wilful political philosophy of modern times? And yet, whatever Heidegger's earlier inclinations, his later philosophy is largely devoted to the development of a new regressive initiative which will overcome the will-full implications of his first philosophy, a Gelassenheit which will make of human being an instrument of being and of the self-unfolding of being, rather than the other way around. So perhaps it is not so much the regression to the ground as the way in which this regression is accomplished which stands in the way of an ontological philosophy consistently devoted to an overcoming of tendencies the frightfulness of which Heidegger's own historical epoch makes abundantly clear and of which Heidegger himself became very well aware. Perhaps there is a way in which ontological progress, in the Hegelian sense, can be reconciled with ontological progress in the Heideggerian sense, in which the forward march of reason can be reconciled with a backward-looking recuperation of the origin? Perhaps the difficulty lies in the fact that Heidegger's regression is too linear (as was Hegel's progression) and this despite the circularity which features as an inherent part of his own hermeneutical procedure. Is there some way in which


The essence of transcendence 143 the regression to the ground can be re-conceived in non-linear terms without, at the same time, leading to a pointless repetition; whereby, in other words, the movement back to the ground can, at the same time be conceived as a movement on? This is the point at which it becomes pertinent to contrast the Heideggerian way back (what might be called an objective regression) with what I have elsewhere called the 'reflective detour'. If, as I maintain, ontological philosophy (in the Heideggerian sense of the discipline of ontology) only arises as a reaction to (and therefore on the basis of) transcendental philosophy, then the accomplishments of transcendental philosophy cannot be so easily set aside in the attempt to develop an ontology. Rather the contrary, it will be the reflective resourcesfirstmade available by transcendental philosophy which orient and direct the movement of return. And perhaps that to which we need to return, and to which the resources of phenomenological reflection will make it possible for us to return, is something much older and therefore (in the Heideggerian sense) much wiser even than Greek philosophy, a way of thinking which first made its appearance over a thousand years before the 'beginning thinking' of the Greeks and which was itself already old by the time. Greek philosophy began to make its mark, namely, the Vedantic philosophy. Conclusion: a genetic theory of transcendence In thisfinalsection I want to try and tie up a number of loose ends left hanging at various points in the course of my critical assessment of Heidegger's (and Husserl's) theory of transcendence. This will be done by opening up what might be called a developmental perspective, a perspective which requires that we not merely distinguish several different concepts of transcendence but order these concepts in a 'logical' succession. We will begin with Heidegger's distinction between a pre-ontological way of being and the discipline of ontology. However, unlike Heidegger, we shall want to argue that the pre-ontological way of being does also call for an appropriate concept of transcendence which, in so far as it points towards and so grounds the objective order, must be integrated in a progressive theory of transcendence. The starting point is the beingin-the-world of human being which is disclosive of entities in a quite distinctive and non-ontic way. Heidegger's later distinction between the 'thing' and the object54 may provide a clue as to just such a non-ontic disclosure. In his Kant book, he goes even further than this and suggests the concept of the 'image' as a sort of prototypical object.55 We have also suggested that it might be possible to integrate the immanence-


144 Christopher Macann transcendence distinction within such a primordial concept of the ground. Immanence would then refer to the ownness of the world first opened up on the basis of projective disclosure, while the term transcendence would be reserved not merely for the process whereby such a sphere of immanence is transcended toward, but also for that inter-connection of own worlds which might be called 'the world' in an ontologically full and complete sense, the sense in which, for example, Heidegger interpreted Heraclitus fragment 7. To the awake there belongs one, common world. Each sleeper, on the contrary, is oriented toward his own world.'56 In order however, to allow for the emergence of the ontic order on the basis of just such a progressive theory of transcendence, something in the way of a 'step back' is called for, a step back out of the dimension of being-in and into the dimension of representative thinking. The holding before of Vorstellung is then to be understood out of a holding back of the self, a self-withholding which first lets beings be what they are. We shall give the name 'ontological delimitation of transcendence' to just such a restrictive self-withholding. Instead of letting itself be in, (Sicheinlassen) human being withholds itself in such a way that beings are allowed to be what they are (Seinlassen). Through such a selfwithholding, there arises something like that holding before (Vorstellen) without which an objective conception of entities would not be possible. In this sense, self-withholding would imply a restriction of the sphere of inherence of human being in being. Upon the objective plane, the structure of transcendence is lost. It is replaced either with a naive realism which simply takes for granted the transcendence of the world, and therefore never speaks of it in terms of the structure of transcendence, or, with a characterization of the world as transcendent. In this respect, Kant's transcendental philosophy forms an interesting transitional figure. By aligning the immanent-transcendent distinction with a distinction between the phenomenal and the noumenal (or between things as they appear and things as they are in themselves), Kant opened the way to an analysis of the immanental sphere (the sphere of appearances) which, however, he is never able to understand as a sphere of immanence (in the Husserlian sense) and precisely because there is nothing like an explicit reduction to be found in the Critiqued For all that, as Heidegger has shown in his Kant interpretation (and in my Kant interpretation I have taken the immanental implications of the A edition of the Deduction even further than Heidegger), the A edition of the Deduction can fruitfully be interpreted as a major attempt to solve that problem of transcendencefirstopened up with the Cartesian method of hyperbolic doubt. Strictly speaking however we need not one but two concepts of the 'step back' in order to accommodate the various stages of the emergence of beings out of, and on the basis of, their being, first, a step back which


The essence of transcendence 145 prepares the way for an objective thinking about being and then a further step back which prepares the way for a critical reflection upon the latter. The latter step back is quite explicitly indicated by Husserl with his concept of the reduction, even though, in the Kantian philosophy, it remains implicit (evoked in the regression from what is, to an analysis of the conditions of its possibility). In the Husserlian context of a transcendental philosophy based upon the disclosure of a sphere of immanence, a quite new theory of (transcendental) transcendence arises, and arises in response to the question of how the subject is ever able to transcend the limits of the sphere of immanence, come out of itself in such a way as to reach the object. With the shift from the objective to the transcendental or reflective plane however, we seem to have lost the Heideggerian motif of a regression to the ground. That such a motif is still operative, even in the context of transcendental philosophy, is however evidenced by Husserl's own genetic phenomenology, which attempts its characteristic regression to the life-world on a transcendental basis. We shall give the name 'ontological transposition' to just such a 'transcendental' regression to the ground. Both in my Kant book and in my study of the Husserlian phenomenology, I have made extensive use of this concept of an "ontological transposition' which I shall therefore make no further attempt to articulate in the context of this summary conclusion. The structure of an 'ontological transposition' changes the very nature of the regressive movement back to the ground. Instead of assuming the form of a regression from the ontic to the ontological sphere, a transcending of beings toward their being, this conclusive regression now assumes the form of a leap from the transcendental back into the ontological, a leap which can leap over the ontic or objective order precisely because transcendental philosophy has always already taken account of the objective order and indeed is set up with a view to undertaking just such a critical assessment of the objective order. In more properly Heideggerian language, the 'ontological transposition' offers a new way of understanding the development of the discipline of ontology, a way which no longer ignores or circumvents the achievements of transcendental philosophy but precisely takes account of them, and has to take account of them, as the very condition for undertaking a regression to the ground. In the context of such a conclusive regression, many of the themes of Heidegger's own regressive understanding of transcendence can be picked up and further developed. For instance, letting-be (Seinlassen) no longer needs to be restricted to a species of self-withholding. Rather the contrary, it can now assume the form of a holding oneself into (Skheinlasseri), an involvement which is however non-appropriative, in the sense that by first completing the circuit of its own becoming human being overcomes the wilfulness of any primordial appropriation. Thus


146 Christopher Macann appropriation, in the limited sense of "making own', can now become the event of appropriation - Ereignen in the sense of Ereignis. The complementarity of the progressive and the regressive conception of transcendence is now no longer that of a regression to the ground making possible a grounding of what has been transcended, namely beings, but becomes a progression through the several stages of a genesis which finally turns around upon itself and leaps back into the ground, but only in so far as the recovery of the ground is now understood as the reflective re-appropriation of an original way of being of human being - the discipline of ontology as the articulation of a pre-oiitological way of being. But this paper was called the 'essence of transcendence' Was this an incidental nomenclature in the sense that Heidegger sometimes seems to mean no more by the structure of the essence than an ambiguous linguistic gesture towards something profound and important (see Greider's paper in volume I of the present work)? With a view to furnishing the concept of the essence with a determinate content, I would now like to refer briefly to a conception of the essence (taken over from Hegel) which, in the context of Being and Becoming, has been employed to regulate the entire ontological genesis.57 In the Little Logic (from the Encyclopedia), Hegel introduces his Doctrine of the Essence with a concept of the essence defined along the following lines. The essence, as mediated through the very negativity of its own selfrelation, stands in relation to itself only in so far as it stands in relation to the Other, and so ceases to be something immediately self-subsistent and becomes instead something posited or mediated. (Das Wesen, als das durch die Negativitdt seiner selbst sich mit sich vermittelnde Sein, 1st die Beziehung aufsich selbst, nur indent sie Beziehung auf Anderes 1st, das aber unmittelbar nicht als Seiendes, sondern als ein Gesetztes und Vermitteltes to.)58 Two things are to be noted. First, the structure of the essence mediates the immediacy of the concept of Being. Second, this mediating relation takes place as a relation whereby the self is only able to relate itself to * itself by way of a relation to the Other. Of course, in the context of the Logic, the self in question is nothing less than the Fichtean Being-itself. But, in the alternative context of a Daseins analytik, this struture can be taken over and applied to the being of human being with the following result: the self only is what it is through that to which it relates itself as something other than itself. In the context of the three principal stages of my genetic ontology, this structure of the essence can be differentiated with a view to accommodating what I have called the 'ontological delimitation of transcend-


The essence of transcendence 147 ence'. First and most originally, that to which human being relates itself and through which therefore it comes to be what it is, is nothing other than Being. This is taken to mean that Being is the locus of the essence. Secondarily, that to which human being relates itself and through which therefore it comes to be what it is, is the World. This is taken to mean that the World is now the locus of the essence. Third and last, that to which human being relates itself and through which therefore it comes to be what it is, is the self. This is taken to mean that the self is now the locus of the essence. This movement from a location of the structure of the essence in Being, in the World and in the Self is precisely what is meant, in general, by the ontological delimitation of transcendence. Bui the general principle of an 'ontological delimitation of transcendence' has two instantiations. On the one hand, it regulates the internal movement of the first and most properly ontological stage in the overall genesis. That is, in Heideggerian terms, it explains the movement from the ontological to the ontic.59 On the other hand, it also regulates the movement of the three stages which make up the genesis as a whole (originary, objective, reflective). That the movement out of the ab-original being-relation pre-figures a genesis which also includes within its compass the world of the natural attitude and the transcendentally reduced sphere of consciousness means that the movement away from the ground never really leaves the ground but only appears to do so in-order to make possible a conclusive regression to the ground (the discipline of ontology as the reflective re-appropriation of a pre-ontological way of being). In as much as the overall genesis of human being is regulated by the structure of the essence, this same structure also suffices to locate all the relevant concepts of transcendence with which we have been concerned. First and originally, human being has its being in being. It is for this reason that being-in is a constitutive characteristic of the being of human being originally. Ontological transcendence (together with its own appropriate concept of immanence) emerges as a function of this original condition of being-in. From the standpoint of the secondary stage in the overall genesis however, the world to which the sphere of inherence is then reduced is the world of the natural attitude (the material universe). The philosophical positions which go by the name of 'realism', 'materialism' and so on result from just such an 'interpretation' of human reality in terms of categories derived not from human being itself but from beings whose mode of being is not that of being human. In the context of such a realist world view, the significance of transcendence is lost, since that in which human being now finds itself is simply assumed to be there quite distinct and independent of consciousness. Finally, the location of the essence in the self corresponds to that opening up of a sphere of immanence which resultsfromthe phenomenological reduction.


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And which calls for its own correspondingly appropriate concept of transcendence - as the transcending of the sphere of immanence. Furthermore, that the structure of the essence which regulates the overall genesis is itself pre-figured in a threefold movement within the ground, that therefore, and in the final analysis, the movement away from the ground can be seen to be one which merely brings human being back to the ground again, means that the structure of the essence also accounts for the 'ontological transposition' - and therefore for the possibility of the discipline of ontology as the reflective re-appropriation of an original way of being of human being. To speak in Heraclitean terms, the ontological ground (like the logos) has nothing to do with a beginning in time but remains that eternal source from which all takes its start, through which all is steered, and to which all must consequently return - in order to start all over again. Seen in this light (summarily represented in these few concluding paragraphs), the structure of the essence can be seen to regulate the entire genesis of human being and therefore to exhaustively pre-determine the ontological relations which obtain between the several concepts of transcendence which we have sought to distinguish and to demarcate. To put it the other way around, the concept of transcendence is itself an expression of the structure of the essence. Hence: the essence of transcendence.

Notes 1 Martin Heidegger, Vom Wesen des Grundes, from Wegmarken, GA 9 (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann), S. 160. 2 Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, tr. John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson as Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 62 (H. 38). 3 Edmund Husserl, Die Idee der Phanomenologie, hrsg Walter Biemel, Gesammelte Werke (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1958), tr. William Alston and George Nakhnikian as The Idea of Phenomenology (Nijhoff, 1964), p. 28. 4 Husserl, Idea, p. 3. 5 The English translation uses the term 'genuine' to render reel There is of^ course a difficulty in as much as the contrast ree/-real is not reproducible in English. But I propose to use the term 'actual' which has the advantage of including the stem 'act* to connote the act side of the act-object structure of intentionality. 6 Husserl, Idea, p. 3. 7 ibid., pp. 6-7. 8 ibid., p. 6. 9 ibid., p. 28. 10 Edmund Husserl, Ideen /, hrsg Walter Biemel, Gesammelte Werke (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1950), tr. Boyce Gibson as Ideas (New York: Macmillan, 1931), p. 367. 11 Martin Heidegger, Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, tr. James


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Churchill as Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962), p. 22. 12 Heidegger, Kant, p. 20. 13 ibid., p. 81. 14 ibid., p. 124. 15 ibid., p. 128. 16 ibid. 17 Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, tr. Norman Kemp-Smith as Critique of Pure Reason (London: Macmillan, 1929), p. 12. 18 Kant, Critique, p. 152. 19 Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 249 (H. 205). 20 Heidegger, Being and Time, p. 415 (H. 363). 21 ibid., p. 417 (H. 365). 22 ibid., p. 417 (H. 366). 23 ibid., pp. 417-18 (H. 366). 24 Martin Heidegger, Einfiihrung in der Metaphysik, tr. Ralph Manheim as An Introduction to Metaphysics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), p. 2. 25 Martin Heidegger, Wegmarken GA 9 (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann), S. 111. 26 ibid., S. 114. 27 ibid., S. 117. 28 ibid., S. 119. 29 Martin Heidegger, Vom Wesen des Grundes (VWG) from Wegmarken, S. 125, cf. S. 135. 30 VWG, S. 133. 31 ibid. 32 ibid., S. 123. 33 ibid., S. 126. 34 ibid., S. 134. 35 ibid., S. 133. 36 ibid., S. 136. 37 ibid., S. 137. 38 ibid., S. 139. 39 ibid. 40 See my paper: 'Who is Dasein? Towards an ethics of authenticity', chap. 57, vol. IV of the present work. 41 VWG, S. 130. 42 ibid., S. 131. 43 ibid., S. 133. 44 This notion of an 'ontological delimitation of transcendence' is one which more properly belongs in the context of my ontological phenomenology. In the alternative context of an epochal interpretation of the history of modern philosophy, it assumes the parallel form of what I call a 'descendence of transcendence'. That is, the Rationalist epoch is interpreted as one which 'solves' the problem of transcendence with reference to a transcendent principle (God), the transcendental, with reference to a transcendental principle (transcendental subjectivity), while it is only in the ontological epoch that the problem gets solved, or better 'resolved' with reference to an ontological principle (embodiment). This shift from a transcendent, through a transcendental, and so on to an ontological resolution of the problem of transcendence finds its equivalent, in Being and Becoming (see vol. I, chap. 4, n. 46 of the present work for further details), in


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the shift from the aboriginal stage of the Natural Soul, through that of the World Soul, to that of the Actual Soul. 45 VWG, S. 181. 46 ibid., S. 183. 47 ibid., S. 185. 48 ibid. 49 Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 17. 50 VWG, S. 186. 51 ibid., S. 195. 52 ibid., S. 190. 53 Of course, Descartes thought he was preserving this conception, indeed furnishing proofs of God's existence, continual creativity, etc. 54 This distinction forms the basis of Heidegger's later Kant study which goes by the name: What is a Thing? An equivalent distinction also forms the basis of Merleau-Ponty's reflections upon the 'concrete object'. 55 See esp. ยง20 Image and schema'. In my Kant book I took Heidegger's analyses further than he would perhaps have been prepared to take them himself by talking about a 'world of images'; Kant and the Foundations of Metaphysics, Part Four, 4 e. 56 Cited in VWG, S. 141. This is also the thrust of Husserl's theory of intersubjectivity as presented, for instance, in Cartesian Meditations V, though in this latter text the task of linking distinctive "own worlds' into one common world view is done by way of the concept of a Monadic Community. 57 The articulation of the relevant structure of the essence occurs in the Introduction to Being and Becoming. But a summary review of the position laid down in this Introduction is to be found in an edition of The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, II (1) (1988). 58 G. W. F. Hegel, Enzyklop&die, hrsg Nicolin und Pdggeler (Hamburg: Meiner Verlag, 1969), S. 123. 59 I have adopted as my guide to the internal structure of the first and most original stage the threefold doctrine of the Soul as presented by Hegel in his Anthropology, the text in which he comes closest to what might be called a Daseins analytik. Thus it is the progression from the Natural, through the World (not the Feeling) to the Actual Soul which marks the movement from the ontological to the ontic sphere. But this 'ontological delimitation' within the ground also pre-figures a delimitation which occurs upon the more extensive plane of the overall genesis.


39 The language of the event: the event of language Theodore Kisiel

With the recent publication of the already well-known lecture of January 31, 1962 entitled Time and being', Heidegger's thought seems to have at last officially come full circle, and appears to bring some degree of completion to all that Heidegger had announced he would undertake in his prospectus in Being and Time (SZ, 39), though not exactly as it was announced there. The second part of this prospectus, dealing with the 'phenomenological destruction of the history of ontology', has proliferated far beyond the announced three divisions, notablyin the Nietzsche volumes and including some of the lectures and essays most recently collected in Wegmarken. The outstanding omission has always been the third division of the first part, entitled Time and being', which was to have completed the chain begun by the two divisions published as Being and Time: These two divisions, which concluded by showing that temporality was the Being of the being which understands Being, of Dasein, was to have been completed by 'the explication of time as the transcendental horizon of the question of Being'. In the Letter on Humanism, Heidegger explains that this division was withheld because the available language of metaphysics (presumably including such phrases as 'transcendental horizon') was inadequate to express the turn from 'Being and time' to Time and being' (PW, 72). This is not to say that no breakthrough to the articulation of this turn was made until the recent lecture on the issue. In the same letter, Heidegger indicates that the lecture 'On the essence of truth' (1930-43) already gained a measure of insight into this turn. And according to Heidegger, the pivotal 'concept' of this turn, das Ereignis (the appropriating event), was already at work in his thought during this period (C/5, 260), appearing thematically in the Hdlderlin essays and in 'The origin of the artwork' (1936), although it received no sustained treatment in his publications until Identity and Difference (1957) and Underway to Language (1959).


152 Theodore Kisiel The incubation period was evidently necessary in order to develop a language suitable to express the issues and relationships involved in the turn. Not that the long preparation and waiting period for the necessary transformation is over. Heidegger continues to reiterate that he is still 'underway to language'. The 1962 lecture still proceeds 'cautiously' and 'with foresight' (ZS, 20), without hindsight back to metaphysics and its readily available language, groping its way toward a remarkable realm that does not readily yield to articulation. Not that an entirely new language of neologisms must be invented to bring the domain of the appropriating event to the fore. Rather, what Heidegger seeks is 'a transformed relationship to the essence of the old language'.1 Heidegger's use of language has long been a philosophical notoriety. Carnap's parody of Heidegger's 'propositions' on Nothing has become a stock in trade in the positivistic debunking of metaphysics. Heidegger's response to such critiques are characteristically comprehensive. For him, the linguistic standards of logical positivism are simply the natural conclusion of a long tradition of the metaphysical approach to language, and hence themselves metaphysical. The first step in transforming our attitude to language is then to 'destroy' the logical-grammatical interpretation of language, centered on the proposition and its subject-predicate relationship, that a metaphysics of substance and of subject has conveyed to us, in order to clear the way for orienting language to the prepredicative realm which is its source. It is in this re-orientation that Heidegger looks for new possibilities of expression that would hold themselves closer to this source. It is to some of these linguistic strategies that at once turn from metaphysical ways of speaking and toward a more fundamental penetration of the origins of language that we wish to address ourselves here. The choice of possibilities are manifold, e.g., Heidegger's interest in poetry and in Oriental ways of speaking, but the focus of our attention will be on the language of the event. Since the appropriating event lies at the very center of Heidegger's thought, the most basic traits of the transmutation of language that he seeks are to be found here. A more detailed characterization of the background and the approaches to this domain will help point the way in our investigation. Special emphasis will be placed on the linguistic devices used in these approaches, the first of which is the vicarious role which the 'and' plays in Being 'and' Time.

On the 'and' in Being and Time It is often said that Heidegger is a man of one thought: Being. To say this relates him to a long tradition of Western philosophy, but it does not truly indicate what his unique question is. What we must do is to


Language of the event: the event of language 153 get a glimpse of his central concern, of that one thought which has troubled him from the beginning, that draws him over and over again to the effort of thinking and that gathers all of his reflections together. What we are after is what Heidegger himself calls die Sache, 'that which concerns thought, that which for thought never ceases to be a question, that which is the very point of the question' (FP, 183). His answers to Fr. Richardson's questions concerning his Denkweg are particularly enlightening on this point. Referring to the Aristotelian statement that 'being is said in many ways', which opens Brentano's inquiry into the manifold sense of being in Aristotle, the book which led him from the gymnasium into philosophy, Heidegger tells us that latent in this phrase is the question which determined my Denkweg: what is the pervasive, simple, unified determination of Being that permeates all of its multiple meanings?'2 But before the 'common origin' of the polyvalence of Being can be established, a prior question must first be answered, namely, 'whence does Being as such (not merely being as being) receive its determination?'3 The phenomenological character of the quest for the source of the Sinngebung implied in this question only came to the fore later when Heidegger came in contact with the phenomenological 'method', which he interprets for himself in terms of the basic Greek senses of phainesthai (to show itself) and logos (to make manifest). This he identifies as the first of three decisive insights that clarified the venture of considering the Being-question as a question which seeks the sense (Sinn) of Being. The second was the interpretation of aletheia as unconcealment, gleaned from reading Aristotle, and the third the recognition that presence is the fundamental trait of Being as ousia, And Being as presence develops into the question of Being in terms of its time character. Such is the complex of questions and insights which sets the stage for the problematic of Dasein posed in 1927 under the title Being and Time, in which 'the "and" in this title holds within itself the central problem. Neither Being nor time have given up their hitherto constituted meanings, but a more original interpretation must establish their justification and their limits' (KM, 219). That Being is related to time is already contained in 'the possibilities prepared for us by the "ancients" ' (SZ, 19) who conceived Being as permanence in presence (aei on, ousia, parousia) and the whatness of beings as 'that which has always been', which in turn was one form of a priori and hence 'earlier' (KM, 216-17). And time has long functioned as a criterion for distinguishing realms of Being into the temporal, atemporal and supratemporal, so that even eternity was interpreted as a nunc starts, a permanent now. And yet why Being should spontaneously be conceived in terms of time has never really been made an explicit theme of philosophical inquiry. In opposition to this obliviousness, Heidegger sets himself the task of showing 'that and how the central


154 Theodore Kisiel problematic of all ontology is rooted in the phenomenon of time, when rightly seen and rightly explained' (SZ, 18). In order for metaphysics in its entire history to be properly founded, one must make explicit the hidden relations of Being and time, the terms in which the very first thinkers of the question spontaneously expressed the issue, in which terms present thinkers continue to express themselves, manifesting that 'the understanding of Being in Dasein? almost of itself projects Being upon time' (KM, 219). The most apparent juncture of Being and time, at least in 1927, is then Dasein itself. The issue of Being and time seems to resemble the well-known metaphysical distinctions of Being and becoming, Being and appearance, and Being and thinking. But the 'and' of the metaphysical distinctions is disjunctive: Being and not. . . . It serves to introduce something other than Being, which delimits Being and still somehow belongs to it. But 'in the formula "Being and time", "Being" is not something other than "time" inasmuch as "time" is named as the forename for the truth of Being, where truth is the essencing of Being and therefore Being itself (WM, 17). Therefore, the essence of time considered within the question of Being points toward a completely different realm of inquiry than the metaphysical distinctions (EM, 157). And yet the most consequential of these metaphysical distinctions, Being and thinking, can be turned in the very same direction by investigating thinking not as a power of men but as a power of aboriginal Being, as thefirstessay in Identity and Difference does. All of Heidegger is then an attempt to read Being and time into one another. Being and time are 'convertible' terms, i.e., they 'turn together*. And the thrust of the later Heidegger converges on a focus of thought in which Being 'and' time are read into one another to such a degree that they become One in a simple center which is the source of both. This 'and', left unspecified by the early Heidegger, is now given the singular and proper name of das Ereignis and described as the e-vent that appropriates Being and time, the It that gives both, the third Tthat has always been first, and as such, the secret power hidden in both Being and time and holding the two in a relationship of reserve. But the two terms being unified have also developed in the course of the Denkweg. Hence he now states that 'the task of thought better perceived now needs a more appropriate determination of the theme which had otherwise been indicated under the title Being and Time. The title ought now to read Presence and Clearing [Anwesenheit und Lichtung\ (FP, 173). It is in these deepened terms that Heidegger finally understands his preliminary question. 'Whence does Being as such receive its determination?' and its answer: 'Being is determined by the reach of time'. And in reply to the first question, it appears that the simple unified 'determination' of Being, the 'common origin' which pervades all of its


Language of the event: the event of language 155 multiple meanings is now the event out of which Being as presence and time as clearing become apropos to each other. If instead of 'time' we substitute: clearing of the self-concealing of presenting [Anwesen], then Being is determined by the reach of time. This comes about, however, only insofar as the clearing of self-concealing assumes in its want a thought corresponding to it. Presenting (Being) belongs in the clearing of self-concealing (time). Clearing of self-concealing produces presenting (Being) . . . this belonging and producing rest in an ap-propriation and are called event.4 Presenting and clearing Now that the direction of Heidegger's thrust into the 'and' has been pointed out, we must follow through with a brief development of the content of its two poles. As already indicated, the two terms cannot be considered different from one another. Both refer to the essence of time. Both describe the process of unconcealment, the truth of Being. Both accordingly bear a reference to the ultimate concealment. The presenting process (Anwesen) is at once an absenting process (Abweseri). Essence (Weseri) for Heidegger is accordingly understood verbally in terms of an interplay of presence and absence. And clearing is always understood in terms of the background of obfuscation from which it frees itself. But each of the terms makes its appearance in the Heideggerian opus in a different way, from a different source, in different contexts, and therefore carrying differing nuances, which is precisely the source of the difficulties of bringing them together in the turn. Presence and its presenting process are the temporal terms for Being which Heidegger finds in the Western tradition and accepts as such, while constantly mulling the secret essence of time which lies hidden and unthought in these terms. Presence more often than not is used as a variant expression of the ontological difference of Being and being, viz., the presenting of what is present, which emphasizes its association with a long tradition of metaphysics concerned with beings to the neglect of Being. And the various missions of presence sent by the appropriating event constitute the history of metaphysics. Clearing, on the other hand, is that within which beings can present themselves, the free and open space which grants us access to the beings which we are not and to the beings which we are, the leeway and playing field of the world. More basically, when verbally understood, clearing is the regioning of a region, the expansive opening which permits an outlet for free play and enables presenting to take place and thus lets being be. As the enabling element, the clearing is not only that within which


156 Theodore Kisiel beings present themselves, but also that by which things appear. As the site of openness, it is the here of Being, Da-sein. Dasein was the preliminary pivotal concept of the first part of Heidegger's original prospectus for executing the turn to the event, just as its second part was to 'destroy' the traditional conception of time in order to prepare the ancient conception of Anwesen for the turn. In Being and Time, Dasein as Being-in-the-world is identified with the clearing, in the introduction to the well-known sections which elaborate the constitution of the here as the thrown and projected linguistic realm of meaning which is man's understanding of Being (SZ, 133). Here, it is also pointed out that a long tradition of Lichtmetaphysik has described this understanding figuratively as a lumen naturale. But the light of reason interpreted as a reified power somehow implanted in us is precisely what Heidegger from the beginning strives to surpass, in order to establish the ontological ground for any act of illumination or intuitive seeing. Such a backtracking ultimately leads to a reading of the traditional definition of man, the living being possessing logos, instead as the being possessed by logos, where logos is now (among other things) the indigenous field of language in which he lives, moves and has his Being. Furthermore, even though Lichtung suggests Licht and hence has been translated as 'lighting-up process', Heidegger strives to surpass the Lichtmetaphysik from Plato on and to backtrack into the ground that precedes as well as makes possible such an interpretation. The clearing as such is neutral with regard to its medium and mode of reception, and sets free sounds, for example, as well as sights. For Heidegger, even more basic than the Licht of Lichtung is its metaphorical reference to a clearing in the wood which is first cleared by a process of lightening rather than lighting, a thinning of the thicket (FP, 170-1, 190-1). Obstacles must first be cleared away before obscurities can be cleared up. The disencumbering disclosure is first necessary to release the clearing for illumination. Parenthetically, it may be noted how the spatial metaphor which permeates language through and through continues to crop up in any attempt to discuss time, where, for example, the clearing continues to be described as a 'temporal playingfield'(Zeit-Spiel-Raum). From the beginning, the clearing process was conceived as temporal through and through. Being and Time concludes that it is ecstatic temporality which originally clears the here of Dasein and which unifies its articulated structure in terms of the three dimensions of time (SZ, 351). As the ekstatikon pure and simple, temporality is the condition of the possibility of the ex-sistence that Dasein is. Time is the primordial 'ex' that extends Dasein in its scope and limits, which determines the kind of understanding of Being which man has, appropriate to his time. 'With the disclosure of the "here" grounded in ecstatically stretched temporality, a "time" is allotted to Dasein' (SZ, 410).


Language of the event: the event of language 157 This tensile character of time and its tenses is maintained in the 1962 lecture Time and being' in the way time is given in the event, as an offer of presence that reaches (Reichen) and that thereby defines the reach (Reichweite) of a region (Bereich). The three time dimensions constitute three different modes of reaching and of offering presence. In reaching to one another, the three dimensions of time not only establish a play of presence and absence, but clear for themselves a temporal playing field. This reciprocal interplay is under the sway of a fourth dimension in which the unity of authentic time reposes, an incipient offering and reaching-extending which clears the three dimensions by holding them apart and together in proximity, a proximating proximity which at once denies what has been and restrains what is to come and so conceals as well as clears, and clears only when the time is 'ripe', appropriate (ZS, 46-9). For 'the proximity which proximates is itself the appropriating event' (t/5, 196). And its last word is silence. For the event is not a permanent presence, but instead gives itself by withdrawing itself. It is this withdrawing mystery which provides the permanent origin of all clearing. Accordingly, the clearing itself is not a fixed stage with its curtain always raised where the play of beings runs its course, but a shifting scene that fades into the background only to emerge anew. Because the event withdraws, it is still the indeterminate 'There is' of the Ur-phenomena of Being and. time, the Lethe at the very heart of aletheia that continues to draw thought forward.

To describe the indescribable With its principle of zu den Sachen selbst, phenomenology has acclimated us to a movement of radical regression which strives to undercut the constructions of the natural attitude, science and metaphysics in order to manifest the fundamental experiential structures that found them. The most fundamental and all-pervasive structure is that of intentionality, at once constituting and intuitive, productive and revelatory, active and receptive, and variously described by Husserl as a transcendental life experiencing the world in a 'living present', by Heidegger as the event of unconcealment in which thinking and Being are the 'same' in a point of intimacy between Being and man which precedes all distinction, by Sartre as a pre-reflective action of revealing the world, by Merleau-Ponty in terms of the active human body perceiving a world of ambiguity. Not that these formulations exhaust the issue. As Heidegger puts it in his foreword to Husserl's lectures on time constitution, 'the term "intentionality" is no all-explanatory word but one which designates a central problem'. In Husserl's words, we are standing before 'the deepest


158 Theodore Kisiel essential bonds between reason and being in general, the puzzle of all puzzles'.5 The regress takes us to the root of human experience itself, in a radical effort to get to the bottom of things which ultimately reaches a point where the bottom falls out and gives way to an abyss (Abgrund), an undifferentiated and indeterminate chaos, 'the chasm out of which the Open opens itself (HD, 61). Chaos here is thus not to be taken in the static sense of sheer disorder and confusion, but as a 'drive, flow, and motion, whose order is hidden and whose law is not immediately known' (N /, 566), 'the hidden, self-overflowing, unmastered excess of life' (N /, 568). We are before a radical beginning that posits itself beyond all distinction, as the immediate, the simple, the element, the Lethe of aletheia. The drive to grasp experience by its umbilical cord takes us back to the moment of incipient pregnancy where meaning first takes hold in human experience, the original upsurge of 'reason' in experience, a fullness of meaning to be found in the very immediacy of experience, the ultimate Sinngebung whose immediacy and spontaneous genesis of meaning at once find their apt expression in the double-entendre of the German Es gibt. Following what he considered to be a more faithful adherence to the phenomenological prescription zur Sache selbst, it was Heidegger who radicalized Husserl's quest for the most original givenness of beings into the question of the origin of givenness pure and simple.6 And yet this region of absolute giving is itself not given. 'The immediate, therefore, is never and nowhere "given"; it must always be reconstructured; and to "ourselves", that is to our most intimate life, we have no access'.7 'For the "primal experience", upon which our experiences are grounded, has always passed irrevocably away by the time our attention is directed to it.'8 Here is the essence of the finitude of maij, to whom life poses 'the colossal aporia, the insoluble dilemma'9 of glimpsing an immediate which is never accessible immediately (HD, 59-61). For consciousness always arrives too late to seize that which seizes it, the immediate present. 'Consciousness is senescence and a quest of things past.'10 And yet the immediate in its withdrawal is precisely what draws thought by calling out to be thought. The draw of its unthought is the very food for thought. It 'wants' thought, and 'gives' thought its sustenance, and in this way 'uses' thought to reveal itself. The lure of the ineffable, the call of the wild and aboriginal is the very provocation of thought. It is what sets thought on its way, its very incipience. It evokes thought, appeals to be thought - and therefore 'speaks'! Though it always holds itself in reserve, its silence is infinitely suggestive. Its draw is like the gesture of a finger pointing the way to the secret of our Being, of our time, of what is most appropriate to us. Accordingly, in its gestation


Language of the event: the event of language 159 of what is most timely and original for us, it guides the course of our thought and of our history. And yet all this goes on surreptitiously, behind the scenes, as it were, outside of the arena of earth-shaking historical occurrences. The inaugural event of Being is not newsworthy. For, as the most immediate and comprehensive of our experiences, it is always with us as the element and background of all of our particular experiences, and in this sense quite ordinary. 'Nothing' really happens in this event (N II, 485) - which is why it is the most extraordinary and potentially devastating of our experiences when it does come into the foreground. Consider, for example, this description of the poet's venture into the ineffable immediacy ('the holy'): 'The shock of chaos, that offers no support, the terror of the immediate, that frustrates all intrusion, the holy is transformed through the tranquillity of the shielded poet into the mildness of the mediate and mediatizing word' (HD, 68-9). But how does this event of language come about, if the immediate itself is ineffable, and can never be apprehended immediately? Even though the immediate is inaccessible in its immediacy, as the comprehensive event which permeates all particular experiences, it is at once the mediation of all mediated beings, and so can be glimpsed in and through its mediations. It is the word which articulates these relations among everything actual, and so itself is the mediation which holds and retains beings in Being. 'Without the holding and relating word, the totality of things, the "world", sinks into darkness' (US, 177). Language accordingly institutes the network of relations which is our historical world in its particular differentiations and bounded by its particular horizon. Its welcome capacity to domesticate the aboriginal in the 'mildness' of the word can nevertheless tranquillize the elemental power of its mediating ground into oblivion, as the current technological modulation of language has done. But it is always possible to revive the relationship of the event, 'the relation of all relations, the hold of all holds' (US, 267), since the horizon of our linguistic world 'is not a wall that encloses man; on the contrary, the horizon is transparent, it points as such to the non-established, becoming, and capable of becoming, to the possible' (N I, 574). 'The horizon throughout its transparent permanence lets the chaos appear as chaos' (N I, 575). Accordingly, the existing languages in which we find ourselves 'thrown' are always open to orientation toward this aboriginal language which 'speaks' in silence. And it is to our creative poets and thinkers that we look to find the words which somehow intimate the ineffable, old and familiar words long in use made to speak anew their relationship with the very source of language. This process of listening for the unsaid to be said in what has already been said has long been called hermeneutics. To summarize, 'the intangible experience in itself cannot be apprehended nor mastered, but it manifests something to us, an appearance: says


160 Theodore Kisiel something, an utterance. The aim of science, therefore, is to understand this logos; essentially, science is hermeneutics.'11 The mediatizing immediate which itself is unmediated, the ground which itself is an ungrounded abyss, the differentiating, articulating, unconcealing process which itself is undifferentiated, ineffable and concealed, such is the ultimate character of Being in its most archaic sense. Its concealment (Verbergung) is the very shelter (Bergung) of the aboriginal language, which speaks in its own time and its own unexpected way, according to which the hermeneute must bide his time. Hermeneutical language The language which orients itself to the silent event thus warrants being called a hermeneutical language. Being and Time situated the hermeneutical 'as' in a pre-predicative involvement in the referential relations of the world of gear preceding the theoretical predications of the apophantic 'as'. Later, the 'as' structure of 'something as something' appears again in the history of the metaphysical interpretations from Being as idea to Being as will. But 'the hermeneutical does not first signify the explicit interpreting that lays out, for even before this there is the bringing of the message and tidings' (US, 122). The hermeneutical language most basically is oriented to the 'primal tidings' of the aboriginal event, which 'speaks' silently, by withholding itself. To be true to its ineffable source, such a language leaves more unsaid in what it actually says. Its seminal, germinal, suggestive probing calls for a logos oriented to silence, a 'sigetic' logic.12 'Every incipient and authentic naming utters the unspoken, and indeed in such a way that it remains unspoken' (WD, 119). The unsayable is somehow said! Such a hermeneutical language necessarily reaches beyond the resources of the current logical and grammatical conception of language, whose final court of appeal is the judgment and whose basic structure is the subject-predicate relation. For that about which one speaks here is no longer the self-givenness of a subject, but the self-withdrawal of the event. We are no longer dealing with the An sich of things on hand, but the Ansichhalten, the holding-to-itself of the basic mystery. Whereas the apophantic language arrives at a predicate which bestows a definite character on a subject that already stands out, the hermeneutical language, groping in the most primordial pre-predicative realm, culminates in the 'saying that does not say' (sagenden Nichtsagen) (ID, 72). In it, purely declarative sentences are no longer possible, its assertions take on a peculiarly non-assertive character, its propositions amount to a leap13 to which the usual logic of the substantive does not apply. It is no wonder that Carnap found in Heidegger a particularly rich source of


Language of the event: the event of language 161 what for logical positivism can only be meaningless assertions or pseudostatements, like "nothing itself nothings'. "A sequence of words is meaningless if it does not, within a specified language, constitute a statement.'14 It is precisely such a closed system of language, with its strictly defined rules of formation and rigidly fixed vocabulary, that Heidegger seeks to 'destroy'. How he does this, what linguistic strategies he employs, is what we now wish to examine. Generally speaking, it can be prefatorily stated that Heidegger's resorting to these peculiarly non-assertive assertions arises from his attempt to think Being itself, Being as such. The following quotation strikes the pervasive keynote: 'Yet Being - what is Being? It is itself. This is what future thinking must learn to experience and to say. "Being" - it is not God nor a world-ground. For being is further than any being, be it a rock or an animal, a work of art or a machine, an angel or God. Being is the nearest. Yet the near is what is farthest for man' (PW> 76). And later: 'The appropriating event is the most unpretentious of the unpretentious, the simplest of the simple, the nearest of the near and the farthest of the far, within which we mortals sojourn and live our temporal life' (US, 259). As the simplest of the simple which is nearest in immediacy and farthest in accessibility, Being as such signalizes a new principle of identity toward which all converges and out of which all emerges, the $e//-given in a strictly terminal sense, "at once ^//-withdrawn. Thus, echoes of the old tautological A is A are constantly heard in Heidegger's meditations. These apparent tautologies serve as bases for a leap into a new dimension of identity which in its immediacy defies articulation. Accordingly, we are told that the sentence 'language is language, speech is speech', apparently 'a tautology which says nothing' (US, 12) and its verbal iterative, 'speech speaks', can lead us to an abyss which opens onto the place of the essence of speech and of the speaking being, man. Far from being a meaningless tautology, such an iterative sentence serves to turn us away from thinking about language in terms other than itself, as an externalization of inner feelings or as an activity of man, for example, in order that we may consider language as language, in terms proper to it as such. It thus turns our attention to the power of language itself to reveal, to let beings be, and more profoundly, to the silent source of this power, to whose 'air' we as speaking beings are called upon to listen, to whose elemental modulation we already find ourselves attuned. Speech speaks in order to summon the world and things to their essence, whereby the world worlds and the thing things. In thinging, the thing draws the world near and gathers it. The world in turn worlds by granting the thing its nexus for gathering. In reciprocal intimacy and with the articulation of the difference between them, each comes into


162 Theodore Kisiel its own. Issuing out of the e-vent of appropriation, each receives its unique essence. Speech speaks - the world worlds - the thing things - why these verbally iterative sentences (to which others can easily be added from the Heideggerian opus)? For one thing, such iterations stress the verbal over the substantive, and develop a series of iterative verbs designed to overcome the static permanence which the 'is' has acquired. Moreover, we are in the proximity of a family of phenomena to which the 'is' is to a large extent not applicable, for Being 'is' not a being, nor 'is' time. Finally, such a linguistic strategy serves to emphasize the phenomenon itself (die Sache selbst), 'as such', in its unique essence and essential uniqueness. From his early interest in Scotus' notion of haecceity to his ultimate selection of Er-eignis as his theme-word, Heidegger's concern for a uniqueness which is at once universal is everywhere apparent, as in the concreteness of the 'here' and the temporal riddle of uniqueness. All of these iterative verbs therefore seek to express how the 'proper' nouns, speech, the world, the thing, etc., 'essence'. In opposition to a tradition of static and eternal essences, Heidegger seeks to develop a verbal conception of essence. The iterative sentence accordingly points to an identity and sameness which permits difference, to an essence which is self-changing and historical, appropriate to its time. This transmutation in the conception of essence is especially expressed in the following two turning sentences: The essence of truth is the truth of the essence (WW9 26). The essence of speech: the speech of the essence (t/S, 200). In each case, the first essence is understood traditionally as quiddity, while the second is taken verbally and refers to the enduring abiding that makes way, i.e., the appropriating event. The other terms follow their contextual suit in the turn of phrase. Accordingly, the turning sentences now read: what truth as knowledge is emerges from the unconcealment of the event that appropriates; speech as human activity finds its incipience in the silent saying of the event. Both turns terminate in the appropriating event. The colon which breaks the second sentence serves to symbolize the leap that is necessary to execute the turn. The way leading to the direct articulation of the event itself also traverses a linguistic evolution. It centers on the attempt to find a suitable way of speaking of the It which gives the Being which is there when we say 'there is Being'. At first, the It is simply identified with Being itself in its self-giving, so that 'Being gives Being' (PW9 80-1). But this way of putting it still has the disadvantage of suggesting that Being somehow 'is', like a being. Later, the giving of Being is identified with the sending of the mission of presence in the history of Being, which must be considered together with the giving of time as the extending of a clearing.


Language of the event: the event of language 163 The substantifying effect of the It, which is now identified as the appropriating event, must then give way to the verbal impact suggested by these two modes of giving. For the event is nothing but the giving itself. It is unacceptable to say that 'the event is', since it is not a being, or that 'it gives the event', since all giving issues from the event. Both expressions therefore reverse the proper direction in which the event is to be thought, which in its giving always retreats into its abyss. The best that can be said is: 'The appropriating event events by appropriating' {Das Ereignis ereignet), not as a mere sentence subject to the questioning of logic, but as a touchpoint of meditation on the mysterious comings and goings and abiding character of the central concern of thought. Even to speak of Being as the event, which certainly is true in its general intent, risks placing what is thought here on the same level as the metaphysical interpretations of Being as idea, as will, etc. But the event is not a kind of Being subordinated to the basic concept of Being. And the reverse is no less objectionable: Being is not a kind of event, for the event is not a generic concept to which Being and time are subordinate. Relations of a logical order say nothing to us here. Being and time disappear into the event out of which they are appropriated and thus come into their own. The 'as' here is simply the giving appropriation of Being and time, the eventing of the event itself. The event events. All comes back to saying the same, going from the same and returning to the same, which at once is always different, the principle of uniqueness itself (ZS, 54-66). Summary: a 'linguistic analysis' The iterative and circular 'syntax' of the hermeneutical language serves to de-emphasize the predicative structure of our inherited languages, and therefore tends to concentrate our attention on its keywords within a pre-predicative context. The hermeneutical process ultimately focuses on the most fundamental words of our language, in order to listen to their changing modulations and mutual resonance. By way of summary and conclusion, an attempt will be made to unravel the strands of meaning knotted into the notion of Ereignis from a somewhat different perspective. And the translation of Ereignis as 'appropriating event' has yet to be justified. In officially introducing Ereignis as the very centerline of his endeavors, Heidegger rather grandiosely asserts that 'it can be translated with as little success as the Greek keyword logos and the Chinese Tao (IDy 29). If we bracket the Teutonic pomposity of this declaration, it does suggest that we can expect in this word the same manifold convergence of connotations that Heidegger himself has unraveled from the Greek logos.


164 Theodore Kisiel In fact, he later specifies the Ereignis as the one and only, unique and simple subject matter of thought, inaccessible in its simplicity, approachable only through a manifold thought, and ipso facto through a manifold language.15 This accounts for the structure of the Heideggerian opus, aiming at a single center, approached along numerous 'forest trails', some of them perhaps dead-ends. As a first approximation of this unique Sache, Heidegger takes the phenomenological path. Recall the great circle of Heidegger, that it is first necessary to anticipate and acknowledge what is to be explicated, namely, the total situation where emergent Being shows itself. Once in the circle comes the problem of finding a suitable language to describe this process of emergence, the relations within it between man and the Being of beings, and finally the enabling element which is the condition of the possibility for such emergence and such relations. This enabling element is ultimately termed the Ereignis. Difficulties to this project are soon encountered in a language rendered opaque by a long tradition of metaphysics. In the face of this, Heidegger does not suggest that we take to neologisms, but rather calls for 'a transformed relationship to the essence of the old language'.16 What sort of a conversion? A phenomenological one, and to the extent that phenomenology calls for complete honesty, an ethical one as well. And if phenomenology is a matter of letting 'things' speak for themselves, then its most refined phase, thought, is a matter of letting language speak for itself. Indeed, at the aboriginal level of the Ereignis, language and Sache are one for Heidegger. In what ways then does this aboriginal language speak of itself? I submit that a manifold of major linguistic constellations can be distinguished in Heidegger's own descriptions of the Ereignis. If indeed Ereignis is the common source of emergence of the manifold senses of Being that Heidegger wants it to be, then one should expect all the heavy-duty stems of our most archaic language to tend to merge here. Heidegger's own reflections on the convergent senses of logos, physis, aletheia, and the other old Greek words which somehow named the unnameable prefigure our discussion here, and in some sense are to be repeated for the sake of a new beginning in the event. The process of instituting Ereignis as a 'guiding word in the service of thinking' (ID, 29) in fact continues the reflection on the most fundamental words of our language in an attempt to approximate the archaic simplicity of the aboriginal language. What follows then is a highly condensed 'linguistic analysis' of Heidegger's most basic language in terms of the main linguistic constellations that thread through his conception of Ereignis: (1) The language of coming and going, used to express the dynamics between man and Being. On the basis of such descriptions, Ereignis becomes the event of the advent of Being overcoming man through


Language of the event: the event of language 165 intervention in his ventures. Certainly no ordinary event, limited to a moment or period of time, but one that is momentous and periodic, or better, that which makes events momentous and periodizes them. (2) The suggestions of intermittence in the comings and goings of the event are countered by a second linguistic group of stasis words, of standing and bringing to stand, posing and positing, setting and fixing, in which man stands out into Being in a holding attitude that holds himself and beings in ex-sistential place. This incipient state-of-affairs ultimately points back to the Ereignis as the 'holding that holds to itself, the relation of all relations, the hold of all holds'. (3) Insofar as aboriginal Being holds to itself, it holds back, withdraws, and in so doing draws man with it. We are now approaching the language of hide and seek, and the chiaroscuro interplay of hide and show. This always appears as Heidegger's last word on Ereignis, as the concealment. (4) Closely tied to but significantly distinct from the language of hide and show is the language of closing and opening. Opening as clearing constitutes a releasing, a freeing, permitting an out-let for free play. Thus appears that all important Heideggerian word, lassen, and Ereignis becomes the dimension enabling the emergence of beings and providing viability to man. (5) But the last word in Heidegger is still the closure of disclosure. That which grants access is itself inaccessible. Confronted -with the ineffable opaqueness of the abyss of aboriginal Being, all that can be said is that 'there IT is', or - and here English fails to keep pace with the German - Es gibt. Ereignis as the indeterminate 'there is' which gives and promotes a language of give and receive, or more vehemently, in keeping with the violence of man and Being that Heidegger finds expressed in the Antigone chorus, give and take. (6) 'To appropriate' says both give and take, as well as the all important propium (eigen) and adapting (eignen) of the Ereignis. Heidegger's persistent use of these cognates and their variants suggest that these connotations were uppermost in his choice of this 'guiding word in the service of thinking'. Evidently Ereignis is to be the mutually appropriating realm of the give and take of uniqueness. Zygmunt Adamczewski17 has suggested 'bearing' as a translation for Ereignis, which helps to bring out some of its further ramifications. For one thing, it intuitively brings to the fore another linguistic constellation, the language of genesis so time-honored in religion, philosophy and phenomenology. It thus emphasizes the perpetual pregnancy and fruitfulness of the engendering phenomenal ground. Bearing as begetting, carrying and delivering accentuates the creative character of aboriginal being, which Heidegger himself develops in his reduction of causality to a bringing forth or pro-ducere. It also suggests the carry-over and


166 Theodore Kisiel deliverance of the inheritance of tradition (Uberlieferung). Hence no one can deny that 'bearing' is a very fertile term. It furthermore suggests not only originating but also sustaining power. But here it is on a par with the holding action and staying power already indicated as proper to aboriginal Being. Likewise, some of the other nuances of 'bearing' are present and perhaps better expressed in the other linguistic groups. For example: forbearance is also withstanding and the ability to 'take it'; bearing as an attitude is also a stance or posture, an approach (Angang) or the now-cliched openness. On the debit side, bearing suggests the teleology of the originating process to such a degree that it also connotes meaning and direction (Sinn), so that it in fact obscures its archeological character and the concomitant concealment at the heart of the 'e-vent', as an occurrence that comes from afar. And where are the closure and withdrawal that leads to degeneration and the intermittent need for regeneration? Finally, even though bearing suggests relevance, and hence implies the pertinence that belongs to the appropriate, it nevertheless verbally interrupts the profound resonance between the 'ownness' or proprium of the appropriate and the owing of a debt to my own existence to which I ought to own up, so well brought out by Adamczewski in his paper. Not that we should reject the suggestions of gestation that 'bearing', brings to the understanding of the Ereignis. It suggests for instance that heavy-duty English root stemming from the Latin verb for 'bearing', ferre, which gives us that all important Heideggerian term, difference. In closest harmony with the Ereignis, Heidegger places the Austrag (ID, 10) which he roughly interprets as a 'bearing out'. In Identity and Difference, Austrag is the differentiation between Being and beings. In Underway to Language (22-5), it is also the gestation of the gestures of language, especially in the primordial articulation between world and thing. We are now evoking the language of identifying and differentiating, which conjures the most difficult of Heidegger's problems, the modulation of uniqueness, involving at once the exclusivity of selfhood, the disjunction of temporal epochs, and the historical discursivity of language. Such is the language of the event in terms of its most primeval linguistic groups, which attempt to sound the most primeval event of language. The language of the event: the event of language. If we recall the double play of the 'of that Heidegger emphasizes in other contexts, these two turns of phrase should ultimately be one and the same, at least in the sense of belonging together and corresponding to each other. In the metaphysics of grammar, 'of is the genitive of possession; for Heidegger, it is the genesis of the proper, once again the appropriating event itself. More than once, he refers to an Eigentum des Er-eignisses (ID, 31; N II, 484; US, 265, ZS, 62-4). And what we have just surveyed in terms


Language of the event: the event of language

167

of linguistic groups are those very 'properties' of verbal essence, or better, the propia of aboriginal Being.

Notes 1 According to his letter published in the preface to William J. Richardson, Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963) p. xxiii. 2 ibid., pp. x-xi. 3 ibid. 4 ibid., pp. xx-xxi. 5 Edmund Husserl, Die Krisis der Europ&ischen Wissenschaften und die Transzendentale Phtinomenologie, Husserliana VI, ed. W. Biemel, 2nd ed. (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1962) p. 12. 6 Ernst Tugendhat, Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter and Co., 1967) p. 242. 7 G. Van Der Leeuw, Religion in Essence and Manifestation: A Study in Phenomenology (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1963) vol. n, p. 672. The chapter being cited is entitled 'Phenomenon and phenomenology'. 8 ibid., p. 671. 9 ibid., p. 672. 10 Emmanuel Levinas, Intentionalitg et sensation', Revue Internationale de Philosophie (1965) nos. 71-1, pp. 34-54. Cf. p. 47. 11 Van Der Leeuw, op. cit., p. 676. 12 Otto Pdggeler, Der Denkweg Martin Heideggers (Pfallingen: Neske, 1963) p. 276. 13 Heidegger often plays on the German Satz, which means both 'proposition' and 'leap'. 14 Rudolf Carnap, 'The elimination of metaphysics through logical analysis of language', tr. Arthur Pap, in Logical Positivism (Glencoe: Free Press, 1959) pp. 60-81. Cf. p. 61. 15 Richardson, op. tit., p. xxiii. 16 ibid. 17 'Martin Heidegger and man's way to be', Man and World (1968) vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 363-79. Cf. p. 369.


40 The transformation of language at another beginning Robert Bernasconi

Derrida's starting-point is the end of philosophy, or, as he would prefer to say, 'the closure of metaphysics'. The two terms 'philosophy' and 'metaphysics' are for Derrida, as they became for Heidegger, equivalent ways of referring to the tradition. 'End' is not an equivalent for 'closure' (G 14/4). Derrida uses the term 'closure' because he refuses to speak of the 'end' of philosophy in the sense of a termination. That philosophy is, if not finished, at least at an end is something which Derrida does not see any need to establish; he points to Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Heidegger (ED 117/79). It is for him quite simply the context in which 'those who are still called philosophers . . . in remembrance at least' ask the one question left to them - the question of the closure, that is the question of the relation between belonging to philosophy and achieving an opening beyond philosophical discourse (ED 163/110). Derrida's word 'closure' states his fundamental concern that it is impossible for us simply to transgress metaphysics, to leave it unambiguously behind us and stand unequivocally outside it. But it does not bear only this negative sense. Derrida's name has come to be associated with a number of strategies which govern his approach to a text and whose function is to impose the closure on it. His procedure is most apparent in those places where he goes into greatest detail as, for example, in his reading of Plato's Phaedrus in Dissemination and of Rousseau's Essay on the Origin of Languages in Of Grammatology. Metaphysics is, according to Derrida, marked by a certain series of oppositions, the most fundamental of which is that of presence versus absence. In each of the metaphysical oppositions (inside/outside; speaking/writing; remedy/poison etc.) one of the terms is privileged over the other and the privileging of presence governs all these others. So Derrida's first task is to render the metaphysical reading of the text in hand and this tends to be accomplished by drawing attention to these oppositions and priorities at work throughout the text.


The transformation of language 169 This prepares for a reversal of the priorities whereby what was primary becomes secondary and vice-versa. Finally this gives way to a reading in which neither term is privileged and we are introduced to a sense in which the terms (which at first - and second - reading were opposed) are 'at play* one with the other; the play takes place according to a logic which we do not associate with metaphysics. This play which exceeds metaphysics is thus found inscribed in texts which we provisionally took to be metaphysical. The inscription of this excess is in Rousseau borne by the word supplement and in Plato by the word pharmakon. These various stages (which I have described rather more schematically than they are practised by Derrida) take the form of a series of readings of a specific text. We pass from a reading which is referred to the author's intentions or an influential interpretation or even a standard translation and arrive at a reading which displays working through the text a logic which is not that of traditional metaphysics. And yet this passage is not arbitrarily enforced on the text, but is attained, by and large, through the use of fairly conventional hermeneutical techniques. The difference between Derrida and, for example, Gadamerian hermeneutics lies more in the greater resolution with which Derrida applies these techniques than is generally realized. The sense in which Derrida's readings are immanent is indicated by his claim that every metaphysical text carries within itself the resources that will be borrowed from the metaphysical system to criticize it (Af 70/60). The justification for reversing the hierarchy of terms is found inscribed within the text itself; the means for surpassing metaphysics are to be found within metaphysics itself. But this surpassing is not to be understood as a Hegelian Aufhebung. Derrida's approach is clarified somewhat in a discussion at the close of the 1968 essay 'The ends of man' (Af 162-4/134-6). The context of the discussion is the apparent dilemma of our relation to metaphysics: we find ourselves on the inside yet recognize that 'a radical trembling can only come from the outside'. Two strategies present themselves. The first is 'to attempt an exit and a deconstruction without changing terrain', where the risk is that we would simply be confirming, consolidating or subsuming (relevery the French equivalent of aufheben) what we claim to be deconstructing. The second is 'to decide to change terrain, in a discontinuous and irruptive manner, by brutally placing oneself outside, and by affirming an absolute break and difference'. The second can never be successful on its own because 'the simple practise of language ceaselessly reinstates the "new" terrain on the oldest ground*. Thus the call is for 'a new writing' to 'weave and interlace these two motifs of deconstruction'. The first strategy is said by Derrida to be the one which predominates in Heidegger, whereas the second was the dominant one


170 Robert Bernasconi in France at the time of the essay. But Derrida is quite clear that both strategies can be found in Heidegger. Derrida's debt to Heidegger is obvious. The identification of metaphysics with the privileging of presence is found already in Heidegger's Being and Time - Sein as Anwesenheit. The very term 'deconstruction' which Derrida sometimes uses to describe his procedure clearly echoes Heidegger's notion of a 'Destruction of the history of ontology'. Nevertheless some of Derrida's followers, by emphasizing those passages in which Derrida draws attention to the metaphysical within Heidegger's texts, have tried to find a straightforward answer to the complex question of whether Derrida represents in any way an advance on Heidegger. Of course, Derrida also finds the rupture within Heidegger's texts, but those same Derridians can give the credit for this to Derrida himself as if it could be isolated as 'his' contribution. And yet this is to forget the sense in which Derrida's reading, like any other good reading, disappears into the text and becomes interwoven with it. The ambiguity of the Heideggerian situation is well described by Derrida himself when in Of Grammatology he writes that it is contained within the metaphysics of presence and logocentrism and yet it transgresses that metaphysics (G 36/22). For Derrida, to impose the closure on a text does not ojily mean to draw back within metaphysics what has pretensions to transgress it; it is at least just as much to force outside metaphysics whatever seems to stand within it. Of course, and this is crucial, the inside-outside opposition which is being used here to situate the closure is itself metaphysical. The two strategies of drawing within and forcing outside are inseparable. They belong together in an ambiguity for which Derrida prefers the title 'play' (G 104/71). The temptation to see Derrida as simply representing the impossibility of any transgression of metaphysics and thus only the first of the two strategies described in 'The ends of man' is easy to appreciate. It arises because the case against the possibility of transgressing the history of metaphysics can be so clearly stated: 'we have no language - no syntax and no lexicon - which is foreign to this history' (ED 412/280). On the other hand, Derrida is adamant that this is not the last word: 'no concept is by itself, and consequently in and of itself, metaphysical, outside all the textual work in which it is inscribed' (P 78/57). In the present essay, by means of a reading of Heidegger's lecture 'The way to language', I shall attempt to investigate this language which is not simply metaphysical and which lies at the heart of the play of the closure interweaving the twin strategies. In Heidegger's own terms, it is the question of how the overcoming of metaphysics can take place when it is 'within certain limits, compelled to speak the language of that which it helps to overcome' (W 99; EB 380-1). This last quotation shows clearly enough that Derrida's question about 'the conditions for a discourse exceeding metaphysics' (Af


The transformation of language 171 70/61) is also one of Heidegger's questions and is not brought to him from 'outside'. II It is not difficult to imagine Derrida himself setting about a reading of Heidegger's essay 'The way to language' by first emphasizing the tendency of its translators or its commentators to re-inscribe Heidegger's text within metaphysics. The standard English translation in particular could readily be singled out for this purpose. By itself this could not constitute a reading Derrida himself might give: it would be but the first step on the way to such a reading. What I am concerned with is what happens when this 'part of a reading' is taken as a result. The partial reading, which could never be Derrida's reading, can nevertheless be called 'Derridian' in a sense often heard today: Derridian as opposed to Heideggerian. What characterizes a Derridian reading in this sense is the almost ritualistic attention to certain metaphysical prejudices to which Derrida himself has in his writings frequently called our attention. But in this case the reader fixes the prejudices in the text so that they cannot be undone from within the text, save only by a virtuoso performance which remains outside the text. In order to sketch such a 'Derridian' reading of Heidegger's essay I shall consider six of these metaphysical gestures, all of which seem to be operative there: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi)

Reliance on experience The priority accorded to speech over writing The quest for origins Logocentrism The privilege accorded to possession The tendency to unite or unify.

The list is not supposed to be exhaustive. Taken singly or together the items on it are directed to the question of the inside/outside of metaphysics. I shall consider them in turn always with two points in mind: first, to indicate how on afirstreading Heidegger's essay 'The way to language' might appear to be under the sway of these metaphysical motifs and secondly to show that to.read Heidegger as falling prey to them seems to be in conformity with certain remarks of Derrida himself. Because my concern here is not a reconstruction of Derrida's own reading of Heidegger, I shall not restore those remarks to their proper context and the strategy from which they can be detached only at the risk of distortion. First, there is Heidegger's reliance on experience. Derrida has always


172 Robert Bernasconi insisted that the notion of experience is 'fundamentally inscribed within onto-theology . . . by the value of presence' (G 400-1/283). And yet Heidegger in 'The way to language' clearly defines his task as that of 'experiencing the unbinding bond within the web of language' (US 243/ 113). Companion essays to that one, 'The word' and 'The essence of language', similarly insist on undergoing an experience with language. Secondly, we find the charge of phonocentrism, which means to uphold the priority accorded to speech over writing, the voice over the line. Again what is at issue is the privilege of presence over absence, this time as it concerns the presence of the speaker. In the essay 'The ends of man' Derrida charges Heidegger with privileging spoken language (M 159/132). When we turn to 'The way to language' it seems that writing is scarcely referred to, that the discussion is about speaking, and that there is even a sentence, seemingly Heidegger's description of his own position, which says that 'here too language shows itself first as our way of speaking' (US 250/120). Thirdly, the notion of origin is also inscribed with the metaphysics of presence. The major part of Derrida's Of Grammatology is occupied with a deconstruction of Rousseau's texts on the origin of languages by means of a reading which gives rise to the notion of a 'nonorigin' of language (G 343/241), an 'incessant supplementarity' (G 334/235). And yet in 'The way to language' Heidegger can be found ascribing the origin of the word to Appropriation (US 265/133). Fourthly, Derrida charges Heidegger with logocentrism (G 33/20). In so far as the issue of the closure is that of metaphysical language it amounts to the question of how one stands in relation to the logos. Heidegger's essay 'The word' culminates in the word logos (US 237/155). It also seems to figure in 'The way to language' in Heidegger's adoption of the word 'monologue' from Novalis and the discussion of 'gathering', a notion Heidegger frequently appeals to when explicating logos. Fifthly, Derrida draws attention to what he regards as the ethicoontological ground of Heidegger's notion of Verfallenheit or fallenness, in spite of Heidegger's denials that they are relevant. Derrida's justification is that it is the language and not the intention which is decisive (M 50/45). The objection extends also to cover the notions of authenticity and inauthenticity and then to the whole family of words in Heidegger which bear the same root. It is in this way that Derrida in Spurs seeks to draw the fundamental word of Heidegger's later thinking Ereignis back into the orbit of onto-theology. The translation of Ereignis as 'appropriation' would, if correct, support Derrida's claim. Finally, Heidegger's emphasis on the unifying unity of the essence of language seems to reflect the totalizing tendency of metaphysics and offers itself as a suitable target for dissemination. Is one not forced to acknowledge in the light of this catalogue - which


The transformation of language 173 could readily be extended - that Heidegger remains tied to the language of metaphysics? It would seem unnecessary to pursue the matter further, particularly as Heidegger himself seems to concede as much in the final pages of the essay where he describes the present era as one in which the old is completed and nothing new begins (US 265/133). But, as I have explained, it would be entirely uncharacteristic of Derrida himself to decide the question of the inside/outside simply by drawing Heidegger's text back within metaphysics. He would only want to show the possibility of a metaphysical reading of Heidegger to place alongside it another reading, one which would show Heidegger transgressing metaphysics (G 36/22). Such a reading of Heidegger's text 'The way to language' is given by Derrida in the course of an important article published in 1978, 'Le Retrait de la metaphore'. It is accomplished particularly by concentrating on the two families of words, that of Ziehen and that of Reissen. I shall not give an account of Derrida's essay here, both because I have had to leave to one side the question of metaphor with which it is concerned (highly relevant though it is to the topic of metaphysics) and because I am for the moment more concerned with Derridian readings than reconstructing Derrida's own reading. For my purpose the question which needs to be clarified is whether this second reading, which shows the transgressive gesture at work in the text, would simply replace the first and metaphysical reading or whether the point is to leave us undecided between th6 two readings so that the ambiguity of the text becomes a means of reflecting the sense in which at the closure we find ourselves unable to say what lies inside and what outside. The answer no doubt lies in the notion of a history of textuality, indicated but not developed in Of Grammatology. Was one of the results of such a history the recognition that what defined reading in our own epoch was that it found at work, structuring certain crucial texts, a logic other than the traditional one? Before they were given a 'new' reading it had seemed that texts like Plato's Phaedrus or Rousseau's Essay belonged unambiguously to the tradition; and yet the deconstructed reading did not simply replace previous readings. It only existed in relation to those readings which constituted the text in its historically. Having dismissed the idea of the original meaning of a text, whether it was to be identified with the author's intentions or not, Derrida came to identify the text with the history of its readings. Nevertheless in the case of the text of a contemporary such as Heidegger or Levinas, the issue became more acute. Could we not have a text which is written and read only in accordance with this 'other' logic? Sometimes Derrida addresses this question by suggesting that it is the contemporary readers of Heidegger whom he remains concerned with and not Heidegger himself. The contemporary reader draws the text back within metaphysics. But over and beyond that is the fact that we


174 Robert Bernasconi have at our disposal only the traditional language. And yet how can that point be made without rendering any transgression of metaphysics impossible and Derrida has never left us in any doubt that he recognizes the possibility of such transgressions or ruptures. The questions remain: How can there be any transgression at all? And if metaphysical language can be transgressed, why is Derrida so insistent as part of his strategy in showing the metaphysical language operating where he will find the transgression? Or to put it another way, why does Derrida insist on both the strategies outlined at the end of the essay 'The ends of man' and how are they to be united? I shall look for answers to these questions in the reading of Heidegger's 'The way to language' which shall occupy the next three sections of my essay (corresponding to the three sections of Heidegger's own essay). Ill After an important introductory section to which I shall return later, 'The way to language' begins with a discussion of the way language has been thought in the tradition, concentrating on two of the most influential accounts - Aristotle's in Peri Hermeneias and Wilhelm von Humboldt's in Uber die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues. Heidegger ended his 1957 lecture 'The principle of identity' by saying that 'only when we turn thoughtfully toward what has already been thought, will we be turned for what is yet to be thought' (ID 106/41). This is more than the customary warning that to remain ignorant of the tradition is to be in danger of repeating it. Heidegger is suggesting that there is a close relation between the dialogue with previous thinking and freeing oneself for what he elsewhere describes as 'the no-longer metaphysical'. The thinker attains the 'no-longer metaphysical' by the step back into the essence or ground of metaphysics (W 100/EB 382). Heidegger has always insisted on a close link between what is transmitted by the tradition and what we regard as self-evident, what we take for granted (SZ 21). In outlining the traditional conception of language he also has in mind the 'ordinary' conception of language (US 255/125). Three common prejudices are highlighted in Heidegger's account. The first is that we tend to understand language in terms of speaking and not the other way round. The second is that we tend to conceive of speaking as an activity. The third is that we tend to take the activity of speaking for granted. At this juncture Heidegger reminds us that language is not a fixed possession and that sometimes we cannot speak through fear or because of some accident. But he is not thereby attempting to issue a direct challenge to the conception that man is the animal who 'has' the logos. The tradition was well aware that the capacity to speak is some-


The transformation of language 175 times disrupted. The point would seem to be rather - and it has to be conceded that Heidegger in no way spells it out - that such cases of disruption came to provide the basis for the analysis of language, just as cases of hallucination or illusion tended to serve as the starting-point for the analysis of perception. The essential character of speaking came to be determined on the basis of those cases where speech fails us. One may have the intention to speak, but whoever does not make sounds does not speak; whoever has lost the capacity to activate the organs of speech has lost speech. Thus one of the primary ways in which speaking came to be regarded was in terms of the making of sounds. To take the very clear, though relatively late, example of the Stoics, their treatment of language operates within the distinction between the word and what it signifies. This distinction is not given to the speaker or hearer deep in conversation, but arises only in the face of the barbarian, the outsider who addresses us but who fails to understand anything of what we say; he hears only noises. In this way the word is reduced to a word-thing or sign and the analysis of language concentrates on what the barbarian lacked, which the Stoics called to lekton - the sense of significant discourse (Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Math. VIII9. 11-12). Essentially the same procedure can still be found to provide the basis of HusserPs analysis in the Logical Investigations. In such analyses the Being of language always goes missing, not so much because the investigation takes as its basis the case where language fails, but because the Being of language is not one constituent among others. This response to the analysis of language is at best only hinted at by Heidegger. He is more directly concerned to provide the broad outlines of a history of the philosophy of language. He concentrates on three stages. First, using the example of Aristotle he suggests that the Greeks of the classical age understood the relation between the various analytic constituents of language - letters, sounds, passions in the soul, that which strikes the passions - in terms of showing, letting appear, letting shine. Secondly, following the time of the Stoa, the relation of showing gives way to that of the sign understood as an instrument. The subsequent history of language is treated simply by reference to Humboldt, although later in the essay he will give some indication of how the conception of language as an instrument reaches its peak in the modern view of language in terms of information. Heidegger refers this history of language to the account of the change in the essence of truth which he had developed in the essay 'Plato's doctrine of truth'. Thus the point is made that Aristotle's discussion of language is not to be read in terms of truth as correctness, but in terms of aletheia as unconcealment. Heidegger provides a somewhat unconventional translation of the well-known passage at the beginning of Peri Hermeneias which explicates both the relation between the making of vocal sounds


176 Robert Bernasconi and the soul's passions and the relation between what is written and vocal sounds in terms of sumbola. William of Moerbeke in his translation had understood sumbola to mean notae (tokens). Heidegger understands it in terms of showing. The interpretation on which this translation is based goes back at least thirty years to the 1925/6 Marburg Course where the focus of his reading is the interpretation of logos as synthesis (L 166-8). In 'The way to language' Heidegger does not refer to earlier translations and more familiar interpretations of the passage. Nevertheless the companion essay 'The essence of language' (contrary to the impression given by the standard English translation) gives the more conventional translation in terms of 'signs' (US 203-4/97). There is concealed in the translation Heidegger offers in 'The way to language' what at an earlier time he might have called a 'destruction' of the tendency 'of all later considerations of language' to take the sign as their standard (US 204/97). These later considerations are regarded by Heidegger as derivative of the more fundamental conception of language which recognizes it as a showing. Heidegger says nothing at this point of the essay to suggest that he recognizes this passage from Aristotle as an example of phonocentrism, which is how Derrida refers to k in Of Grammatology (G 21-2/11). Indeed in general there is no indication at this stage that any attempt will be made to go beyond Aristotle, let alone a clue as to how this might be done. By contrast, Heidegger's discussion of von Humboldt follows the assessment of him already to be found in Being and Time where 'the philosophical horizon' within which he made language a problem was put in question (SZ 166). A similar point is made here. Humboldt speaks the language of metaphysics, specifically that governed by Leibniz, as when he writes of language as an activity, energeia. Furthermore, Humboldt's account is inadequate because it grasps language in terms of a higher universal. Language is not experienced in its own terms, but is explicated with reference to the notion of a 'world view'. Nevertheless there are hints of a more sympathetic treatment of Humboldt. His treatise is described as 'astounding, obscure and yet continuously stimulating'. Indeed at the end of the essay, Humboldt is given that rare honour, usually only accorded to Holderlin, of having the last word. In general this first section of Heidegger's essay is a very broad survey of the approach to language taken by two of the most eminent representatives of the philosophical consideration of language, with only brief indications of what passed between. For the most part the survey is not very different from one Heidegger might have given thirty years earlier. Even the discussion of the transformation of the sign in terms of 'the change in the essence of truth' is striking for being out of line with other discussions at about this time. Both in 'Hegel and the Greeks' six months earlier and 'The end of philosophy and the task of thinking' five years


The transformation of language 111 later, and in spite of what seem to be striking differences between those two accounts, Heidegger was especially cautious that the passage away from aletheia not be referred to 'truth' as if that notion encompassed both terms of the transformation. And yet one has to say that because Heidegger does not give the conventional reading of Aristotle, but only his own re-reading of Aristotle, this first part of the essay does not seem to be setting up a straightforward metaphysical account simply in order for it to be 'overcome' subsequently. IV The philosophical consideration of language has tended to take the form of an analysis whereby language has been broken into its components. In the face of this diversity it has tended to let one aspect of language predominate (US 251/121) or else it has grasped language in terms of something other than language, such as activity, spirit or world view (US 250/119). But this means that the attempt to find the unifying unity of language, that which we might call the 'essence of language', fails because the universal only succeeds in co-ordinating or synthesizing relative to the analysis (US 250/120). For Heidegger the failure to attain language as language defines the traditional approach; the 'ownmost' character of language has always eluded it. Indeed so long as we think das Eigentumliche not as the 'ownmost' character of language, but - and this is how the standard English translation renders it - as what is 'peculiar' to it in distinction from other things, language is still being referred to what is not language and, in Heidegger's terms, is being thought metaphysically. In consequence, Heidegger in the second part of the essay sketches an alternative account of language to that of the tradition of Aristotle and Humboldt (US 250-1/120). He does not indicate a source for this view of language. Nevertheless in certain important respects it resembles the account of discourse given in the thirty-fourth section of Being and Time. Heidegger had already there dismissed previous attempts to grasp the essence of language not only as one-sided and partial, but also as inadequate in terms of their starting-point (SZ 163). Furthermore, Being and Time rejected one of the pillars of the analytic approach when it insisted that 'word-things do not get supplied with significations' (SZ 161). Language was not to be understood in terms of constituents revealed by analysis. Indeed Heidegger was careful not to individuate constitutive items, but emphasized instead what he called 'the structure of discourse'. The essence of language as the unifying unity of language is anticipated in this notion, but it is not experienced and is not named. Both the metaphysical attempt and that of Being and Time - whose relation to metaphysics is still an open question - fail in this. The


178 Robert Bernasconi account of language offered in Being and Time may claim superiority over previous accounts on the basis that it alone attempts the task of working out the structure of discourse on the basis of the analytic of Dasein. A close reading of section thirty-four suggests that we are there already invited to understand the relation between Dasein and language in such a way that this task is nevertheless to think language in terms of itself, and not in terms of something other than language. But there is no indication - the discussion of 'keeping silent' notwithstanding - that to bring language as language to language means anything other than finding a name for it. Indeed Heidegger in 'The way to language' evokes this earlier discussion of keeping silent, where hearing and keeping silent were presented as 'possibilities belonging to discursive speech [Sprechen\ (SZ 161). In Being and Time Heidegger had with the introduction of a distinction between discourse and speech addressed the question of the privilege accorded to speech in the traditional accounts of language. No doubt a certain kind of reading would latch onto the phrase used to describe keeping silent - 'discursive speech' - in order to suggest that the privilege is not addressed there resolutely enough. Certainly the relation in which silence stands to speech needs further clarification, leaving the possibility that the conventional subordination of silence to speech has here simply been reversed. In 'The way to language' Heidegger introduces a distinction between 'saying' and 'speech' (US 252/122) which runs parallel to that between 'discourse' and 'speech' in Being and Time. This distinction is no more successful in displacing the traditional hierarchical ordering in favour of speech, as is conceded when in the second part of 'The way to language' we read 'here, too, language shows itself first as our way of speaking' (US 250/120). It is only when later in the essay the task of naming the essence of language comes to be associated with silence that the traditional priority accorded to speaking is addressed radically. At this point of 'The way to language' the issue of the essence of language remains, as in Being and Time, that of the failure to grasp it, to bring it to language. 'That which must remain wholly unspoken is held back in the unsaid, abides in concealment as unshowable, is mystery' (US 253/122). And this is the fate of the essence of language which remains hidden in mystery for us. Heidegger in 'The way to language' makes one more attempt and immediately concedes that it has failed according to the standard he has already recognized: 'with regard to the manifold ties of saying [Sagen] we shall call the essence of language in its totality die Sage - and admit that even now we have not caught sight of what unifies those ties' (US 253/122-3). I shall leave aside for the moment the question of what conception of language might make possible such an arbitrary act of naming, if that is indeed what it is. For the


The transformation of language 179 moment it is enough to notice that this is not the first occurrence of the word Sage in Heidegger's writings: it arises both in the discussion of the projective saying of poetry (H 61/PLT 74) and in another place in reference to the thinking of Being (W 188/BW 236). Sage is Heidegger's word for that originary language through which the destiny of Being happens and to that extent goes beyond what in Being and Time was named as Rede. In "The way to language' the essential being of language as Sage is referred to showing (US 254/123). 'Showing' is not to be understood in the sense that is given to it in Part One of Being and Time where its understanding, as so often in that book, should be approached in terms of the repetition of Aristotle referred to above. Here showing is that 'realm' which already in Being and Time had been called 'Lichtung' (SZ 133). In the 1964 essay 'The end of philosophy and the task of thinking* Heidegger insists that Lichtung should be thought neither as a transcendental condition nor as a spatial metaphor. Indeed it has remained unthought by metaphysics and presumably cannot be thought from within it (ZSD 74/67). In this way Heidegger in 'The way to language* attempts to guard us against thinking of showing and thus saying primarily as a human activity (US 254/123). Self-showing marks (and the word Kennzeichen here is Heidegger's warning to his reader that the matter is still not thought deeply enough) the presence and absence of what-confes-to-presence. It is not human saying which lets things appear. Rather human saying is preceded by a Sichzeigenlassen which takes place as the speaking of language itself. It is language itself which reaches into the regions of presenting and lets what-comes-to-presence appear and disappear. The notorious phrase 'language speaks' was first introduced nine years before this essay in 1950. The showing of saying takes place when language itself speaks. Human saying is only a Naehsprechen, literally a 'saying after', a reiteration (US 255/124-5). At the end of Part II of the essay Heidegger makes this speaking of language the context for an attempt to displace the metaphysical account of speech as a human activity. In a conversation it is not the case that one person speaks while another listens. Still less, we can add, is it the case that a person speaks and listens to himself. When Heidegger refers to a simultaneity of speaking and listening he is referring to something very different from the pure auto-affection of the voice as heard by its speaker. The listening is a listening neither to oneself nor to another, but to language before we speak. The recognition that we belong to. language was not absent from Being and Time; and reticence was there already referred to a potentiality for hearing. One may even wish to attribute to the Heidegger of Being and Time the view, more openly stated in lectures given in the mid-1930s, that language had its origin in


180 Robert Bernasconi keeping silent (HG 218). But Heidegger addresses that view in the third part of the essay, where it is exposed as an inadequate basis for entering into the essence of language, or, as one might rather say, it is brought to the closure and deconstructed. V In his introductory remarks to the essay, Heidegger described 'The way to language9 as an attempt to bring language as language to language'. The stages of the path which constitutes 'The way to language' may be measured by the transformations that phrase undergoes. What at first seems nothing more than a vague directive takes on a greater determinacy as the essay proceeds, so that along the way it comes to be understood to mean bringing the essence of language (in the sense of the unifying unity) into the sounded word (Sage as a name for the essence of language) (US 261/130). In the third part of Heidegger's essay, of which I shall give only a highly selective account here, the phrase comes to mean letting the essence of language resound in all human saying. There is no word for the essence of language according to the metaphysical way of naming; indeed the attempt to name this essence is itself only a metaphysical ambition if it means to crack open and divulge the mystery of the unsaid. What is at issue is not 'the procurement of newly formed words' (US 266-7/134), but the transformation of our relation to language. To bring the essence of language to language now comes to mean to hear the essence of language in every word, or one might say to enter into the essence of language to which in a sense we already belong. We can only take the step back into the essence of language in so far as we have stepped outside all attempts to grasp language. What thereby enters the sounded word is the silent speaking of language itself. Heidegger is at great pains to point out that this does not mean that the accounts of language discussed in the first and second part of the essay are now to be dismissed as invalid (US 261/130). And he adds that the way to language taken in the second part of the essay becomes 'possible and necessary' only through the way taken in the third part, just as Heidegger would later say in response to Father Richardson that although Heidegger I is the only access to Heidegger II, Heidegger I becomes possible only if it is contained in Heidegger II (BR xxiii). On the present reading the second part of 'The way to language' corresponds to Heidegger I, in the same way as the third part corresponds to Heidegger II, and the manner of their presence together in this essay should serve as a confirmation that Heidegger II cannot be separated from, nor understood in simple opposition to, Heidegger I. Although there is a sense in which the essence of language is always


The transformation of language 181 brought to language whenever there is speaking, we are appropriated to it in our ownmost essence only when we hear the stillness speaking in language or correspond to it in our saying - as when we remain silent and renounce the attempt to name the essence of language metaphysically. The renunciation arises as a matter of destiny, specifically that our time as the time of der Fehl des Gemeinsamen, the lack of something common - a universal - which binds together and to which we may refer language. And it is through this lack that we enter into dwelling in Ereignis. What looked like a task we set ourselves - to bring language to language as language - becomes the way-making (Be-wegung) which is Ereignis itself (US 261/130). The transformation of the formula about bringing language as language to language is the passage from Being to Ereignis, The essay 'The way to language' directs us to the special conditions which prevail in our epoch. 'That we cannot know the essence of language - know it according to the traditional concept of knowledge defined in terms of cognition as representation is not a defect, but rather an advantage by which we are favoured with a special realm' (US 266/134). Previous thinkers both did and yet did not know the essence of language in terms of the presencing of representation. They approached language in terms of Vorstellung but for that very reason did not enter into the essence of language which only becomes accessible once all attempts to 'know' it have failed and are renounced. The mystery^of language only gives itself over to those who accept it as mystery; the essence of language is unconcealed only as concealed within the sounded word. The entry into Ereignis - whereby each is brought into his own - means that each is no longer mediated by the universal, by the governing representation. The universal acts as a binding relation between language as Sage and man. The lack of this universal turns us towards the insight which takes place as Ereignis - 'the unbinding bond' (US 243/113, 262/131) - whereby man does not seek to bind language, but is himself bound over to Ereignis, into his own, as he who belongs to language. And yet because Heidegger is describing the destiny of our epoch he can also call this lack 'the most binding relation' (US 265/134). The nature of the transformation of language is indicated by the phrase, already introduced in 1950, das Gel&ut der Stitle, 'the ringing of stillness' (US 215/108; 30/PLT 207). The phrase says that through the lack of a name for the essence of language - all language comes to be infused with silence. To bring the essence of language as Sage to the sounded word means to bring silence to the sounded word, to bring the unspeakable to the spoken. Indeed the directive 'to bring language as language to language' itself becomes 'a soundless echo' (US 243/113). That does not mean it comes to be negated, but that to experience language is to enter into the grant whereby the silence transforms


182 Robert Bernasconi speaking. Heidegger's word for language - die Sage - says but does not say 'the essence of language' as the unnameable, the unsayable. But what then is the place of logos in Heidegger's thinking on language? Does not logos enter into Heidegger's thinking as a word of Being? Both the companion essays to 'The way to language' - 'The essence of language' and 'The word' - point to the word logos, 'the oldest word for the rule of the word' (US 237/155). And they both recognize it as a name for Being and for saying (US 185/80). Does not that mean that logos is the word for the Being of saying? In which case how can we talk of the continuing failure to find a name for the Being of language? Of course, the Greeks did not hear the word logos as a word for Being, but if we accept Heidegger's reading of logos as a word of Being, does it not follow that it now stands for us as the word for the Being of language - logos as gathering? Heidegger's answer would be that such questions ignore the very transformation of language which is at issue. This transformation does not mean that the word logos no longer imposes a claim on us; the recognition of a word as a word of Being takes place in its addressing us through the tradition which thereby shows how it still has a hold on us today. The word logos still determines thinking to this day (WHD 102/ 163); but like other archaic words it is no longer able to take up a place in the language and thinking of today (WHD 98-9/153). For the thinkers at the end of philosophy, at the closure, logos no longer speaks directly as it once did. It no longer asserts itself, but slips away into the abyss, Abgrund. Slipping into the abyss the word returns to where it came from - the silence of speaking language. Logos and the other words of Being still claim us, but we can no longer assert them nor read them without their undergoing this transformation. For metaphysics, the no-longer metaphysical is unsayable'. For us, the metaphysical is no longer sayable. We read Plato and are introduced to a non-metaphysical Plato; we read Hegel and find a non-metaphysical Hegel, and so on. Or rather the metaphysical disappears as metaphysical for recollective thinking. For the rest, Heidegger leaves us in no doubt that where we do not in our questioning listen to language and entertain what it grants, the metaphysical is simply perpetuated. For a word to be heard as a word of Being and for that word to transgress metaphysics are the same, for thereby it is no longer held back in the oblivion which marks the limits of metaphysics. And yet the word, heard or read, does not pass from oblivion into unconcealment in the sense of being brought to presence. Heidegger's essay 'The end of philosophy and the task of thinking' is particularly valuable for showing this transformation of language. Lichtung is der Ort der Stille - the place of stillness. Lichtung is named by Parmenides, but not thought by him as such, with the word aletheia (ZSD 76-7/69). What aletheia as Lichtung


The transformation of language 183 grants is experienced and thought within metaphysics; what it is as such remains concealed (ZSD 78/71). Read by Heidegger as a4etheia9 it announces in advance its own concealment within metaphysics. When we read aletheia as a-letheia we pass into the 'speaking of language'. When Aristotle's discussion of language is read not only in terms of aletheia but in terms of a-letheia his text is brought to the closure. When Heidegger in "The way to language' introduces his word Ereignis calling it the earliest and oldest, he is also referring to aAetheia (US 258/127; cf. ZSD 25/24). It cannot be discussed or placed. There can be no Erdrterung of it, for it is the Ortschaft or region of all places. The experience to which "The way to language' is directed and from which it speaks is 'the plain, sudden, unforgettable and hence forever new look' not into a new dawn, but into that dawn from which the changing cycle of day and night first begins. The transformation of language was prepared for at the very beginning of philosophy - as a 'trace'. What takes place with the transformation of language is that the old region of metaphysics is fitted with new ways by what Heidegger calls 'recollection' and 'way-making' (Be-wegung) and Derrida calls 'displacement' and 'transgression'. For Heidegger the preferred phrase is not 'a new beginning', but 'another beginning', an expression which occurs at least some eight times in his published writings. In this notion of 'another' the reference to what went before is maintained in its 4jscontinuity with it. A similar language is found in Derrida, though perhaps not always with the same consistency. In 'The ends of man' Derrida uses the phrase 'a new writing'. The more careful formulation which corresponds to Heideggerian usage - 'another writing' - can also be found (P 72/53; D 172/149). The question is that of whether there is available for us a language other than the language of metaphysics. The two quotations from Humboldt which end Heidegger's essay must be read in the light of it. The first passage includes the sentence: 'a people could by inner illumination and favourable external circumstances, impart so different a form to the language handed down to them that it would thereby turn into a wholly other, wholly new language.' Strictly speaking a wholly new language is impossible. It could arise only through the 'application of an already available phonetic form'. This is confirmed by the second passage Heidegger quotes from Humboldt, where he is found writing of filling an old shell with new meaning. This is what happens when the transformation of language becomes operative in our reading of the history of philosophy, transforming it into the history of Being: metaphysical language comes to echo with the Geltiut der Stille. The end of philosophy, or rather its closure (Verendung), takes place in both Heidegger and Derrida therefore only as a transformation of our relation to previous thinking. It is not therefore a termination of the


184 Robert Bernasconi tradition, a 'dead end', nor does it take place in turning one's back on what has gone before. And yet even though there is no clean break with metaphysics there is a rupture, a discontinuity which cannot be understood simply as a dialectical reversal. VI How does it stand with the Derridian strategies listed in part two above after this re-reading of Heidegger's essay? First, the inscription of presence in the notion of experience. Just as Derrida has provided a 'deconstructed' reading of certain metaphysical texts and their concepts, Heidegger has in Hegel's Concept of Experience in his reading of Hegel's word 'experience' as a word of Being heard its claim from beyond metaphysics. There Heidegger establishes the relationship in Hegel between experience and presence as parousia precisely to call it into question. So in seeking an experience with language what is experienced is not a presence but a lack, the lack of a word of Being in our epoch. And yet Heidegger is careful to insist that this lack is not a simple defect or something merely negative (US 266/134). This experience is for thinking the passage from the realm of the opposition of presence and absence into 'the special realm' within which that opposition arises and which as such is not governed by it. Secondly, in Heidegger the priority accorded to speaking is mentioned only to be displaced. Speaking is secondary, not to the originary nature of silence, but to that relation of silence which Heidegger describes as an Entsprechen or 'corresponding' (US 262/131). Given that for Derrida the reversal of the priority of speaking and writing is for the sake of disturbing the privilege accorded to speech within the tradition and not in order to privilege writing (for that would be to maintain the metaphysical system of opposition) Heidegger subverts the metaphysical schema. The privilege is disturbed, but not in favour of another oppositional system. Thirdly, there is the question of origins. We have seen how Heidegger turned away from regarding silence as an origin in the sense of Ursprung, but there remains the discussion of the origin of the word in the sense of Herkunft (US 265/133). This origin is not thought of as a first word, but in terms of Ereignis as the oldest of the old. In this way the quest for origins as a quest for a ground is abandoned (US 256/125). So far as the spoken word is concerned, it is rethought as 'an answer, a countersaying' (US 260/129). But there are of course not two separate events the speaking of language and the human speaking which answers to it. That the origin of human speaking takes place as an answer must be


The transformation of language 185 understood as obeying that same 'logic' that Derrida's describes with Rousseau's word 'supplement'. Fourthly, Heidegger's recollection of logos takes place from the experience of the end of philosophy. The recollection of logos does not remain within the logocentrism of metaphysics. The word logos like the word 'experience' is, as we saw, no longer determinative for us, nor available to us for our use as it was within metaphysics. Fifthly, how can Ereignis overcome the connotations of ownership and property? What we witness here is the deconstruction of man as appropriating, man as the measure. Rather he is appropriated. Nor does Heidegger seek to appropriate the lethe but lets it be as lethe. Finally, with the lack of a universal, the essence of language in the sense of the unifying unity passes into the unbinding bond (US 262/131). In being bound over to Ereignis the search for the unifying unity of language gives way to Gelassenheit. Or to put it another way, there takes place a transformation in the notion of 'essence'. This transformation is parallel to that we find in the essays 'The essence of truth', 'The question concerning technology' and 'The essence of language' and which we here recognize as a transformation of language. How does it stand then between Heidegger and Derrida? In the 1968 essay 'Ousia and gramme' Derrida sets himself against a complicity between devoted Heideggerians and anti-Heideggerians in their refusal to read the texts of the history of metaphysics. Derrida there describes the opening of the Heideggerian breakthrough as the only place where the excess of metaphysics is thought, recalling to us the sense in which a-letheia has hitherto remained unthought. But at the same time Derrida insists that the texts of metaphysics be read 'beyond certain propositions or conclusions within which the Heideggerian breakthrough has had to constrain itself, propositions or conclusions which it has had to call upon or take its support from' (M 72/62). Derrida refers explicitly to the place of Aristotle and Hegel during the epoch of Being and Time. It is striking how modest is the position Derrida allots himself vis-&-vis Heidegger here. Nevertheless the question remains as to how and how far Derrida succeeds in going 'beyond' the propositions or conclusions Heidegger has in his reading of the history of metaphysics drawn on from that history for his support. The question is concerned with the sense of this 'beyond'. What Derrida at this point of the 1968 paper was indicating as the great danger was the 'closing off of questions' brought about by the complicity of Heideggerians and anti-Heideggerians. The danger lay in the difficulties which would ensue were Heidegger's readings of the history of philosophy to fall into self-evidence, to be presented not as a dialogue between thinkers, but as a standard interpretation. It would be to reduce to assertion what lives only in the transformation of language away from assertion. By the same token, the ambiguity of Derrida's own


186 Robert Bernasconi relation to Heidegger, the way in which he seeks to sustain a metaphysical reading of Heidegger and yet find a transgression within the Heideggerian text must be maintained. The complicity of 'Heideggerians' and 'Derridians' is that their very stance towards each other closes off that non-oppositional relation to texts which is the hallmark of both Heidegger and Derrida. If the essay 'The way to language' appears now as Heidegger's own attempt to 'deconstruct' Being and Time then there can be little doubt that we are conceding that when we read Heidegger today, we find Derrida's Heidegger. We are no longer in a position to say how much of our current reading of Heidegger is indebted to Derrida. We can always point to those moments when we can distinguish the two, when (as Derrida himself would say) 'the seam does not hold', but that does not make it possible for us to use the distinction more universally. One consequence is that it ill behoves Derridians to try and contrast Heidegger with Derrida to the latter's advantage. If Derrida has helped us to a reading of Heidegger which gives the destruction of metaphysics the central place already allotted to it in Being and Time then we cannot subsequently identify Heidegger exclusively with, for example, the ahistorical readings of Heidegger which were at one time fashionable. Derrida's reading of the text belongs to the text just as much as those other readings. But do Derrida's readings nevertheless attain a certain priority over other readings? If they do, would not the only way of justifying it be by referring those readings to the epoch, the time which we share with them? But would not that be just another way of maintaining the privilege of the present? The notion of 'trace' or, as in the explication of Heidegger's essay above, the notion of a-letheia or of Ereignis as the oldest of the old, must be understood as addressing precisely that issue. The closure is not brought to a text from outside; one should not really speak of 'imposing the closure on a text'. So Derrida writes: Henceforth the closure of metaphysics . . . would not occur around a homogeneous and continuous field of metaphysics. Rather, it would fissure the structure and history of metaphysics, organically inscribing and systematically articulating the traces of the before and the after both from within and without metaphysics. Thereby proposing an infinite, and infinitely surprising, reading. An irreducible rupture, an excess, can always be produced within an era, at a certain point of its text (for example, in the 'Platonic' fabric of 'Plotinism'). Already in Plato's text no doubt. (M 206/172) And in 'The way to language' Heidegger also makes an attempt to save us from the idea that the transformation of language is something that


The transformation of language 187 simply happens in our time and thus is our contribution. "But it is only to us and only with regard to ourselves that the change of the way to language appears as a shift which has taken place only now' (US 261/ 130). The shift from understanding language in terms of human activity to the entry of the essence of language into Ereignis implies the shift away from thinking the closure as situated at an end-point. And a further consequence is the disappearance of the idea that texts like those of Heidegger or Levinas should because of their contemporaneity not be given a 'double reading' on the grounds that they stand unambiguously outside metaphysics. If the notion of 'outside' has any meaning in this context it would have to be thought in terms of the entry into the 'ambiguity' of the GelUut der Stille which ambiguity precisely disturbs the definition of the outside. It is in this light that we must reexamine Derrida's practice of 'prefacing' his readings of the 'philosophical' classics with a presentation of translations of them or the standard interpretations which at one time seemed quite adequate to that for which they served proxy. Derrida's use of these surrogates is the conventionalizing of a common Heideggerian practice, especially visible in his essays on Greek thinkers where he would remind us either of the conventional translation or of Hegel's interpretation before providing his own. But this is no idle preparation for the 'real' reading of the text. The space of the Heideggerian reading is the between-space which relates the multiplicity of different translations, the previous* ones and his own. By conventionalizing this relation and turning it into a strategy Derrida misleads the Derridian. The language of strategy as a human activity is applied to the reading, but that reading takes place only as a necessity. This 'necessity', to which Derrida often refers, is the necessity of responding to what has already happened, specifically that the words no longer say the same to us, we can no longer follow the old ways. The reference to inadequate translations and blatantly metaphysical interpretations belongs to the ambiguity of the text, its play, and is supported by the memory of what has gone before. This memory is kept alive in a history of textuality, a history of reading, a notion which in the absence of any detailed explication by Derrida should presumably be understood as similar to Heidegger's history of Being. So Derrida keeps open the space of Heidegger's thinking which is in danger of collapsing as Heidegger's readings fall into self-evidence. If the translations and previous interpretations were forgotten or ignored then the so-called ambiguity would be lost, theringingof stillness would fade into silence, the discontinuity of rupture would dissolve into continuity. The maintainance of the rift is essential. (This would be the point to introduce Derrida's reading of the rift in 'The Retrait of metaphor'.) It is not that the metaphysical is needed as one term in an oppositional structure. The advantage of the account of the 'ringing of stillness' over an account


188 Robert Bernasconi presented in terms of inside and outside lies precisely in avoiding that impression. The fact that Derrida is parasitic on Heidegger is not from a Derridian point of view a weakness. Heidegger experiences the end of philosophy; but even if it is conceded that this is no longer a metaphysical concept of experience, it would still be the case that according to the logic of supplementary the parasite is more original than the original. The difficulty in assessing the relation between Derrida and Heidegger is a much more complex issue when we look to see what Derrida has done to keep open the ambiguity - the play - of the Heideggerian space. This is most apparent when we return to the question of the two strategies that Derrida outlines at the end of 'The ends of man'. It is Derrida who here (and elsewhere) accentuates the inside-outside opposition, which may be present in Heidegger, but certainly does not dominate his texts as they have dominated so many of Derrida's. By identifying Heidegger's strategy predominantly with that of attempting an exit without changing ground, while conceding that the other strategy of deciding to change ground was also operative in his works, Derrida imposes a distinction born of a metaphysical opposition where it did not belong and at once denies it. The opposition Heideggerian-Derridian as a cultural event has come to be understood so that the terms serve as a reinscription of the metaphysical dualism of inside and outside. But the discussions of Ereignis and a-letheia which arise out of the transformation of the language of the history of philosophy into the language of the history of Being have precisely the effect of rendering otiose the application of the two strategies to a discussion of what Heidegger understands by 'another beginning'. With the notions of 'another beginning' and 'another writing' Heidegger and Derrida have attempted to think the sense in which there is today both a changing of ground and a dissolution of the notion of ground.

Heidegger abbreviations BR

'Brief an Richardson' Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought by W. J. Richardson, Nijhoff, 1963. BW Basic Writings ed. D. F. Krell, New York, Harper & Row, 1977. EB Existence and Being trans. R. Hull and A. Crick, London, Vision, 1949. HG Hdlderlins Hymnen 'Germanien' und 'Der Rhein\ Gesamtausgabe Band 39, Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1980. ID Identitat und Different Pfullingen, Neske, 1957; trans. J. Stambaugh, Identity and Difference New York, Harper & Row, 1969. L Logik, Gesamtausgabe Band 21, Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1976. PUT Poetry, Language, Thought trans. A. Hofstadter, New York, Harper & Row, 1971.


The transformation of language

189

SZ

Sein und Zeit Ttibingen, Niemeyer, 1967; trans. J. Macquarrie and J. Robinson Being and Time New York, Harper & Row, 1962. US Unterwegs zur Sprache Pfullingen, Neske, 1959; trans. P. Hertz and J. Stambaugh, On the Way to Language New York, Harper & Row, 1971. W Wegmarken Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1967. WD Was heisst Denken? Ttibingen, Niemeyer, 1954; trans. F. D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray, What is called thinking? New York, Harper & Row, 1968. ZSD Zur Sache des Denkens Ttibingen, Niemeyer, 1969; trans. J. Stambaugh, On Time and Being New York, Harper & Row, 1977.

Derrida abbreviations D ED G M P

La Dissemination Paris, Seuil, 1972; trans. B. Johnson Dissemination University of Chicago, 1981. UEcriture et la difference Paris, Seuil, 1967; trans. A. Bass Writing and Difference University of Chicago, 1978. De la Grammatologie Paris, Minuit, 1967; trans. G. Spivak OfGrammatoU ogy Johns Hopkins, 1976. Marges de la philosophie Paris, Minuit, 1972; trans. A. Bass Margins of Philosophy University of Chicago, 1982. Positions Paris, Minuit, 1972; trans. A. Bass Positions University of Chicago, 1981.

Note The reading of Heidegger's essay "The way to language' to be found here was first offered at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum, Perugia in August 1982. I have in a number of places, and particularly in the case of "The way to language', adapted the existing translations. I have been fortunate to have had at my disposal an unpublished translation of that essay by Ivan Ivanissevich. I have on occasion both adopted and adapted his 'solutions'.


41 Language and reversal John Sallis

I The problem of language and reversal The way on which Heidegger's thinking has moved is a way with which the question of language is intertwined, not just in the sense that language is one of those questions that is encountered on that way but also in the sense that language is the medium of that endowment with which anything like a way first opens up. How is this intertwining of language and way to be understood, especially in light of the fact that this way proves to be such that the movement appropriate to it is one of reversal? How is it that language and reversal belong together? In Sein und Zeit Heidegger bears witness to the importance which the question of language had for his way even at that stage. Here he writes: 'It is, in the end, the business of philosophy to preserve the force of the most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself. . . .'* Already, however, this statement betrays the curious character of Heidegger's involvement with the question of language by the way in which it construes the relation between language and philosophy. Rather than assigning to philosophy the task of determining the essence of language, of developing, as it were, a theory of language, he projects the task of philosophy with respect to language as one of preservation: it is the business of philosophy to preserve language, to preserve the force of the most elemental words. What is that way by entrance onto which the question of language comes to present itself in the guise of a demand for preservation? We need to see that what is at issue is a way on which thinking is drawn back into its element, a way on which thinking lets itself be engaged in a movement of reversal. We need to understand how the problem of language becomes in Heidegger's thinking the problem of language and reversal. The peculiar way in which the question of language enters into Heideg-


Language and reversal 191 ger's thinking is again indicated in Heidegger's denial that he is engaged in 'philosophy of language'.2 Obviously, this denial is not to be taken as indicating that for Heidegger the question of language lacks sufficient importance to warrant an engagement in philosophy of language; on the contrary, this issue is so fundamental for his problematic that justice could not be done to it by engaging in mere philosophy of language. Heidegger says that the question of the essence of language is something other than philosophy of language'.3 To engage straightforwardly in philosophy of language would be already to presume that language is, as it were, one item among others to be interrogated in terms of an already established framework of interrogation, capable, in particular, of assuring us as to what is at issue in every search for an essence. But, as Heidegger says, 'Not only does language stand in question now, but also what essence means [heisst] - more still: it stands in question whether and how essence and language belong to one another'.4 A framework would need to be presupposed - hence, we cannot proceed immediately to a philosophy of language. Also, however, Heidegger's statement makes it clear that it is not a matter simply of suspending the question of language in order to turn to the question of the framework, to the question of essence, as though it were a prior question. The question of the meaning of essence is not just a question to be taken up by a questioning already assured of its own possibilities and directives but rather has, since Plato, belonged together with the question of the meaning of philosophical thinking as such; and this latter question directs us, in turn, back into the question of language inasmuch as philosophy is itself a distinctive way of speaking. Heidegger writes: 'Without a sufficient meditation on language we never truly know what philosophy is as a distinctive response [Ent-sprechen], what philosophy is as a distinctive way of speaking.'5 The questions of language and of essence meet in the question 'Was heisst Denken?' and it is only within the compass of this question that we can properly respond to the question 'whether and how essence and language belong to one another'. The question 'Was heisst Denken?' in its most decisive sense asks: 'What calls us to think?'6 To hear the question in this, its decisive sense is to be led into the movement of reversal.7 The problem of language enters into Heidegger's thinking not in the form of a philosophy of language but as the problem of language and reversal.

II The structure of the problem The problem of language and reversal enters into Heidegger's thinking in two ways. The first of these ways is expressed in the fact that the very possibility of reversal is tied somehow to language - to such a


192 JohnSallis degree as to allow Heidegger to say that that division of Sein und Zeit which was to have carried through the reversal originally proposed, the reversal from 'Being and time' to 'time and Being', was held back because the language was lacking, because 'it did not succeed with the help of the language of metaphysics'.8 Language is, Heidegger says, that originary dimension in which man isfirstable to enter into that conformity by which he is engaged in the domain of the reversal.9 It is in the dimension of language that the movement of reversal is granted to him. This movement of reversal is a step out of metaphysics back into the ground of metaphysics,10 and for this movement the language of metaphysics - that is, language as dominated by metaphysics, language as it shows itself within the compass of the metaphysics of language - is insufficient. Language under the domination of metaphysics has fallen 'out of its element';11 it has come into a condition in which precisely its character as the originating dimension capable of granting entry into the movement of reversal is concealed. Hence, the language of metaphysics cannot but fail to grant entry into the movement of reversal. What is called for, however, by this situation is not a mere exchanging of the language of metaphysics for another language but rather, more fundamentally, 'a transformed relationship to the essence of language'.12 How is this transformation with which language would be brought back into its element to be accomplished? The terms of this transformation, its 'from which' and 'to which', are expressed in a statement from Heidegger's essay 'Bauen, Wohnen, Denken'. He writes: 'Man behaves as though he were the moulder and master of language, but it nevertheless remains the master of man.'13 The transformation moves from a relationship to the essence of language in which this essence remains concealed and language gets taken as an activity of man14 to one in which language reveals itself as the master of man, as the 'clearing-concealing advent of Being itself by which man is overpowered.15 But this transformation is, then, nothing less than the reversal itself. The reversal requires a transformation of our relationship to the essence of language, yet this transformation is itself identical with the reversal. Thus, there is here no question of simple priority; it is not a matter of the reversal having as its pre-condition the transformation demanded with respect to language; neither does this transformation, on the other hand, require the reversal as its pre-condition. Each requires the other. It is a matter of intertwining; the problem of reversal and that of language belong together. The second of the two ways in which the problem of language and reversal enters into Heidegger's thinking provides a means for articulating that intertwining, that belonging-together, to which the first way leads. What is the character of this second way? Here the problem arises from the apparent discontinuity, even conflict, between what Heidegger says regarding language in Sein und Zeit and what he says of it in his later


Language and reversal 193 writings. Within the architectonic of Sein und Zeit, language occupies a rather inconspicuous position. The only explicit discussion of it occurs in the chapter entitled 'Being-in as such', specifically in the portion of that chapter that is entitled "The existential constitution of the "There" \ In this section Heidegger is involved in uncovering the constitutive structures, the existentials, by virtue of which Dasein is able to be its 'there' (Da), by virtue of which Dasein is 'in-the-world' in such a way as to be capable of encountering beings 'within-the-world'. There are three such constitutive structures, disposition (Befindlichkeit), understanding (Verstehen), and discourse (Rede). Language (Sprache) is introduced in subordination to the third of these existentials, discourse, which is defined as 'the articulation of intelligibility'. He writes: 'The existential-ontological foundation of language is discourse.' Language itself he describes as 'the way in which discourse gets expressed'.16 This apparent confinement of the issue of language seems almost totally out of keeping with the importance which language so obviously assumes in Heidegger's later writings. For example, in Uber den Humanismus he discusses what he calls the nearness of Being (die Ntihe des Seins) and proceeds to identify this nearness with the Da of Dasein. This nearness, he then insists, takes place (west) as language.17 What is obviously suggested is that language is not, as in Sein und Zeit, a mere derivative of the third of the three constituents of the Da but, rather, precisely the constituent of the Da. Language alone, it seems, is now regarded as enabling Dasein to be its Da. Much the same is suggested in Unterwegs zur Sprache when Heidegger writes that 'Language first enables man to be that creature which he is as man'.18 Language, it seems, is quite simply what makes man to be what he is. But, we feel compelled to ask, what about the other constituents of the Da which Heidegger elaborated with such care in Sein und Zeitl There is still a further, even more fundamental difference between what is said regarding language in Sein und Zeit and what is said in the later writings. According to the former, language is the way in which discourse, the articulation of intelligibility, gets expressed. There is virtually nothing to suggest that such expression is anything other than an activity of man, something accomplished by man. Language, it seems, is simply an activity of man. But in the later writings, to state it in the boldest fashion, 'language is the language of Being', and man is called only to respond to 'the unspoken word of Being': 'Die Sprache sprieht.'19 Between what Heidegger says regarding language in Sein und Zeit and what he says in the later writings stands the reversal in Heidegger's thinking. Hence, it is only through a reflection on the reversal, only through an effort to understand in what sense the reversal 'stands between' Sein und Zeit and the later writings - it is only thus that we can approach the problem of the coherence of what Heidegger says


194 JohnSallis regarding language. Does the transition from the discussion of language in Sein und Zeit to the discussion in the later writings become intelligible in light of the reversal, in light of the way in which the issue of the reversal allows us to understand the movement from Sein und Zeit to the later writings? It is through this question that we shall attempt to take up the problem of language and reversal. Ill Language in Sein und Zeit Before considering the question of the reversal we need to ascertain more specifically what Heidegger says about language in Sein und Zeit and what is at issue behind what he says. We focus on two sections of Division I: (1) the section in Chapter 3 where Heidegger offers a description of signs and (2) the section in Chapter 5, referred to above, which deals with the constituents of the 'there'. In the first of these sections there is a statement which comes directly to the point that is relevant to our problem. Heidegger writes: 'A sign is not a thing which stands to another thing in the relationship of indicating; it is rather an item of equipment which explicitly raises a totality of equipment into our circumspection so that together with it the worldly character of the ready-to-hand announces itself.'20 Signs, presumably also linguistic signs, are not mere things. Like the other beings encountered within the Umwelt they are items of equipment bound up in an equipment-totality. A sign, however, is not just another item of equipment but rather has a distinctive function which distinguishes it from all other equipment. This distinctive function Heidegger calls 'indicating' (Zeigeri). Indicating, however, is not a matter of a co-ordination of certain pieces of equipment, namely signs, in a one-to-one correspondence with other pieces of equipment, namely what is indicated by the sign. Rather, a sign, as indicating, raises the total meaning-context, the referential totality, into our circumspection. It follows, then, that language is not to be regarded in terms of individual words or linguistic units correlated in some fashion or other either with discrete meaning-contents or with individual things. Rather, linguistic signs are bound up in a total meaning-context in the sense of bringing that total context to light. The way in which language indicates needs to be understood in reference to the total meaning-context rather than in terms of correspondence between words and things or words and meanings. Heidegger thus attempts to get beneath the traditional understanding of language in terms of correspondence and thereby to undercut the classical alternatives of correspondence by nature and correspondence by convention. This is not to say that the understanding of language in terms of correspondence is incorrect; it has its rights, but it is


Language and reversal 195 not primordial. Heidegger wants to point beneath it to a more primordial dimension where language is, first of all, a lighting-up which lets the world, the total meaning-context, announce itself. In the discussion of the constituents of the 'there' in Chapter 5, the issue of language enters much more explicitly. We have referred already to the way in which Heidegger takes up this issue in the context of his account of discourse, the third existential constituent of the 'there', and describes language as the way in which discourse gets expressed. However, it is not only in relation to discourse that the issue of language is taken up; Heidegger refers to it also, though briefly, in the course of his elaboration of the structures which derive from the first of the three basic constituents of the 'there', understanding (Verstehen). Let us briefly review this elaboration in order to place the issue of language within it. Understanding is described by Heidegger as the projection of Dasein's Being upon possibilities, upon what Heidegger calls a 'for-the-sake-of-which' (Worumwillen)21 In projection Dasein throws before itself possibilities as possibilities, lets possibilities be its possibilities, and is itself these possibilities as possibilities. Possibilities, in turn, prescribe a referential totality, a totality of involvements, a world, in which ready-to-hand beings or equipment can be involved and thereby be what they are.22 However, in understanding, neither the possibilities nor the prescribed totality of involvements are graspeci thematically, and understanding thus has itself the possibility of developing itself into a thematic grasp of the possibilities which it has thrown before itself. This development, this appropriation of what is already understood, Heidegger calls interpretation (Auslegung). In interpretation, items of equipment are made explicit with respect to their 'as-structure', with respect to their involvement in the referential totality, in the totality of signifying references which make up the structure of Dasein's world. Interpretation is an articulation prior to all thematic assertion, an articulation of what has been understood, of that upon which Dasein, in understanding, has projected.23 The upon-which of a projection Heidegger identifies as meaning (Sinn).24 Interpretation is an articulation of meaning prior to thematic assertion. Finally, there is the structure which Heidegger calls assertion (Aussage), which derives from the further development of interpretation. Assertion is not, however, merely an extension of interpretation but involves a decisive change, the transformation of the 'hermeneutical as' - the as-structure based in the referential totality - by which interpretation lets itself be guided into the 'apophantical as' under the guidance of which beings are now articulated with respect to definite characteristics. It is only with assertion that we gain access to such things as properties, and it is here that Heidegger sees the origination of presence-at-hand (Vorhandenheit) out of readiness-to-hand (Zuhandenheit). Heidegger assigns to 'assertion' three interconnected significations: 'pointing out',


196 JohnSallis 'predication', and 'communication'.25 With the last of these the analysis has obviously reached the plane of language. But Heidegger does not elaborate. The dual locus of the issue of language in Heidegger's account of the constituents of the 'there' raises two problems. Through these problems, we can see how what is at issue behind what Heidegger says begins to take shape. First, we have seen that Heidegger states explicitly that discourse, the third basic existential constituent, is the foundation of language. We have seen, further, that language also is involved in the derivative structures which originate from understanding, specifically in assertion as communication. The problem is: How is it possible for discourse to be the foundation of language if language is also involved in another existential constituent, namely understanding - specifically in what develops from understanding? How can language be grounded in discourse and yet have one foot, as it were, in another of the three basic constituents of the 'there'? Presumably, this is possible only if the two basic constituents, understanding and discourse, are themselves fundamentally connected. This, then, is the second problem: What is the character of this connection? What is the character of the unity by which understanding and discourse belong together? Let us try to formulate this problem more precisely. Heidegger defines discourse as the articulation of intelligibility or meaning. Thus, language, as the way in which discourse gets expressed, is the expression of an already accomplished articulation. Discourse provides something pregiven to the act of expression. What is crucial here, however, is that this definition of discourse corresponds precisely with the definition which Heidegger gives of interpretation. The latter too is an articulation of meaning. What, then, is the difference between interpretation and discourse? Heidegger writes: 'The intelligibility of something has always been articulated even before there is an appropriate interpretation of it.'26 There is, in other words, an articulation of meaning prior to that articulation that occurs^ interpretation. What is this prior articulation? Heidegger proceeds to identify it as discourse.27 Discourse as articulation of meaning is prior to the articulation of meaning in interpretation. When meaning is articulated in interpretation, such articulation takes place against the background of a prior articulation already accomplished by discourse. What is the character of the prior articulation? We have seen that in the development of understanding into interpretation and assertion the question of language first enters in connection with the third signification of assertion, namely communication. In the context in which communication is discussed, Heidegger alludes to a link between communication and what he calls 'fore-conception' and then makes the following crucial statement: 'The fore-conception which is always implied in an assertion remains for the most part inconspicuous,


Language and reversal 197 because language already conceals in itself a developed way of conceiving [eine ausgebildete Begrifflichkeit].2* This statement provides a solution to our problem, for it points to the fact that that articulation of meaning which is prior to interpretation and which Heidegger calls discourse is precisely that articulation - that 'developed way of conceiving' - which is always already accomplished by language itself but which remains concealed, hidden away in the language. Discourse is not, therefore, primarily an articulation of meaning which we perform but rather an articulation which is always already performed for us, an articulation which is, of necessity, already delivered over to us, which we have already taken over inadvertently, by virtue of our living in a language by virtue of our having been thrown into a language with its concealed, yet already developed ways of conceiving. Now it is clear also how interpretation, as operating always within the compass of the prior articulation (discourse), can stand in a relation to language. Interpretation always takes place against the background of articulation already accomplished by language. And Sein und Zeit itself, as an interpretation,29 is likewise bound to the pre-articulation hidden away in language. What Heidegger's work uncovers as regards language reflects back upon the character of the work itself and requires that Sein und Zeit, in its character as a work, be understood in its relation to language, as bound to what is handed over in language. Here is a clue for understanding Heidegger's description of the business of philosophy as one of preserving the force of words. We need to draw out a further conclusion implicit in this development of the problem of language in Sein und Zeit. In order to do so we call attention to a significant ambiguity centered in Heidegger's account of understanding. This ambiguity is evident in the two fundamentally different ways in which Heidegger describes understanding: In the one instance, understanding is described as a projecting of Dasein's Being upon possibilities, in the sense of letting possibilities be possibilities for Dasein, in the sense that Dasein assigns itself to possibilities so as to be these possibilities;30 in the other instance, understanding is described as a projecting of possibilities, Heidegger writing explicitly of 'possibilities projected in understanding'.31 The difference between possibilities projected upon by Dasein and possibilities projected by Dasein is, if taken without further refinement, immense, and it is especially crucial granted the context of the project of Sein und Zeit. Since a possibility related to Dasein's projection is a 'for-the-sake-of-which' and, hence, prescribes a totality of involvements that constitute the structure of world, nothing less is at stake than the origination of world. If Dasein quite simply projects its own possibilities, bringing them forth, as it were, entirely out of its own resources, then it would follow that world is, in the end, something which Dasein projects. But it is precisely the referential


198 JohnSallis totality, constitutive of world, which allows ready-to-hand beings withinthe-world to be what they are, which, consequently, is the Being of these beings.32 It would follow, then, that the Being of the ready-to-hand is nothing more than something projected by Dasein. This conclusion is fundamentally at odds with the very project of Sein und Zeit. Heidegger repeatedly emphasizes in his various commentary statements on Sein und Zeit what was already evident in the work itself: that it already is involved in the step back out of metaphysics and specifically out of the subjectivism that characterizes modern metaphysics. But what is subjectivism if not the locating of the ground of objectivity, of the Being of beings, in the subject?33 And if it is objected that, nevertheless, Dasein is not a subject in the modern metaphysical sense, then the problem is only re-stated; for it remains to be determined how Dasein is distinguishable from a subject if, indeed, Dasein projects its world and thereby the Being of what is encounterable within the world. Clearly this alternative - that Dasein projects its possibilities - can be retained only if we grant that there is something else involved that serves to modify the most immediate sense suggested by such a notion of projection. Indeed, Heidegger himself indicates this when he writes: In every case Dasein, as essentially dispositional [befindliches], has already gotten into definite possibilities; as the potentiality-for-Being [Seinkdnnen] which it is, it has let such possibilities pass by; it constantly sets about the possibilities of its Being, grasps them, and makes mistakes. But this means that Dasein is Being-possible which has been delivered over to itself - thrown possibility through and through. . . . By way of having a mood, Dasein 'sees' possibilities, in terms of which it is. In the projective disclosure of such possibilities, it already has a mood in every case. The projection of its ownmost potentiality-for-Being has been delivered over to the fact of its thrownness into the 'there'.34 These statements call attention to the fact that understanding is not the sole constituent of the 'there' and indicate that the various constituents do not simply stand, as it were, alongside one another but belong essentially together. Dasein as projecting is thrown-projecting, a projecting executed within thrownness, a projecting of world only from out of its situation of being already engaged in a world already disclosed in disposition. Heidegger writes: 'Indeed from the ontological point of view we must as a general principle leave the primary discovery of the world to "bare mood".'35 It is this discovery which always lurks behind every projection. Again, Heidegger writes: 'As something factical, Dasein's projection of itself understanding^ is in each case already alongside a world that has been discovered. From this world it takes its possibilities. . . .'* It is, in


Language and reversal 199 other words, primarily in disposition that possibilities are first delivered over to Dasein in order that Dasein might project these possibilities as possibilities, in order that it might assign itself to them, thus throwing them before itself and letting them be as possibilities. Dasein indeed projects upon possibilities in that Dasein 'has already gotten into definite possibilities', in that possibilities are already, by way of disposition, disclosed as delivered over to Dasein; yet, in the same measure, possibilities are projected by Dasein in that it is through Dasein as projecting, through Dasein's assigning itself, that they are thrown ahead and allowed to rule as possibilities, allowed to be as possibilities. Hence, Heidegger can speak indifferently of possibilities as being projected upon by Dasein and as being projected by Dasein. The ambiguity is thus resolved, but beneath it a further problem opens up: the problem of how disposition and understanding belong together. It is on this problem that the development of the issue of language in Sein und Zeit has a crucial bearing. Discourse, we have seen, is, in the final analysis, that articulation of intelligibility which is already bound up and hidden away in language. Discourse is not simply an articulation which we perform but rather is an articulation which is always already in effect, delivered over to us insofar as we find ourselves in a language. Thus, discourse refers to a kind offinding-oneself-as-thrown(Befindlichkeit) which, as involving us in an articulation of intelligibility (VerstUndlichkeit), is inherently linked to interpretation and understanding (Versteheri). It involves afinding-oneself-as-throwninto a certain medium of intelligibility, into a certain already established way of articulation. It is discourse which points back to the unitary, yet complex, ground from which the multiple constituents of the 'there' arise. It is discourse as itself this 'common root' in which understanding and disposition meet without, however, necessarily having their distinctive characters dissolved - it is this which forms the bridge from the analytic of Sein und Zeit to the insistence in the later writings that the 'there' takes place as language.

IV Reversal Between what is said regarding language in Sein und Zeit and what is said in the later writings stands the reversal (Kehre). It is to this that we must now turn in order to be able to come to terms with the question of the coherence of what Heidegger says regarding language. Heidegger uses the term 'reversal' in describing the relation between what is accomplished in the published portion of Sein und Zeit and what was to have been accomplished in the unpublished final section of Part I. In this final section, which was to have carried the title 'Zeit und Sein' everything would, Heidegger tells us, have been reversed. He describes


200 JohnSallis the reversal as a reversal from 'Being and time' to 'time and Being'.37 Inasmuch as the later writings remain underway to what was still-unaccomplished in Sein und Zeit as published, the term 'reversal' is used to describe the transition from Sein und Zeit to the later writings. What is the character of this transition that is here underway? What does Heidegger mean in speaking of reversal? In the attempt to think through what is at issue in the reversal everything depends upon understanding the proper locus of the reversal. The reversal is not, Heidegger insists, 'a change of the standpoint of Sein und Zeif,38 not a shift to a different, presumably more adequate, point of view in principle discontinuous with that which defined the project of Sein und Zeit. Nevertheless, he writes: 'The thinking of the reversal is a change in my thought.'39 The reversal involves a change but one which is not to be construed as a shift from one standpoint to another - nor, indeed, as any other kind of shift executed merely within the movement of thinking: 'The reversal is above all not an operation of interrogative thought.'40 The proper locus of the reversal lies rather in what is to be thought; in Heidegger's words, 'The reversal is in play within the matter itself;41 there is a reversal in the medium of thought, a change in Heidegger's thinking, only insofar as this thinking is led into the movement of reversal by letting itself be bound in essential cor-respondence to what evokes thought, to what calls it forth, and hence, to the reversal which is 'in play within the matter itself. A thinking which is able to let itself be bound by what calls forth thinking, by its sustaining source, is a thinking which, indeed, has undergone a change but which has not, as it were, executed that change out of its own resources. In order for it to be able to come to bind itself to what genuinely sustains it, the sustaining source must have shown itself in its capacity as granting sustenance to thinking. That which sustains thinking cannot, however, be posed before thinking as an object which could be made wholly transparent, from which all concealment could be banished, but rather is able to sustain thinking only in that it simultaneously withdraws from thinking. The source sustains thinking by drawing it along in this withdrawal.42 The sustaining source could show itself to thinking in such a way as to allow thinking to be bound to it, drawn along in the withdrawal, only by showing itself as withdrawing. If thinking comes to be bound to what sustains it, it does so always from out of its situation of having been cast into an age determined by its characteristic mittence of Being (Seinsgeschick), by the way in which the source grants itself to and withholds itself from those cast into that age.43 It is in the mittence of Being which governs our age that the source must reveal itself in order that, in thinking, we may be bound to it. Yet our age, the age of technology, is determined precisely by a radical self-concealment of the source; our age is the age in which the


Language and reversal 201 forgottenness of Being reaches its culmination so that 'it appears as though there were no such thing as Being'44 - as though Being were only 'a vapor and a fallacy'.45 Ours is the age in which it comes to appear as though there were no sustaining source or, rather, as though thinking were its own sustenance, as though thinking were capable of providing its own sufficient ground, capable of executing that self-grounding for which it has striven at least since the beginning of modern metaphysics.46 The source not only withdraws, not only conceals itself, but in our age has come to the point of concealing its concealment; it has come to conceal precisely that withdrawing in which thinking is drawn along and thereby sustained. Our age is determined by a radical self-concealment of Being, not because Being remains simply concealed from us, but rather because this concealment is itself concealed to such a degree that we are cast into utter obliviousness to Being. What is decisive is not that the source is concealed but rather that the fact of the source is concealed - the fact that thinking is sustained by a source and not by itself. Yet even in its obliviousness to its sustaining source thinking continues to be sustained by this source, and what is called for is that, in the midst of the effort on the part of thinking to be its own source, this effort reveal itself as violating what it would establish, that this effort reveal itself as sustained precisely by that whose sustenance it would deny. What is called for is that man's belongingness to Being break through at just that point at which the most radical concealment prevails - at the point of what Heidegger calls the highest danger. This is the reversal: In the essence of the danger a favor takes place and dwells, namely the favor of a reversal of the forgottenness of Being into the truth of Being.'47 What calls for and calls forth this reversal is not, however, man himself. As sustained in his thinking by the source and as cast into an age of radical self-concealment of this source, man is able to enter into the movement of reversal only through being led into and sustained in k by the source itself. The reversal has its proper locus in the clearing-concealing advent of Being itself. There is a reversal in thinking only insofar as thinking succeeds in cor-responding to this 'Ereignis der Kehre im Sein'.46 The proper locus of the reversal is the clearing-concealing advent of Being itself. Now we can begin to understand the involvement of the problem of language in the reversal, for, Heidegger says, 'language is the clearing-concealing advent of Being itself.49 Language is the proper locus of the reversal. This is why, in discussing the fact that that portion of Sein und Zeit in which the reversal would have become explicit was not carried through, Heidegger calls attention to the issue of language. This also is why the reversal requires 'a transformed relationship to the essence of language'. But this transformation is no mere prerequisite to the reversal; it is the reversal. And it is a transformation of which we are capable only by cor-responding to what is granted to our thinking.


202 John Sallis This conclusion - that language is the proper locus of the reversal goes beyond what we have said thus far regarding language; we have been led to it only by introducing a cryptic statement from the later writings - that language is the clearing-concealing advent of Being itself - a statement which remains largely unintelligible as long as we have not understood the way in which the problem of language is taken up in Heidegger's later writings. But, then, it was precisely in order to move from what is said about language in Sein und Zeit to what is said in the later writings that we found it necessary to take up the question of reversal. The problem of language directs us into that of the reversal, and conversely. The two problems are intertwined; they belong together. In order to lead back into the question of the coherence of what Heidegger says regarding language, we need now to try to understand, more generally, how the project of Sein und Zeit coheres with the thinking of the reversal that is underway in the later writings. At first it appeared that the reversal stood between Sein und Zeit and the later writings, that it represented the point of transition. Now it is evident, however, that the reversal is not something once accomplished or undergone and then left behind for the sake of something else to which it is only a bridge. It is significant that Heidegger speaks not of the thinking after the reversal but, instead, of the thinking o/the reversal. Thinking, when it enters into the movement of reversal, remains, as always, bound to that which calls forth thought but which does so only in that it simultaneously withdraws. Being incessantly withholds itself even in the midst of showing itself in that advent into which the reversal leads. The reversal does not terminate in a total revealmeftt with which thinking could be brought to completion but rather issues in a recalling of Being as withdrawing. Heidegger's later works remain, and must remain, in the movement of reversal: 'Thinking itself is a way. We respond to the way only by remaining underway'; 'What remains in thinking is the way'.50 Granted that the later works are engaged in the movement of reversal, how, then, are we to understand their relation to Sein und Zeitl Is this engagement already in effect even in Sein und Zeit> or is it only initiated in the later works? If the latter, then does Sein und Zeit in some fashion prepare the way to such engagement, or is it, on the contrary, simply left behind once Heidegger's thinking has entered into the reversal? This final alternative is already virtually excluded by Heidegger's statement that the transition to the later writings does not involve an alteration of standpoint. Heidegger elaborates what is meant in this statement: The thinking of the reversal is a change in my thought. But this change is not a consequence of altering the standpoint, much less of abandoning the fundamental issue, of Sein und Zeit. The thinking of


Language and reversal 203 the reversal results from the fact that I stayed with the matter-forthought [of] 'Being and time' [bei der zu denkenden Sache 'Sein und Zeif]> sc. by inquiring into that perspective which already in Sein und Zeit (p. 39) was designated as Time and Being'.51 The entry into the movement of reversal is, therefore, not an abadonment of Sein und Zeit but, on the contrary, is the outcome of staying with its fundamental issue. It came about through inquiring into the domain of the reversal already proposed in Sein und Zeit, the reversal from 'Being and time' to 'time and Being'. Heidegger's later works remain on the way to which Sein und Zeit pointed. We have seen that the entry of thinking into the movement of reversal takes place only in a cor-responding in which thinking is able to let itself be drawn along by its sustaining source. The way of this entry is not something which is established by thinking but rather something granted to thinking. Thinking is of itself able to build no bridge by which it could pass over into the movement of reversal. Rather this entry is, regarded from the side of thinking, a leap. But, Heidegger insists, in the leap of thinking that from which it leaps is carried over: 'The leap of thinking does not leave behind that from which it leaps, but rather appropriates it in a more primordial way.'52 Not only, then, does the thinking of the reversal not abandon the fundamental issue of Sein und Zeit> but furthermore it is precisely the fulfillment of what was there undertaken: 'The question of Sein und Zeit is decisively ful-filled in the thinking of the reversal.'53 In the thinking of the reversal what was undertaken in Sein und Zeit is fulfilled by being appropriated in a more primordial way. Sein und Zeit already points ahead into the movement of reversal. Already it is engaged in the step back out of metaphysics through the fact that 'the problem is set up outside the sphere of subjectivism'. Already it keeps its distance from the effort by thinking to be its own sustaining source: '. . . the "Being" into which Sein und Zeit inquired can not long remain something that the human subject posits.' On the other hand, the thinking of the reversal appropriates in a more primordial way what was accomplished in Sein und Zeit and, hence, as Heidegger says 'furnishes for the first time an adequate characterization of Dasein'.54 It is this way of understanding the coherence of his work which Heidegger expressed in his response to the distinction which Fr. Richardson formulated between 'Heidegger V (the Heidegger of Sein und Zeit) and 'Heidegger II' (the Heidegger of the later works): 'only by way of what Heidegger I has thought does one gain access to what is to-be-thought by Heidegger II. But [the thought of] Heidegger I becomes possible only if it is contained in Heidegger II.'55


204 John Sallis IV Language in the thinking of the reversal The thinking of the reversal involves an appropriation in a more primordial way of what was accomplished in Sein und Zeit. Presumably, this holds, specifically, of the problem of language, and it is in this connection that we turn, finally, to what Heidegger says regarding language in the later writings. We need to try to understand the way in which the issue of language is taken up in the thinking of the reversal as a fulfillment of what was undertaken with regard to language in Sein und Zeit, as an appropriation in a more primordial way. In the thinking of the reversal the issues of Sein und Zeit are appropriated. However, they are not just appropriated in the sense of being taken over; rather, they are, Heidegger says, appropriated in a more primordial way, in such a way as to be brought, through this appropriation, to their fulfillment. This means that the issues of Sein und Zeit are, in the thinking of the reversal, brought explicitly into the compass of the fundamental issue their relation to which remained implicit in Sein und Zeit. This fundamental issue is that for the sake of which the entire analytic of Dasein was undertaken; it is the question of the meaning of Being. Sein und Zeit, however, failed to carry through the reversal in which this analytic would have been led back into the fundamental issue, and the connection of the analytic of Dasein to the question of the meaning of Being remained largely implicit. But in the thinking of the reversal this connection can come into the light. This thinking is enabled to take the step back out of metaphysics, to recover (verwinden) from the incessant effort on the part of thinking to be its own sustaining source. It is a thinking to which is granted the transition from utter obliviousness as regards Being, for which Being is simply nothing, to an experience of this nothing of Being as precisely the double self-concealment of Being, the concealment of concealment. It is thus that Heidegger writes: 'We must prepare ourselves to experience in the nothing the vastness of that which gives every being the warrant to be. That is Being itself.'56 But, to be led to experience the nothing as the double selfconcealment of Being is to be led from the concealment of self-withdrawing Being to the recalling of self-withdrawing Being, of the truth (clearing-concealing) of Being. The thinking of the reversal is a being drawn along in the withdrawal of Being itself, its withdrawal from every effort to set it back upon a ground in subjectivity. To appropriate the issues of Sein und Zeit in a more primordial way is to let them come into the compass of the recalling of Being as withdrawing. We need to understand how what is said about language in the thinking of the reversal is an appropriation of what was said in Sein und Zeit - and also how it is constituted as a more primordial appropriation through relation to the issue of withdrawal.


Language and reversal 205 We saw through the analysis of signs in Sein und Zeit that language is not to be regarded in terms of correspondence between two classes of things, linguistic units, on the one hand, and what is meant or referred to, on the other. It is not, at the fundamental level, just a matter of words being matched up, as it were, with meanings or things, not a matter of simple correspondence. Rather, Heidegger insists that language needs to be understood in its involvement with the total meaning-context, with world which it brings to light as a whole, which it raises explicitly into our circumspection' so as to orient us within the world. Implicit in this analysis is a denial that language is to be regarded in terms of the concept of expression. In the later works this is explicitly enunciated: 'Language is neither merely the field of expression, nor merely the means of expression, nor merely the two jointly.'57 Fundamentally, language is not a matter of expression in the sense of words serving simply as vehicles by means of which something else, units of meaning, are made conveyable, made available for exchange. It is not as though a word were, first of all, merely a sound, something sensible, which then has, in addition, a nonsensible component, a signification, so that we would need to invoke 'a sense-giving act that furnishes the word-sound with a sense'.58 It is not a matter of a word, as sound, containing sense as a bucket contains water. We pass over what is fundamental in language when we say that 'the word's signification attaches to its sound';59 even in Sein und Zeit Heidegger said, not that significations get attached to words, but just the opposite, that 'to significations, words accrue'.60 Words are not buckets filled with sense; they are rather like wellsprings that must be dug up: Words are not terms and thus are not like buckets and kegs from which we scoop a content that is there. Words are wellsprings that are found and dug up in the telling, wellsprings that must be found and dug up again and again, that easily cave in, but that at times also well up when least expected. If we do not go to the spring again and again, the buckets and kegs stay empty, or their content stays stale.61 To speak is not simply to express, not merely to translate certain significations that we have on hand into a ready-made communicable form. It is not a matter of attaching significations to words. Indeed, there is a significance which sustains our speaking, which is taken up into it and to which our speaking must remain attached; we must 'go to the spring again and again'. But this taking up is no mere translating of something already on hand, no mere external attaching of significations to words. On the contrary, it is in being taken up into words that this significance first comes to light, and it comes to light not as so many discrete units of meaning through which reference to individual things


206 JohnSallis could be effected but rather in such a way that it 'explicitly raises a totality of equipment into our circumspection'. Thus, Trakl's poem, 'Ein Winterabend', is no mere describing, no mere naming in the sense of distributing titles, applying words, to the various objects and events that pertain to a winter evening but is rather an invoking, a calling forth into words, which by calling is able to bring near what is called; and what it invokes are things in their intimacy with the world to which they belong and from which they are granted to us62 - just as in the context of the analysis in Sein und Zeit the sign 'raises a totality of equipment into our circumspection so that together with it the worldly character of the readyto-hand announces itself. To significations words accrue in such a way as to bring to light significance, that is, world in its intimacy with things. Hdlderlin wrote: 'But that which remains is established by the poets.'63 Heidegger writes: The poet names the gods and names all things in that which they are. This naming does not consist merely in something already known being supplied with a name, but rather in that the poet speaks the essential word, a being is by this naming nominated as what it is. So it becomes known as being [als Seiendes]. Poetry is the establishing of Being by the word [worthafte Stiftung des Seins]. . . . The essence of language must be understood through the essence of poetry.64 To significations words accrue, however, not only in the sense that words invoke significance and bring it to light but also in the sense that significance, first of all, calls forth words. Our words, our speaking, is sustained, is called forth, is evoked. The poet names the gods; but, Heidegger writes, 'the gods can acquire a name only if they themselves make a claim upon [ansprechen] us and place us under their claim [Anspruch]. The word which names the gods is always an answer to such a claim'.65 In the context of Heidegger's \670s-interpretation this claim is thematized as what is given to speaking so as to come to light in the speaking. Speaking as Xeyeiv, laying, letting-lie, gathering and keeping watch over what is given, what is sent, is a speaking that is evoked, sustained by what is sent; speaking is 6|xo\o7â&#x201A;Źtv. We have seen that in Sein und Zeit discourse {Rede) is described as 'the articulation of intelligibility'. We saw, furthermore, that this articulation is not something which we simply execute but rather that it is an articulation in which we are caught up, which is always already handed over to us by virtue of our having been cast into a language - that it is an articulation already established, yet concealed, within language. It appeared then that discourse is promordially linked to the other two basic constituents of the 'there', that what is designated by 'discourse' is one'sfinding-oneself-as-throwninto a certain medium of intelligibility,


Language and reversal 207 into a certain already established articulation. In the later writings what was called 'discourse' (Rede) in Sein und Zeit comes to be regarded as the primary sense of 'language' (Sprache). But beneath this shift the conclusion to which the analysis of discourse in Sein und Zeit pointed is not only retained but explicitly elaborated. Heidegger writes that 'language is not a tool';66 language is not something which we have simply at our disposal, of which we are master. It is not an instrument with which to master things,67 which itself would, in order to serve most effectively, need to be mastered. Rather it is something to which we are handed over, something in which we are always already caught up, something which we are subject to rather than subject of. According to Heidegger's \670s interpretation speaking as 6|xo\cryâ&#x201A;Źiv is a gathering and a keeping watch over what is given to our speaking, that is, language itself. With this we return to what Heidegger said in Sein und Zeit: It is the business of philosophy to preserve the force of words. In the same connection Heidegger writes that 'we are moving within language, which', he adds, 'means moving on shifting ground, or, still better, on the billowing waters of an ocean'.68 If, again, we recall from the analysis in Sein und Zeit that discourse, language in its primary sense, is intended to indicate ourfinding-ourselves-as-throwninto a way of articulation, into a medium of intelligibility, then it is clear that this movement 'within language' is not just one movement among others but is rather that ground-movement through which intelligibility is already delivered up to our understanding, always already granted. But what is this understanding that is always already granted? Sein und Zeit gives the answer: 'Understanding of Being has already been taken for granted in projecting upon possibilities.'69 This understanding which is always already taken for granted is what Heidegger calls pre-ontological understanding of Being. It is taken for granted, however, not in the sense that man as a subject is always in possession of a representation of Being, but rather in the sense that it is always granted to man in that he 'stands in the openness of the project of Being'.70 The fulfillment, the more primordial appropriation, of these issues in Sein und Zeit comes about in the later writings in that language is now brought explicitly into connection with the pre-ontological understanding of Being and thereby its character as 'common root' made explicit. Language comes to be called 'the house of Being', and Heidegger adds, 'In its housing man dwells'.71 Man is housed in language, he moves within it, and thereby he is sustained in an understanding of Being. The development is explicit in a statement in Was Heisst Denken?: 'Every human attitude to something, every human stand in this or that sphere of beings, would rush away resistlessly into the void if the "is" did not speak.'72 Every human stand, all human comportment with regard to beings, requires - what? Sein und Zeit would answer: the pre-ontological


208 JohnSallis understanding of Being. But now Heidegger says: that the 'is' speak. It is required that the 'is' speak, that Being speak. It is required, not just that Being grant itself, but that it speak, and the two are now identical: Being grants itself in that Being speaks. But where and how does Being speak? It speaks in language: Tiov [Being] names that which speaks in every word of the language, and not only in every word, but before all else in every conjunction of words [Wortgefuge], and thus particularly in those junctures [Fugen] of the language which are not explicitly put in words. *Eov speaks throughout language and maintains for it the possibility of saying.73 Language is the language of being74 - that in which Being speaks. It is in that which is hidden away in language and to which we are already subject that Being speaks, thereby sustaining man in a clearing of intelligibility, thereby sustaining him as the 'there'. Precisely through a more primordial appropriation of that three-fold constitution of the 'there' elaborated in Sein und Zeit Heidegger is brought to say that the 'there' takes place as language. It is now evident why 'language is the clearingconcealing advent of Being itself; this, we have seen, is the proper locus of the reversal. Heidegger says that Being speaks 'particularly in those junctures of the language which are not explicitly put into words'. Being speaks unobtrusively in language. In its speaking Being conceals itself as that which speaks; it speaks, most of all, in those junctures which remain unspoken by us. At the heart of language as the language of Being there is self-concealment, withdrawal. Heidegger writes: 'If we may talk here of playing games at all, then it is not we who play with words, but the essence of language plays with us, not only in this case, not only now, but long since and always. For language so plays with our speech that it likes to let our speech drift away into the more obvious meanings of words.'75 Language is no game that we play; rather language plays with us and can do so precisely because we are not its master, because it withdraws its essence from us, holds itself aloof from us. It lets our speech 'drift away into the more obvious meanings of words' - the meanings that have lost their connection with the unspoken, the meanings in which the unspoken lies forgotten. Yet the unspoken is, most of all, where Being speaks: 'Language denies us its essence: that it is the house of the truth of Being.'76 In the folds, the junctures, of language Being conceals itself, withdraws itself from us. To be drawn along in this withdrawal is to enter into the movement of reversal; to be drawn along in this withdrawal is also to be drawn into 'a transformed relationship to the essence of language'. Language and reversal belong together.


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Notes 1 Heidegger, Martin: Sein und Zeit (9th Ed.; Ttibingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1960), p. 220, Heidegger has pointed out that even earlier, in the Habilitationsschrift of 1915, he was already engaged with the question of language, specifically with 'the metaphysical reflection on language in its relation to Being'. Unterwegs zur Sprache (Pfullingen: Verlag Gtinther Neske, 1959), pp. 91-2. 2 Uber den Humanismus (Frankfurt a. M.: Vittorio Klostermann), p. 9. 3 Was Heisst Denken? (Ttibingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1954), p. 100. 4 Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 174. 5 Was ist das - die Philosophic? (Pfullingen: Verlag Gtinther Neske, 1956), p. 45. 6 Was Heisst Denken? pp. 79-80. 7 Heidegger writes 'Dass das Fragen nicht die eigentliche Geb&rde des Denkens ist, sondern - das Horen der Zusage dessen, was in die Frage kommen soil'. Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 175. 8 Uber den Humanismus, p. 17. 9 Die Technik und die Kehre (Pfullingen: Verlag Gtinther Neske, 1962), p. 40. 10 See Was Ist Metaphysik? (8th Ed.; Frankfurt a. M.: Vittorio Klostermann, 1960), p. 9. 11 Uber den Humanismus, p. 9. 12 Zur Seinsfrage (Frankfurt a. M.: Vittorio Klostermann, 1956), p. 25. 13 Vortr&ge und Aufs&tze (Pfullingen: Verlag Gtinther Neske, 1954), p. 146. 14 See Unterwegs zur Sprache, pp. 14ff. 15 'Sprache ist lichtend-verbergende Ankunft des Seins selbst.' Uber den Humanismus, p. 16. On the Overpowering' see Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (Ttibingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1958), pp. 114-15. 16 Sein und Zeit, pp. 160-1. 17 Uber den Humanismus, pp. 21, 25. 18 Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 11. 19 Uber den Humanismus, pp. 47, 45; Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 12. 20 Sein und Zeit, pp. 79-80. 21 ibid., p. 145. 22 ibid., p. 86. 23 ibid., p. 149. 24 'Meaning is that wherein the intelligibility [Verstandlichkeit] of something maintains itself. . . . Meaning is the upon-which [Woraufhin] of the projection from out of which something becomes intelligible [verstiindlich] as something. . . .' ibid., p. 151. 25 Aufzeigen, Priidikation, Mitteilung. ibid., pp. 154-7. 26 ibid., p. 161. 27 "That which can be articulated in interpretation, and thus even moreprimordially in discourse, is what we have called "meaning".' ibid. (Italics mine.) 28 ibid., p. 157. 29 See ibid., p. 37. 30 ibid., pp. 145, 147. 31 ibid., p. 148. 32 ibid., p. 87. 33 'One need only observe the simple fact that in Sein und Zeit the problem is set up outside the sphere of subjectivism . . . for it to become strikingly clear that the "Being" into which Sein und Zeit inquired can not long remain something that the human subject posits.' Heidegger's 'Preface' to William J. Richardson,


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Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963), p. xviii. Again, Heidegger speaks of his attempt 'to liberate the essential determination of man from subjectivity. . . .* He adds: 'Any attempt, therefore, to re-think Sein und Zeit is thwarted as long as one is satisfied with the observation that, in this study, the term "Dasein" is used in place of "consciousness**.* Was 1st Metaphysik?, pp. 13-14. See also Uber den Humanismus, especially p. 25 where Heidegger states explicitly, in reference to Sein und Zeit, that the 'projection does not create Being'. In Sein und Zeit itself see 113, 143(a) and note especially that Heidegger originally projected a 'destruction* of Descartes* Cogito Sum (pp. 24f.). 34 Sein und Zeit, pp. 144, 148. 35 ibid., p. 138. 36 ibid., p. 194. 37 Uber den Humanismus, p. 17. 38 ibid. 39 Heidegger's 'Preface* to Richardson, Heidegger, p. xvi. 40 ibid., p. xviii. 41 'Die Kehre spielt im Sachverhalt selbst.* ibid. 42 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 5. 43 See Der Satz vom Grund (Pfullingen: Verlag Gunther Neske, 1957), pp. 108ff. 44 Zur Seinsfrage, p. 34. 45 Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik, p. 27. 46 See Die Frage nach dem Ding: Zu Kants Lehre von den Transzendentalen GrundsUtzen (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1962), pp. 74-83. See also my paper 'Towards the movement of reversal: science, technology, and the language of homecoming*, in Heidegger and the Path of Thinking (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1970). 47 'Im Wesen der Gefahr west und wohnt eine Gunst, namlich die Gunst der Kehre der Vergessenheit des Seins in die Wahrheit des Seins.' Die Technik und die Kehre, p. 42. 48 ibid., p. 44. This issue is discussed at length in my paper 'Towards the movement of reversal', Heidegger and the Path of Thinking. 49 Uber den Humanismus, p. 16. 50 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 164; Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 99. 51 Heidegger's 'Preface' to Richardson, Heidegger, p. xvi. 52 Der Satz vom Grund, p. 107. 53 Heidegger's 'Preface' to Richardson, Heidegger, p. xviii. 54 ibid., p. xx. 55 ibid., p. xxii. 56 Was 1st Metaphysik?, p. 46. 57 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 87. Cf. Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 19. In his koyosinterpretation Heidegger writes: 'Expression and signification have long been taken as the manifestations, and presented as the unquestionable characteristics of, language. But they do not reach genuinely into the region of the primordially essential determination of language, nor are they at all capable of determining this region in its primary characteristics.' Vortrage und Aufsatze, p. 212. 58 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 88. 59 ibid. 60 Sein und Zeit, p. 161.


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61 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 89. 62 Unterwegs zur Sprache, pp. 21, 26-8. 63 ErlUuterungen zu Holderlins Dichtung (3rd Ed.; Frankfurt a. M: Vittorio Klostermann, 1963), p. 31. 64 ibid., pp. 38, 40. 65 ibid., p. 37. 66 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 99. 67 Uber den Humanismus, p. 9. 68 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 169. 69 Sein und Zeit, p. 147. 70 Der Satz vom Grund, p. 146. 71 Uber den Humanismus, p. 5. 72 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 107. 73 ibid., p. 141. 74 'Die Sprache ist so die Sprache des Seins, wie die Wolken die Wolken des Himmels sind.' Uber den Humanismus, p. 47. 75 Was Heisst Denken?, p. 83. 76 Uber den Humanismus, p. 9.


42 Meaning adrift John Sallis

For language plays with our speech - it likes to let our speech drift away into the more obvious meanings of words. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Heidegger, Was Heisst Denken? But for the slightest twist, Nietzsche would be just the last metaphysician. The story is at least twice-told. Once in Heidegger's text "Die will to power as art': the story of how Nietzsche set out to overturn Platonism, to invert it, to stand it on its head, of how, according to a familiar schema, he could not but be caught within that which he would invert, remaining ensnared in it almost to the end, twisting free of it only at the last moment: During the time the overturning of Platonism became for Nietzsche a twisting free of it, madness befell him.1 At the end, the slightest twist, setting one from that moment adrift from the logic of opposition, adrift in a certain oblique opposition to logic. Twisting, turning, drifting - into what? Into the end? Into a beyond? Into madness? Yet Heidegger only retells - with a certain twist - a story that Nietzsche himself told during his final year. The story is, of course, that of 'how the "true world"finallybecame a fable'.2 By now the story has perhaps been too often retold, has perhaps become all too familiar. Who cannot recite its six great episodes, the history of metaphysics from Plato to Nietzsche condensed to just over a page! The most fitting preface to every contemporary discourse that wants to be done with metaphysics, that thinks it can be done with metaphysics, every discourse that in addressing the end of metaphysics would fancy itself securely installed in a present perfect, if not a past perfect.


Meaning adrift 213 The story ends with high noon: Noon; moment of the slightest shadow; end of the longest error; high point of humanity; . . . What happens in this final moment, this end told of at the end of the story, in the sixth, the final episode? The earlier episodes tell of a certain drift of the 'true world', a certain drifting away in which that 'world' becomes unattainable for now, then unattainable as such, and eventually unknown. In the end, this drift is what serves to expose the 'true world' as an error, as due to be abolished. And yet, the abolition of the 'true world' is not what occupies the final moment, at least is not what is told of in the last episode. It is, rather, the penultimate episode that tells of how the 'true world' was done away with, of how well before noon it was thoroughly dismantled, at the coming at bright day, at breakfast, to the cheers, the infernal noise (TeufelslUrm) of all free spirits. The final episode begins, then, with these words: 'The true world we have abolished: . . . ' So, when it begins, the 'true world' has already been abolished; presumably, it is thus that the words no longer need be enclosed in those quotation marks which, in the fifth episode and in the title of the entire story, serve to mark a certain impropriety. When the final episode begins, the true world has drifted utterly out of sight, and, thus effaced, has been abolished, done away with. AAd that would be the end of it. The end of the supersensible, the end of Platonism, the end of metaphysics. That would be the end of it, were any of these such as could end once and for all. But do they indeed have - could they have - an end beyond which one would simply be done with them? Do they simply end? Is it not rather precisely because there is no simple end that a final episode is required? The final episode does not, then, tell of something after the end, of a 'beyond' in which the end of metaphysics would have been left behind. Rather, it continues the story of the end, tells of something else that cannot but have been done in and through the abolition of the true world, something which, though done at the same time, comes to be realized only after a certain lapse. The end is not a moment but an interval. It extends from daybreak to noon. At least to noon. Thus extended so as to encompass (at least) both the twilight of the idols and the high noon of humanity, the end is anything but simple. Not only in its extension but also in its textuality; for it is, to adapt Nietzsche's words, a 'question mark so black, so monstrous [ungeheuer], that it casts shadows upon the man who puts it down'.3 How, then, does the end cast shadows upon its very inscription? The end is the end of a story, the story of how the true world finally became a fable, of how it finally turned into a story, of how in the end it proved to be nothing


214 JohnSallis more than a story, not only something told about but something posited only in the telling, in the story. What story? The story told by Nietzsche, perhaps for the first time in its full compass, certainly for the first time as a story and not as the history of being, as the 'history of an error'4 and not as the history of truth. The story is, then, on the one hand, a story about the true world, about its drift and eventual abolition, its drifting into abolition; and yet, on the other hand, the story is that which the true world becomes, the story into which it turns. In short, the story is about the true world becoming finally just the story itself. It is the story of the true world becoming the 'true world', words inscribed within and extending into the story itself. It is, then, a story from which that of which it tells cannot be simply set apart. It is the story of how the true world, drifting away into abolition, drifts into the very story of the drift into abolition. It is a story whose very meaning is set adrift in language. It is thus appropriate that the story begins and ends as it does, enclosing the drift of the true world between two instances of writing. At the beginning, when the true world assumes its least remote, its simple, convincing guise, it is literally the translation of a sentence - a transcription [Umschreibung] of the sentence "I, Plato, am the truth" '. Product of a rewriting, the true world and its drift could never have been distinct from the drift in language, the drift of the story, which thus also ends by telling of a writing: INCIPIT ZARATHUSTRA Another story, beyond the story of the end, or, rather, a story that would extend the end. The extension, the opening of the end, is produced, or at least decisively prepared, by what is told of in the sixth episode of Nietzsche's story. What is it, then, that happens at the end, disrupting the simplicity of the end, extending it not only from daybreak to noon but even, perhaps indefinitely, beyond? What is it that cannot but have been done in and through the abolition of the true world? The true world we have abolished: What world has remained? the apparent one [die scheinbare] perhaps? . . . But no! with the true world we have also abolished the apparent one. [The punctuation and italics are Nietzsche's.] The true world has drifted utterly out of sight, has disappeared once and for all; and in the end one has now only to proclaim that disappearance. The point of the final episode is that this proclamation does not leave simply intact the other world, the apparent world, that has always (i.e., since the beginning of metaphysics) been simultaneously both opposed


Meaning adrift 215 and subordinated to the true world: With the true world we have also abolished the apparent one. And yet, there is a critical difference. What is proclaimed in the abolition of the true world is the utter disappearance of that world. What is proclaimed in the abolition of the apparent world is not its disappearance; for those things that have previously been consigned to the apparent world have by no means disappeared, but rather, whatever the story told, whatever the proclamation, they continue stubbornly to appear, to show themselves. What has been abolished is not that world that has always been understood as apparent but rather the possibility of continuing to understand it in that way prescribed by the metaphysical opposing of it to a true world. What has been abolished is any understanding of the apparent by reference to the true, by reference of the apparent thing to its meaning in the most rigorous determination; for the drift of the true world is the drift of meaning, and meaning set adrift can be, for metaphysics, hardly more than the sheer dissolution of meaning, its disappearance. What disappears is not the apparent world but its meaning; and the abolition of the apparent world is the proclamation of its meaninglessness, moment of the slightest shadow. One could, of course, say - and it has often been said - that, once the true world has vanished, then the apparent one loses the character of apparentness, ceases to be appearance of the true, mjich less its mere semblance or even its dissemblance. What then would be required would be an understanding of the things of that world from themselves rather than one that would proceed by referring them to the true, to the intelligible, to meaning. And yet, things can be understood from themselves only by being taken as they show themselves, as they appear that is, only by continuing to be taken (though now in a different way) as apparent, as appearances, if not as appearances of something exceeding the world of appearances. The things of die scheinbare Welt are to be taken as they shine forth in their self-showing. It is a matter of letting them show themselves. It is, then, toward such a hermeneutics that the end of metaphysics opens. Afternoon. The shadows begin to lengthen; now in the opposite direction. It is, then, upon phenomenology that the end of metaphysics opens. Rigorous openness - that is, engagement in the things themselves, in their self-showing, and simultaneously, reticence before them. One could say, then, that the end of metaphysics is phenomenology. This would not be the same as saying (as has now often been said) that phenomenology is the end of metaphysics - that is, that phenomenology in the end only repeats, even if most rigorously, the founding gestures of metaphysics. The difference could perhaps be marked - though not


216 John Sallis without beginning to disfigure the schema - as that between an end that opens out and one that closes off. It all depends on how the things themselves are taken, for metaphysics too, from Plato to Hegel, appeals to TO TtQ&y\ia avro, measuring its rigor by its adherence to this injunction. In any case, to take the things themselves as they show themselves is never - whether in metaphysics or in phenomenology - simply to suppress all reference beyond the things; it is never simply to turn the thing upon itself (though such a turning does become a moment in the metaphysics of the subject); nor is it ever simply a turning of one thing toward another, a reference of one being to another. It is never a matter of forsaking the yiyavro\iaxia iTâ&#x201A;Źei 7x\<; oxxrias for the sake of telling stories merely about beings.5 It is not movement within every field of reference that is - or can be suppressed at the end of metaphysics but only movement within that field constituted by the metaphysical opposition between true and apparent, between intelligible and sensible. What must be inhibited in the face of the things themselves as they show themselves is the reference to an essence, an clSos, a meaning (in its classical determination). Otherwise, one ends up reconstituting metaphysics within phenomenology - that is, closing off phenomenology within the end of metaphysics. Need it be said that Being and Time opens another field of reference, a field other than that in which appearing things would be referred to an â&#x201A;Źl8os and thus understood from that â&#x201A;Źl8os? Being and Time opens a field that is both other than the metaphysical field and in a founding way inclusive of that field, which is thus, in a sense, made possible by the phenomenological field.6 Being and Time opens a field in which appearing things, things as they show themselves, can be understood without the metaphysical opposition between true and apparent being reconstituted, without the story of the true world having to be retold. Let it suffice to recall the phenomenological opening in the most schematic terms. The field opened by the phenomenological analyses in Being and Time is not, as with the metaphysical field, one that would lie between appearing things and something else to which, as to a true world, they would be referred. Rather, the reference through which things would come to be understood would be a referral of them to this field, a certain dispersion of them into the field, in no case a referral beyond the field. The phenomenological field is, of course, what Heidegger calls - at least in the initial analyses - world. To understand something by reference to world is not to refer it to something else that would shine through it, expropriating its self-showing, but rather to refer it to an open system of references to which, in its very self-showing, it is already referred. To understand something in this manner is to understand it from itself, to take it as it shows itself, for what the initial analyses of Being and Time demonstrate is that self-showing is always,


Meaning adrift 217 first of all, a showing from out of a system of references, from out of an environing world. Those same analyses, accordingly, also set about determining intraworldly reference as meaning (Bedeutung), hence broach a redetermination of meaning that would differ radically from the metaphysical determination.7 In place of meaning posited over against self-showing things in such a way as to expropriate their showing, in place of meaning as it has drifted away out of sight when the true world finally becomes a fable, Heidegger's phenomenological analyses redetermine meaning as nothing less than the very drift of the world from out of which things show themselves. Meaning a drift, meaning adrift - as the very site of self-showing. To be in the world is, then, to mean this drift, to look ahead into it so as to let things show themselves from out of it. Being-in-the-world is being adrift in meaning a()drift. Meaning, thus redetermined, is not simply to be set over against language as something utterly autonomous that language would only express. Even in Being and Time any such utter separation is already undermined, at least by the inclusion of discourse (Rede) as one of the constituent moments of the Da of Dasein, that is, of the disclosive opening of the world, of what Heidegger calls simply: disclosedness (Erschlossenheit).* He calls it also truth, the primordial phenomenon of truth, dkr\Hux. Thus, the phenomenological analyses of Being and Time issue in a redetermination of truth, one which does not metaphysically oppose truth to appearances, true world to apparent world, but rather displaces that opposition: truth as the opening/openness of the very site of self-showing. It is precisely for the sake of enforcing this displacement that Heidegger insists on distinguishing between truth as dX^Oeia and truth as correctness 9 (OQ86TTI$), even if finally at the cost of relinquishing the word truth. This displacement, in turn, produces a displacement of the relation between truth and meaning, dissociating them only then to set meaning adrift in truth, to redetermine it as the very drift of truth. A()drift, too, in language. This double displacement could provide a context for a careful reading of the recently published text of Heidegger's lecture course of 1942-3 entitled Parmenides.10 For that entire text, beginning with the Parmenidean words on/of the goddess truth, is addressed single-mindedly to the question of truth, perhaps most notably to recovering the meaning of truth and of untruth and to retelling the most momentous story told by the Greeks about truth and untruth, the |xv8o<; told at the end of Plato's Republic. One could perhaps even characterize the text Parmenides as an assembling of the elements of the double displacement. Let me limit my reading to a single short passage. It occurs near the beginning of the text. Heidegger has introduced dX^Oeia and proposed


218 John Sallis the translation: Unverborgenheit - let us say: unconcealment. The word itself contains two indications, points in two directions in which Unverborgenheit can be investigated: (1) to Verborgenheit (concealment); and (2) to an overcoming of Verborgenheit, a kind of strife with concealment. These indications suffice to allow Heidegger to propose that truth is never simply present in and of itself but rather is something contested in strife with concealment, from which it must be wrested. Truth has one might say - always already drifted away into untruth. The third direction thus indicated is that of truth as standing in ' "oppositional" relations' (' "gegensatzliche" Beziehungen').11 It is a matter, then, of asking about the counter-essence (Gegenwesen) of d\r|8eia. Or, rather, of asking about the word for the counter-essence of dXiqGeia. Almost immediately the interrogation has drifted into language. An interrogation of A/n0â&#x201A;Źs and of i|>ei38os commences, a discussion of the fundamental meaning (Grundbedeutung) of each. But the discussion is abruptly broken off, or, rather, it is interrupted, and before resuming it on the following page, Heidegger inserts two very remarkable paragraphs.12 It is to this passage that I want especially to call attention. The passage begins: In the attempt to trace the fundamental meanings of words and expressions, we are, to be sure, not infrequently guided by an inadequate conception of language as such, from which then arise the familiar erroneous judgments concerning the investigation of fundamental meanings. We ought not think that the words of a language initially possess pure fundamental meanings and that with the passage of time the latter get lost and become deformed. The fundamental and root meaning remains quite concealed [verborgen] and appears only in what one calls the 'derivative'. Words are not like coins which with the passage of time, with the passage from hand to hand, get so effaced that their inscriptions become more and more difficult to discern. Words do not, in this sense, get worn out, used up; the very model of use and wear arises from an inadequate conception of language. The fundamental meanings of words do not get effaced in the course of time, through use or perhaps misuse, but rather are always already effaced, concealed, apparent only in what is already derivative. The root appears only in the stem. The passage continues: But this designation is misleading, because it presupposes that somewhere there is for itself a 'pure fundamental meaning', from which others are then 'derived'. These erroneous conceptions, which even today still govern the science of language, have their source in the


Meaning adrift 219 fact that the first reflection on language, Greek grammar, was developed under the guidance of 'logic', i.e., of the theory of the saying of assertion [vom Sagen der Aussagen], as the theory of the proposition [als Satzlehre]. According to this theory propositions are composed of words, and words designate 'concepts'. The latter indicate what is represented [vorgestellt] universally along with words. This 'universal' of the concept one then regards as 'the fundamental meaning'. The 'derivatives' are particularizations of the universal. An erroneous conception, still in force today, has arisen from the Greek reflection on language, from the reflection on language carried out both within and then under the guidance of Greek philosophy, preeminently the philosophy of Plato and of Aristotle, that is, at the beginning of metaphysics. That reflection proceeds according to the theory of the proposition as composed of words, the latter designating concepts or universals - that is, meanings as classically defined, fundamental meanings in distinction from the more particular meanings that can derive from and even serve to conceal the fundamental meanings. It goes almost without saying that this reflection on language, setting meaning over against word, over against language, is inseparable from the metaphysical tale of the true world over against the world of appearing things. And equally, that this reflection is precisely the one that now that the true world has finally become a fable - the phenomenological analyses of Being and Time radically displace by demonstrating that assertion is a derived (abkiinftig) mode of interpretation; and that the apophantical 'as', according to which the proposition would be assembled from words designating meanings already detached from the world of appearances, is secondary in relation to the hermeneutical 'as' and a corresponding speech that would be attuned to meaning adrift in the world.13 But what is the erroneous conception that has arisen from the Greek, i.e., metaphysical, reflection on language? Heidegger is explicit: It is the supposition that somewhere there is for itself such a thing as fundamental meaning. Somewhere - not only beyond derivative meanings, but, more critically, beyond the designating words, beyond in a subsistence for themselves, independent of those words, capable even of drifting away behind the cover of 'derivative' meanings, of having always already begun drifting away, of drifting away just as, according to that history of an error told by Nietzsche, the true world has drifted away out of sight, beyond recall. Something to be abolished. The passage concludes: Yet, when in connection with our investigation we think about fundamental meaning [auf die Grundbedeutung hindenken], we are guided


220 John Sallis by an entirely different conception of the word and of language. To think that we are pursuing a so-called 'word-philosophy', which sorts out everything on the basis of mere word-meanings, is, to be sure, a very comfortable opinion, but also one so superficial that it cannot even any longer be designated as a false opinion. What we call the fundamental meaning of words is that about them that is originary [ist ihr Anfangliches], which never appears at first but only in the end, and even then never as a detached and prepared structure [als ein abgelostes und prdpariertes Gebilde] that we could represent for itself. So-called fundamental meaning holds sway concealedly in all the ways that words have of telling [in alien Sageweisen der jeweiligen Worte]. Once meaning has - as the true world - drifted away out of sight, it comes - unless understood outside the classical definition - to be mere word-meaning, virtual meaninglessness; and nothing could be more superficial than to sort out everything on the basis of such word-meanings, except perhaps to mistake for such a 'word-philosophy' an attentiveness to the meaning of words as that which is originary in them. Fundamental meaning, displaced from the metaphysical opposition that has always determined it, is, then, that which is originary about words, that which, invoked by them, housed in them, lets things originate, come forth into self-showing. The originary in language is nothing other than world, d\r|0â&#x201A;ŹLa, the open site of self-showing. It is also what lets metaphysics itself originate, enclosing the founding oppositions of metaphysics so as to delimit and yet withhold itself from metaphysics, remaining inaccessible, never appearing at first, in the beginning, in the origination, but only in the end, only when the drift of the true world finally transgresses the limit. It is not something detached that can be represented for itself, not only because all representing is already drawn along into its drift but also because it is itself drawn into the drift of language, holding sway in the ways that words have of telling. Suppose that the originary, which can be called truth and world, were now to be called the true world. And suppose that one were to tell then of how the true world drifts along in the drift of language, in the ways that words have of telling, in their Sageweisen, or - letting the translation itself now drift ever so slightly - in the styles (Weisen) in which a fable (Sage) can be told. One would then have begun again to tell - though with an ever-so-decisive twist - the story of how the true world finally became a fable.


Meaning adrift

221

Notes Originally published in Heidegger Studies, vol. 1 (1985). 1 Heidegger, Nietzsche, 1: 233. 2 Nietzsche, Gotzen-Dammerung, 74f. 3 ibid., 51. 4 'Geschichte eines Irrthums': The subtitle of the section 'Wie die "wahre Welt" endlich zur Fabel wurde.' 5 This contrast derives from Plato's Sophist, from the same context as that from which Heidegger takes the passage with which Being and Time begins (244a). Cf. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 1, 2, 6. 6 This peculiar inclusion is outlined most directly in the following passage from The end of philosophy and the task of thinking': 'No look [Aussehen] without light - Plato already knew this. But there is no light and no brightness without the clearing [Lichtung].' Zur Sache des Denkens, 74. In this text it is d\r|6eLa that is being thought as clearing. A similar indication, but in direct reference to Husserl, is given in Being and Time: 'Even the phenomenological "intuition of essences" ["Wesenschau"] is grounded in existential understanding' (Sein und Zeit, 147). 7 Cf. Sein und Zeit, §18. 8 Cf. ibid., §§28, 34. 9 Cf. Zur Sache des Denkens, 77. 10 Parmenides, Freiburger Vorlesung Wintersemester 1942/3, vol. 54 of Gesamtausgabe. 11 ibid., 27. 12 ibid., 31-2. 13 Cf. Sein und Zeit, §33.


43 Poetry and language in Heidegger Walter Biemel

There are two ways of dealing with the difficulties presented by Heidegger's thought: either it can be analyzed and criticized from the outside, or an effort can be made to understand it from the inside. Let us look closely at the first possibility. It is in no way difficult to pin Heidegger's position down to certain theses and then to argue that these theses are untenable because they do not harmonize with the way of questioning one has adopted. This approach suggests itself especially if one tries to measure Heidegger with traditional conceptual schemes. In that case it soon becomes clear that this cannot be done; but this can mean two things: either that Heidegger's position is indeed untenable or that such an approach is intolerable. Obviously, the interpreter will most likely defend the first alternative; otherwise he would have to give up his own position and thus revoke his own interpretation. The difficulty which hides behind this approach, however, is even greater. When a thinker, in carefully considering tradition, tries to call it into question, his gradual abandoning of the language of tradition is inherent in his attempt. This can be shown very clearly in Heidegger; in Being and Time there already is no longer room for the traditional subject-object problematic, and a new way of understanding man is inaugurated, with the concept of 'Dasein'. It can be shown further that such concepts as 'phenomenology' and 'ontology', which are found in Being and Time, are later avoided. In fact, in Being and Time the concept of phenomenology is already substantially modified. The questioning back for the ground, which governs Heidegger's thought for such a long time, is finally superseded too in his last writings. All of this is merely meant to explain how, while thought proceeds, the language of thought changes. If an interpretive assessment is attempted from the viewpoint of traditional language, precisely that which constituted progress will be reproved by the interpreter because it does not harmonize with his position.


Poetry and language in Heidegger 223 This difficulty must not be underestimated. We necessarily seek access to Heidegger from the standpoint of the tradition of Western metaphysics in which we stand. We are so biased by this tradition that we do not see how he moves away precisely from it. This moving away finds its linguistic expression in the phrase 'the overcoming of metaphysics'. In an interpretation based on this tradition Heidegger can easily be reproached with what, from his point of view, is precisely the advantage of his presentation, and his language, which frees itself from metaphysics, can be unnotedly retranslated into the language of metaphysics. As we have noticed already, this retransformation, although it seems to facilitate understanding, in fact makes understanding impossible; for that which is then 'understood' is no longer what Heidegger means but that from which he pushes himself away. It is then not difficult to advance criticisms, but these (in the final analysis at least) miss the point. What about the second possibility? Here an attempt is made to arrive at Heidegger's position with a leap and then to remain there. What Heidegger says is no longer translated into a 'foreign' language and thus alienated, but now another difficulty arises - namely, that it is no longer apparent what explanatory steps were necessary in order to move into this new position. There is a false impression that Heidegger simply jumped out of the tradition one day and forcibly started something new; at the same time there is an impression of a relapse into the archaic something new that is opposed to what is genuinely new. Such an interpretation is usually limited to repeating what Heidegger has said already, so the question immediately arises: What is the value of such an interpretation? Is it not merely a poor copy of the original? There is also the question of whether the interpreter is really speaking from Heidegger's attitude or whether he merely believes he is doing so. There is thus a certain presumption in this way of speaking. The interpreter passes himself off as Heidegger, knows what is meant by this concept and that one, and can therefore save himself the trouble of traveling the laborious route over which Heidegger has gone. The interpreter even seems to be more fully informed of Heidegger's thought than Heidegger is himself. Strictly speaking, however, his interpretation is no more than a toilsome stuttering in which, however, neither the toil nor the stuttering are admitted. The movement in Heidegger's attempt at thinking from the very beginning until this very moment is thus denied; the interpreter acts as if Heidegger's insights sprang straight from a sudden inspiration, whereas Heidegger continually refers explicitly to the necessity of the movement and the execution and even wishes his entire thought to be understood as pathway. Hegel has already rebuffed the presumption of wanting to possess the results without traveling the road that leads to them. However, Heidegger cannot be hastily identified with Hegel; the characteristic of absolute certainty, which Hegel's philosophy


224 Walter Biemel possesses, is not found in Heidegger, and this is certainly not just by chance. Heidegger is not pretending modesty when he allows a questionableness to hover over all his searching. We are here not in the position of absolute subjects for whom knowledge and truth coincide. This way of interpreting in which the interpreter argues that he stands within Heidegger's thought and is fully acquainted with it, would be rejected by Heidegger because it is not in harmony with the caution of his proceeding and the movement of his thought. Moreover, this kind of speaking about Heidegger contains a precipitance that contradicts the style of his thought. If both possibilities of interpretation - the one that alienates from the outside and the one that overleaps from the inside - are inadequate, what are we then to do? We must begin by admitting that we are wholly unable to give an interpretation. An interpretation must be revealing. It must be able to show what lies hidden in a thought, on what that thought is grounded, what dimensions are opened up by it, and thus what margin for questioning is freed by it; and, where possible, the interpretation must be able to show what kind of change in understanding is brought about by that thought. None of this can be done as long as Heidegger's thought is the issue at stake. We can present criticisms of his thought, we can rebel against it, and we may try to unmask it or find delight in it; but in the final analysis all of this remains unimportant. To this day a genuine dialogue with Heidegger has never taken place because the partner for such a dialogue is lacking and because, strictly speaking, we remain strange to his thought. It is more honest to admit this strangeness than to pretend that what is said here is already known and familiar. In this paper I will try to make some of this strangeness visible. This paper is not an interpretation; it cannot lay claim to such a title. If it should succeed in coming somewhat closer to Heidegger, I will be satisfied. It will not hide the difficulties that reading Heidegger has in store for us, but it will not act as if Heidegger is necessarily to be blamed for them. If a genuine discussion with Heidegger is ever to take place, preparatory work must be done; this text may be understood as a contribution to such preparatory work. In order to experience something of the movement that is inherent in Heidegger's thought and to avoid the impression that his last and most strange insights emerged like a flash of lightning, I would like to pursue the following course. First I will briefly discuss the conception of language in Being and Time. Then, corresponding to the theme of this essay, I will describe language and poetry as found in The origin of the work of art' and 'Holderlin and the essence of poetry', texts which stem from the period of the mid-1930s. Finally, a discussion of the later texts on language will consider those aspects of Heidegger's thought which are the most difficult and most strange.1


Poetry and language in Heidegger 225 Language in Being and Time Language plays an important part already in Being and Time. In accordance with the existential-ontological formulation of the question which aims at freeing the structure of Dasein and which shows that the structural moments possess a constitutive function in regard to Dasein, language is shown to be such a structural moment (Existenzial). We need not elaborate here on the character of this analysis or on how Heidegger conceives of Dasein as Being-in-the-world. In chapter 5 of Being and Time the meaning of 'Being-in' is explained: Da-sein as moodness (sec. 29), Da-sein as primordial understanding (sec. 31), and Da-sein as logos - language (sec. 34). Heidegger says at the beginning of section 34 that 'the fundamental existentialia which constitute the Being of the "there", the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world, are primordial mood and primordial understanding'.2 He leaves logos out of consideration in order to be able to make visible first what is characteristic of the immediate openness of Dasein in primordial mood and then the peculiarity of primordial understanding which belongs to Dasein in such an original way that Dasein can ek-sist only as understanding. Therefore, primordial understanding comprises the entire complex of Being-in-the-world - that is, the meaningfulness as basic structure of the world and the possibility of Dasein's own power to be. In so doing Heidegger shows that primordial understanding dwells always in the dimension of possibilities, because it is not a particular act of man but something that is founded in Dasein's original project - and the project constitutes the leeway of the power to be. 'As long as it is, Dasein always has understood itself and always will understand itself in terms of possibilities.'3 Without understanding there is no Dasein. Dasein possesses the possibility of expressly appropriating to itself the understanding within which it keeps itself; for this Heidegger uses the term interpretation {Auslegung). 'Interpretation [is not] the acquiring of information about what is understood; it is rather the working-out of possibilities projected in understanding.' Heidegger further defines assertion, in contrast with interpretation, as 'a pointing-out which gives something a definite character and which communicates'.4 Assertion is possible only on the ground of that which is already made accessible in understanding. The question of how far Heidegger considers assertion to be a derivative mode of interpretation need not be dealt with here. What is important is the fact that it is founded in primordial understanding. What new element emerges with logos when Heidegger attributes to logos such significance that he introduces it as being equiprimordial with moodness and understanding?5 Logos is first determined as 'the articulation of intelligibility'. In order to forestall misunderstanding logos as something supplementary in regard to interpretation and assertion


226 Walter Biemel (something like the mere report of what was already 'thought'), Heidegger says expressly that it is at the root of interpretation and assertion. What becomes articulated in logos is its meaning (Sinn). The intelligibility of Being-in-the-world - an intelligibility which goes with a mood, expresses itself as logos.'6 Original mood, understanding, and logos constitute a structural unity. Any context of meaning that was disclosed in primordial understanding is now spoken out in words. Primordial understanding always moves within contexts of meaning (cf. the concept of world as total meaningfulness). For these meanings words are created; words are necessary for one to utter meanings. Words do not exist for themselves as things to be supplied with meanings, but their Being is justified by the fact that they can manifest meanings. Since meanings and contexts of meanings become accessible in understanding, words are needed to make them comprehensible. It is in logos that 'the "significant" articulation of the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world' occurs.7 What must first be maintained in this determination is the relationships among moodness (original being open for . . .), understanding, and logos (articulation of moodlike understanding); they form a unity, articulated in a threefold way, in which Dasein ek-sists. Logos is in no way to be equated with language. In this period of Heidegger's thought logos, in contradistinction to the usual meaning of the word, is the constitutive moment, and language is merely 'the way in which logos gets expressed'.8 Language is that through which logos makes itself mundane; through language it becomes an element of the world and can be treated like other things found in the world. Let us briefly consider the conception of logos as communication. The presupposition of communication is Being-with. Dasein is always with other Dasein and need not first secure the existence of its fellow men by means of artificial operations. In this Being-with Dasein understands itself and the other, as well as the world in which they, in each case, are; the other is at the same time given to Dasein in its own moodness as 'being tuned', although this giving might very well be subject to illusion. This sharing of the common experience that is immediately lived is expressly articulated in communication. Only because Dasein is Beingwith, in Heidegger's view, is communication - that is, the explicit utterance of the gained experience in which Dasein in each case finds itself - possible. For this reason also, strictly speaking, communication is only possible among Dasein having a common experience of world. A report of the extreme living conditions on an exploring expedition becomes communication only if the reader is able to picture the conditions as possibilities that eventually could happen to his own existence. If this is impossible, then what is accessible through reading is not genuinely understood, does not become communication, but remains a 'foreign matter' (Fremdkorper). Communication thus does not create community


Poetry and language in Heidegger 227 but presupposes a lived community which through communication merely experiences its explicit articulation. Dasein expresses itself in communication; this is not an uttering of something that was inside but an articulation of Dasein's Being-outside; it brings into work the original mood in which fellow men and environment encounter one another, as well as fellow men's understanding of environment and Being-with. The leading idea in Heidegger's arguments about logos is the following: In logos the intelligibility of Being-in-the-world (an intelligibility which goes with moodness) is articulated according to significations; and logos is this articulation.'9 Heidegger thus does not take as his point of departure a subject which has the ability to speak, to disclose with words what is inside; his point of departure is the basic structure of Dasein as Being-in-the-world. Logos is considered from the viewpoint of this basic structure; it is nothing but the articulation of each concrete Being-in-theworld and implies all of the moments that belong to Being-in-the-world. As far as logos is concerned, utterance is not the decisive moment; each utterance is founded in the specific mode of Being-in-the-world. Heidegger distinguishes four moments in logos: the 'about which' (that which the talk is about), the announcement (that which is said in the talk), the communication (taken here in the narrow sense), and the manifestation (that which is uncovered by logos). In Being and Time this distinction is only briefly mentioned; later, particularly the moment of manifestation (in the sense of uncovering or freeing) comes more and more to the fore, and this element then leads to the connection between logos and truth. But here we wish to draw attention only to the relation between logos and listening. Dasein is able to hear because it is determined by openness. In listening, Dasein is with the other and what he says; here we pay attention primarily not to words and speech but to that which is uncovered by them. Modulation, rhythm, and everything that can be said to belong to the modes of speech are subordinated to a manifestation, or, it can also be said, to the engagement, of the speaker to the thing which is at stake. In other words, the manner of saying is heard also, not in order to stick to it, but in order to make understandable the relation, the attitude of the speaker in regard to the events brought forth. Thus, via logos, we are with the thing itself and immediately with the attitude of the speaker in regard to the thing. In Being and Time Heidegger reproaches linguistics because, in its conception of logos as utterance (Aussage), it attempts to conceive of language by taking the present-at-hand as guiding clue, as if language were a presentat-hand mundane thing, and because the mode of Being characteristic of language is therefore not expressly thematized. This is an idea which governs Being and Time, an idea which circles around the differences among the Being characteristic of man, the intramundane ready-to-hand, and that which is merely present-at-hand. This distinction is the


228 Walter Biemel presupposition which is necessary in order genuinely to ask the question concerning the meaning of Being. This brief characterization of Being and Time's formulation of the problem in no way exhausts what is said there about logos and language but is intended to be merely an introduction to the context in which logos is seen there and what it means to understand logos as an existential of man's being-in-the-world. Language and poetry In The origin of the work of art', which was written in 1935, expanded in 1936, and published in Holzwege in 1950, Heidegger says, 'All art, as the letting come to pass of the advent of the truth of beings as such, is in essence poetry'.10 An explanation of this sentence will be presented which, it is hoped, will show a development in Heidegger's thought about language. It is necessary in this regard to give a comprehensive presentation of the truth concept, a central concept of Heidegger's thought.11 In 'On the essence of truth', the first draft of which originated in the early 1930s and which may thus be drawn upon here, Heidegger begins with a description of the current concept of truth: truth as conformity. This conformity can be understood in two ways. (1) The thing tallies (stimmt); it can be seen as that which corresponds with what we possess of it as foreknowledge. The thing upholds, as it were, the scheme in which it is thought. True friendship, for instance, fulfills all conditions that we connect with the concept of friendship. (2) The proper place of truth, however, is preferably put in the realm of judgment; one may say that this has been done since Aristotle, although there is still another conception of truth in Aristotle, just as Heidegger has shown. According to this conception, what is stated in the assertion conforms to reality (to the thing). 'Veritas est adequatio rei et intellectus', as it has been said in medieval philosophy. The term adequatio can be understood in a twofold way. Man's intellect conforms to the things created by God; on the other hand, things conform to the intellectus - not man's, however, but God's, since they come into Being according to God's Idea. 'Both concepts of the essence of veritas always mean a conforming to and thus conceive truth as correctness.'12 That man's intellect is able to conform itself to things is shown by the fact that both man and thing are mutually coordinated on the ground of the divine plan of creation. Heidegger is not satisfied with this concept of truth, which is maintained even in modern times, although the Christian system of the world no longer possesses authority as ultimate truth. Heidegger asks more fundamentally for that which makes conformity at all possible. In order for an assertion to conform with the thing, the thing itself must be in


Poetry and language in Heidegger 229 the realm of the open, appear as something manifest, be present. The one who makes the assertion must in turn take his domicile in the same domain so that the relevant thing may encounter him. In Heidegger's formulation, The assertion must derive its correctness from the openness [Lichtung] of the comportment'.13 Truth is thus understood from the viewpoint of the openness in which both the thing and the man who comports with this thing find themselves. This openness, however, is in no way to be seen as a pure clearing in which what was in the dark before becomes gradually brighter and brighter, the eventual goal being maximum brightness. It might be understood, rather, as a medium that at each time lets certain determinate traits come to the fore so that the being is able to show itself according to the openness that has been achieved. Therefore, the openness is subject to change. The openness of classical Greek thought (that is, of the Greek world) is different from the openness of the medieval world view, and the modern openness is, once again, quite different from both. This change is, for Heidegger, the fundamental change of history. In the passage quoted earlier from The origin of the work of art', Heidegger defines art as 'the letting come to pass of the advent of the truth of beings as such'; by this he means that art is the 'bringing about' of the openness. 'It is from the poetizing essence of art that it comes to pass that [art] erects in the midst of beings an open place in whose openness everything is different from usual'.14 By speaking of 'letting come to pass' rather than of simply 'positing' or 'creating', Heidegger implies that in the final analysis the taking place of the openness is not merely an achievement of man but that, as it were, man can receive only what Being itself sends him and may open himself to or shut himself off from this. Art is eminently a possibility for opening, for meeting. What until now has been the genuine poetizing element of art thus becomes the change of the openness by which being is able to show itself, to appear. At the end of his interpretation of the Greek concept of aletheia, Heidegger also uses the term unconcealment instead of openness. The effect of a work does not consist in a working. It consists in a change in the unconcealment of beings which comes to pass through the work, and this means a change in the unconcealment of Being.'15 Being means here 'Being-ness'; how beings in the ensemble become accessible depends on the unconcealment. What comes to pass in poetry is not the inventing of occurrences and events, as this is attributed to our poetizing fantasy, but the openness in whose open being makes its appearance, shows itself, is. The change is here conceived of as 'clearing project' - a project in which what is projected is the clearing (the openness). Later, Heidegger clearly specifies the character of this project in such a way that it is not man who 'throws out', but Being itself. The expression 'letting come to pass', which was quoted earlier and which


230 Walter Biemel also appears in the following sentence, points in the same direction. 'What poetry as clearing project unfolds in the way of unconcealment and pro-jects to the rift of the form is the open which lets the unconcealment come to pass in such a way that in the midst of beings the open makes the beings shine and sound forth.'16 If what is poetized in poetry is the openness, and if poetry is the essence of art, it may be understood that all other arts are to be reduced to poetic art in the narrow sense of poetry. However, this is not what Heidegger means in The origin of the work of art'. He conceives of poetry here so broadly that it is the basic condition of all art, including the art of language (Sprachkunst). But why draw upon this essay if our main interest is in language? The reason is that in a second move Heidegger expressly shows interest in the art of language, to which he grants 'a privileged position in the whole of the arts'. That is why we must first overcome the current conception of language as 'communication'. 'Language is not only and primarily a phonetic and written expression of that which is to be communicated.' Heidegger is criticizing the view that language forwards by means of words what is already manifest. He confronts this view with his interpretation that 'language first and foremost brings being as a being into the open'.17 In naming a being one first makes it appear. Where there is no naming, there is no openness. Therefore, Heidegger equates saying with the project of the clearing; through saying, unconcealment comes into being. Thus, what Heidegger stated previously in regard to art as poetry (taken in a broad sense) he now concretizes with the help of the example of naming. Through naming, beings first become accessible as beings; it is the condition necessary for them to be recognized and used as determinate beings. This becoming accessible of beings as beings, this uncovering of their beingness, is unconcealment. This must not be understood as if beings were present before but in a state of concealment; unconcealment means, rather, the entering into Being as appearance. Through unconcealment there is being for man; being is integrated into the project of world. According to the way in which this happens the history of a certain nation comes to pass, and its essence becomes materialized. Something peculiar is taking place here. Heidegger starts with poetry in the broad sense of the term in order to proceed to poetry in the narrow sense. But even before he speaks of poetry in the narrow sense, it becomes clear that what comes to pass in language coincides with the essence of art as poetizing which was first outlined. The explanations concerning language thus do not bring us anywhere other than where we were already in the first delineation of the essence of art; on the contrary, we have returned to it. This circumscription of the essence of art becomes concretized to the extent that language is that through which openness (unconcealment) comes to pass. This naming first nominates


Poetry and language in Heidegger 231 a being to its Being, and from this Being. Such a naming is a projecting of lighting in which is expressed the manner in which being comes into the open.'18 Heidegger does not go into detail as to how in the various languages different worlds come to the fore; that would be beyond the scope of this reflection on art. In his lectures, however, he refers repeatedly to the differences between the Greek and the Roman worlds in relation to the differences between their languages. The train of thought of Heidegger's essay on the work of art undergoes a change when he asks 'whether art, specifically taken in all its modes from architecture to poesy, exhausts the essence of poetry'.19 Here he is pointing out that we may not limit ourselves to art in order to experience what poetry means but that we must appeal to thought in order to comprehend what occurs in poetry. This idea occupies Heidegger through his latest works.20 Let us now return to language. 'Language itself is poetry in the essential sense. Because language is that event in which for the first time being as being is disclosed to man, poesy [poetry in the narrow sense] is the original poetry in the essential sense.'21 How is this statement to be understood? To understand it, we must explain the relationship between language and poesy. For poesy to be possible, man must move in the realm of language, must disclose to himself being through the medium of language. Within this domain poesy occupies a privileged position; it is expressly and exclusively dedicated to the disclosure of being. Poesy completes what is set up in language, that at which language aims. The arts which do not realize themselves in the realm of language presuppose the disclosure of being through language. 'Each of them is a special poetizing within the clearing of Being, which, wholly unnoticed, already came to pass in language.'22 We must therefore distinguish an original clearing such as that which comes to pass in language from that which, within the clearing that already has taken place, establishes itself in a determinate way and gains a foothold there. Heidegger limits himself in this regard to concise remarks. Only one wishes that his analysis of this distinction were more concrete - for instance, showing how the Greek world, founded by its language, finds expression and reaches its completion in architecture. Without a doubt Greek architecture supposes a determinate conception of the essence of the gods and of the relationshp of man to the gods. If the divine had not first been said in language, it would have been meaningless, even impossible, to erect memorials to the gods. In these memorials, sacred woods and temples, a certain measure is revealed, an order having an effect on the lived self-understanding of the Greek man and influencing him by forming him. Within the history of a nation, one form of art can temporarily occupy a privileged position and can give


232 Walter Biemel new impulses, whether this be architecture, painting, or music; but in each case language is already there. The question now is whether language can decay in a certain way and whether one of the arts can guard the openness. We have seen that the essence of art is poetry. The essence of poetry, in turn, is establishing the truth, the articulated clearing in which Being comes to pass. In The origin of the work of art' this establishment is seen in a threefold manner: as bestowing, founding, and beginning. Bestowing is understood as the making available of what is new, which 'never can be compensated or equaled by what is present-at-hand and available', and thus possesses the character of abundance. Founding frees the historical ground on which a nation stands. Beginning is the instigation of the agonistic essence of truth. The genuine beginning, as a leap, is always a leap forward in which all that is to come is already overleaped, albeit as something which is still veiled.'23 This digression has shown how Heidegger understands language as poetry in connection with the essence of truth; that which comes to pass in art is 'an excellent manner in which truth is - that is, historically comes to be'. As historical, art is 'the creating preservation of the truth in the work'.24 When art comes to pass, a nation begins a new epoch in its history. In 1936, approximately one year after writing The origin of the work of art', Heidegger takes up the theme of poetry again, in his lecture 'Holderlin and the essence of poetry'. For Heidegger, Holderlin is the poet par excellence. Because he poetizes the essence of poetry, he can be questioned about it. Heidegger borrows five sayings from Holderlin and, in explaining them, presents the essence of poetry and that of the poet. 1. [Poetizing is] that most innocent of all occupations. 2. Therefore language has been given to man as the most dangerous of possessions . . . in order that he may testify to what he is. 3. Man has experienced many things And many of the heavenly ones has he named Since the time we are a dialogue And able to hear from one another. 4. But what remains is established by the poets. 5. Full of merit, and yet poetically, dwells man on this earth.25 Since my intention here is not to present the relationship between Heidegger and Holderlin but to deal with language and poetry, I will draw attention only to those passages of explanation which contribute something to this purpose. In Heidegger's explanation of the second saying, the following state-


Poetry and language in Heidegger 233 ment is found: 'In order that history be possible, language has been given to man.'26 This is completely in harmony with the explanation from The origin of the work of art'. In language man may testify as to who he is; in language the constitution of a world comes to pass. Heidegger maintains the relation between language and openness also when he says: 'But now it is only by virtue of language at all that man is exposed to what is open, which as being besets and inflames man in his Dasein and as not-being deceives and disappoints him.'27 Without language there would be no experience of being; there would be no realm of what is open, in which all doing and undergoing of man takes place. Heidegger sees the danger that Holderlin attributes to language in several ways. The first of these is to be understood from Heidegger's basic statement 'Danger is the menace of being to Being'.28 Language as danger can also mean that what is freed and at the same time preserved in language by no means needs to be the most noble; it can just as well be the most vulgar. Language can also become an illusion - the unessential can pretend to be the essential. All of these latter statements constitute a resumption of the arguments central to 'The origin of the work of art': Language is not a mere tool that man possesses in addition to many others; on the contrary, it is only language that affords man the very possibility of standing in the openness of Being. Only where there is language is there a world, i.e., the perpetually changing environment of decision and work, of action and responsibility, but also of arbitrariness and noise, of decay and confusion. Only where world holds sway is there history. . . . Language is not a tool which is at man's disposal but rather that event which disposes of the supreme possibility of man's being.29 In this manner Heidegger wishes to remove the common comprehension of language as a means of communication and to make language the basic event of man's Being. In the third saying language is conceived of as a dialogue in which the gods get a hearing and a world appears. Being able to talk and being able to hear are seen as equiprimordial, just as the naming of the gods and the appearance of the world are also simultaneous with language. In this connection the naming of the gods is possible only if they address themselves to us. (This parallels Heidegger's conception of Being - that it can be experienced only if it addresses itself to us.) This dialogue is mediated by the poets. In these comments a distinction must be made between what Heidegger has Holderlin say - for instance, about conflict, intimacy, and the gods - and what Heidegger himself says about language and unconcealment.


234 Walter Biemel In the discussion of the fourth saying Heidegger says, 'Poetry is establishment by and in the word'. The idea with which we are already familiar - namely, that what is established is the open - is further developed as follows: That which supports and holds sway over all that is must become manifest. Being must be disclosed in order that beings may appear.' That which is open of the Open is here explicitly called 'Being'; and Heidegger refers to the way in which Being is in need of man, is entrusted to man, in the same way as in Holderlin everything heavenly is 'entrusted to the poets as a matter of care and service. . . . When the poet speaks the essential word, being is by this name first nominated as that which it is. Poetry is the establishment of Being by means of the word.'30 Taking up what was said in 'The origin of the work of art', Heidegger sees the establishment of the open as simultaneous and somehow identical with grounding. 'The saying of the poets is establishment not only in the sense of the free bestowal but at the same time in the sense of the firm grounding of man's Dasein on its ground.'31 Heidegger later overcomes this idea of establishment as positing, as we shall see, and considers it to be a hidden echo of the philosophy of German idealism. We started with the view that poetry needs language in order to be able to be; it appears that in the course of this presentation a change has taken place. Poetry that makes what is open possible at the same time makes language possible. The essence of language must be understood from the essence of poetry. Heidegger therefore calls poetry the aboriginal language - that is, what is at the root of language. In this connection poetry is then understood in the specific sense, as the disclosure of unconcealment, not as poesy. It can thus be maintained that in this period of Heidegger's thought the essence of language is understood from the essence of poetry. 'The ground of human Dasein is the dialogue in which language does truly come to pass. The aboriginal language is poetry as establishment of Being.'32 From poetry understood as aboriginal language, Heidegger then comes to see the poets as Holderlin sees them - namely, as the mediators between gods and men. The poet's establishing is hereby conceived of as an independent act but, at the same time, as an act of highest necessity. The naming of the gods presupposes that the gods grant themselves to be known through signs mediated to the nation by the poets. On the other hand, however, the poets are bound also to the myths of a nation, in which the historical good is preserved; and it is their duty to explain these myths. In Holderlin's definition of the essence of the poet, Heidegger sees a verification of his interpretation of poetry as a coming to pass of the truth; the idea is taken from Holderlin but is formulated by Heidegger in his own language. Heidegger experiences yet another point in Holderlin in which the two meet one another. Holderlin's definition of the essence of poetry cannot


Poetry and language in Heidegger 235 be atemporal, for man's existence is historical. Therefore, the time for which this definition holds good is specified, namely, the time in which the gods have flown and the coming of God is expected. Heidegger uncovers the kinship between this point of Holderlin's and his own thought, which is understood as the revealing of Being's forgottenness of Being's withdrawal - and as preparation for a possibly new approach. The expression 'needy time' also holds true for the way in which Heidegger interprets metaphysics and its being overcome. The coming to an end of the epoch of metaphysics and the preparation for the time of thought is the 'needy time' of that philosophizing which prepares for the transition to thought.33 Poetizing and thought We must now attempt the leap to Heidegger's later texts on language, written in the 1950s, two decades after the Holderlin lecture. In his introduction to three lectures entitled The essence of language', Heidegger formulates the issue: 'to gain an experience with language'. This cannot mean that we should engage in experiments with language but that, 'once we become attentive to our relationship to language', we should reflect on our abode in language.34 In other words, we should become fully aware of something that immediately concerns our own Being. Heidegger refers expressly to the fact that the issue is not to gather knowledge about language in the sense of metalanguage and metahnguistics. The question is therefore not merely one of criticism of another possibility of dealing with language. Heidegger makes it clear from the beginning that his questioning concerning the essence of language will no longer take place within the perspective of modern metaphysics and that the investigations in the sense of metalanguage remain dominated by that perspective. 'Metahnguistics is the metaphysics of the universal technification of all languages into the only functioning interplanatory instrument of information.'35 In opposition to the scientific and philosophical knowledge of language, he proposes 'to gain an experience with language'. It might be added here that the issue is to try to get close to language in a thoughtful way; for in Heidegger's view philosophy and thought are basically different ways of approach.36 In the experience with language one must try to have language bring itself up for discussion. Language has the special characteristic that we live in it, are familiar with it, and deal with it without catching sight of it. We continuously heed what becomes accessible to us through language and thereby overlook language itself. In order to get out of this position Heidegger again appeals to the poet, not merely because he has a privileged relationship to language but because he brings this relationship up


236 Walter Biemel for discussion. Whereas Holderlin poetizes the essence of the poet, Stefan George poetizes the relationship with language, our experience with language. This is why at the center of these explanations Heidegger interprets George's poem The word' (published in 1919). I brought to the border of my country Miracles from afar or dreams And waited until the fierce Fate (Nome) Found their name in her well. Thereupon I was able to grasp it tight and strong Now it blooms and shines through this mark. . . . Once after a good journey I arrived With a gem rich and tender She searched for a long time and told me, There is nothing like it among the things which sleep in these depths.' Thereupon it escaped from my hand And my country never gained that treasure. . . . Thus I sadly learned the renunciation: 'No thing be there where the word is lacking.'37 One could immediately object that George's way of writing poetry, which tends to what is 'pathetically precious', no longer has anything to offer us. He is scarcely known, let alone read, by today's youth. His way of writing poetry is barely possible today, just as it is no longer possible to compose in the manner of Wagner. However, although George is obviously not 'up to date', it is possible that in his poem something of our experience with language becomes manifest, something that outlasts and surpasses his pretentious style of writing. Art can never be measured in terms of its popularity. This poem is dedicated completely to the poet's experience with the word. The first stanza describes the power of the poet. He is able to collect astonishing things, as well as what has been seen in dreams, for which the Fate goddess grants him names. In this way the being which already is becomes fully manifest through its word, manifest also for others. Through the names, the poet secures what he has seen. A climax of the poetic activity is shown here. What the poet is able to grasp is hereby also accessible to others. Even the exceptional ('Miracles from afar or dreams') is brought close to his fellow men, albeit only with the help of the Fate goddess. By ending the stanza in the present tense ('Now it blooms and shines through this mark'), the poet shows the persisting, the presencing, which comes to pass in this poetizing in which the names receive power over the things.


Poetry and language in Heidegger 237 In contrast with this, ip the second stanza the poet mentions an experience in which he brings to the name-giving not something that comes from afar but something that lies in the hand (auf der Hand liegendes), which he calls 'a gem'. A gem is that through which the Being of the wearer becomes manifest. But it is precisely for this thing that the Fate goddess does not find a name. In view of the fact that until now she has found a name for every being, it might be assumed that what is presented is something which is not-being. On the other hand, however, it is designated as a gem, as being particularly precious, and thus as a being of a special kind. When the word for it fails to appear, the gem disappears; the poet is unable to retain it. Here a new mode of Being of the word comes to the fore. The word not only is able to yield the name for a being that is already there - 'it is not merely the naming grasp for that which is already present and proposed as such'38 - but also grants the being present. How is the final line of the poem to be understood? According to Heidegger, it names not what is renounced but the domain into which the renunciation must enter. 'What the poet learned to renounce is the view that he formerly subscribed to concerning the relationship between thing and word.' The word be (sei) must be understood as imperative; more carefully formulated, the renunciation of his former understanding implies a command. The word addresses itself to the poet as that which keeps and maintains a thing in its Being.'39 The poet experiences himself as the custodian of the word. A limit experience for which the word does not suffice (the Fate goddess does not find a name) must not be understood merely negatively; for, with the poet's learning to renounce, it also becomes clear what the word is able to do. Heidegger sees in the mood of sadness 'the mood of composure in regard to the nearness of what is withdrawn but at the same time saved for an original advent'.40 This mood can also be considered the basic mood for Heidegger's thought. Let us draw attention to the concept of 'needy time', to Heidegger's thought concerning Beingls withdrawal, in which a possible new advent announces itself when the withdrawal is experienced as such, and which, at the same time, makes Heidegger's position in regard to metaphysics understandable. The history of metaphysics is thought of as the epoch of the forgottenness of Being. This epoch is not immediately overcome in Heidegger's thought, but in it the absence of Being is for the first time expressly thought; this epoch is conceived of as the time of Being's farness. In this way the possibility of a reversal is given, as this is expressed in the quotation above. Heidegger returns to the original thinkers, for in their thought the originating is still alive. From that, we wish to gather only the following: the considerations of language - the word of the poet - are


238 Walter Biemel problems in which Heidegger's basic experience collects; in them a purified retrieval of the Being question takes place. As far as Heidegger's way of proceeding is concerned, what matters for him is to listen to the address (Zusage) of language. 'Language must in its own way address itself - that is, its essence - to us.'41 If we succeed in this listening, we will be able to gain a thoughtful experience with language. The preparation for such an experience is being able to catch sight of the proximity of poetizing and thought, even being able to settle in this proximity. Heidegger's explanation will show that, notwithstanding the important statements about language in the realm of thought, notwithstanding the exciting data found in what has been composed in language, the essence of language 'everywhere does not bring itself to word as the language of Being'. We have seen first that in speech language recedes on behalf of what is said in it. This recession can find its ground in the fact 'that language with its origin holds itself back [an sich halt] and thus denies its essence to our current pro-posing representation'. The difficulty is not immediately to personify the state of affairs expressed in this way; the formulation can certainly tempt us to do so. Heidegger points to a possible reason why the essence of language withholds itself: 'that the two privileged modes of saying - poetizing and thought - were not searched for expressly, that is, in their proximity.'42 This is exactly what Heidegger wishes to do in the second of the three lectures entitled 'The essence of language'. Heidegger's interpretation of the final stanza of The word' was to show that the issue is to be found in the relationship between thing (being) and word - specifically, that the word helps the thing to its Being and keeps it therein. Thus the word is not merely related to the thing; it is that 'which maintains the thing as thing', that which Heidegger calls 'the relationship' (das Verhaltnis). The word is thought of not as a mere reference or relation but as that which keeps and maintains (das Haltende) in the sense of that which grants. What poets and thinkers have in common is the element 'language'; but we do not yet know how 'element' is to be understood and how it varies in meaning depending on whether the word is used poetically or in thought. At the beginning of the interpretation of George's poem it seemed as if the proximity of poetizing and thought was reached: that which has been composed must become accessible through thought. But, as Heidegger says in the second lecture, something essential is lacking in this interpretation - namely, the comprehension of proximity as such, the proximity which the interpretation takes as its point of departure. In both poetizing and thought we dwell already in language, but to catch a glimpse of this sojourn is most difficult. Since this sojourn determines man in his essence, the return 'into the region of our being human'43 is


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our main task and that which, within Heidegger's dimension of thought, governs all his pains and efforts. This region is not to be understood as a 'stationary place' to which man is nailed down but as the abode in which the possibility of developing is given to him. Heidegger has never conceived of the return to this abode as an arbitrary archaization; that is impossible because Dasein is understood to be essentially historical, and history never goes backward. Indeed, Heidegger's comparison of 'the step backward to the abode of man's essence' with 'the step forward to the essence of the machine' - where the latter obviously is meant critically - is governed by the conception that, as long as man does not know in what his essence consists, in what it is grounded, progress in the sense of technical mastery is questionable. The one who progresses in this way can measure his progress only in regard to his progressing ability to master nature; he need not know anything about the position in which he finds himself there. In the interpretation of George's poem it was left undecided how the gem is to be understood. But now Heidegger proposes that the gem for which the Fate goddess does not find a word is nothing but the word itself. According to Heidegger the limit manifests itself here for the poet. In the domain of the poet no word can be found for the word itself. Can that perhaps take place through thought? The word is not a thing. If we search for it among things, we shall never find it. The word 'is' not, if we reserve the word is for the realm of things; but nevertheless it 'is' in a more privileged way than all things. Heidegger expresses this in the following way: 'As far as the word is concerned (if in thought we wish to do justice to it) we should never say "it is" [es ist] but rather "it gives" [es gibt]:44 Es gibt must not be understood here in the sense of being present-athand, in which one can say, 'There are [es gibt] beautiful apples this year', but in the sense of giving as granting. The word, according to its very essence, is granting. What it gives is Being. This is not to be understood in the sense that the word lets the thing come into being just as, according to the medieval conception, everything originated from God's thought. We must recall here the concept of clearing in which all being can appear without its being created by the clearing. The question remains as to how we are to conceive of the word as that which gives; that is precisely the task of our thoughtful concern for the word. In searching for the proximity of poetizing and thought we have, so far, only reached the point of understanding that their nearness is to be conceived of on the basis of language. In the following statement a decisive shift is expressed: 'For man is man only insofar as he is devoted to the address of language, is used for language, to speak it.'45 Until now the determination of man's essence was the main issue, and we came across language as the abode which, although nearest to man,


240 Walter Biemel remains hidden from him; but here man suddenly steps backward, and language comes to the fore. This statement represents the extreme pole of the conception of language as merely a means of communication, a commodity. Man suddenly appears as the one who is used - by language. Is this not an impermissible hypostatization of language? How is language to be understood as the essential element with man merely at its service? In order to proceed, Heidegger assumes that the essence of language is to be found in the saying (Sage). 'Saying [sagan] means to show: to let appear, to free in a way which is at the same time clearing and hiding, taken in the sense of pro-offering of what we call world.'46 This is first of all the consistent continuation of the conception of language as found in The origin of the work of art', where the letting appear is seen in its twofold character of freeing and holding back, of revealing and concealing, and as mentioned there also in connection with the explanation of truth.47 In order to get closer to the essence of language Heidegger takes the following guiding principle for his experience with language - the essence of language: the language of Being (das Wesen der Sprache: die Sprache des Wesens). In this guiding principle a change takes place which - once we have understood it, once it has taken place with us - will lead us to the extreme. In the first part of this principle 'essence' (Wesen) is understood as quiddity (to ti estin). 'Language' is the subject; what is at stake is understanding the essentia of the subject. 'The essence which is thus understood is delimited to that which is later called the concept, the representation with the help of which we bring close to ourselves and grasp what a thing is.'48 (This refers back at the same time to the first stanza of 'The word' by Stefan George.) The essence which is understood in this way keeps us in the domain of the proposing representation of metaphysics. In the second part of the principle it is in no way permitted merely to bring a change of terms about so that Wesen thus becomes the subject and 'language' is attributed to it; this change must bring about a turn from the proposing representation of metaphysics to a thought which is no longer metaphysical. Since we have grown up wholly within the representation of metaphysics and have inherited from it one mode of representing, this new way of speaking must appear strange to us.49 In the first statement Wesen means quiddity; in the second statement it must be understood as continuing and lingering, not as mere duration, but as that which concerns us, strikes us, touches and moves us. 'Language belongs to this continuous abiding and is inherent in that which moves everything as that which is most characteristic of it.'50 However, how are we to think of that which moves everything? In one of Heidegger's most recent publications51 it is thought of as the Fourfold, as the


Poetry and language in Heidegger 241 four regions of world - earth, heaven, men (mortals), and gods - which in their interplay constitute the world. In his interpretation of some lines from the fifth stanza of Holderlin's 'Bread and wine' Heidegger sees 'the word . . . as the region which lets earth and heaven, the flowing of the depth and the power of the highest, encounter one another, and which determines earth and heaven as the world regions'.52 Language is thus understood as that which governs the interplay of the four world regions. In this mutual interplay nearness takes place. Nearness and saying as that which lets appear are what continuously abide from language - they are the same (das Selbe). Language as the Fourfold of world is no longer merely such a thing with which we, the speaking men, have a connection in the sense of a relation which exists between man and language. Language as the saying which moves the world is the matrix of all relationships. It relates, supports, and enriches the 'opposition to one another' of the world's regions, maintains and guards them while it - the saying holds to itself [an sich haltet].53 In this connection Heidegger no longer understands the sounding forth of language as a result of physiologico-physical processes. 'The sounding forth of language is detained in the tuning which chimes the regions of the world structure to one another by playing them onto one another.'54 Heidegger has reached here, in regard to language, a summit in the realm of saying which touches upon the limit of that on which we can reflect and which must evoke astonishment. Language is thought of as the original source which keeps the world regions together, which keeps them opposite one another. We are constantly in danger of falling back into the usual representations, according to which language is like an external link, and one cannot understand from where this link comes or from what it derives its linking power. If Heidegger is understood in an approximately appropriate way, language is nothing separate, found outside the Fourfold of the world (where else then should it be?); it is the relatedness of the Fourfold in the Fourfold itself. It is not a transcendent power, for that would be a metaphysical representation; it is, rather, the proximity that governs in the Fourfold, for which Heidegger uses the word nearness (Nahnis). Formulated in a different way, it is the original gathering (Versammlung). Here Heidegger agrees with Heraclitus and his idea of the Logos, which Heidegger for years has explained as the original gathering. Language as the original gathering is soundless. Through language, seen in this way, it is given to man to say 'is'; and Heidegger has thought about this from the start. The gathering and soundless language of the silence is the language of abiding Being (Wesen) - of Being provided it is not


242 Walter Biemel represented metaphysically. In the last line of George's The word', Heidegger sees a poetic reference to the breakdown of the word as we are familiar with it and to thought's comprehension of language's stillness. This is possible only because poetizing and thought possess their proximity in language as nearness. In order to avoid the impression that the issue here is about decreed theses through which the truth concerning language is fixed and not about a tracking of the unsayable or about always new traces which could lead to further approximation, another idea will be presented for consideration. This idea is taken from Heidegger's The road to language', which is the most recent of his texts on language. In this lecture Heidegger considers how man's speaking, man's language, is related to the language of the stillness. To understand Ereignis, a word which is at the center of this text, we must first briefly indicate the context in which the word emerges. Language speaks by pointing. 'Language speaks in that it is the one that points; and, reaching into all the regions of the world, it lets that which comes to presence out of each region appear and disappear.'55 The connection between language and letting appear is found in all texts about language, starting with Being and Time; but of course how this letting appear is to be thought of and what it is that speaks change. According to Heidegger, the speaker (man) can speak only because he listens to language, and he is able to hear only because he belongs to language. 'Only to those who belong to [language] does the saying grant the possibility of listening to language and thus of speaking.'56 Thus Heidegger sets off this granting as a fundamental trait of language. The relationship between the speaker and language recalls the relationship between Dasein and Being that Heidegger mentions earlier, when he says that Dasein can be only by the grace of Being, but on the other hand Being is in need of Dasein.57 'Language is in need of man's speech and is nevertheless not the mere product of his speech activity.'58 The basic language, which Heidegger calls saying, makes all appearing possible. The saying governs and joints the "Free" of the clearing, for which all appearing must search and from which all disappearing must flee, whereunto each being present and being absent must point itself, must announce itself.'59 From what takes place in saying, conceived of in this way, Heidegger comes to the Ereignis. It makes something be suited for (ereignet), that is, it grants 'the Free of the clearing in which what is present can abide and from which what is absent can escape and, in withdrawal, can keep its abiding'.60 This granting must not be understood according to the cause-effect schema. There is nothing else to which one could still reduce the e-vent and with the help of which it could be clarified.'61 It is the last thing that our glance comes across as it tries to unravel saying's granting. In another essay Heidegger says of


Poetry and language in Heidegger 243 Being, 'it gives [es gibt\\ here he says that the Ereignis also grants this es gibt, 'of which Being, too, is still in need in order (as presence) to arrive at what is proper to it'.62 The manifold possibilities of showing refer to the saying as that which shows, and this, in turn, refers to the Ereignis. It may be appropriate here to remember that we are not permitted to hypostatize the Ereignis as a power which is beyond everything and which holds sway over Being; we must rather try to grasp the Ereignis as that which governs in language and which we run into in our questioning back concerning language's pointing. In our attempt at thinking the Ereignis, by no means do we leave language behind. A new aspect of language offers itself here: the way in which language lets man himself speak by making available to him the clearing in which each being will appear. Again, this connection must not be understood in the sense that man is subject to a power to which he must submit himself; Heidegger wishes to show what man owes to language as saying. Through language man is able to speak in the sense of the logos that expresses itself with spoken words. (A change has taken place here which, in regard to Being and Time, is radical.) Genuine speech is for Heidegger a cor-responding to the saying and to the appropriating e-vent. The relationship between Dasein and Being, which we mentioned earlier, returns when Heidegger says, 'Man is used in order to bring the voiceless saying to sounding'.63 In genuine speech nothing takes place but a manifestation of the appropriating e-vent, which remains hidden, however, for the one who speaks. That is why, according to Heidegger, the thinking experience of the essence of language is nothing but the freeing of the movement that leads from the appropriating e-vent to man's speech. Language is able to grant the clearing because in its very essence language is a granting and an appropriating e-vent. The historical moment, which Heidegger's thought never leaves, is present here too. The appropriating e-vent is not a unique occurrence. It is able to reveal itself, to show or to hide itself; according to this showing or hiding, language comes to pass, and man's speech is something that changes. All language of man comes to pass in the saying, and as such it is genuine language in the strict sense of the word, although in each case the nearness to the appropriating e-vent will be different. Each genuine language, because it is assigned to man by the movement of the saying, because it is sent to him, is therefore fateful [Geschicklich].64 In what way does this surprising idea at all pertain to the subject of this paper, which is poetry and language? Heidegger says, 'All pondering thought is poetry, but all poetizing is thinking'.65 In Heidegger's view,


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what genuinely poetizes is the appropriating e-vent, which remains appropriated also to language; in his earlier texts it can therefore be addressed as poetry.

Notes 1 Wolfgang Zucker made the following comments, with which Professor Biemel expressed agreement: Trofessor Biemel correctly warns against any fixation of Heidegger's thought into theses to be accepted or rejected by the reader and, in contrast, correctly demands an openness of the reader for the "strangeness" of Heidegger's way of thinking and a readiness for a dialogue beyond assent or dissent. Has not Heidegger demonstrated this very methodos, this sharing of the way, in the introduction to his own attempt at translatinginterpreting the strangeness of the Anaximander fragment? Is not his analysis of the process of thinking as nach-denken, an-denken, and danken precisely the necessary attitude and activity by which, according to Professor Biemel's lucid presentation, the reader may approach an understanding? Furthermore, is not any attempt at translating Heidegger's German sentences into any other language perhaps one of the best ways of training in this "following on the road of thought" [nach-denken], in this use of strangeness as crystallization point [andenken], and in this recognizing of strangeness as a favor [danken]?9 2 SZ 160. 3 SZ 145. 4 SZ 148, 156. 5 SZ 161. 6 SZ 161. 7 SZ 161. 8 SZ 161. 9 SZ 162. 10 HW 59 (693-4). 11 Some of the following material is taken from the introduction to the French translation of 'On the essence of truth', by Alphonse De Waelhens and Walter Biemel, which appeared in an expanded form in Symposium, III (1952). Cf. Ernst Tugendhat, Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967). 12 WWS. 13 WW 11. 14 HW 59 (693-4). 15 HW 59 (693-4). 16 HW 60 (694-5). 17 HW 60 (694-5). 18 HW 61 (695). 19 HW 61 (695). 20 See pp. 235-44 below [in the present volume-ed.]. 21 HW 61 (695). 22 HW 61 (695). 23 HW 62-3 (695-7). 24 HW 65, 64 (698, 697). 25 Johann Holderlin, Samtliche Werke, ed. N. V. Hellingrath (Munich: Miiller, 1923), III, 337; IV, 246, 343, 63; VI, 25 (editor's translation).


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26 HD 34. 27 HD 34. 28 HD 34. 29 #Z) 35. 30 HZ) 38. 31 HD 39. 32 HD 40. 33 Erling W. Eng made the following comments which, according to Professor Biemel, certainly indicate an important task for the poet in our time: Is the poet perhaps limited to disclosing to us the uncanny character [das Unheimliche] of the machine? Since the meaning of the machine lies in its functionality, does it have any sense as phenomenon? Perhaps Brecht's "estrangement effect" [VEffekt] is aimed precisely at the machinal as such, to expose it.' 34 US 159. 35 US 160. 36 L. J. Ferguson questioned Professor Biemel as to the difference between the approach of philosophy and the approach of thought to language. Biemel answered: 'By philosophical dealing with language Heidegger means the metaphysical approach which in our century is embodied in metalinguistics; by thoughtful dealing Heidegger does not mean to force language into the channels of metaphysics and to fasten it there, but rather to lead us to "make" an experience with language, as he explains in On the Way to Language, or, more carefully formulated, to think about language from the e-vent not as something that rules over man but as that to which he is exposed, that about which he must think.' (For the difference between philosophy and thought, see also Heidegger's illuminating text 'Das Ende der Philosophic und die Aufgabe des Denkens', SD 61ff.). 37 US 220 (editor's translation). 38 US 227. 39 US 167, 168-9. 40 US 169. 41 US 180. 42 US 186. 43 US 190. 44 US 193. 45 US 196. 46 US 200. 47 WW 41ff. 48 US 201. 49 See pp. 222-4 above [in the present volume-ed.]. 50 US 201. 51 Cf. VA 176-81. 52 US 207. 53 US 215. 54 US 208. 55 US 255. 56 US 255. 57 Cf. HB 74-6 (281). 58 US 256. 59 US 257. 60 US 258. 61 US 258.


246 62 63 64 65

Walter Biemel US 258. US 260; cf. p. 241-2 above [in the present volume-ed.]. US 264. US 267.


44 Heidegger and Holderlin: the over-usage of 'Poets in an impoverished time' Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert

It seems that everything there is to say on the topic of Heidegger and Holderlin - if not too much - has already been said. Heidegger's philological errors have been thoroughly analyzed, as has the path of his thinking from the encounter with Holderlin.1 In 1934/5, Heidegger composed his first Holderlin lecture as the answer to and justification for an abortive political commitment. The first interpretive option is naturally - if we follow Heidegger's later self-interpretation - the failure to disclose an error or misdirected commitment in this. Consequently it was also the case that from the perspective of practical philosophy, the relationship between thinking and acting, between interpreting and politics in Heidegger's encounter with Holderlin, is treated exhaustively. At least Heidegger himself obviously must have accepted his confrontation with Holderlin as the version of the way out of the political error that appeared most responsible to him, and indeed he camouflaged it as something wrung from his own cleverness. At the same time, it was to be understood as a clear rejection of the creations of National Socialism.2 If one reads Heidegger's Holderlin interpretation in light of the clarification of the facts of the unpleasant political commitment to National Socialism, then the activity which apparently was thought to be only philosophical also reflects political errors and practical misdirections. We cannot settle the question here of the extent to which Heidegger, in his self-interpretation, is playing down an error, or the extent to which he interpreted differently in conscious distortion of what took place. On the other hand it can be shown that in Heidegger's way out of political activities (Gemachte), and in his way back into the power of poetizing (Dichtens) and thinking, the reason for the political error of misjudgment repeats itself in such a way that the factical decision turns out to be based on principle. Thus what is at issue is not a verdict of guilty, but


248 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert the question of the extent to which a person can obviate with philosophy a 'philosophy' which on the one hand is itself grounded in the tradition, but which on the other hand as 'authentic' thinking, essentially avoids its standards. As for Heidegger's 'path of thinking with Holderlin', this path from the philosophical tradition to a new beginning allows essential thinking to be elucidated from the perspective of more practical consequences. At the same time we can find the first beginnings for not going along with Heidegger's advance from philosophy to 'thinking' as he understood it.3 1 Poesie and politics Otto Poggeler points out that in his first Holderlin lecture, Heidegger wants to move away equally from a determination of the poetic and the political.4 Although Heidegger strictly refuses to rank the poet Holderlin alongside the philosophers of German Idealism (cf. e.g., Hold. 34/5, p. 6; EH, 85f.), with the explicitly formulated intention of his Holderlin interpretation he reverts to a manner of questioning that is constitutive for German Idealism.5 In fragmentary reflections referring to Schiller and in dialogue with Hegel (at first by letter, later in person), Holderlin first sketched out an 'ideal for the education of a people' (Ideal der Volkserziehung) through art, which he hoped to satisfy in his poetry. Together with Hegel, Holderlin wanted to expand Schiller's conception of aesthetic education in the sense of an historical ideal. This ideal extends from a unity of poetry and politics, which Heidegger also made his own. The decisive point is that the education for the coming of the age of reason, where it would be fulfilled through poetry, at the same time extends, indeed must extend, the original sequence of determinations of historical existence; it does not want the 'revolution of the spiritual world' as Kant had prepared it - hence Schiller's aporia - to founder on the principle of an apraxis of the Ideal. Heidegger presupposes precisely this claim in his determination of the poet. First of all, he is a poet in 'an impoverished time', i.e., in that situation of 'being torn asunder' ('Zerrissenheif) which Schiller, according to Heidegger's partner in dialogue, Holderlin, set forth as the symptom of modernity. Here, according to Holderlin, it does not suffice to place the thought of a more human world in opposition to reality. Rather, everything rests on discovering a possibility for imagining it in history. Heidegger too defines poetry on the basis of this unity of projection and effect (Entwurf und Wirkung). Poetry and politics are joined together in such a way 'that the historical Dasein of the people - their ascent, peak and descent - spring forth from poetry, and from this authentic knowing


Heidegger and Holderlin 249 in the sense of philosophy, and from both springs the realizing of the Dasein of a people as a people through the state - polities'. Any 'original, historical time for a people' is thus for Heidegger 'the time of the poet, thinker, and founding father, i.e., of that which authentically grounds and establishes (grunden und begrunden) the historical Dasein of a people. They are the authentic creators' (Hold. 34/5, p. 51). In opposition to his own intention,6 then, Heidegger explicitly retrieves that early conception of the ideal of the education of a people in which Hegel and Holderlin meet, the working-out of which they divided up into an ideal of art, an ideal of religion, and the critique of their factical expressions. Hegel paraphrases the same connection with a view to the 'ideal' of the efficacy of art and religion when he characterizes the Greek polis, the model for a fatherland which was founded through art, as 'work of art'. This characterization already arises - to be sure, just as with Holderlin's late hymns - from the insight into the difference of times, into the distance to the origins, or rather, into a time in which art no longer produces religion, which in turn no longer produces the orientation of the ethicality of a people, the beautiful polity. Heidegger skips such differentiations. With Holderlin, he can emphasize in his lectures, it is a matter of 'our fatherland Germania' (Hold. 34/5, p. 4), [and] indeed not of 'what is handy and practicable for daily needs', nor of 'moderate timeliness', but again of something which, as 'loftiest', 'most difficult', and 'ultimate', must be achieved. Holderlin gives no consistent clue for this aggiornamento [Italian; process of modernizing an institution or organization - trans.]. He himself sketches out more versions of the attempt to 'establish' a fatherland through art. A first such sketch is found in the novel Hyperion, in the fiction of founding a state through humane, 'beautiful' actions. The constitutive moments of this Active founding agree in principle with requirements for an historical revolution. 'Difficult' because ultimately not practicable, but it remains not just the path from fiction into reality; rather it is already the determination within narrated history itself. Poetry generates itself with artistic immanence, i.e., if it narrates the history of a political achievement, [it does so] with no achieved world. Hegel's 'thesis for Germany', which makes possible the humanizing of the state, the revolution from above, becomes revitalized in the form of Hyperion. Intention and realization of successful life run aground because individual and collective success are not compatible. Consequently, motivated by the dialogue with Hegel, in working on Empedokles Holderlin intensifies the immanent aporia of the work of art for the sake of the aporia of the confrontation between projection and historical reality. Wherever the actions of the individual want to set the conditions for the success of all, a human state, the projection into the effective making of one's mark, into what is concrete, turns into a legal entity instead of into a residue of the ethicality of the


250 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert people. Holderlin's artistically immanent solution: the tragic conception implies a fixing of the general relationship between projection and actuality. The projection of a state produces no fatherland, but rather leaves it to historical action (which from time to time supersedes anew) to realize such a fatherland.7 Holderlin's hymns, upon which Heidegger relies, modify this conception again in the sense that Heidegger himself also cites: they constitute that 'dialogue' by means of which action first becomes possible. The dialogue of the poet, language, creates - through exemplary experience of the poet and poetizing - the origin of historical human action, but first produces the (new) historical actuality in a dimension which continues to withdraw from poetry, which only prepares for it. The fatherland as 'secret origin' {Hold. 34/5, p. 4) at best still plays the role here of an intended (necessary to have established) but not yet realized goal. Heidegger passes over the origin of the formulation of the question of early idealism altogether. Along with the majority of Holderlin research at that time, he had 'no eye . . . for the way Holderlin adopted the tendencies of the French Revolution and argued with them'.8 As to whether Heidegger shared a tendency of National Socialism with this blindness remains undecided. The question is: How does Heidegger's conception of the political look if it springs forth from the determination of Holderlin's poetry, but if it interprets this poetry itself without its temporal referent, without the constitutive debate of the poet and the poetry with the great historical turning point, the French Revolution? According to Poggeler, Heidegger wants 'to adhere to the reference to the political only as withdrawal into an innermost domain'. Poetry itself appears as true actuality, or rather it suggests the truth about beings. If at the same time it names the origin of the political, then we must be permitted to expect a sufficient (true) orientation for action from it, at least in the form of a recommendation (as projection of reality). With the late Holderlin, however, Heidegger believes he can disregard the concretion of the poetic world-projection. As a consequence, it is no longer a matter of a new politics, of historical action based on the projection of the poet and the orienting power of poetry (the new gods which Hegel had designated as ethical 'path'). It is instead a matter of action which situates the epoch, which is legitimated after the analogy of historical activity (Wirkens) to poetic 'action'. But a conception of the political can also easily be found in this: namely, the generalization of existentiality in the sense of its intersubjectivity as language and - in combination with a generalization of historicality to history - the conception of complete historicality as event or destiny (Ereignis oder Geschick) of Being. Its primary, obvious advantage - the advantage of any theoretical acting as opposed to problems of execution - lies in the nonutility; its disadvantage not least in the utility of the


Heidegger and Holderiin 251 tendencies of authenticity a la Heidegger II or Heidegger III generated by contemporary Anglo-Saxon Heidegger interpretation. The beginning and carrying-out of the Holderlin interpretation contain inexplicability and legitimizable philosophical sense in difficult, more soluble connection. The neuralgic points are unambiguously (if not also completely) designated: 1. The beginning with the later Holderlin, with the abstention from the politics of the hymns, reduces poiesis to interpretive acting. 2. On the basis of this reduction, the poetic existence becomes 'poetic'; but therein it becomes human 'dwelling'; it becomes the primal image (Urbild) of authentic historical existence. 3. Human existence is not just interpreted poetically, but rather owes itself to 'art'. The work of art does not indicate any functioning of human beings through art, but instead the functioning of art itself. Heidegger hypostasizes the cultural event (Ereignis) (work of art) just like Being as interpretive horizon for human destiny.

2 Interpreting as surrogate for action It is not without attention to the rigorous distinction between poetizing and thinking, historical interpretation and its reflection in and through philosophy, already familiar from the existential analytic, that Heidegger begins his consideration of Holderlin. Nevertheless, he denies a strictly defined stipulation of this differentiation between poetizing, thinking and saying. The mysterious ground which is common to all three, language, harbors a structural affinity to the three differences through the fact that it depends less on what is immediately said as on 'what is silent in this saying' (Hold. 34/5, p. 41; cf. also 4f., 29f., 150f.). Implicitly, this distinction also affects the difference between poetizing and acting. Heidegger distinguishes the poetic from the practical or political as 'a saying like the making-manifest which guides' (Hold. 34/5, p. 31; cf. p. 127), and thus he articulates a renewed version of the phenomenological principle 'to the things themselves'. The characerization of poetry, always drawn upon and usually sufficient, as poetic in the sense of the 'making, producing of something' (Hold. 34/5, p. 29), still appears undifferentiated for Heidegger. In any case, poiesis guides in the direction from which the 'knowing about the essence of the "poetic" ' can be found. In an etymological exertion of the sort peculiar to him Heidegger then fixes the sphere of the poetic as interpretive performance. Poien points to 'the original lexical meaning of tithon-dicere. . . . This word is from the same root as the Greek deikenomi . . . showing something that can be seen, something that makes manifest . . . on the path of its own


252 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert showing' (ibid.). To be sure, this differentiation was typical of the caution, so that Heidegger takes up Holderlin's poetic conception not with the Hyperion, not with the Empedokles works. Here the 'undifferentiated' interpretation of the poetic is still preserved. In that case a narrated acting, a speaking which is detached from acting, remains in the grip of the Aristotelian conception of poetics. The poetic conception appears as the thesis of the exemplary nature of human acting which was manifest in beautiful acting and which was realized in good acting. It is different in the hymns, in the restriction of poetizing to the word, the interpretive performance and the 'dialogue', intersubjectivity. Word and dialogue name the holy, the 'beckoning of the gods which is veiled in words', but they name it with reference to a community: 'Poetry is the further working of this beckoning in the people, or seen from this perspective, poetry is: the existence [Dasein] of the people set within the sphere of this beckoning' (Hold. 34/5, p. 32; cf. p. 127f.). Nevertheless, Heidegger further preserves his own careful differentiation in two ways. Poetry, as 'saying in the manner of the makingmanifest which guides', is at the same time foundation (Stiftung), 'effecting grounding of what lasts' (Hold. 34/5, p. 33). Heidegger extends this to historical functioning in the determination of the poet 'in an impoverished time'. This poet, who endures the 'no-longer of the gods who have fled', consequently the loss of the self-evident, living orientation for action (if we follow the conceptions of Hegel and Holderlin) and the 'not-yet of the coming', 'brings about . . . truth, vicariously and hence truly, for his people' (EH, 44). By emphasizing the difference between what is said poetically and what is unfolded by thinking, Heidegger preserves the difference between interpreting and functioning. The poet appears as 'grounder of Being', not just in the dimension of interpretation, but at the same time in the sphere of realization, in historical Dasein. 'While the beckoning of the gods has been built, so to speak, into the ground floor of the language of a people by the poet, without the people perhaps suspecting this to begin with, Being is established in the historical existence [Dasein] of the people, [and] in this Being and behind it a direction and dependency can be found' (Hold. 3415, p. 33). What perhaps produces a still more irritating effect in view of the initial differentiation are the delimitations of the occurring of poetry itself and of its understanding. For this Heidegger finds all the categories of the engaged-emphatic actions: of struggle.9 The successful, historical interpretive performance is indebted to struggle and persistence [over time]: 'Duration and fullness' of time, as opposed to its inadequacy, is 'contended for and kept awaiting a solution' (Hold. 34/5, p. 56). Holderlin's letters to his mother show 'the enormous need of his calling and the true heroism of his existence' (Dasein) (Hold. 3415, p. 35). Hence the poet Holderlin also demands 'conquering with thought for his poetry'


Heidegger and Holderlin 253 {Hold. 34/5, p. 5), and because he put a stop to the coexecution of interpretation, he demands up to the 'struggle against us' (Hold. 34/5, p. 23; cf. also pp. 19, 8). Consequently in his early lecture, Heidegger in a sense circumscribes precisely this understanding fulfillment through categories of acting so that interpreting as well as understanding become pseudo-actions. Essential thinking, in a different way than empty philosophy, is existentially (existentiell) enthusiastic for the object which is to be laid out from an ontological perspective. The pathos of the thinker misinterprets poetry, interpreting similarly to understanding, as engaged acting. Furthermore, in Heidegger's Holderlin interpretation art becomes the organon of philosophy: the meaning of poiesis between interpreting and acting, the language of the poet and of philosophy are no longer differentiated, but stand for an 'essential acting', realizing the truth of Being itself. Alluding to Schelling, art for Heidegger prepares for thoughtful consideration through an indifference by not-just-perceiving and not-yet(really)-acting (Noch(Doch)-nicht-Handelri). Heidegger himself should have to reject this amalgamation which to him suffuses the fulfillment of its philosophical - now: thoughtful elucidation. His intention remains the thoughtful occupation with historical interpretation in and through poetry. At the same time to be sure, 'essential' thinking, like 'essential' poetizing, includes an emphatic distinction aside from the philosophical. One could neglect Heidegger's manner of presentation as a problem of philosophical taste, as stylistic clumsiness if he did not voluntarily break further with the advantage of his initial differentiation. What could be transformed by harmless factical constellation, by allegation, to separate sharply philosophy and politics in an historical thinking, Heidegger links with the justification of the political power which he wanted to overcome according to his own testimony through differentiated, critical vision. 3 Poetry and authenticity Prior to his early interpretation of the hymns 'Germanien' and 'Der Rhein', Heidegger mentions a distinction between historical interpretation of the poet or his work and the direct entering-into Holderlin's 'work which is still timeless and spaceless, (which) our historical affectation has already overcome and which has grounded the beginning of another history'. In the understanding therefore, it serves to bring 'us and the future under the standard of the poet' (Hold. 34/5, p. 4), to allow 'our Dasein (to become) the bearer of the life of the power of poetry' (Hold. 34/5, p. 19). Understanding of poetry works cathartically, it becomes the activistic-moralizing challenge of the 'struggle against us': for in it lies the 'working passage through the poem' (Hold. 34/5, p. 23).


254 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert Poetry consummates and teaches authentic existence as 'arousal and . . . pulling-together of the authentic essence of the individuals, through which it returns to the ground of its Dasein' {Hold. 34/5, p. 8). Poetry is therefore 'the same as the basic occurring of the historical human Dasein' (Hold. 34/5, p. 40). Here too the manner of Heidegger's circumscribing again oscillates (already critically objecting in opposition to Being and Time) between categories of reflection and of presentation. The heightened demand for concreteness of the poet, the 'more alive' historicality, makes a separation of life and concept more difficult. Understanding, as 'working passing through' cannot deny the allusion to the work-world. The results of labor (material) (Zeug), poetizing (work), and understanding (truth) prosper in confused proximity because the 'basic structure' of all three is also retrieved in the poetic. That is to say, poetry becomes authentic existence which, according to Heidegger, interprets historically and concretely the basic structure of 'care', and also occasionally for a time, this (care) constituted in its self-evidentness as time. Consequently and by way of example it is called, in Holderlin's words (borrowed from the Titanen): 'Participation and having-been-bound-together thus constitute the necessary condition for the fact that in general it becomes time for us' (Hold. 34/5, p. 57f.). Heidegger takes up this interpretation of the historical relevance of poetry in general and sallies forth: 'The participation which the poet means constitutes our Dasein as such; in any case it is our Dasein in which it is generally about Being and non-Being namely, "care" ' (Hold. 34/5, p. 58). So the poetic is at the same time 'basic fabric of historical Dasein' and questionableness of human beings, which is a matter of enduring 'the very short lifetime' (Hold. 34/5, p. 59).10 Poetry, the poetic, becomes the quintessence of 'authentic' existence, the living fulfillment and projection of life upon its sense: historicality. According to Heidegger, the analysis of this authenticity also does not open up psychic or psychological conditions, but rather conditions of the history of Being. Man is in the poetic, happening at the same time occasionally on the basis of an historico-concrete projection of sense, on the basis of the constellation of a destiny. In this way, here too authenticity necessarily wins from articulation the ambiguity of relativity which is composed in advance, composed with, and composed spontaneously. Temporality of Dasein no longer endows simply sense, but instead historically determined sense, interpretation and life from content-specific pre-givens: the holy, the divine, God. Heidegger's thesis that the sense of Dasein (Being mediated by means of temporality) was not just constituted through execution is heightened while the moment of composing recedes. The poet reverses the impoverishment of the time, endows history, owing to the fact that it leads up to a new destiny, or leads up anew to an old one - which


Heidegger and Holderlin 255 applies to all. The interpretive performance itself does not stand within the poet's power, it is not composing. Rather, its succeeding or failing has presuppositions: interpretation, like what is interpreted (authentic existence), is 'destiny'. In just this way, the possibility of historical human action is reduced to 'corresponding-to'. Sensible existence {sinnhafte Existenz), like its condition, does not compose a significant {sinnvolles) destiny which delivers (does not deny) sense, but instead it awaits. The exemplary actor, the poet, was already the interpreter. The spontaneous moment of interpreting itself, however, which has an affinity for action, rescinds itself once more on the grounds of the concrete point of departure, in favor of receptivity. 'Composedness' ['Gelassenheif] characterizes authentic existence as genuine acting.11 In a lecture from 1936, Heidegger summarizes it again with regard to language: 'Language is not simply [one bit of] equipment among many others which man also possesses. Rather, language first grants in general the possibility for beings to stand within the openness. Only where there is language is there world, which means: the constantly changing circumference of decision and work, of deed and responsibility, but also of arbitrariness and turmoil, decay and confusion. Only where the world holds sway is there history. Language . . . renders security that as historical, man can be. Language is . . . that happening [Ereignis] which has at its disposal the highest possibility of human Being [EH, 35].' The poet now also remains the 'first child' of language, his saying is 'creative', 'establishing saying' (EH, 63), and yet to it he responds only with a destiny.12 So interpreted, the 'working pulling-[oneself and the world] together' ('arbeitende Zusammenriss') is confined to a particular creature within the field of historical interpretation, not that of acting here again in receptivity, not the spontaneity of responding instead of composing [or 'setting in place']. For Heidegger, characterizations of redemption follow from the categories of religious response. Poets in an impoverished time feel 'singing the trace of the gods who have fled' and trace 'the related mortals, the way . . . to the turning point' (HW, 250). Of course, as Heidegger shows in later reflections, for all that it is a matter of forgotten Being. Nevertheless the principle ambiguity of an existing which is reduced to responding (analogous to the interpretation-acting) also remains preserved up to this time. In Holderlin's poetry, Heidegger also finds the justification for this (cf. Hold. 3415, p. 184). In the essence of poetry as 'verbal foundation [worthafte Stiftung] of Being' (EH, 39), 'human thinking is used in a fixed reference and is placed on a ground'. As such, man 'dwells' 'on this earth'. 'Poetic dwelling' means 'to stand in the presence of the Gods and to be affected by the essential proximity of things'. 'Fundamentally, Dasein is' poetically '- which is to say: as


256 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert established (grounded), it is nothing earned, but is rather a gift' (EH, 39). Still later, Heidegger also determined the function of poetizing analogously to the Greeks. Not only the individual, but also an historical community finds its essence in the poet's word, just as the Greeks won their state and their politics through their beautiful gods. The 'blind singer' as Holderlin entitled a hymn with fully conscious allusion to Homer, who - as Hegel would have it - had given the Greeks their gods, names the holy and opens up not just itself, but rather a people's destiny, their historical place: homeland. Homecoming in the interpreting of the poet 'is the future of the historical essence of the Germans. They are the people of poetizing and thinking' (EH, 29). In the discussion of the hymn Andenken (1943), Heidegger himself connects poetizing as interpreting which orients with the sweeping category of poetic dwelling. As Heidegger expressly notes (EH, 83), Holderlin wants to learn in distinction from Greece 'the free use of [what is our] own [des Eignen]\13 But Heidegger himself rewrites this use of (what is our) own in stricter analogy to the Greeks; indeed the Greeks come into the foreign, into the Hesperidian, in a way into their own, the national, which skips over the difference of historical peculiarity to the Germans. Indeed, the art-religion of the Greeks is first recognized for what it is in light of reason which posits rationally: as 'the grounding and building of the polls as the essential place of history, determined by the holy'. Indeed, 'the political' is originally determined from the polis; but is it possible as well for the German poet to presuppose a similar effect based on the assumption that contemporary man is again able 'to have a destiny'? For Heidegger this question is determined because man 'dwells poetically, and so receives his culture from a destiny' (EH, 84f.). Hence that means 'the natural has become what is historical in its history'; it has found 'the history of the people in what is its own', and it dwells therein (EH, 84f.). During all of the preceding, where the Hyperion novel and the Empedokles poem belong 'in the wanderings' (EH, 121), Holderlin's hymn Andenken should yield this 'ability to remain in what is its own'. Here too Heidegger vacillates. In the first place, poetizing is still reputed to be dialogue, and hence interpretive suggestion. The 'basic law of historically' appears as a 'law of becoming at home. . . . But this is based in the passage . . . through the Being-not-at-home, and as such a passage it is only suitable for the appropriation of what is its own' (EH, 122f.). At the same time, however, the basic law is 'dwelling'. 'Poetizing is remembrance [Andenken], Remembrance is establishing. The establishing dwelling of the poet shows and consecrates the ground of the poetic dwelling of the mortal' (EH, 143). The remaining in the interpreting, or rather the 'poetic remaining in the essence of the appropriate community


Heidegger and Holderlin 257 of poets' {EH, 142) - remembrance - shows the ground for their establishment 'in the festive destiny of the future history of the Germans' {EH, 142). 'What remains in the remaining' arises here. Heidegger only gives an interpretation, with regard to its contents, of the reference to destiny as ground for the establishment of history and tradition, for the sedimentation of interpreting to the life form, in referring to the Greek polls. There was realized (still unconsciously) what modern poetizing names and what as 'dwelling' must again be allowed to become history in the sense of the tradition. But is Holderlin the reflective Greek to whom poetry has given his Gods, his ethicality, and consequently his state and his politics? Is the 'remaining' which is established through 'remembrance' poetic, hence 'German', dwelling? Put another way: Does modern man have his destiny {Geschick) in the same way that his fate {Schicksat) befell the Greek? Or does he only know of this that, as one who is historical, he lives from what has become, but answers for this individually, carries it forward, changes? Seen in this way, the difference between the mere, instinctive awareness of the Greeks, mere substantial ethicality as Hegel defined it, and subjectivity, merely presented destiny, is dissolved: both the conception and its problem. Heidegger does not formulate this difference between the ancient and the modern, which Holderlin inherited in the hymns' recourse to Schiller's conception of Elysian poetry.14 He skips over it himself in the philosophical determination of 'Being' from poetry. Through the inextricability of the poetic projection of history as destiny and of 'what follows' in the historical dwelling which is yielded in destiny, Heidegger's Holderlin interpretation is premodern in the sense of the 'quarrel between the ancient and the modern'. That is to say, he transplants Holderlin's poetry into a situation in which the difference between the ancient and the modern which was codiagnosed by the poet himself does not arise, in which the 'modern' differentiation between aesthetic religion and the requirements of reason articulated in the ideal of educating a people is not carried out with it. Poetry, in antiquity the teacher of man, foundation of the gods and of the state, in modernity must become the naming of this grounding dimension. In this way it leads to the experience of the manifold, the dissimilar, but at the same time to historically growing and culturally virulent possibilities of human Being. At the same time, however, poetry - as language - becomes the orientation-intending mediation of such experiences. The new gods shed the unequivocal unconditionality of antiquity in favor of the fictionally possible which likewise dovetails the actual and the actual which is past in the projection of a human and historical human Being. Indeed, in his Beitrdge zur Philosophie [Contributions to Philosophy', a large recently published manuscript from 1936-8 - trans.] Heidegger speaks, in the sense of the prehistorical representations of God, of the detachment of


258 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert past dogmatic religions through a ' final God', which could be determinative for our time. So far he appears to take up Holderlin's conception, and by means of it he mediates between the thought of a mediation by the representation of God which was formulated in the program of the 'mythology of reason', and the historically varying shape, although he himself is occupied not with early Idealism but rather with Nietzsche. But he reveals a philosophical consequence which at the very least runs contrary to the peculiar connection with Holderlin because he interprets this historical dimension as destiny. In this way he preserves an essential moment of the poetico-mythological conception of interpretation as proton pseudos, namely the requirement according to reason in the philosophical generalization. Here Heidegger presents the conception of the poet analogously to the situation of the problem formulated in early Idealism, which was examined based on the account of the consequence of poetic departure as compared to the matter. Schiller, and with him Hegel, Holderlin and the young Schelling, start from the fact that in the 'world which is torn asunder', and thus in one of those 'troubled times' which occur again and again in history, art is to bring about a humane world. (Perhaps we should retain this model throughout as the structural delimitation of the historical function of art.) The carrying out of this program at first shows great similarities to Heidegger's, but [in fact] it leads to a decisive difference, namely, to the establishment of the fictional character of the interpretive performance which arises from poetic existence. The theory of beautiful appearance15 offers the link in the mediation between theory and reality, between interpretation and history, just as it separates both from the proposed (fictional) transformation of the empirical carryingout-anew through poetry. In Heidegger's philosophical interpretation of the poets, a critique of a foundational identification of the aesthetics of enlightenment decisive for early Idealism is lost: namely, the rejection of the structural identification of the artist and statesman in the concept of genius, or rather in the version of this concept which was modified in accordance with the quarrel and which can be found in both Hegel and Holderlin, the conception of the 'great individual'. By way of example, Hegel repeats Holderlin's tragic conception in his interpretation of Schiller by means of a critique of the 'great individuals of modernity', the actions of whom should establish a new - if not world-historical then still national - destiny in a pregnant version of the partiality of individual actions under social conditions: in the modern world, the 'great individual' becomes necessary to the 'rogue' (against the society which it wants to shape decently). Holderlin's reflections like Hegel's are therefore developed as the gradual demolishing of the moments identified in the concept of genius, and both formulate the poetic as well as the philosophical consequences of this critique of enlightenment. The 'great


Heidegger and Holderlin 259 individual', only as poet, has another meaning which is not distorted: his 'establishing' of a destiny lies in the formative interpretation which indeed can choose to have for its theme the historical actions of the statesman or the poet. The decentralization of the various versions of creative projection in thinking, interpreting and acting remains decisive for this pursuit of the notion of genius. In contrast to Holderlin, Heidegger generally rejects the notion of genius, Schelling's as well as Schopenhauer's, taken from the tradition of the Critique of Judgement, but he does so in such a sweeping way that he retains essential moments without being able to know or realize it. In this way he again lays out poetizing, strictly interpreted as receptive, as the 'comportment' of authentic existence with categories of action, just as in the analysis of Dasein he likewise wanted to have grounded a practical philosophy. The aporias only get worse. In the determination of the poetic, Heidegger then does not retrieve the identification of artist and statesman by itself, without taking into consideration the later differentiation. He supports it philosophically, moreover, through a structural, advance justification: through his new determination of Being as Ereignis. In this way he loses not only the difference between art and politics; he again loses sight of the difference between theoretical and practical Philosophy. The seeing [person], the teacher of wisdom or duty, the poet or philosopher, should not just reflexively consider activities. Rather, he himself becomes the great activity. The deeds of both the reflecting thinker, seer or poet on the one hand and those of the politician on the other are describable with identical categories. Thus the poet who purifies the light of reason, the glance of recognition into the wisdom of the world view, is first of all reputed to be the 'genius', or rather the 'great individual'. At the time of Holderlin's late hymns, however, Schelling alone held this conception. With the expression of the differentiating considerations of the relationship between artistic appearance and reality, the genius, who - according to Schelling - founds the whole culture (Bildung) of his epoch, at the same time generates (a community of) acting because the work of art (the beautiful) provides 'his' world view for an historical people; it universalizes wisdom by means of the artificial result: the beautiful shape. The encroachment by ways of being reasonable, by unobstructed experiences, by the establishment of a new experiential community in the assignment of a destiny, is neither further grounded nor seen in its danger by Heidegger. Hegel and Holderlin had sought to delimit the task of poiesis as the establishment of the spirit of a people, as tradition and renewal of their cultural accomplishments (wisdom). From this wisdom one expects a turning point of the times, certainly in the careful, reserved differentiating between new insight and


260 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert new Dasein, new existence. This heading itself permits - insofar as one follows Schiller - a long 'educational' process from insight to acting. Just as Hegel had in the context of his early critique of religion, so Holderlin outlined a similar model in poetry leading to discerning action, i.e., to action which is consciously ethical and political (corresponding to the ideal of the citizen in the ancient polls). Interestingly, this outline subsists on the reinterpretation of a further basic category of Enlightenment aesthetics, namely, the concept of the copy (Nachahmung). Copy comes to be personalized into a conception of imitation (Nachfolge), of the copy not of what is intuitively given in advance, but rather of an acting person. In this way, for Holderlin as well as Hegel the conception of genius is definitively formed into a distinctive determination of the great individual: into the ideal of the 'teacher of virtue'. Thereby it can be shown at the same time that an original aesthetic act, the copy, leads to a pattern of living (the community), and mediating in this way, to action. In the connecting, mediating step of self-interpretation, or rather in the cultivation of a tradition, the pattern of living produces the imitation of individual, consciously-accepted acting in the sense of a living, consummated ideal. This model of education for morality over intersubjectivity, and for praxis which is not only legitimizable but actually legitimated, not only supplies Hegel with the first, principle, but no longer altered determination of the 'ideal'; at the same time it forms the content for the Hyperion novel as well as the nerve of the Empedokles poem in the modification up to the tragic conception. In spite of all the need for revision (already thematized by Hegel and Holderlin themselves), through the connection of the thought of the genius (namely, the conception of the 'great individual of modernity' as the 'teacher of virtue') with the basic idea of Enlightenment aesthetics (the copy), we attain a differentiated model of the transition from clear, mediating insight (world view) into acting. For Heidegger, on the other hand, the transition from the establishing of a new insight to the assignment of a people's destiny must become a vicious circle because philosophical reflection upon history conveys no possibility of differentiating between insight and salvation. Heidegger himself succumbs to his error that one may be able to turn from the wisdom of the times, that the great individual might be able to operate in like manner and convincingly in the sphere of better knowledge of what was to be done as well as in the sphere of acting. He therefore skips over, as does Holderlin, this 'practical' dimension of the establishing of a world view, the 'orientation function' the taking over of which would make art assailable. In poetry - for Heidegger: in the pattern of poetic existence as 'care' - Dasein appears on the one hand as in need of interpretation. However poetry, i.e., the poet as he who consummates Dasein in exemplary


Heidegger and Holderlin 261 fashion, does not stop with the need for interpretation but instead begins here with the purpose of interpreting what is interpretable. In any case, as 'poetic poet' he ventures a projection of the time upon the 'divine' as what allows understanding from out of newly experienced history in the sense of what has come to be. Conversation is thus not a matter of the Being of conversation - perhaps this was the reflection of the thinker upon the condition for the possibility of poetic 'acting', or as Heidegger dramatizes it: struggling. Wherever the poet 'struggles and patiently preserves . . . the duration and fullness (of time)' {Hold. 34/5, p. 56), he determines time 'in the sense of the original time of the people' (p. 51): this means without characterizing categories of action: he interprets them - and what is more [he interprets them] anew, often in opposition to traditional interpretation and always in opposition to the prima vista certainty of everydayness. Poetry, at least as the 'business' of the poet, exists in a suggestion of an answer, always time-specific, an interpretation of Dasein. But how does 'authentic Dasein' behave as interpreted if not actively? With regard to the dimension of authentic creating, Heidegger forgot the claim that was decisive for early Idealism: to project a 'regulative total image' ('regulatives Gesamtbildf) - to use a Nietzschean expression - of the historical situation for the purpose of feeding a new fantasy which reason prepares, but above all to qualify as human acting without grounding (in the sense of the Aristotelian concept of a copy of beautiful acting), as ethical behavior. The sense of the reference to the Greeks has long been insufficiently determined as Heidegger does not take it in this matter-of-fact function to demonstrate the interplay of poetry and politics upon the concrete image of an historical ideal. The poet establishes the gods, and with them the ethicality of the people and the polls, i.e., the principles of human acting together with an institution in accordance with them, a city-state and its politics. The interpretation of the poet here is itself certainly not practical, as Heidegger's category of 'creating' suggests, but it takes aim at praxis, acting, and historical activity. The debate over the role of the 'great individual', to the extent that he acts historically and does not just poetize, consequently leads Holderlin in the Empedokles poem and Hegel in the joining of his discussion with Holderlin in his Wallenstein essay (1801) to the outlining of a world, of a state concretely established. Here as there, the upshot of this is the renunciation of the action of the interpreting, the decentralizing of historical acting by the poet or historical interpretation and the statesman, or rather of the alteration of reality. Beneath the complex conditions of the modern world, art cannot automatically, i.e., not through the power to the fiction of a humanly interpreted world, produce an existence such as its real, historical determination. That happens only with the help of the assumption that interpreting, thinking as quasi acting, exhausts the


262 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert determination of the historicality of Dasein. In the (Frankfurt) dialogue between Holderlin and Hegel, precisely this problem of the becoming 'positive' of the laws of reason in the historical law of the state and in the dogma of the theologians was discussed. If Holderlin together with Hegel had perhaps still intended with art to permit an 'ideal for the education of a people' to become historically effective, which the superseding of 'positivity' has the power to do, so no later than his hymn Andenken, this concept had undergone a decisive modification. Here art can only set possible human experiences - namely intercultural - against fixed relations and must abandon the turning point of the times to the individuals, or rather to those who act.16 So if Hegel speaks of the character of art as something past, Holderlin speaks in a different fashion of its mediating character, of the possibility of the establishment of a critically evaluative self-consciousness, but not of a new time or of a new community. In Heidegger's encounter with Holderlin, this epoche is lost. Heidegger's turn to the 'poet in an impoverished time', initially oft spoken of and full of hope, has thus been seen as neither unique nor consistent. Considered in light of the philosophical tradition, it loses its enigmatic charm, for Heidegger merely retrieves what had already been sought for in connection with the Enlightenment: to allow philosophy to become practical. In light of the aporias we have seen which are inherited from this, the 'salvation' forfeits its sense of achievement to them. For it escapes from the renewed confusion of a concept which is already developed more distinctively with Heidegger's model of Holderlin; it is owing to the mixture of theoretical concepts or concepts of reflection with categories of action. 4 Artwork as historical work Already in the Holderlin lecture concerned with an analysis of the poetic as a 'basic mood of historical Dasein', Heidegger lays the foundation for the next generalization in the philosophical determination of Being. In contrast to merely historiological truth {historischen Wahrheit), historical truth {geschichtliche Wahrheit) is disclosed as an analogue to existentiality in a basic determination. In the concretization of the analysis of care which he retrieves, Heidegger interprets poetically-established Dasein as: 'essentially Being-with-another, Being-for-another and Beingin-opposition-to-another' {Hold. 3415, p. 143) from the 'basic determination of holy affliction which is grieving but prepared' {Hold. 34/5, p. 146; 223). According to the basic character of Dasein, the Being-with-another of Dasein is historical in itself, and hence is bound to the forces of history and is joined through them' {Hold. 34/5, p. 143). In other words, Dasein turns to the collective-individual and his knowledge, and in the


Heidegger and Holderlin 263 same step to the will, to the ground of acting. The truth of a people', namely, what the poet brings forth through the awakening of the determination of ground which he creates, 4s that capacity for Being to be manifest, from out of which a people knows what it wills historically while it wills itself, it wills itself to be.' Heidegger once more scrapes together here the structural analogy which guides him. The basic mood - opened through the poet - finds its analogue not just in thinking but also in the 'creating of a state'. The three 'creative powers of historical Dasein' {Hold. 34/5, p. 144) together bring about the determinate historical truth of a people. In the equivocal wordplay accompanying the determination of the demigods as 'overmen' or 'undergods' (Hold. 34/5, p. 166), Heidegger unfolds the determination of historicality as destiny, which he took up once again in the essay 'Origin of the work of art', to the characterization with regard to its content of the formal elements of historicality which were laid out in the poetic determination of the basic mood. What Holderlin put into words concerning physis was retrieved by Heidegger in his general opposition of Earth and World. He finds his entree in Holderlin's poem (Der Rhein) about identification: 'Earth and homeland are meant historically' (cf. Hold. 34/5, pp. 196, 223), and both experience their interpretation on the basis of this historicality in poetry: on the strength of destiny (Hold. 34/5, p. 196). Although Heidegger expressly denies that 'to this Being which is embodied in the saying of the poet, the robe of a "philosophical" language is still to be hung hastily in another place' (Hold. 34/5, p. 150), the original dialogue of thinking with poetry appears as the transformation of the authenticity of an individual people in Being. Hence it is for this reason that 'not only . . . compromises between the poetizing, thinking, and acting forces are to be established; rather their concealed, limiting isolation is to be taken seriously, and therein the mystery of their original belonging-together is to be experienced in a new previously undiscussed structure of Being to be formed originally' (Hold. 34/5, p. 184f.). The 'thinking' of the poet is a matter of 'an original, projecting establishing' (p. 226). The philosophical 'penetration [Ergrundung] to the ground of the Being of poetry', to the extent that it grounds this Being in the 'essence of Being as a whole' (Hold. 34/5, p. 237), allows too little of the difference between poetic interpretation and philosophical reflection to be felt (cf. also Hold. 34/5, p. 269f.). The explicit philosophical interpretation of poetry in 'The origin of the work of art'17 retrieves the characterization of poetizing in any case as just such Being. Truth 'dresses itself in the work' as the strife between earth and world, between lighting and concealing. In poetic projection - [which] furnishes the paradigm for Holderlin's way through - 'Beingin-the-world' is concretized as Being-on-the-earth. On the grounding level of philosophy, Heidegger plays with poetic


264 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert interpreting as 'creating', as bringing forth not the formed object but its 'unconcealedness' (Hold. 34/5, p. 65). Being-created is determined from the 'work-Being of the work' (Hold. 34/5, p. 66), which in turn is determined as the 'event' of truth in the sense of a struggle, namely, as the oft-cited 'strife'.18 Above all Heidegger still stresses here that worldhorizon and earth are revealed reciprocally: 'The essence of earth . . . is unveiled . . . only in the projecting [Hineinragen] into a world, in the opposition of both' (Hold. 34/5, p. 79). As historical truth, art functions in the threefold sense of the establishing as 'giving', 'grounding' and 'beginning', as projection (Entwurf) of an historical self-understanding, as the uncovering of one which was previously mentioned, already effective, and as the beginning of both a new self- and world-understanding. To this extent the analysis of the poetic basic tone (Grundstimmung) was perhaps to be retranslated even into the existential structure of Being and Time.19 In the unreflected polemic against the cultural philosophy of neoKantianism, Heidegger finally closes out a step beyond his goal. Art, which in no case is permitted to be understood as 'cultural performance of man' (Hold. 34/5, p. 35), is not just historical; rather, art is the origin of the work of art. As 'cultural performance', art may still appear in the temporary, concretizing comprehension of the individual Being-thrown, as Heidegger determines history, namely, as the 'rapture of a people in their offering, as rapture in their giving-with' (Hold. 34/5, p. 89). The subsequent determination of the historical - now ontological - character of Being as fourfold, however, uses a surplus of concretion^as to its contents which Heidegger brings with him from his exegesis of Holderlin. While the poet, like poetry, is reputed to be 'projection' - admittedly circumscribed in the categories of action - at one point in the Rhein hymn where the poet pretends to think, Heidegger finds a determination of the Being of the demigods. The 'over-men' or 'undergods' also remain no mere conceptual-tasteful slip of the tongue. On the contrary, they serve as the legitimation of the transition from 'care' as the 'basic metaphysical essence of Dasein' (Hold.J34/5, p. 281) to the realization of the expanded basic tone and basic determination (Grundstimmung und Grundbestimmung) of the poetic. They are what the poet says: destiny, or rather the 'strife in the midst of Being', which from itself finally mediates Being itself. This destiny, Being as 'conflict between what springs forth and Being-sprung-forth', which is interpreted ontologically as the strife of world and earth, becomes real in the 'actually created', namely, 'on the grounds of the worked-out work' (Hold. 34/5, p. 284). Heidegger paraphrases the interrelation of interpretation and historical realization in the first place as follows: The 'Being of the demigods destiny - is established poetically. This saying is placed amidst the language of the people. Only an historical people is truly a people. It is


Heidegger and Holderlin 265 only historical, however, if it takes place on the grounds of the center of Being, if the intermediate is there, if the demigods, the creating, bring about occurrence as history' {Hold. 34/5, p. 283f.). Already in The origin of the work of art' Heidegger must have 'turned' the perspective of the Holderlin interpretation into his later philosophy of Being if art suddenly takes over the same ontico-ontological function as essence which is the crux of poetizing: to extinguish the hiatus by projection and history. That philosophy itself recognizes the necessity for 'Holderlin's word to create the hearing'20 in Heidegger's secret major work Beitrdge zur Philosophic, also remains traceable to the influence of that 'last God', the experience of which now no longer recoins poetry, but philosophy, in an ontological determination, in the determination of Being as Ereignis. According to 'The origin of the work of art', no further step is necessary to the determination of Being as Ereignis, of history as destiny, other than the ontological clarification of the misunderstanding of poetry, which is not permitted to be a cultural performance because in the historically of Dasein the moment of subjectivity of 'settling' should be extinguished. In the lecture treating Ausgewdhlte 'Probleme' der 'Logik' (Selected 'Problems' of 'Logic') from the winter semester 1937/8, Heidegger accepts his assertion that art establishes the artwork, especially once again from the perspective of the determination of Being. The determination of art first becomes possible from the 'other beginning' of thinking, thus from the conversion to historicality as the authenticity of Dasein as it had arisen as modification through Holderlin's poetry.21 In the further grounding, Heidegger himself summons a 'most distant God' who 'makes necessary' (cf. Grundfragen, 194), who distinguishes art as 'setting of truth into the work'. The converted line of sight of the other beginning contains problems as well as advantages as opposed to fundamentalontological analysis. The advantage to such a consideration lies without doubt in the conclusiveness at least of the formal characterization. History culminates in the work; in its truth it is authentic work. Without wanting to fall back on Nietzsche's eternal recurrence of the same, Heidegger makes use of the same model. The truth's attachment to work stands for the conclusiveness of history. The grounds for the conclusiveness of history as the historicality of Dasein lies analogously in the restrictive interpretation of authenticity as 'corresponding' ('Entsprechert). Heidegger expressly accents the advantage of this restriction. From the poetically-effected, philosophically-characterized basic tone, the turning point of 'destiny' in the interpretive dimension, now the differentinitial thinking, again applies. With this sanitizing of the interpretive dimension it appears - for Heidegger in any case - that actuality is also altered, if not automatically then consequently. By analogy to the poetic, thus by analogy to the conception of a perfectibility of action in history


266 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert as 'corresponding to',22 the 'work' indicates (i.e., makes necessary through 'art' the 'farthest God' or 'Being as Ereignis') definitiveness, or rather finality of history. That is valid structurally, even if Heidegger himself, for example, wants to set his reference to the 'last god' in the Beitrdge zur Philosophie directly against the thought of the definitiveness and finality of history. Also a god who works only in the past and not in the determinative present becomes 'destiny' because the experience of god became restricted. An end of history as turning back to the 'other beginning' is constituted through an activity 'of Being' which is correlative to the receptivity of authenticity (cf. Grundfragen, 210; cf. also the supplement to ยง41: 226f.). Being turns into conclusive actions because - as Heidegger says, because the 'essence of Being' - it can be appropriated in the brightness of the 'Clearing' of Dasein, but also its 'self-concealing' and 'self-denial' is possible and must be accepted. In this way, the forgetfulness of Being is dramatized to become the 'abandonment of Being' (Grundfragen, 187). The causal actor is not man who, on the basis of error, misses the dimension of knowledge which is possible to him, and thereby performs falsely. Here as well Being inherits the 'geniality' of the 'great individual', it assumes the part of the authentic and actually powerful actor. The continuity of the analytic of Dasein construed in the lectures appears to shift the occupation with Holderiin, the determination of the work of art and of Being as Ereignis in continuity with Being and Time, deceived about the breaking away. Small causes - minimal emphasis and indifference in the interpretation of Holderiin, in the generalization from this interpretation of poetry to the determination of the work of art, art and Being - breed great effects. The 'turn' in the determination of historicality and the generalized turn in the concept of the work of art and its consequence could be viewed as continuity of the development of thinking (as Heidegger's 'path of thinking with Holderiin'), not yielding aggravating consequences, even in view of the meaning and interpretation of those appropriations (Ereignisse) of Being which for Heidegger are manifested in extraordinary forms of Dasein, indeed in towering individuals. Heidegger's neglect of the fact that 'Being' from which one expects a change of epoch is not thinkable without fulfillment, is without justification. It can be found neither in the power of the subject, of Dasein, to bring forth this 'it gives', nor is this dimension of openness, from which salvation, the holy, and the divine can then be expected, to be found in the justification of the subject. Everything is released from the justification which is selfevident with the 'poet in an impoverished time', for whom salvation still remains ungraspable. Whether 'it' gives time, and with it an experience of Being, lies not in the power of the fulfilling individual who eventually just guiltily closed his mind to it, but is in the manner of destiny (Ge-


Heidegger and Holderlin 267 schick), or rather fate (Schicksal), that thinking like poetizing is at the mercy of Ereignis. But wherever the occurrence of the character of the Being of law is lost which is secured through wanting to recognize or through acting, and wherever it is reduced to the character of pure experiential openness, it appears to be based on evil, to demand justification, the 'logon didonaV as non-philosophy becomes taboo. On the other hand, however, the historical power of such exemplary experiencers as the poet and in particular the thinker is still sustained. History, made possible through [the historical power of the exemplary experiencers], and for which 'there is' salvation, the holy, the divine, God, and Being, is utilized at least in the second step: in Heidegger's above-named unfortunate equation of the genius in the political and the poetic work, namely, in his identification of poetic interpretation as the original human experience and acting. Here history becomes, if not history without subject, then history without accountable subject. 'Responding', as form of an interpretation which precedes the acting, as theorizing of praxis, preserves the Categorical Imperative in all its substantial-historical consequences. In the practical dimension, this combination of new beginning by means of new authenticity of historical subjectivity and the preserving of the thought of subjectivity, of the weakening of fulfillment in the theoretical, leads to Heidegger's noteworthy reaction to the events of 1933 and after. The thinker Heidegger can only avoid the statesman, i.e., the authentic practical-political dimension, in that of interpretation. He picks Holderlin as the forerunner of this turn in his personal destiny. What must be accomplished in 'impoverished times', however, remains structural, identically so for poetizing and thinking. One could formulate the inverse: error in the political is the result of error in the interpretive performance and its assessment. Moreover with Heidegger, after 1933 it leads to a heightening of this structural weakness, although Heidegger explicitly polemicizes violently against this identification with the tendencies of National Socialism (cf. Grundfragen, 53ff., 126, 143). The connection which has been exposed appears not to be stringent, at least from Heidegger's vision, although it is suggested by his philosophical activities. Truth happens through the poetic word or essential thinking, and not, if indeed one follows Heidegger, held-for-true, consequential (action-orienting) worldview, but the appropriation (Ereignis) of Being. The quasi-pacifistic conception of the historically creative individual has its necessary response (admittedly, only construed philosophically) in the 'deed' ('Tun') of Being. As medium of poetry, language becomes an historical vehicle which, through the steering stroke of the oar, ventures - by cautious adaptation of the world of the adapting navigator (the thinker, the poet) - into the element of steering, of bearing, and is remarkable there as 'capable of bearing'.


268 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert A circle which is in fact vicious - from Heidegger's determination of acting as interpreting, i.e., as responding (a more passive activity) and its proving true, meant to be granted only by responding - allows history to appear as prestabilized Harmony, to appear as a nonsubjective, substantial process. Moreover, this process itself again bears the attribute of the 'genius', of the artist as the extraordinary (authentic) historical subject. It is the side of responding, itself personified and complementary, which the interpreting rounds into reality. History and Being themselves become the work of genius; they are therefore interpreted most adequately as works of art. Here Being itself as 'destiny' or fate moves historicality into the encroaching, quasi-cosmic horizon, which appears in the interpreting of the poet and in the examinations of the thinker to grasp history 'in principle' and at the same time as totality. History is not determined through human action, it is not a construct with the help of which a philosophical characterization of all human actions and their quasi-natural consequence, culture, becomes possible. It becomes, as Hans-Georg Gadamer paraphrases, substantiality, the bearing process in which the subjectivity wanting knowledge is an almost neglectably small moment. From this comprehensive view of a withdrawing and granting occurring, acting and interpreting are in fact leveled in the manner that both remain evenly supplemental, not allowed to alter or change the basic facts. Authentic acting occurs from the comportment of 'Gelassenheif, from the waiting for granting or withdrawing in the 'clearing' of Dasein; likewise authentic interpreting; and likewise authentic thinking - the projecting of interpreting and acting upon the dimension of their origin. In this way, Heidegger wins an indifference-point in his philosophizing which complies with an old philosopher's ideal, namely, a uniform point of departure for any fulfillment, and for philosophical reflection which admittedly can no longer be called reflection but responding hearing. Either one charges this construction to the Mystics - with the consequence that philosophy is freed for new questions - or one takes it seriously as philosophy. Then critique becomes necessary which, buoyed by Heidegger's flawed intrahistorical performance, once more has to discuss the question concerning the differentiation of the indifferencepoint. How, in Holderlin's interpretation, is the germ of error situated in an unhistorical assumption of thinking which is historically (des seinsgeschichtlichen Denkens)! Not only Heidegger's Holderlin interpretation, but also the conception of art, is simply 'non-modern'. In the polemic against art as cultural treasure (Kulturgut),23 Heidegger also 'overcomes' the achievement of the post-Enlightenment, the conception of a subject which has come to the age of using reason. Only in this way can he outfit art in the sufficient and - certainly not necessary, but - needed way


Heidegger and Holderlin 269 to be the organon of essential thinking. In terms of content, Heidegger formulates not only the poetry, but also the thinking of another beginning in the 'new Greece'. The 'other beginning' of thinking is the retrieval of what the Greeks jointly thought of as the future (cf. Grundfragen, 124), it is 'relative to the one and the first' (Grundfragen, 195). 'That the Greeks were the beginning thoughtfully, poetically, politically, for this reason it is hardest to demonstrate that the end at which we stand today is none other than the falling away from that beginning, the growing Being-no-longer-grown [das wachsende Nichtmehrgewachsensein]' (Grundfragen, 115). Not only in Holderlin's poetry (cf. Grundfragen, 135), but simply in historical existence, the fulfillment of the possibilities (cf. Grundfragen, 133) of the first beginning becomes comprehensible and alive; 'what initially radiates as aletheia in order immediately to be extinguished again' should 'once upon a time become the fire glowing on the hearth of our Dasein' (Grundfragen, 140). That is to say, it appears as that 'occurring' of truth 'wherein poetry and pictorial art, the deed which grounds a state and the reverence for the gods first receive their essence, in order then to make that essence exist historically and as history in their words and works, actions and ecstasy, storms and failures' (Grundfragen, 147f.). In the new Greece of the other beginning, the previously named prejudices of Holderlin interpretation, the decisive arguments for the 'fulfillment' of history, are supplied at the outset. The devaluation of 'appearance' and with it the non-truth of fiction not only leads to the benevolent synchronization of poetizing and thinking under the consideration of permitting historical truth; it also requires the identification of the work of art and the work of the state, or rather of history from 'art', or rather from 'Being'. While poetic projection loses the conceptual in the character of settlement in favor of an apparent becoming-nurtured on the basis of a dimension - from an action of authentic existence and its ontological correlates - with higher guarantee of truth. Man, like the poet, can simply hear it wrong, can be lacking, but can no longer be mistaken or responsibly defended (namely, in the acting which was grounded in error). Finally, Heidegger actualizes in pure culture the conception of Greek ethicality which Hegel restricted to the aesthetic religion of the Greeks in his theory of tragedy. So Antigone, like the Greeks and modern man, also simply follows a call of destiny, which binds one to that (one's) existence, by that (one's) God. The necessary collision of ethical powers - for Hegel, the aporia of the thematizing of man's historical Being through art - and their reconciliation which is attainable only in faith, to be sure cancel each other out for Heidegger in a preestablished harmony between poetizing, authentic existence as the groundwork for it, and the appropriation (Ereignis) or withdrawal of Being. In the


270 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert dimension of authenticity, there can only be the collective flaw like the collective corresponding, but which does not deserve to be called 'guilt' because it is destiny. Where Greek tragedy according to Hegel needs at least one other particular, introductory, transsubjective act of reconciliation, actions which are conflicting but indifferent in the dimension of grounding, Heidegger renounces the conflict. Only half of the completeness was mentioned: In the Hyperion and the Empedokles, Holderlin submits to this conception in the situation of modernity and relativizes it in the hymns in a way which conforms to Hegel's thesis of the character of art as something past. Historical reality as a whole is thus for Heidegger no longer the dimension of human interaction, but is the dimension of dialogue. In art, on the other hand - if one follows Hegel as well as Holderlin dialogue guides the dimension of the grounding of action (the Greek God, like the Germanic and Oriental Gods) in the field where doubt about which historical future man is to attain should be treated. Art thematizes (either in an initial, intuitive way as with Hegel, or in a reflective way as in Holderlin's hymns) the grounds for the conflict, namely, the underlying ethical pathe, which seizes it in the image of the respective historical God. It revolutionizes neither acting nor the world because revolution cannot be a return to the Greek beginning (cf. in contrast Heidegger: Grundfragen, 41). Here we can only suggest that Holderlin himself projected his poetizing from the consciousness of a situation which may be called an 'impoverished time' to no less an extent than that prognosticated by Heidegger. The situation following the French Revolution, and with it post-Kantian philosophy, was marked to be sure by a fright of another sort. It was a matter of the disillusioned and disillusioning insight that the translation of explanation into reality, of philosophy into life, destroys this, that one exterminates men where the rational law degenerates into the political slogan. New conceptions of the reference of philosophy to life lead to new poetry (Holderlin), to new religion and new philosophy (Hegel). Thus Holderlin saw, along with Schiller and Kant, that poetry articulates the playful occasion (fiction) which establishes a culture grounded on morality, reason, and freedom. Religion, as its complement, was the serious occasion for the institution of a way of life from the new insight. For Holderlin, both go hand in hand at first in the preparation of a new political domain. While Holderlin's Hyperion still presents the moments of such a humanizing in the context of the narrated history of an exemplary community, restricting the hymns of this interpretive performance which were consulted by Heidegger, to be sure already in the sense that only language (which is preparatory for human acting), and the truth in it which is experienceable and say able, are still content as the vehicle for poetry. History itself appears explicitly in these poems as interpretive


Heidegger and Holderlin 271 elements, or rather in the element of interpretation for purposes of the exemplary ties of intersubjective communication. One can show this well in the poem Andenken, which Heidegger moved to center stage. Immediate action no longer follows from remembrance (Andenkeri); instead, action is prepared for through language. In dialogue, the individual attains the dimension of understanding his action in connection with the 'ethicality of a people'. For Holderlin, this initial and apparently unremarkable transition from the humanization-story narrated as history to the experience of the poet behaving as interpretation of history as a whole, i.e., from acting as the first to interpretive acting (language) as the genuine content, the decisive step: the step from willing-acting (Beingrevolutionary) to compelling-advising (Being-poet). The playful event is no longer disguised as a serious event in this poetizing, but remains in the domain of the worldview-proposal. To be sure, the conscious renunciation of action here at the same time contains the separation of the artistic flash of genius from that of the founder of a state. The interpreter does not found the institutions of the new world, he only prepares them, or rather suggests their establishment through his interpretation. Similarly, Hegel develops philosophy as the reflection of this historical occurrence. Philosophy as a whole is the 'owl of Minerva' which expressly raises the unity of Idea and reality only in its over-exertion as Logic of absolute knowing, which can merely be presupposed in all willing-toknow as 'requirement of reason'. Likewise, this event of reflection (philosophy) then only becomes historical reality itself if the requirement according to reason as desiderium naturale, if Kant's 'metaphysics as natural predisposition' must have been transported at the same time into metaphysics as science, in order to assure the not-unrealizability which is its due. Heidegger and Hegel rally against willing in a philosophizing from theological certitudo, where the late Heidegger conceives of thinking as elevation of a destiny of Being, also if Heidegger wants to break ranks on purpose with all metaphysics in paradoxical inversion of the power of the concept in the powerlessness of philosophical knowing. In the symbiosis between poetizing and interpreting in the dialogue between Holderlin and Hegel, to which Heidegger does not want to admit, beneath a concern for the historical situation of 'modernity', Heidegger's underlying indifference of poetizing and thinking which results from the involuntary retrieval of the concept of genius from the Enlightenment is preserved. Interpreting (poet) in an impoverished orientation-poor, or rather needy - time is not acting. Poetic interpretation, philosophical reflection, or rather an art which is projected upon its function in history, contain a multitude of orientation suggestions in the form of an alternative (to everydayness), but not thereby (without further verification) already authentic world-view. The step from alternative, or rather other, to authentic is only fulfillable philosophically.


272 Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert For Holderlin it failed to appear; Hegel sought to fulfill it with the conception of a system of absolute knowledge. Having been forced to relativize the theory of full philosophical grounding, and also final philosophical grounding, a conception of ad hoc philosophical grounding still remains operable in the determination of art, which Heidegger had been able to carry out approximately in the sense and style of his Dasein analysis from Being and Time. Unfortunately, he himself withdrew from this conception in the Holderlin interpretation. That made it possible for him to continue using the explicitly rejected, identificatory conception of the genius: authentic interpreting guides the misappropriation of time {Zeitenwende) here. To be sure, Heidegger was not only hampered by this in developing a sufficiently differentiated philosophical theory of historical acting, but it also aggravated coming to terms with his problematic conception of authenticity. That is to say, once we have gone with Heidegger on the path from philosophy which is still metaphysico-mathematical (Philosophy of value reflections) to essential thinking, then the disagreeable episode of misdirected acting from interpreting's exaggerated potentiality unavoidably becomes projecting. Heidegger's history, which was established through art, is thereby indebted to prejudices which in recourse to its own considerations appear to be eliminable. Just as with 'art', likewise with 'Being' as Ereignis, Heidegger's overemphasis of thrownness - formulated from the perspective of Being and Time - allows of being questioned. The consequence was another concept of history: history became history of action instead of history of Ereignis. By way of suggestion, the problem as well as its avoidance may be characterized. History, or rather its moment of unavailability, must not be determined as destiny (i.e., ultimately religious as the sending of something unavailable which is prudentlyacting, i.e., 'ingeniously' conceived), as it was for Heidegger. History could have been taken up just as well as the concept for those traces of human, inner-worldly acting (seen globally) which, as traces of acting, have only been diverted (in the forming of culture or technology) or which are no longer graspable at all. For history to lead back to acting indeed appears banal in comparison with the depth of Heideggerian analyses, but is suggested even so. Because the results and consequences of past action also are largely withdrawn from view and from reach, history seen in this way also remains dependent upon interpretation. Any acting: the altering, the intrahistorical, individual decision as well as the renunciation of alteration, leaves behind traces either in 'nature', in institutions, or in the others. These traces bear their origin in themselves, namely, acting, only it is more or less unrecognizable. Interpretation of destiny is granted therein, to lead the quasi natural back to its origin, namely acting. The philosophical assessment (Deutung) of history again appears, as it did for Heidegger, as interpretation (Auslegung) of acting


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in its temporality, which discloses the transitoriness of the actual setting in place as ground for the sedimentation of acting into quasi nature, into substantiality. In my opinion there is, from Heidegger's Being and Time on, a 'path of thinking' to a philosophy of historical culture which Heidegger himself obstructs. His own 'path of thinking with Holderlin' appears, on the contrary, as an erroneous path from the perspective of the question concerning the practical dimension and meaning of philosophy. This erroneous path rests to be sure not on Holderlin's error, but on Heidegger's. Translated by Richard Taft

Notes 1 I have cited the following works of Heidegger: Holderlins Hymnen 'Germanien' und 'Der Rhein\ in M. Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, vol. 39 (Frankfurt: 1980) (hereafter cited in the body of the text as Hold. 34/5); Grundfragen der Philosophie: Ausgewahlte 'Probleme' der <Logik\ in Gesamtausgabe, vol. 45 (Frankfurt: 1984) (hereafter: Grundfragen); Erlduterungen zu Holderlins Dichtung, 3rd ed. (Frankfurt: 1963) (hereafter: EH); and Holzwege (Frankfurt: 1963) (hereafter: HW). The following Heidegger interpretations are cited by name only: J. W. Wahl, La pensee de Heidegger et la poesie de Holderlin (Paris: 1952); B. Allemann, Holderlin und Heidegger (Zurich: 1954; 2nd ed., 1956); O. Poggeler, 'Heideggers Begegnung mit Holderlin', Man and World, 10 (1977); C. Jamme cites Heidegger's self-interpretation of the reference to Holderlin, as well as several investigations of the Heidegger-Holderlin relationship in his 'Dem Dichten Vor Denken', Zeitschrift fiir philosophische Forschung, 38, no. 2 (1984), especially 193f. 2 In opposition to A. Schwan (Politische Philosophie im Denken M. Heideggers (Koln: 1985), O. Poggeler is the first to follow this interpretation: cf. his Philosophie und Politik bei Heidegger (Freiburg: 1972). This interpretation was revised in several important areas on the basis of new materials - which depart from Heidegger's self-interpretation - in 'Den Fiihrer fiihren? Heidegger und kein Ende', Philosophische Rundschau, 32 (1985), 26ff. 3 In his contribution, 'Heidegger und das Prinzip der Phanomenologie' (in Heidegger und das Praktische Philosophie, ed. O. Poggeler and A. GethmannSiefert (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1988), 111), K. Held refers to this consequence from another perspective. He traces the path of Heidegger's thinking as a line of reasoning the zenith of which is to abandon initial, voluntaristic elements in the determination of Being (i.e., all the elements of the fixing or rather the emphasizing of Being are not without execution). This reconstruction also traces the aporia of the superseding of the philosophical argumentation in favor of essential thinking. 4 C. Jamme adds to Poggeler's thesis that there can be found in Heidegger's critique of technology the 'starting point for a political philosophy' in a sense which the Holderlin lecture suggests: So 'one would be able to say with


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justification that at the core of Heidegger's philosophy of art is a practical, i.e., a political, philosophy' ('Dem Dichten Vor-Denken', 210). With this, however, the principal aporia of this conception of the political has been mentioned. 5 Holderlin's agreement with Hegel deepens in the discussions from their time together in Frankfurt, but has already been quashed by direct reference to Schiller in a fragment from 1797 (written) in Hegel's hand, namely the socalled 'altesten Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus' (The earliest system program of German Idealism'). The intention of extending Schiller's conception to history with the use of Kantian philosophy is also obvious from Holderlin's correspondence with Hegel. Cf. Briefe von und an Hegel, vol. 1, ed. J. Hoffmeister (Hamburg: 1952), especially 20. Hegel's corresponding point of view can be found in a letter to Schelling (ibid., 25f.). 6 In this connection O. Poggeler points out only: 'Heidegger . . . does not show how in the dialogue with the philosophy of his time, on the level of the Hyperion, Holderlin set theory and praxis against the experience of beauty, how on the level of the Empedokles he thinks of beauty as a tragic occurrence, how he then takes this occurrence as a dimension of the divine, but how in the final poem of the great synopsis the hymn breaks apart' ('Heideggers Begegnung mit Holderlin', 47). J. Wahl again moves Heidegger on Holderlin closer to Hegel; H. J. Schrimpf ('Holderlin, Heidegger und Literaturwissenschaft', Euphorion, 51 (1957), 308-23) stresses the symptomatic shifting of interests with which Heidegger first interprets the poems from the transitional period of 1800-1, although he justifies his thoughts on the basis of Holderlin's late work. In the Holderlin lecture it becomes clear that Heidegger himself thinks he thereby has the late work in view. If we see the Frankfurt dialogue as a crisis in the early efforts of Holderlin as well as Hegel, then certainly its consequences are only unambiguously comprehensible if we consider the common starting point as well. From here, the differentiation between poetry and politics, which Heiegger overlooks in Holderlin because he tailors the hymns from the transitional period too closely to the traditional conception of the Hyperion, becomes clear. 7 Heidegger refers us to the Empedokles in connection with Holderlin's madness {EH, 41, 42), but without further characterizing the tragic conception as break. Indirectly, a justification can be found for starting with the hymns in Heidegger's reference to the conception of Hyperion which was taken up in a different form in Andenken: EH, 121. The Holderlin lecture also emphasizes this correlation; cf. below, note 13. 8 O. Poggeler, 'Heideggers Begegnung mit Holderlin', 59; ibid, for the following quote. 9 The later interpretations transpose the contested categories less conspicuously in the characterization of poetizing than in historical interpretation, although without abandoning it. The references from the Holderlin lecture are allowed to multiply, cf. e.g., Hold. 3415, pp. 13, 214, 239ff., 257, 293. From time to time there it revolves around poetry as struggle or freeing of the creature (Wesens) from gods and men to its determination, around the sphere of influence for this primal language, around the truth of poetry as strife. 10 For a further interpretation of 'Care', cf. Heidegger und die Praktische Philosophie, 207f., 213f. 11 As it does for Heidegger in the essay of the same name. 12 Cf. Hold. 3415, pp. 51, 60, 62, and up to 67: Poetry itself is just 'the outstanding event in the event of language . . . the poetic is the basic texture of historical Dasein and that now means: language as such constitutes the original essence of the historical Being of man'.


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13 Cf. in addition B. Allemann, 'Holderlin zwischen Antike und Moderne', in Holderlin-Jahrbuch (1984-5), esp. 41f., 56. Allemann shows that Holderlin was concerned with 'the viewpoint from which we have to consider antiquity' (as he explains it in a sketch), to characterize the difference between our development and that of antiquity. Heidegger skips over this difference as well at other points in his early Holderlin interpretation in the characterization of the contents of Germanien: cf. Hold. 34/5, p. 15. Indeed he emphasizes the difference between the Greeks and modern man: to the Greeks the 'dispensation of Being in the seam of the work' is closed off; whereas 'we set the portion of the ability to comprehend into the work in such a way that this comprehending binds and determines and is joined to the seam of Being' (Hold. 3415, p. 293). To be sure, Heidegger stops with the identity of the results 'as we battle the battle of the Greeks, but on the opposite front, we become not Greeks, but Germans' (Hold. 34/5, p. 293). But this means that the identity of poetry and politics applies to modernity as well. For this interpretation, there are further annotations to the Empedokles (Hold. 34/5, p. 258f.), and the retrieved elimination of the concept of appearance as the mediator between fiction and reality (cf. Hold. 34/5, p. 217: 'Poetry, as what has been established, is what is actual'). 14 Schiller determines 'modern' ideal poetry in connection with the essay Uber naive und sentimentalische Dichtung ('On naive and sentimental poetry') in a few noteworthy passages. In this regard, cf. A. Gethmann-Siefert, 'Idylle und Utopie', Schiller-Jahrbuch, 24 (1980), 32ff. Holderlin's Andenken is also presented in this context as conclusive modification of his 'Ideal of educating a people'; this in 'Die "Poesie als Lehrerin der Menschheit" und das "neue Epos" der modernen Welt. Kontextanalysen zur poetologischen Konzeption in Holderlins "Andenken" ', in Poetische Autonomie. Zur Wechselwirkung von Dichtung und Philosophic in der Epoche Goethes und Holderlins, ed. H. Bachmaier et al. (Stuttgart: 1987), 70ff. 15 For Heidegger, appearance (Schein) is explicitly and unequivocally deception, which can only stand in opposition to truth. Cf. Hold. 34/5, p. 62; cf. above, note 13. 16 Cf. O. Poggeler, 'Heideggers Begegnung mit Holderlin', 14f. Even in his later occupation with Holderlin (1942), and in the interpretation of Andenken or Heimkunft (1943), Heidegger simply glosses over important considerations of Holderlin's - to the detriment of the philosophical interpretation. As one curious fact we could call attention to the following: For Holderlin the fact that the reference of his own cultural surroundings (Kulturraum) to the Orient becomes significant was already noticeable in the hymn Germanien, and it could not be overlooked in Andenken. Heidegger interprets this philosophico-existentially for itself in terms of the necessity of dialogue with the east Asian beginning. In place of the cultural blending of horizons which Holderlin's poetry prescribes, the authenticity of individual destiny walks vicariously - that 'compromise between the Western and the east-Asian beginning' documented in Heidegger's conversation with the Japanese. Cf. O. Poggeler, 'Heideggers Begegung mit Holderlin', 60; D. Henrich, Der Gang des Andenkens. Beobachtungen und Gedanken zu Holderlins Gedicht (Stuttgart: 1986), 50f.; A. Gethmann-Siefert, 'Die Poesie als Lehrerin der Menschheit', 89. 17 Cited according to the Reclam edition, Stuttgart, 1967. 18 For the above, Hold. 34/5, p. 257. Cf. also the corresponding passage in the 'Work of art' essay: 'Whenever and however this strife breaks out and happens, the opponents, lighting and concealing, move apart because of it. Hence, the open of the place of strife is won' (67) [other editions: Gesamtausgabe,


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vol. 5, p. 48; Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. A. Hofstadter, 61 - trans]. Nevertheless it is a matter of 'establishing' the truth (68; (Gesamtausgabe, p. 50; Poetry, Language, Thought, 62)), concerning which he says, 'As this strife of earth and world, truth wills to be established in the work' (70; (Gesamtausgabe, p. 50; Poetry, Language, Thought, 62)). Knowing is 'standing within the strife which the work has fitted into the rift' (77; (Gesamtausgabe, p. 56; Poetry, Language, Thought, 68)). The Holderlin lecture prepares this. Poetry was - but with Holderlin himself in an insufficient generalization - as an institution, nothing more than the sound of battle of Nature itself, because 'Being shows as hostility', so the ontological dimension must also become strife (Hold. 34/5, p. 257). 19 Gadamer at least hints at this possibility; cf. the Nachwort to the 'Origin of the work of art', esp. 108f. [This Nachwort by Gadamer appears only in the Reclam edition of 'Origin', published as the monograph Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes, Reclams Universal-Bibliothek, # 8446 (2) (Stuttgart: 1960) - trans.] The characterization of the poetizing projection speaks for this interpretation: Truly poetic projection is the opening up of that into which Dasein, as historical, has already been thrown. This is the earth and, for an historical people, its earth, the self-closing ground on which it rests together with everything that it already is, though still concealed from itself. It is, however, its world, which prevails in virtue of the relation of Dasein to the unconcealedness of Being. Hence everything with which man is endowed must, in the projection, be drawn up from the closed ground and expressly set upon this ground' (86f.; (Gesamtausgabe, p. 63; Poetry, Language, Thought, 75f.)). 20 Cf. O. Poggeler, 'Heideggers Begegnung mit Holderlin', 14. 21 Heidegger retrieves, for example, the care distinction (cf. among others, Hold. 34/5, p. 141f.); he retrieves in particular Holderlin's characterization of the Hesperidian spirit through the 'Junoesque emptiness' in the unfolding 'basic mood' as 'pure emptiness of thinking', 'restrainedness' (Grundfragen, 2) as not-fromanother-knowing (154f.), and finally as 'astonishment' (165ff.). From conversion to discoursing, Heidegger at least suggests then the other beginning is the 'transformation of the line of vision, the standard and the claim' (Grundfragen, 190). 22 Along the same lines, in the Grundfragen Heidegger also juxtaposes poetizing and thinking as hearing, interrogating the original origin (Hold. 34/5, pp. 197, 200f.) and the closer discussion as 'holding one's ground' (Hold. 34/5, p. 201), the enduring of the first beginning. Cf. pp. 136, 138, 142, 148, 175ff. 23 Cf. also the sharp rejection of the concept of culture in general, Grundfragen, 182.


45 'The flower of the mouth': Holderlin's hint for Heidegger's thinking of the essence of language Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann

I On the metaphysical determination of the sound character of language In his lecture trilogy 'The essence of language'1 Heidegger seeks a thinking experience of the essence of language, directed by the words The essence of language: The language of essence' (US, 176). Taken as a directive, these words function as a guide for the path of thinking - a path which, as such, proceeds in the neighborhood, or nearness, of thinking and poetizing. Their nearness to each other relies on the excellent relation that each has to language and its essence. But, at the same time, this nearness is determined by a 'delicate, but clear difference' (US, 196), which excludes their blending, or the assimilation of one by the other. The word-directive 'The essence of language: The language of essence' contains a directive for thinking. These words are to direct thinking as it experiences and thinks the essence of language. Taken as a directive, these words have the character of a hinting. 'A hint hints away from the one toward the other' (US, 202). The hinting which occurs in this word-directive is, therefore, a hinting away from and a hinting towards. This hinting hints thinking away from the first phrase, before the colon, hinting towards the second phrase, after the colon. Thus, in its hinting away, this hinting initially refers thinking to that from which it hints away. The phrase 'the essence of language' articulates the traditional determination of the essence of language - and this determination must first be considered, with regard to its insufficiency. However, such a critical approach is possible only on the basis of a prior understanding of a more originary and root experience of language. This prior understanding is articulated in the second phrase of the word-directive, 'the language of essence'. But the second phrase of the word-directive hints towards the possibility of an original experience of the essence of language only haltingly. To get thinking involved in


278 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann this possibility, thinking must first engage in a critical reflection on the basic traditional representation of language which is expressed in the first phrase. According to the traditional representation we view language as the vocal utterance of inner ideas and thoughts. We grasp the vocal utterance as a phenomenon of the human body which, together with the body as a whole, belongs to the realm of sensibility. What gets expressed in vocal utterances (the content of language, its sense and meaning) we take as the spiritual part of language. We then imagine the spoken and written language to be the unity of sensible sound and spiritual meaning. This basic representation of language harks back to the old and traditional representation of man as animal rationale, as the living being who is endowed with reason. As a living being, man belongs to the realm of the sensible, which he shares with all other, nonhuman living beings. As ratio man is a thinking, reasoning being and belongs to the realm of the spiritual. Through ratio man raises himself above the realm of a merely existing being, differentiating himself from nonhuman living beings. The basic representation of language as the unity of what is vocal, bodily, and sensible with what has a spiritual content or meaning and is expressed therein - this basic representation stems from representing the essence of man as a living being who is endowed with reason. This essential conception of man seems to be well-founded and untouchable as long as a more original experience of man is not manifest. But this more original experience occurs only when thinking realizes that the traditional determination of the essence of man as animal rationale is formed within the horizon of an understanding of being that is developed by looking at an extant being, by not viewing man as man. The traditional, metaphysical determination of the essence of man shows itself to be guided by a conception of being which covers over and conceals the most proper way in which man is man. If the traditional, metaphysical representation of language corresponds to the metaphysical determination of the essence of man, this representation of language, too, is formed by that understanding of being which is developed outside the view of man as man. To what extent is the essential determination of man as animal rationale guided by an understanding of being which does not have its origin in man as man? The essential determination 'animal rationale' is a logical and ontological definition based on genus proximum and differentia specifica. The animal is the genus 'living being', within which various kinds can be distinguished: plants, beasts, and humans. What they have in common is being a living being: that by which they differ from one another is their own particular way of being. What constitutes the specific difference of man as a human living being is ratio. Genus and kind are thought as essence in the sense of whatness, or essentia. When we think in terms of genus and kind, we are thinking of an aspect which we name by means


'The flower of the mouth9 279 of distinguishing characteristics. We distinguish the essence as whatness from that-ness, or being-real. Being as what-ness and being as that-ness articulate the metaphysical concept of being. Metaphysics and ontology extend this ontological pair of concepts to all beings. Accordingly, all beings - stone, plant, beast, and man - are determinable with regard to their differentiated inherent what-ness and their unified way of being-real - in contrast to non-being or merely possible-being. According to the metaphysical determination of the essence of man as animal rationale, man belongs to the genus of living beings, differentiating himself from other beings only through his specific way of being. But, considering how man is a real being, he shares the real character of his being with all other beings. Within the horizon of being that is differentiated metaphysically according to what-ness and that-ness, man is a being among other beings. But this determination of the essence of man covers over man's ownmost being (his ownmost how-ness) as an existence that understands being. This way of being is man's 'ownmost' because it is proper only to man. But this way of being cannot be grasped within the distinction between what-ness and that-ness {essentia and existentia). On the contrary, the ontological separation of what-ness and being-real is possible only for a being who in its ownmost being understands being. The ontological pair of concepts, essentia and existentia, unfolds in terms of beings that are on hand and lie before us as handy and as such can be defined in terms of their inherent what-ness. But in order for beings as beings to lie before us and to be determined in terms of their what-ness and being-real, being as such must have disclosed itself in the enactment of ek-sistence of thrown projection. That being which in its being understands being through thrown projection of being cannot be grasped according to those concepts of being which are themselves only possible on the basis of an ek-sistential understanding of being and which are developed according to an eksistential understanding of being in view of beings that do not understand being. If the distinction between essentia and existentia is a distinction that applies ontologically to things (because it is based on things that are at hand), then the determination of man's essence as animal rationale is also a determination which applies ontologically to things and not to Dasein. The notion of animal rationale fails to grasp man as a being that existentially understands being - fails to grasp man as Dasein. But if the basic metaphysical representation of language has its origin in the metaphysical determination of man as animal rationale, then this basic representation of language is also formed by a thinking which, ontologically, is concerned only with things. But if we get a critical distance from the metaphysical determination of language, which takes its departure from the vocal utterance, then we^ must call into question the notion that the sound aspect of language is sensible and bodily. This representation of language takes the sounding


280 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann aspect of language to belong to the sensible and to what is animalistic in the rational animal. Because, as animal rationale, man shares his corporeality as well as his being a living being with all nonhuman living beings, he must also share with them the vocal or sounding aspect of language. Thus, along with corporeality and animality, the sounding aspect of language is also interpreted from within the ontological horizon of being as inherent what-ness and as being-real. What is decisive about the insight into man's ownmost way of being as existence is that existence that understands being does not simply replace ratio, as if existence were just another differentia specifica. If we view existence in this way, we remain within the metaphysical perspective of essentia and existentia. If it is only within the metaphysical-ontological horizons of what-ness and that-ness that an essential definition is possible - by indicating the nearest species and the specific difference which constitutes a class within the species - then that means: Man's ownmost essence is not at all comprehensible according to a definition which indicates the character of species and class. If existence which understands being is not developed according to the character of a class derived from the notion of species shared by other beings, then that means: Existence that understands being determines man as a being as a whole, including his corporeality and whatever pertains to it. Man as Dasein existence that understands being - does not share his corporeality with nonhuman living beings. In the Letter on Humanism Heidegger writes: Thus even what we attribute to man as animalitas, on the basis of comparison with the "beast", is itself grounded in the essence of eksistence. The human body is something essentially other than an animal organism.'2 This does not exclude our investigating our body like an animal organism. But such is possible only because the body and its corporeality already belong to us in a manner that is determined by eksistence, which is open to being and the world. The critical distance from the metaphysical determination of the sound character of language prevails over the covering over of the ways of vocal utterance and Dasein's whole corporeality that are determined by ek-sistence. Therefore Heidegger has us consider whether 'the element of language that pertains to the human body, as well as the sound and written character of language, is adequately experienced' in the basic metaphysical representation of language (US, 204). Is it sufficient to relegate 'the sound character of language to the body understood physiologically' and to classify that body within 'the metaphysically intended sphere of sensibility' (US, 204-5)? We cannot and should not deny that linguistic utterances can be 'physiologically explained as the generating of audible sounds' (US, 205), But the real question here is whether the physiological perspective on vocal utterance, on the sound character of language, and on the body as such constitutes the sole means of access to language -


The flower of the mouth' 281 or whether this perspective is only one possible access, preceded by another access, in which Dasein's corporeality and the corporeality of language are determined differently, prior to the representation in terms of physiology. This other manner of access to language is indicated and sketched out in man's ownmost way of being in terms of ek-sistence, which understands being and is open to the world. Only when this initial manner of determining the sound character of language is closed off can the linguistic utterance be taken as the sensible expression of inner thoughts and be scientifically-physiologically thematized. The physiological way of explaining the linguistic utterance does not experience 'what in each case genuinely belongs to the sounds and tones in speech' (US, 205); the physiological approach conceals this characteristic. Looking ahead towards the thinking experience of the essence of language, announced in the second phrase of the word-directive ('the language of essence'), we must now think and experience what properly pertains to sounds and tones in speech - that is, we must hold within our phenomenological gaze what is thus experienced. What genuinely belongs to the sounds of language differs from the sounds produced by animals, which, along with the animal organism, are not determined by the way of being of ek-sistence open to the world. One would think that one sees what properly belongs to language by focusing on rhythm and melody, which are distinctive of song, and how they also belong to language - so that language is related to song. But this way of looking at it still does not disclose what genuinely belongs to the sound and tone of language, because this way of looking also represents what resounds in melody and rhythm 'from within the perspective of physiology and physics' (US, 205). The physiological and physical representation of what is soundable in language, song, and music leads to correct results, whose correctness cannot be disputed. But 'correct' here means just the determination which is aligned to what has already been explicated or made explicit. And that way of bringing sound into the explicit realm covers over the original manner of determining sound, namely, from out of ek-sistence, which is open to the world. What genuinely belongs to sound can no longer be experienced within the sensible, physiological, and physical perspectives. Sounding, ringing, oscillating, vibrating, and pulsing belong properly to language, just as the spoken word and the conjunction of words have a 'meaning'. But everything depends on whether sound and 'meaning' are viewed and determined in accordance with their essential character. This way of determining sound and 'meaning' is constantly threatened by the danger of succumbing to the traditional metaphysical way of representation, which, for its part, has enabled the physiological and physical as well as the scientific-technological manner of explanation. Such a metaphysical way of representation and such a technological manner of explanation


282 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann prevent a 'proper reflection' (US, 205) on language, on what resounds in speaking and on the meaning 'sounded'. If we pursue a 'proper reflection' instead of a metaphysical-technological explanation, then in this 'reflection' we will be dealing with a thinking that tries to experience and determine language and sounds from within the horizon of eksistence which understands the world. If this reflection is to be 'proper', then it should be guided by the phenomenological maxim 'to the things themselves.' The sound character of language should show itself within the horizon of ek-sistence which understands the world. Thinking should take place as a letting be seen, showing what shows itself, in and from itself, as what properly belongs to language's sound and tone. II Holderlin's poetic experience with language as a hint for the proper reflection on what genuinely belongs to the sound of language Heidegger begins the proper reflection on what genuinely belongs to sound by referring to the dialects of a language. These dialects present 'various ways of speaking according to regions' (US, 205). We also call these dialects Mundarten, 'ways of the mouth', 'kinds of tongue'. Now: How do we differentiate the sounds in the dialects? Usually we answer this question using phonetics and the theories of phonology and voice formation. But phonetics stays within physiological and physical representation and explanation. For phonetics explains the differences in dialects in terms of 'the different ways in which the tools of language move' (US, 205). This phonetic-physiological-physical way of explanation is characterized, for its part, by the metaphysical representation of language - and phonetics does not know its metaphysical presuppositions. In contrast to the phonetic-physiological-physical manner of representation, which is correct within its own realm, Heidegger now suggests, in accordance with the required proper reflection, that in the different dialects and their sounds 'each landscape or region - earth itself - speaks differently' (US, 205). Here the fundamental word earth is introduced for the first time. This word opens the dimension wherein the sound character of language genuinely belongs. What Heidegger calls 'earth' will soon be shown to be one of the four regions of world, which as world opens itself up in the clearing-concealing freeing and proffering of world (US, 200). The world that is opened shows itself in ek-sistence which understands world. But if earth is a region of world and if what genuinely belongs to the sound of language is experienceable and thinkable from out of its relation to earth, then we begin to surmise what it means to determine properly the sound character of language within the horizon of ek-sistence which understands world. As each dialect sounds differently, so does the region or earth speak


'The flower of the mouth' 283 differently in each case. But how does earth 'speak'? What can 'speaking' mean here? Seen from the point of view of phonetics, mouth or tongue is an organ -which belongs to the body represented as an organism. As long as we posit the human body as an organism, it is identical with animal organism and as such belongs to the realm that we represent as the animal realm. However, when it is viewed from within the proper reflection as it occurs in the horizon of ek-sistence which understands world, when it is viewed from within the thrown projecting that stands in the clearing of the self-projecting world, then 'body and mouth' are part of 'the flowing and growth of earth' (US, 205). The flowing and growth of earth names that which in our understanding of world is disclosed and understood as earth. The intelligibodily sound belongs to the way in which earth gets disclosed. We 'flourish' as 'mortals' (US, 205) in that understanding of flowing and growth of earth which belongs to our understanding of world. With this fundamental word for man experienced as Dasein, Heidegger in his later philosophy takes up what in Being and Time was called the existential ontological character of 'being-towards-death'. The understanding of being and of world proper to ek-sistence is thought here as essential openness to death. That is why Heidegger names 'mortals' as another of the four regions of world. The earliest indication by Heidegger that the sound character of language pertains to earth as a region of world occurs in terms of Holderlin. For the thinking experience of world as the unity of the four regions of world, which Heidegger calls the fourfold, and the experience of the relationship of the sound character of language to the world-region of earth take their guiding hint from the encounter with Holderlin's poetry. Thus Heidegger introduces some of Holderlin's verses in which language is characterized poetically as 'the flower of the mouth' - but mouth, and along with it the body and bodily utterance, as connected to earth. Now, since the task is to think the sound character of language from out of the essence of language as saying, thinking receives its direction from Holderlin's poetry, by remembering its own nearness to poetizing. Now the situation is different from that in the first two lectures of the trilogy, where Heidegger was dealing with the poetry of Stefan George. For George's poetical experience with the word does not extend to the relationship of the sound character of language with the earth as worldregion. George's experience does not extend into the essential origin of the word, which in his experience is what alone offers being to things. By contrast, Holderlin's poetic experience with the essence of language is more original, because it reaches deeper into the essence of language. Altogether Heidegger draws upon excerpts from four of Holderlin's poems. The first excerpt comes from the fifth stanza of the later hymn 'Germanien'. The eagle of Zeus says to the 'quietest daughter of God':


284 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann And secretly, while you dreamed, at noon, Departing I left for you a symbol of friendship, The flower of the mouth, and you spoke in solitude. Yet an abundance of golden words you also sent, O fortunate one! with the streams, and they flow Inexhaustibly into all regions.3 Here language is poetically experienced as 'the flower of the mouth'. Insofar as the 'golden words . . . flow . . . with the streams' of the earth, a relation of word and earth is poetically named. The second text, taken from the first stanza of the elegy 'Walk in the country', unfolds the poetic image of 'the flower of the mouth': Therefore I even hope it may come to pass, When we begin what we wish for and our tongue loosens, And the word has been found and the heart opened, And from ecstatic brow springs a higher reflection, That the sky's blooms may blossom even as do our own, And the luminous sky open to opened eyes.4 Here too the poetic word is addressed. According to its meaning the line That the sky's blooms may blossom even as do our own' is to be thought thus: We hope that with our blossoming heaven's blossoming would also begin. With our blossoming, that is to say, with the blossoming of the flower of the mouth, the blossoming of language begins. Holderlin experiences and poetizes the essence of poetic language as the blooming of the flower of the mouth. With its blooming the earth blossoms towards the blossoming of the heavens. In the blooming of the flower of the mouth, i.e., in the poetic saying of the poetic word, the earth and heavens blossom. When we transpose the poetic experience of Holderlin from the level of his poetic path into the path of thinking, then we can say: In saying what is uttered as sounding word, earth opens itself up as earth, heaven as heaven. But this happens in such a way that earth blossoms and emerges as earth under sky, and sky blossoms and emerges as sky above the earth. The earth is only the earth of the heavens, just as the heavens are only the heaven of the earth. Before Heidegger introduces two more excerpts from Holderlin's poems, he says, with regard to the excerpts already quoted, that in them the essence of language as 'saying', as 'way-making for everything' (US, 206) announces itself. What 'makes way for everything' is the clearingconcealing offering of world for ek-sistence which is open to and understands world. What is named the clearing-concealing offering of world is an initial characterization of what is meant in the second phrase of the word-directive: the 'language of essence'. The essence of language


'The flower of the mouth' 285 as the essential origin of Stefan George's poetic experience of the beingbestowing word - this essence is the world which lights up, conceals, and offers to ek-sistence which understands world. Now, when Heidegger says that the essence of language announces itself in Holderiin's poetic experience with language as the flower of the mouth, in whose blooming earth and sky blossom toward each other, and when we realize that waymaking for all is clearing-concealing offering of world, then Holderiin's experience sheds light on the manner in which world as world is to be experienced in the offering of world. Accordingly, earth and sky belong to world as regions of the world. In Holderiin's experience with language, that essence of language announces itself which, in light of the second phrase of the word-directive, should be experienced and determined as the language of essence. Holderiin's experience with language reaches deeper into its essence than George's experience, for whom the poetic word for the essential origin of the beingrbestowing word remained hidden. Nevertheless Heidegger speaks about Holderlin only in the context of an 'announcement', which means that in Holderiin's experience with language its essence does not readily show itself. What is needed is to bring to light, through thinking experience, the essence of language, which announces itself in Holderiin's poetic experience. This must be done in such a manner that this essence of language shows itself in its structural tonality from out of itself by itself. What announces itself in Holderiin's experience is brought over into thinking, so that the essence of language, which shines poetically, shows itself to a thoughtful seeing as something experienced in thinking. The third excerpt from Holderlin is taken from the fifth stanza of the elegy 'Bread and wine': Such is man; when the wealth is there, and no less than a god tends him with gifts, though he remains blind and unaware. First he must suffer; but now he names his most treasured possession, Now, now words for it must emerge like flowers.5 The fourth excerpt from Holderlin is another version of these same lines from 'Bread and wine': Long and hard is the word of this coming, but White (light) is the moment. But those who serve the gods Know the earth well, and their step toward the abyss is In its youth more human, but still what is in the depths is old,6


286 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann Taking both of these excerpts into account, Heidegger states that 'once again', as in both previous excerpts, the word appears in and as the region which allows earth and sky to 'encounter each other' (US, 207). He suggests that Holderlin experiences the word as the region which determines earth and sky to be 'world regions' (US, 207). Here, in this lecture trilogy, the word world-region surfaces for the first time. But both excerpts name much more. The third excerpt names man, god, and 'words like flowers'. The fourth excerpt names word, 'servant of the gods', and earth. Keeping in mind that later in the text of the third lecture Heidegger thinks the world as a whole and as the unity of the four world regions - and thinks these four as earth and sky, god and mortals - then we may say that in those excerpts, in addition to the world regions of earth and sky, the world regions of 'god' (or: 'the heavenly ones') as well as 'mortals' are also poetically named. Heidegger emphatically points out that Holderlin experiences language in the heightened manner of poetic language as 'flower of the mouth', as 'words, like flowers'. Heidegger sums up: Within Holderlin's experience of the essence of poetic language lies 'the awakening of the deepest view' (US, 207). The poet sees language as an essential occurrence. This is the deepest possible view, reaching deeper into the essence of language than Stefan George. It is also deepest in a further sense, namely, insofar as it reaches into the deepest expanse of the opening of the world as it and its regions open up for man in language. Holderlin's experience with language amounts to an awakening of the deepest way of language, an awakening from a slumber, from the closing-up in which Holderlin's experience of the essence of language was hidden - the essence of language as that which lets world regions appear. Holderlin's experience with the essence of poetic language is the awakening of the deepest view because in this essential experience 'the word is harbored back into its essential source' (US, 207). It is here that the word first of all becomes poetic word, in that in its saying and naming it lets what it names come into the manifestness of its being. The word which names and renders manifest, the sounding word whose naming renders things manifest, is experienced out of its essential source, i.e., out of the emergence of world regions. But why does Heidegger say that in Holderlin's experience the word is 'harbored back'? 'Harboring' here means 'saving' and 'sheltering preserving'. As long as the word is represented as the vocal expression of a meaning content - that is, as long as the word receives its determination from basic metaphysical representations - the word remains unharbored and estranged from its essential source. On the other hand, if we experience its essential source, then it is saved in its essence, or: it is harbored. Insofar as it receives its harboring from its essential source, from which the word was removed


'The flower of the mouth' 287 in metaphysical determining, its harboring is a harboring back, i.e., back to the place from where the word has its essence. Insofar as in Holderlin's experience the poetic word is harbored back into its essential origin, it is 'brought forth . . . from its origin' {US, 207). Harboring the poetic word back into its essential source is also a 'bringing forth of the word from its origin'. The essential source, the emergence of world and its regions, is the origin where the poetic word begins. This can only be a naming which renders things manifest insofar as its naming begins with the emergence of world. The poetry of Holderlin is 'the bringing forth' of the word out of its origin, in a twofold sense. When Holderlin experiences the essence of language and poetizes this experience in the phrase 'words, like flowers', then his poetizing of his experience of this essential word is bringing forth the poetic word out of its origin. That is the first meaning. The second meaning is this: When Holderlin explicitly experiences and poetizes the essential source and origin of the poetic word, then what comes to pass is not only his poetizing of the poetically experienced essence of language; but - deeper and more essential than that - what takes place in his poetizing as a whole is the poetic bringing forth of the poetic word (poetry as a work of art in language) out of its poetically experienced origin. Simply put, Holderlin understands his poetic creation as creative emergence of the poetic word out of its origin. When Holderlin, in his experience with language, brings forth the poetic word out of its origin, such a bringing forth is only possible as the 'ability to listen' to the essence of language that addresses him in the experience and befalls him (US, 207). Thus Heidegger characterizes Holderlin's experience with language in four ways: (a) as an awakening of the deepest view, (b) as a harboring return of the word to its essential source, (c) as a bringing forth of the word out of its origin, and (d) as the ability to listen to the essential source and origin of language. Ill The earthbound emergence of the sounding of language from out of saying as resounding, as letting appear of world The intimate relationship between sounding words and the world regions of earth, which Holderlin experiences poetically, must now be explicitly brought over into thinking, into that thinking which - with a view to the second phrase of our word-directive, namely, 'the language of essence' - would experience and determine this no-longer-metaphysical essence of language. That is the task of the step in thinking that we now take. The turn towards Holderlin's poetic experience with language should give thinking a hint and a direction. Thinking receives such a direction


288 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann from the poetic word for language as experienced in its essence. This word is: 'flower of the mouth', 'blossom', and 'words, like flowers'. When Holderlin the poet experiences and names the essence of word and language as the 'flower of the mouth' and as 'blossom' and when - in a hermeneutical dialogue with poetry - thinking turns towards poetic experience thus brought to word, then thinking 'hears the sounding of language rising in an earthbound manner' (US, 208). As hearing, thinking understands what announces itself through poetic words as the essence of language. Here Heidegger speaks about 'rising' in view of 'blossom', whose blossoming and blooming is an emergence out of concealment. The sounding of language rises in an 'earthbound' manner, i.e., it rises as everything that belongs to earth rises. When the sounding of language rises in an earthbound manner, we must ask 'from where' it emerges. The answer is: 'From saying, in which world is allowed to appear' (US, 208). The sounding of language rises in an earthbound manner 'out of saying'. This means: This sounding arises out of saying, out of the unfolding of language in its non-metaphysical essence, out of the waymaking that makes way for everything - all of which is indicated in the second phrase of our word-directive. Because the way-making for all as clearing-concealing releasing is what allows the world to appear, we can say that the sounding of language arises in an earthbound manner out of what 'allows world to appear', out of the region of earth which belongs to world. This insight into the emergence of the sounding of word out of the emergence of regions of world as the origin and essential source of word belongs to Holderlin's experience with language. However, what Holderlin experiences poetically thinking can experience in its own way and bring into the word of thinking, as distinguishable from poetic word. To experience in thinking and to determine what has been poetically experienced means that thinking can experience in its own way, as a phenomenological matter, what the poet experiences in his way. The matter which shows itself now as the earthbound rising of the sounding of language out of saying, that allows world to appear, is not something merely poetic - because it is initially experienced by the poet - that thinking can merely re-think. Rather, even though this matter is initially experienced by poetizing, it can be phenomenologically exhibited by thinking in its own way. After Heidegger experiences the sounding of language phenomenologically, from the earthbound manner of emerging/rising of sounding out of saying as that which allows world to appear, he now shows phenomenologically the 'letting appear of world'. The essential source of the sounding word 'letting appear of world' is characterized as a 'resounding' which 'gathers' the world regions 'by naming' (US, 208). When thought in an initiatory and original manner out of the origin, letting appear of world - that is, lighting, concealing, releasing of world - is an offering


'The flower of the mouth' 289 for ek-sistence which understands world. But in the meantime we have seen that the world, which lights up and conceals itself, is the totality of the four world regions. Worldbound relations, which constitute with their web a totality of meaningful relations, manifest as relations within the regions of the world and among these regions as they relate to one another. The releasing which lights up and conceals and allows world to appear is a naming and gathering, insofar as the world regions are gathered in the rising which lights them up in the totality of their being related to one another. This gathering which takes place in the letting appear of world has the fundamental feature of a naming, insofar as the world regions call one another as they emerge and thus allow the sway of their interconnectedness. What lights up as world, as the worldbound totality of relations of the world regions, shows its own active sway. This active sway makes up the relations which light up among the world regions. This sway of the gathering of the world regions as they call one another Heidegger calls 'resounding'. Why does Heidegger choose the word resounding (das Lduten) for the sway of what allows world to appear as the essential source of the naming word? His choice of words is in part with a view to the activeness that is proper to the gathering which names the regions of the world, but also with reference to the sounding (das Lduten) of language. The sounding rings out of the resounding' (US, 208). The naming which gathers the world regions does not itself sound. However, in its not sounding it is not deprived of its own activeness, which is resounding and as such enables the sounding word which names and makes beings manifest. In what relation of possibility does the resounding - the gathering which calls world regions - stand to the naming which makes beings manifest? Heidegger responds to this question by saying that resounding, as the calling gathering of the world regions, allows this gathering to appear 'in things' within the open which makes up the world's clearing. This is an essential statement about the relation of world and thing. The lighting, concealing, releasing and extending of world, which allows world to appear, the calling gathering of the interrelated world regions - this occurrence of the clearing of world is essentially a relation to beings as things. World's clearing occurs in relation to things, which are things only because of this relation. As innerworldly things, things are worldgathering. Their inner-worldliness is the manner by which, in their manifestness, they gather world. The respective what-ness and how-ness of things get determined by the manner in which they gather the meaningful relations of the world regions as these light up. They harbor the world's clearing in that they gather world. This harboring belongs essentially to the occurrence of the clearing-concealing emergence of world. The clearing of world occurs originally only when the world which is lit up is also harbored originally in beings and their manifestness. Harboring the truth


290 Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann of being and the clearing of world are part of the essence of truth when the latter is experienced according to the history of being. Thus this harboring is one of the essential insights into the way in which the question of being gets worked out in the history of being. This issue is treated for the first time and in a fundamental and comprehensive way in Beitrdge zur Philosophie. What Heidegger thinks in the lecture trilogy as the theme of letting world appear in things and what he thinks in the lecture entitled The thing'7 as thing's gathering of world is given its groundwork in the part of Beitrdge zur Philosophie which is entitled 'Die Griindung'.8 If sounding of the naming word, which names things, rings out of the resounding as gathering which calls the world regions and if the world which is lit up appears in the world-gathering-things, then letting the world appear in things takes place in the naming of the word. What sounds and transpires in the naming of the word is the manifestness which gathers world, made possible by the clearing of world. These exist only within the space of language, in the context of a naming which has the character of word and in the context of the essential source of this naming which makes things manifest out of a resounding, which is the clearing of world. If the sounding of language is experienced from the earthbound emergence and if this emergence is experienced in terms of a sounding as the calling gathering to which earth belongs, then the sound character of language is no longer subordinated to the bodily organs alone, as in the metaphysical determination of language. The phenomenological reflection that we have just carried out released the sound character of the voice and of language from the perspective of the physiological-physical explanation, which for its part is metaphysically determined. A proper, phenomenological reflection, when guided by the second phrase of our word-directive, must 'hold the sound of language and its earthiness [. . .] within the attuning, which tunes the regions of the world's jointure, playing them off one another and tuning them to one another' (US, 208). Here we are talking about an 'attuning' which tunes the world regions to one another. The world regions do not exist for themselves, but are related to one another - and in such a way that each is tuned to the other. We must rethink what Heidegger says here about tuning and attuning in terms of what he discussed in Being and Time (Section 29), in the context of his existential-ontological analysis of Dasein, about the existential-ontological essence of attunement of Dasein in its being-inthe-world. Attunement (Befindlichkeif) is the existential-ontological term for the existentiell phenomenon of the attuning and being-attuned of Dasein. In opposition to the metaphysical and psychological explication of being-attuned as an affective, psychic condition, Heidegger shows that attunements are ways in which Dasein is disclosed in the existential,


'The flower of the mouth' 291 horizonal disclosedness of its total being-in-the-world. The essence of attunements pertain to the fundamental phenomenon of disclosedness. Attunements are not something merely subjective, which colors external things. Rather attunements factically disclose Dasein in the disclosedness of its complete being-in-the-world. This is never neutral, but is essentially attuned this way or that way and is disclosed according to attunements. Since complete disclosedness of being-in-the-world includes the ecstatichorizonal disclosedness of world as significance, world and worldly signification are disclosed according to attunement. The world-relations which form the totality of referential signification are in each case unconcealed according to attunement. To be attuned is not something merely subjective and internal. Rather, because world is disclosed for Dasein in the manner of an attunement, moods and attunement of Dasein have world character. .. If we want to understand what Heidegger is aiming at when he says that attunement tunes the regions of world to one another, we must bear in mind these ontologically interrelated issues of world, disclosure, and attunement of Dasein, which Heidegger demonstrates through a phenomenological analysis. Just as in Being and Time disclosedness of world is disclosed essentially by attunement, so the clearing of the world which is experienced in terms of the history of being - and letting appear of world - is also a matter of attuning. What calls the gathering of world regions is a tuning clearing, which tunes the unconcealed regions of the world to one another in their interrelatedness. So far Heidegger has addressed the world regions. But now he speaks of the 'regions of the jointure of the world' (US, 208). World as wholeness of regions of the world builds a jointure. The joined character of this jointure ensues from the manner in which world regions in the clearing of world call and gather into one another, play off one another, and are tuned to one another. A proper reflection on language has to hold its sounding character - in its belonging to the earth as one of the four world regions - into a core harmony of earth and the other world regions. By contrast, in the metaphysical determination of language and in its physiological-physical phonetic explanation the sounding of language is estranged from its essential source. Translated by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly Notes 1 Martin Heidegger, The essence of language', in Unterwegs zur Sprache (Pfullingen: Gunther Neske Verlag, 1979), 159-216. Hereafter referred to in the text as 'US\ 2 Martin Heidegger, Brief fiber den Humanismus (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio


292

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Klostermann Verlag, 1981), 15; Basic Writings, trans. F. Capuzzi (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), 204. 3 Friedrich Holderlin, Samtliche Werke, ed. N. v. Hellingrath (Munich and Leipzig, 1916), IV, 183; in Freidrich Holderlin: Poems and Fragments, trans. M. Hamburger (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 405. 4 ibid., 112. 5 ibid., 122. 6 ibid., 322f. 7 Martin Heidegger, 'Das Ding', in Vortrage und Aufsatze (Pfullingen: Gunther Neske Verlag, 1954), 163-81; in Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. A. Hofstadter (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), 163-86. 8 Martin Heidegger, Beitrage zur Philosophic (Vom Ereignis), Band 65 of the Gesamtausgabe, ed. F.-W. von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, 1989).


46 Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics Joseph J. Kockelmans

I Over the past 60 years a great number of important treatises on metaphor have appeared, mainly in the Anglo-American world and in France. Ricoeur has given us a truly excellent, critical discussion of the most important insights proposed in these treatises; this discussion places the new ideas that have been developed in this century, in the perspective of our entire Western tradition that reaches back as far as Plato and Aristotle.1 In this discussion it is made clear that whereas at the beginning the concern with metaphor was concentrated mainly within the domain of rhetoric, in modern times the center of gravity of this concern has shifted from rhetoric to semantics, and still later from semantics to hermeneutics and literary criticism. Finally, this discussion shows that in addition to the 'scientific' interests in the phenomenon of metaphor, there also are a number of typically 'philosophical' treatises in which their authors have tried to explain the precise position and function of metaphor in philosophical discourse as such. These latter treatises were influenced in part by the study of the history of philosophy, but particularly by the ideas in this regard proposed by Hegel and Nietzsche.2 Greisch has suggested to divide the philosophical literature on metaphor into three main parts. In his view in philosophy the problem of metaphor may be asked in three different ways; these three ways of asking questions lead to three different theories about metaphor: (1) there is the analysis of its function in Anglo-Saxon philosophy of languge; then (2) there is the study concerning its link with the problem of interpretation (hermeneutic approach); finally (3) there is the ontological question of its meaning for philosophy (Heidegger and Derrida). As Greisch sees it the most important contribution in analytic philosophy consisted in the realization that in addition to the classical, rhetorical


294 Joseph J. Kockelmans theory of the metaphor (Aristotle) which sees in the metaphor a substitution of one word for another, there is a semantic theory of the metaphor in which metaphor is the effect of meaning which comes to the word but has its origin in a contextual activity which brings the semantic fields of several words into interaction with each other. Ricoeur has tried to show that on this basis there appears to be a remarkable parallel between the problem of how to interpret a metaphor and the problem of how to interpret a text, even though metaphors and texts usually differ considerably in length (hermeneutic dimension). In this essay we shall be concerned only with the ontological question of the meaning and function of metaphor in philosophical discourse.3 Heidegger's concern with metaphor occupies a rather peculiar place in this impressive philosophical body of literature on metaphor. And this is so for a number of reasons. First of all, Heidegger has really made only some very brief statements about the relationship between metaphor and metaphysics.4 This fact seems to suggest that he did not think the issue of metaphor to be of great philosophical significance. If he would have shared the views of Derrida and Ricoeur he would have devoted an entire lecture course to the problems involved. Furthermore, Heidegger's attitude in regard to metaphor is, at first sight at least, very paradoxical. For, even though he claims that the language of the thinker cannot be interpreted in such a manner that metaphor would appear to be an important element in philosophical discourse, his later philosophy seems to be metaphorical through and through. Heidegger seems to employ in his later works more metaphors than anyone before him, except perhaps Plato, Hegel and Nietzsche. Then, Heidegger's position is rather radical; for he definitely rejects metaphor in philosophical discourse on the ground that metaphor is an intrinsic element of classical metaphysics which is to be overcome. Finally, Heidegger's position appears to be rather offensive to a number of authors in that Heidegger's claims seem to make all philosophical discourse on metaphor to be suspicious. Several authors have already addressed the issue of metaphor and metaphysics in Heidegger. Particularly the studies by Derrida, Greisch, Bruzina, and Ricoeur must be mentioned here.5 In my opinion, these authors have, each in his own way, given us a clear description of the manner in which Heidegger concerned himself with metaphor, both as far as his actual use of 'metaphors' and as far as his explicit claims about the relationship between metaphor and metaphysics are concerned. Furthermore, these authors have placed Heidegger's critical remarks on the relationship between metaphor and metaphysics in their proper philosophical context so that they can be understood correctly. In light of this state of affairs I have decided in this essay to be rather brief in my exposition of Heidegger's claims about metaphor. I shall, however, say something about his use of metaphor particularly in his


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 295 later philosophy. I wish to conclude these reflections with a careful examination of the criticism which one can level at Heidegger's position. In this examination I am guided only by my desire to come to a better understanding of Heidegger's own position. I hope to show there also that if Heidegger's remarks on the relationship between metaphor and metaphysics are understood from the perspective of his own conception of the truth of Being as this has been developed in his later philosophy, his remarks on the relationship between metaphor and metaphysics are not open to the kind of criticism that some authors have raised against it. II There are several works in which Heidegger directly or indirectly speaks about the relevance of both metaphor and of a philosophical investigation of metaphor for philosophical discourse as such. Two of these passages are usually discussed in the literature in detail, the first is found in Der Satz vom Grund (1957) and the second can be found in On the Way to Language (1959). Before I turn to the two passages discussed by virtually all 'commentators', I shall first say a few words about some of the other passages, two of which are of much earlier date than the ones just mentioned. But first I wish to make a few general, introductory remarks. In all relevant passages it is immediately clear that Heidegger's concern with metaphor in its relation to metaphysics moves on a quite different level than that on which rhetorical, semantical, or hermeneutical reflections on metaphor move. If one looks at Heidegger's claims from the perspectives of these three 'classical' approaches to metaphor, then Heidegger's position appears to be somehow beyond the law that holds for people who concern themselves with, and think about, language in a common way.6 It is then understandable that one often feels threatened by the position Heidegger seems to promote. Much misunderstanding of Heidegger's conception of metaphor has flowed from the idea that in his later works Heidegger developed a new 'philosophy of language'. Yet one should realize that Heidegger has never been interested in discourse about language.7 The manner in which Heidegger deals with language is strange, and it is not possible to appoint a place for it among the possible approaches to language with which one is familiar in our Western tradition. According to Greisch, Heidegger's way to language is 'extravagant' and one must learn to understand the specific 'extravagance' of his thinking, if one is to understand his concern with language and metaphor.8 Thus one must make a special effort to convince himself that Heidegger's reflections on language and his attitude in regard to metaphor do not fit into the patterns laid down by rhetoric, semantics,


296 Joseph J. Kockelmans hermeneutics, analytic philosophy, and 'common' philosophy of language. Heidegger's discourse attempts to speak about something that lies 'beyond' the subject matter of the 'classical' forms of discourse on language. Anyone who wishes to understand Heidegger will have to recognize the place where his thinking occurs, i.e., the intimate link between the specific stylistic gesture of this philosophy and the thing itself with which as thought it concerns itself, i.e., the intimate link between Erorterung and Ereignis? Heidegger has never questioned the correctness and the relevance of the current views on metaphor defended in rhetoric, semantics, hermeneutics, and analytic philosophy. Yet it is true that he questions their 'metaphysical' presuppositions. In Greisch's view, it is not possible to come to a meaningful discourse with Heidegger's conception of language of metaphor, if one is not willing to accept that the modern rhetoric, semantic, hermeneutic, and analytic approaches to language flow from a certain metaphysical conception of language, a conception which in these approaches themselves remains unexamined and has to remain unexamined. Heidegger's thinking about language and metaphor does not move in the domain of an 'it is a fact that . . .', but rather in the domain of an original *es gibt. . .', and 'it grants . . .'10 - Let us now turn to some of the more important places where Heidegger himself explicitly addresses the basic issue of metaphor insofar as this is pertinent to his own way of thinking. In his reflections on Holderlin's hymn 'Andenken' (1941-2), Heidegger writes that Holderlin often speaks about fire, sun, and wind.11 In his view, we tend to take these terms to refer to natural things. We also tend to assume that when Holderlin employs these words, they usually have another meaning; fire, sun, and wind 'give themselves' first as natural phenomena and then also signify still something else; they are symbols. When we speak in this way, we take it for granted that we are able to know the sun and the wind in themselves. We take it furthermore for granted that also ancient peoples first got to know the sun, the moon, and the wind, and that they later learned to employ these alleged natural phenomena as images (Bilder) for some other world. Yet just the opposite is the case: the sun and the wind first come to appearance from out of a 'world'; they are what they are only insofar as they are poetized from the perspective of this world.12 After pointing out that the same applies to our scientific conception of things Heidegger concludes this brief reflection with the following important observation: 'We must now only note that the main key of all "poetics", namely the doctrine of images (Bilder) in poetry, the doctrine of metaphor, does not open one door in the realm of Holderlin's poetic hymns. . . . It suffices here to consider only that the "things themselves", too, are already poetized in each case before they can become so-called


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 297 "symbols". The question only is one of in what essential domain (Wesensbereich) and from what truth of poetizing [they have been poetized].'13 In his elucidation of Holderlin's hymn 'Der Ister' (1942), Heidegger makes a similar observation about the fact that Holderlin often speaks about streams.14 He again remarks there that we tend to take streams to be perceptible things of nature. In poetry these things of nature receive the function of appearances that can be grasped by the senses; they present a view and, thus, they give us an 'image' or picture. Such images present a non-sensible meaning in poetry. The sensible image points to a spiritual content. Under the general heading of sensible image (Sinnbild) we usually also subsume allegories, sagas, tales, parables, similes, symbols, metaphors, examples, and even insignia. The only thing that is important in the present context, Heidegger continues, is that we look at what all of these cases have in common, namely the basic distinction between the sensible and the non-sensible. Any time we use these sensible images we take this very distinction always as already effected. The most important articulation of this distinction is found in the philosophy of Plato. There it is made perfectly clear that the nonsensible, i.e., the spiritual, constitutes what one calls genuine reality (ontos on); the sensible is something of a lower order. The sensible can also be called the physical; thus the non-sensible is something that lies beyond and above the physical; it is the meta-physical. The distinction between the sensible (aistheton) and the non-sensible (noeton) constitutes the basic structure of what since antiquity has been called metaphysics. All Western conceptions and interpretations of the world since Plato have been metaphysical.15 We must now turn to a passage that is of a later date. In the essay The nature of language' (1957-8), which appeared in On the Way to Language, Heidegger suggests that there is a close relationship between thinking and poetizing.16 One obviously will wonder, Heidegger continues, what 'neighborhood' is supposed to mean here. 'A neighbor, as the word itself tells us, is someone who dwells near to and with someone else.' Neighborhood is a relation which results from the fact that people settle face to face in regard to each other. The expression, 'the neighborhood of thinking and poetizing', thus means that these two dwell face to face in regard to each other, that the one has drawn into the other's nearness. Heidegger then turns to a brief reflection on his own approach to this issue. First he observes that the remark about what constitutes a neighborhood seems to be by way of figurative talk (bewegt sich in einer bildlichen Redeweise). Yet, he continues, in saying this are we really saying something that is genuinely to the point? What does 'figurative talk' really mean? One usually turns in these and similar cases to an


298 Joseph J. Kockelmans explanation of a difficult issue that employs a figurative use of language. Yet one cannot claim to have given a meaningful explanation as long as it remains unclear what is to be understood here by 'talk' and by 'image' (Bild), and in what sense language speaks in images, if indeed language does speak in this way at all.17 In this passage Heidegger thus first suggests that in order to understand the relationship between thinking and poetizing one has to move from the known to the unknown, from the familiar conception of neighborhood to the unfamiliar concept of neighborhood, presupposed in the expression that poetizing and thinking are neighbors. But then Heidegger immediately observes that in so doing one makes assumptions about language and metaphor (figurative talk) that are not, and perhaps even cannot be, justified in that they rest on an unacceptable conception of both language and metaphor.18 - Let us now turn to the passages usually discussed in the secondary literature. In Der Satz vom Grund (1957), reflecting critically on the classical principle of ground as formulated by Leibniz, Heidegger is at a certain moment led to meditate on a few lines by the German mystic Angelus Silesius, on which both Leibniz and Hegel had already focused attention, also. In the course of his own elucidation of these lines Heidegger dwells on the idea that it often happens that we see things and yet do not fully catch sight of what is closest. We see many things and fully catch sight only of few things. Meditating on this paradox Heidegger then comes to speak about understanding and thinking as forms of seeing and hearing. This finally leads him to a brief remark on metaphor. One will observe, Heidegger suggests, that thinking can be a seeing and hearing only in a figurative sense. It is indeed true, he continues, that what we have seen and heard in thinking cannot be physically perceived by our eyes and ears. When we conceive of thinking as a form of hearing and seeing, sensible hearing and seeing is carried over from the domain of the sensible to that of the supra-sensible. Such a bringingover, such a transfer, is called in Greek metapherein. In our technical language we call such a transference a metaphor. Thus it seems to follow that thinking can be called a seeing and hearing only in a metaphorical sense.19 Heidegger then shows that in the case of human beings seeing and hearing can never be reduced to a simple sensible 'taking-in'. But if this is so, then it is also not correct to claim that thinking can be called a seeing and hearing only in a metaphorical sense, namely as a carryingover which carries what allegedly is purely sensible over into the domain of the supra-sensible. Our common conception of such a carrying-over and of metaphor rests on a complete separation of the sensible and the non-sensible as two independent domains, each of which exists by itself independent of the other. Now, Heidegger continues, the making of this


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 299 distinction between the sensible and the non-sensible, between the physical and the non-physical, is a basic characteristic of what we call metaphysics, and which has determined our Western thinking in a decisive way. Yet the moment one fully understands that the distinction between the sensible and the supra-sensible is inadequate, metaphysics at once loses its rank of being the decisive mode of thinking.20 But, Heidegger concludes these reflections, the moment one realizes that metaphysics is restricted and even very narrow-minded, the idea that metaphor is a decisive element of all philosophical discourse also becomes superfluous and even untenable. For in metaphysics metaphor has been taken to be the measure for our conception of the essence of language. This is also the reason why metaphor is very often used as the means for the elucidation of the meaning of poems and of the meaning of all artistic productions. Yet the metaphorical is found really only within metaphysics.21 - After these observations Heidegger immediately returns to the main theme of the lecture course, i.e., to the principle of ground.22 In On the Way to Language (1959) there is another brief reflection on metaphor in connection with an elucidation of poems by Holderlin. Heidegger tries to transcend there the common, metaphysical conception of language which treats language as expression, as the exteriorization of man's inner life. To facilitate the transition beyond the common conception of language, Heidegger appeals to poems by Holderlin, where language is called 'the flower of the mouth', and where the poet writes 'words, like flowers . . ,'.23 Heidegger leaves it to the reader to think about these verses, taken from the hymn 'Germania' and the elegy 'Bread and wine', in light of what he has been trying to say in his lectures on the essence of language. He only makes two brief observations before returning to the main theme of his lectures. The first is that one would stay 'bogged down in metaphysics if . . . [one] were to take the name Holderlin gives here to "words, like flowers" as being just a metaphor'. Secondly, he reproaches Gottfried Benn where he claims that the word 'like' in the expression 'words, like flowers' is a break in the vision, that this 'like' adduces and compares, and that it is not a primary statement; that it is a flagging of the tension of language, and a weakness of creative transformation.24 Before we can make an effort to come to a better understanding of these brief remarks on metaphor we must first turn to a reflection on the fact that Heidegger, more than almost any other philosopher, in his later philosophy seems to make use of metaphors. In so doing I shall paraphrase and comment on some ideas developed by Greisch and Derrida. I shall make a special effort here, following these authors, not only to show that and in what sense Heidegger effectively uses metaphors, but also point to the implications which the use of metaphors in


300 Joseph /. Kockelmans philosophical discourse has. The question as to whether or not these implications are, indeed, pertinent to Heidegger's philosophy will then be examined in part IV of this essay.

in Several authors have made the remark that Heidegger makes an effective use of metaphors in his later philosophy and that he does so in a manner which is much more prominent than that which one finds in the works of most other philosophers. This phenomenon has been interpreted by different authors in different ways.25 Greisch, Ricoeur, and Derrida have made a special effort to examine this issue. In their view, 'metaphor' functions obviously everywhere in Heidegger's philosophical discourse; this is true particularly for his later work. Yet it is difficult to give reasons for this presence and this is particularly so because of the critical remarks Heidegger has made on the intimate relationship between metaphor and metaphysics.26 Greisch begins his investigation with an examination of some passages taken from Heidegger's booklet From the Experience of Thinking?1 This booklet consists of a series of short epigrams which are divided into two different sets of statements printed on opposite pages facing one another. In each case there is a poetic text and opposite to it a few philosophical reflections which have the form of aphorisms. In his discussion of some of the epigrams28 Greisch focuses mainly on the kind of relation that appears to exist here between the poetic and the philosophical parts of the text. Does one here find a metaphoric statement that then is translated into a set of rather dull philosophical phrases? Or is the poetic statement just an ornament that is to decorate and facilitate the reading of the philosophical propositions? It is clear that both these questions already reflect a particular conception of metaphor. In the first case, metaphor is a semantic deviant form which philosophy must translate into a 'rigorous' text; philosophy thus must change it into a literal transcription of what the metaphorical statement attempts to say. In the second case, the metaphor is just an ornament which does not contain anything to be thought about. Yet according to Greisch, it is obvious that neither one of these interpretations can give us an account of the experience of thinking that the text as a whole tries to convey. The relationship between the two parts of the discourse contained in this remarkable booklet rests on a new experience of thinking which permits us to state a completely new harmony between thinking and poetizing and, thus, also between metaphor and philosophical discourse.29 A second example which shows the seemingly metaphoric nature of Heidegger's philosophical discourse is taken from the Letter on Human-


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 301 ism. This example is discussed by Derrida in 'Le retrait de la metaphore'.30 In the Letter on Humanism Heidegger writes that thinking builds upon the house of Being (baut am Haus des Seins) such, that the jointing (die Fuge) of Being can assign and enjoin to man's essence the possibility of living and dwelling in the truth of Being.31 In the same paragraph, after a quote from Holderlin, he continues: The talk about the house of Being is no transference [Ubertragung, metaphora] of the image [Bild] "house" to being. But one day we shall, by thinking the coming-to-presence of Being in a way that is appropriate to its matter, more readily be able to think what "house" and "to dwell" are.'32 The expression 'the house of Being' does thus not function here as a metaphor. The common conception of metaphor would transport a familiar predicate (and what is more familiar than house or home?) to a less familiar subject, one that is unfamiliar, unheimlich, and that, in this manner, one would like to bring closer and understand better. Heidegger again rejects this common interpretation and in this case it is Being itself that gives us insight into how to think house. Derrida suggests that one could try to use all kinds of terms and schemas, derived from some kind of meta-rhetoric, in order to conquer the problems in Heidegger's suggestion, in a purely formal manner. In this way one could try to formalize the rhetoric 'inversion' in which in the trope 'the house of Being' the word 'Being' is to say more and is also to be more familiar than the word 'house'. But according to Derrida, such an endeavor would mean that one would miss the genuine meaning of what Heidegger's text tries to say. There is no question here of a metaphor, nor is there question of an inversion. And this is so first of all because the claim made by Heidegger is not a regular statement which tries to posit something about some ontic thing. Secondly, this is so because the claim deals with language as the element of what is metaphorical. Thirdly, the claim is about Being itself which is not a thing and which is to be thought here according to the ontological difference which makes metaphoricity precisely possible. Then there is no term here at all that could be said to be used in a proper, usual, or literal sense. This way of speaking by Heidegger is thus neither literal nor metaphorical. Heidegger's conception here is in complete harmony with what he says at the beginning of the essay 'The nature of language': the more one finds metalanguage and metalinguistics, the more one will find the metaphorical and the metaphysical.33 Another example which I just would like to mention is also discussed by Derrida.34 It is concerned with Heidegger's use of the word 'Riss'; this word is a member of two families of words that regularly cross one another in Heidegger's later works, namely, ziehen, Zug, Bezug, durchziehen, entziehen, etc., on the one hand, and the family reissen, Riss, Aufriss, Umriss, Grundriss, etc., on the other. As far as the term


302 Joseph J. Kockelmans 'Riss' is concerned, it is taken by Heidegger both in the sense of that which tears (fission) as well as in the sense of the fissure (rift) that the fission opens up. The term is used usually in a context in which Heidegger is concerned with the ontological difference in one of its various modalities. Thus we find the term used in the essay 'Language' (1950), where it is used to characterize the dif-ference, the separation which at the same time is a gathering middle, in whose intimacy the bearing of things and the granting gift of the world pervade one another. The fission or rift of the dif-ference ex-propriates (enteignet) the world into 'doing' what as world it is supposed to do, namely to grant things.35 The term is also used to describe the relation between thinking and poetizing. The Riss is described there as the fission that rips open thinking and poetizing and assigns them to be near to one another.36 In the essay 'The way to language' (1959), Heidegger states that the unity of the essence of language should be called the fission that tears open (aufreissen) as well as the primary sketch or outline that results from it (Aufriss). Heidegger adds here that the word 'Riss' is now usually employed only in a derivative sense for tear, cleft, crack, etc. One of the first texts in which Heidegger uses the term 'Riss9 as a 'technical' term is his lecture 'The origin of the work of art' (1935-6), where the word is used to characterize the strife between world and earth. The fission draws those which turn against one another (namely, world and earth) into the source of their unity, which flows from their common ground. Riss is the drawing together into a unity of Aufriss, Grundriss, Durchriss, and Umriss.37 We thus have here again a way of speaking which at first sight is metaphoric through and through. Yet Heidegger continues to maintain his position that the language that tries to respond to Being's address is not and cannot be metaphorical, because it is no longer metaphysical. In other words, this way of speaking appears to correspond again to a completely new form of thinking. This new manner of thinking is what Heidegger elsewhere calls 'eine Erorterung\ a search for the place (Ort, topos). This search deliberately seeks the proximity of the poet and, as we have seen already, it is often used in the form of a thinking elucidation (Erlauterung) of some carefully chosen poems.38 But this new manner of thinking appears also to include a special concern with the original sources of the relevant words. As Greisch sees it, the problem of metaphor in Heidegger's thinking is intimately bound up with this dual aspect of Erorterung. The main issue at stake in both cases is Heidegger's mistrust of ordinary language, in which genuine sayings (Worte) become just words (Worter).39 It is this phenomenon in which the 'death' of language consists. This erosion begins when words are represented as 'receptacles' which are to receive a certain content. According to Greisch, one must avoid this


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 303 ever threatening degradation of language and go from ordinary language against the stream, so to speak, to the point where one can find the original meaning of words. Heidegger's discourse as a whole, Greisch feels, represents such an effort to reach sources that perhaps can never be found. It is clear that such an attitude often implies a dubious use of etymologies which, as Derrida says, under the pretext of finding the original richness of words, seems to give the priority to diachrony at the cost of the linguistic system.40 Greisch is also of the opinion that in Heidegger's later works one can find a certain 'symbolist a priori' which depends on the opposition between dead and living metaphors. It is always possible, under the sedimentations of our ordinary language, to find the 'original source', as long at least as language has not yet suffered its second death, a death which is definitive and irreparable, and which, in Heidegger's opinion, came-to-pass in the merely instrumental use of language commonly used in the sciences. But, Greisch asks, to what degree is Heidegger tricked here by a rather simplistic conception of etymology? Does the return to the forgotten history of some basic words of thinking (Grundworte des Denkens) not mean that thought is condemned to being no more than a very problematic commentary on the 'primitive' meaning of certain words? For to find their origin one must concern himself with the history of these words; yet for philosophy the origin does not coincide with the beginning. Heidegger himself has made the claim that the 'primitive' meaning of a word does not have a normative value; it only has an indicative function {Wink, Hinweise).41 At any rate, it seems that this Erorterung cannot be dissociated completely from some form of metaphorization; the traces of this process can be found everywhere in Heidegger's philosophical discourse. But what are the basic implications of this process for Heidegger's philosophy as a whole? In Greisch's view, it is here that one must turn to what Heidegger calls 'Ereignis'. This, too, is a metaphor and, as far as Heidegger's own thought is concerned, it is perhaps even the metaphor of all metaphors. Ereignis is perhaps the last instance which guarantees the survival of metaphor in Heidegger's thought; and to some degree it even may perhaps be the survival of philosophical discourse as such.42 According to Greisch, in Heidegger's philosophy there is a close relationship between what he has to say about Ereignis and his position in regard to metaphor. The way that in Heidegger's thought leads to Ereignis runs via the expression: 'Es gibt . . .'. It is impossible to grasp Being itself, as long as one understands this 'Es gibt . . .' merely in terms of a 'There is . . .', regardless of whether this 'There is . . .' is the 'There is . . .' of ordinary language, that of the sciences, that of metaphysics, or even that of thinking. One cannot meaningfully say: 'There is Being'. What one should say is rather: 'Es gibt Sein.' What


304 Joseph J. Kockelmans Heidegger calls Ereignis is nothing but this mysterious giving that makes us perceive Being as a gift.43 But, Greisch asks again, is this granting not another trick played by metaphor? Does Heidegger here not again appeal to a metaphor which makes it possible to move from the There is . . . ' t o the gift and, thus, also to move from pure dissemination to a first gathering, however neutral and anonymous this gathering still may be? In the final analysis is it not metaphor then which makes it possible to place thought under the sign of the simplicity of the same (das Selbe)! According to Greisch, Ereignis marks the return of the same in Heidegger's philosophy, insofar as it contains his answer to the question of identity. What Heidegger calls Ereignis reflects the typical manner in which he thinks identity as well as the harmony between identity and difference.44 Is this not so because metaphor is in essence built upon resemblance?45 Metaphor gathers that which resembles each other. In effect, it constitutes the same in its circular form. But if what Heidegger calls Ereignis confirms the presence of metaphor in his thought, it also seems to confirm the heliotropic character of his thinking. And if his thought is heliotropic in nature then it also still is some form of onto-theology. Thus all Heidegger's criticism of onto-theology notwithstanding, Heidegger's own thought still is onto-theologic. As a matter of fact, this is the reason, Greisch claims, why Heidegger's discourse is not just a simple rhapsody, and why it does not just fall apart into a set of unrelated aphorisms. His discourse is essentially encyclical; it continues to gravitate around the same, around Parmenides' enkuklios aletheia.46 In Heidegger's concern with Ereignis we also find a fascination with center and light; note that the German word Ereignis is related to the verb sich ereignen which originally was spelled sich erdugnen or even more originally sich eraugen; the latter had the meaning of erblicken, to catch sight of, to 'eye'.47 What Heidegger calls das Ereignis is not just a simple event; thus the word can never be used in the plural. It means the pure lighting emergence and the original clearing of the truth. Heidegger's entire discourse moves within this clearing and is lighted by this light, even there where this light appears to become more important than the sun was for Plato.48 For all these reasons, Greisch concludes, Heidegger's effort to go beyond onto-theology, which is effected by means of his reflections on Ereignis, a theme that according to Derrida remains the most important and the most difficult clue to Heidegger's late? thinking,49 remains ambiguous. This philosophical discourse, too, does thus not seem to be capable of escaping from the prestige of the image of light and the seduction of metaphor. This is clear particularly where Heidegger in das Ereignis stresses the aspect of 'what is proper', an aspect that reflects itself in the metaphor of gold. According to Heidegger himself das


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 305 Ereignis appears to dwell in the silence of gold. Speaking about the lighting emergence of the truth of Being which comes-to-pass in das Ereignis, Heidegger once wrote the following: 'But the golden gleam of the lighting's invisible shining cannot be grasped, because it is not itself something grasping. Rather, it is the purely appropriating event {das reine Ereignen).'50 As Greisch sees it, there is a paradox hidden in the manner in which Heidegger tries to explain the richness of what he calls 'das Ereignis'. The paradox has its origin in the fact that Heidegger moves from Ereignis to the metaphor of gold via the idea of 'what is proper'. But this would mean that according to Heidegger that which for a thing constitutes what is proper, also makes it really ungraspable. In other words, Greisch argues, as the origin of all belonging to, Ereignis is also that which disappropriates.51 - I do not share Greisch's view here in that in my opinion, even from Greisch's own perspective, the move from Ereignis to the metaphor of gold is not mediated by the value character of gold, but rather by its shiny polished surface. Yet this need not occupy us here further. At this point we must rather ask the question of whether all of this, indeed, gives us an accurate description of Heidegger's own conception. One could say first, with Greisch, that the Ereignis, as the place of all places, makes it possible to develop a new conception of metaphor, which somehow runs parallel to the metaphysical conception of metaphor that Heidegger has 'destroyed'. Just as Ereignis leads to a new conception of Being, language, and man, so it also can lead to a new conception of metaphor. In Greisch's opinion such an effort would be successful only if two basic conditions are met: (1) One must start from Heidegger's new conception of language which reverses the 'domination' of man over language and no longer treats language as an instrument that man just uses.52 In the new conception of language the stress must be placed on showing (Zeige) not on demonstration (Ausweisung); it will then be possible to give a new meaning to polysemy which in that case, from Heidegger's own perspective, no longer appears, in opposition to logical univocity, as a weakness in language but rather as language's strength.53 Thinking must move effectively within this vital element of 'essential' polysemy. Heidegger sometimes distinguishes the 'essential' polysemy which one finds in the works of poets and the thinker's readiness for the unexpected (Bereitschaft fur das Unvermutete) from the very limited meaning of the univocal opinion of the 'they'. Polysemy does not necessarily lead to vagueness; polysemy is a sign of the richness of meaning.54 (2) What is needed also, Greisch feels, is a more careful reflection on the poetic element in Heidegger's later thought and on the relationship between poetizing and thinking. Here one will have to show also that the poetic function cannot possibly consist in the projection of the unreal.55


306 Joseph J. Kockelmans Yet there is also another way that one could follow here. Greisch assumes that Heidegger, indeed, does use metaphors, and thus that some kind of thoughtful 'theory' of metaphor will be necessary. This has to be a new conception of metaphor which is to replace the metaphysical one Heidegger tries to overcome. Yet Heidegger himself explicitly denies that what seem to be metaphors, are indeed 'true' metaphors. As far as I know, Derrida is the only one who has taken this alternative seriously.56 What is needed in this case, thus, is an explanation of why Heidegger thinks that he legitimately can make this claim, even though it is so obvious that he does use 'metaphors'. It is this latter road I plan to take in section IV. There I hope to show that if one, as Greisch suggests, seriously begins with Heidegger's own conception of language and carefully considers his view on the relationship between poetizing and thinking, it is possible to explain that what seem to be metaphors, indeed are no metaphors at all and that the language 'of philosophical discourse' cannot possibly be metaphorical. Let us see where this road will lead us.

IV After the many treatises on metaphor written since the time of Aristotle and particularly after the numerous modern publications on metaphor the extremely sparse and negative remarks on metaphor made by Heidegger must seem to be trivial and irrelevant.57 Let us say at once that it is not Heidegger's position that one should not concern oneself with metaphor. Obviously one should make a careful study of the leading treatises on metaphor, and one should do so from the perspective of a number of disciplines, such as rhetoric, semantics, hermeneutics, literary criticism, philosophy of language, philosophy of literature, etc. Yet once this enormous task has been completed and once a great number of correct and important insights have been achieved in this manner, then still several important questions are to be answered: Precisely to what extent is strictly philosophical discourse itself metaphorical? To what extent is it the case that all concern with metaphor is intrinsically metaphysical? Could it perhaps be the case that in the realm of thinking there is a form of discourse possible that is neither metaphysical nor metaphorical? Before we can discuss Heidegger's attempt to answer these questions, we must first try to eliminate some basic sources of possible misunderstanding of his position. It seems to me that many people who have adopted a negative attitude in regard to Heidegger's thinking as a whole and to his conception of metaphor in particular, have done so because they understood Heidegger's thinking to imply a denial of what they themselves hold to be


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 307 important in the domain of their own research in the sciences or in the realm of speculative thinking. I feel that much criticism could have been avoided if one would have stressed more strongly the fact that Heidegger's thinking is indeed radically different from the thinking of most philosophers who have preceded him.58 Heidegger might in this connection have quoted his teacher Husserl and have said that the kind of thinking he is concerned with 'lies in a completely new dimension',59 insofar as it attempts to focus on what in the thinking of the past remained unthought. At any rate, as far as metaphor is concerned, one should begin by realizing that Heidegger's claims about the meaning and function of metaphor in thinking, does not at all exclude its meaningful use elsewhere, just as little as his own discourse on metaphor would imply the meaninglessness of the discourse on metaphor by other thinkers. For Heidegger the question is merely one of whether in the thinking of Being itself, there is still room for a 'common' use of language, for analogy, for metaphor, for 'syntax' in the usual sense of the term, for the use of strictly predicative statements, and thus also for logic.60 In Heidegger's view, the same questions must be asked for 'essential' poetizing.61 Furthermore, it is also important to observe that Heidegger's rejection of metaphor in thinking, on the ground that it is intrinsically metaphysical, does not necessarily entail a negative judgment on the validity and the legitimacy of scientific and philosophical theses about metaphor. In Heidegger's view, many of these theses are correct, even though they often do not yet reveal the truth about what is to be thought here. On the few occasions in which Heidegger made some statements about metaphor, he meant to express only a warning not to interpret his own efforts in thinking from some other perspective that he precisely was in the process of overcoming. One should note also that the expression 'to overcome metaphysics' for Heidegger does not mean to just step outside metaphysics and to simply leave it behind. Heidegger, too, stands in our Western, metaphysical tradition. The expression rather means that one should focus on 'the conditions of its possibility', to use a Kantian expression. Before one can say that any form of discourse is indeed possible, before one can say that science is truly possible, that any form of metaphysics is possible, one must think about the conditions of its possibility. Thus before one meaningfully can speak about beings, one must think about Being itself which grants itself historically to a people at a given epoch of its development in the form of a certain world which lets these beings be, and lets them be as what, for this people, they properly are in their basic mode of Being. To the 'fact' that Being grants itself in a giving, sending, or hailing that has the character of a finite and inherently temporal and historical event of appropriation, Heidegger refers with the technical term 'das Ereignis\ As Greisch has correctly observed, it is this


308 Joseph J. Kockelmans fundamental Ereignis with which Heidegger's philosophical Erorterung is basically concerned.62 Much confusion also flows from the fact that one does not sufficiently realize that in On the Way to Language, Heidegger's basic theme is the essence of language, i.e., language insofar as it is the language of Being. Heidegger is thus concerned in that work with the language that Being itself 'speaks' in saying something about itself to man as Dasein. Furthermore, the issue there is mainly about the 'basic words' that are relevant to such a limited, but fundamental domain of meaning. The issue is there about those basic words that can characterize the coming-to-pass of the truth of Being in this epoch of the history of the West. Another source of confusion is Heidegger's so-called etymologism. One then attributes to him the participation in a process in which he, as a thinker, was never engaged. In their efforts to say what the basic words that Being addresses to thinker and poet really mean, both the thinker and the poet, each in his own way, must try to have first an experience with the words so spoken in and through Being's saying. One must learn to taste these words and to savor them; one must learn to listen to them. Sometimes these words of Being themselves, as they 'just stand there' in a given context, give us to think. That this heeding of these basic words has little to do with common, scientific etymology is obvious. Yet one may still be inclined to think that Heidegger's break with metaphysics and with the 'classical' metaphysical conception of language seems to reduce his own thinking to some form of hermeticism which carries his etymological games back to the mystification of 'primitive' sense.63 It seems to me that perhaps one should admit that Heidegger indeed engages in some form of etymology. Yet this is extremely seldom a scientific, historical, or linguistic etymology, although he never denied the latter's correctness and importance. His own work in 'etymology' is strictly philosophical in character, and is concerned with an effort to let 'basic' philosophical words once again be themselves, i.e., that through which the thinker and the poet let beings be what they properly are, when, in responding to Being's address, they bring about in an 'original' manner the dif-ference between world and thing. Heidegger's etymology is thus concerned with promoting the happening of the truth.64 One must thus constantly keep in mind here that Heidegger's 'etymological' efforts cannot properly be understood from the perspective of scientific etymology and, furthermore, that these efforts are limited to 'basic' philosophical words, only. His effort is, indeed, concerned with the 'true' meaning of these words; yet this 'true' meaning is never claimed to be the primitive or historically first meaning of those words. Thus the expression the 'true' meaning of these words does not mean the 'privileged', definitive, or 'absolute' meaning, i.e., the meaning which these


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 309 words have in 'rationibus aeternis\ The expression rather refers to that meaning which for a people during a certain epoch of its history is genuinely revealing. At any rate, it seems to me that one should limit the entire discussion about metaphor to Heidegger's concern with the meaning and truth of Being. I thus suggest that the claims that Heidegger has made about language, words, analogy, and metaphor be restricted to his own philosophical discourse about the truth of Being. This discourse obviously also involves a discourse about truth as a-letheia, logos, language, time, space, world, beauty, the relation between Being and Dasein, etc. Furthermore, as far as the proximity of thinking and poetizing is concerned, I would limit this, too, to Heidegger's own concern with Being and the poet's involvement with the 'holy'. There is evidently much more to be said about poetizing and about the arts, but this lies outside the domain of Heidegger's own immediate interest.65 Heidegger's opinion is that the 'common' conception of language applies to discourse about beings; so does the 'common' conception of word, analogy, and metaphor. Heidegger's basic thesis seems to be that in strictly philosophical discourse that is concerned with Being, another conception of language and word is necessary so that in that domain of inquiry there is no room for metaphor in the traditional sense of the term. - Let us try to explain this more carefully, focusing mainly on the two fundamental issues, namely Heidegger's conception of the essence of language and his view on the meaning and function of basic (philosophical) words. Heidegger has made a 'systematic' effort to explain what he takes to be the very essence of language in On the Way to Language. In one of the central essays of this rich book Heidegger writes that for him the essence of language is the language of Being. The word 'of has here the meaning of a subjective and objective genitive. In other words, the issue here is about the language by and about Being. In this language the thinking poetizing of Being becomes articulated (ontological difference).66 In an essay entitled 'The saying of Anaximander' Heidegger explains this as follows. Thinking of Being is the original way of poetizing. Language first comes to word [language], i.e., into its essence, in thinking. Thinking says what the truth of Being dictates: it is the original dictare. Thinking is primordial poetizing, prior to all poetry, but also prior to the poietics of art, since art shapes its work within the domain of language. . . . The poetizing mode of Being of thinking preserves the sway of the truth of Being.67 The speaking of all members of a people is an effort to respond to


310 Joseph J. Kockelmans what Being's saying addresses to them by bringing about the primordial differentiation of world (with its typical structure) and things for that people in a given epoch of its history. But among the members of a people poets and thinkers occupy a privileged position in that they respond 'authentically' to Being's address. It is in and by the saying of Being's address and the response to this saying by thinkers and poets that beings begin to be, come to be what they properly are. This happening, thus, is what Heidegger calls das Ereignis, the appropriating event. The original saying of Being's language is in each basic epoch of a people's history a showing that lets what is present appear while it conceals what is absent. This primordial saying is thus in no way a linguistic expression of something already manifested earlier that is now merely trotted out; each appearing and disappearing rests precisely on the primordial saying of the language of Being that shows everything in a truly original way. This saying frees what is present in the direction of being abidingly present, just as it fetters what is absent in its being enduringly absent. This saying thus joints (fugen) the openness of the clearing (Lichtung) for which all manifestation looks and from which all concealing flees. This saying is the gathering together (logos) of a manifold pointing, 'jointing' together any appearing and letting what was manifested remain by itself.68 The saying of Being thus calls; it brings what is so called closer. However, this bringing closer does not bring what is called nearer in the sense of putting it down in the domain of the immediate. Although this calling calls hither what is called, that which is called remains at a distance where it remains as absent. This saying therefore indeed calls nearer what is called, but it does not withdraw it from the distance where it was and remains. This saying of the language of Being calls something, as it were, back and forth, calling it to become present and nevertheless summoning it to remain absent at the same time. What is called to the fore by this saying is not present in space as tables and chairs are present in a room. Even the place which is co-summoned in this calling, and to which, therefore, what is so summoned is called, has a mode of being present which includes its remaining absent. In the final analysis this place is the world. It is thus to a world that this saying calls the things which are summoned; it invites them as things to 'concern' man. The summoned things gather a world around themselves. The saying of Being summons things and lets them be what they are; but the thing is what it is only as a thing that 'bears', so to speak, a world in which it remains as what it is, a world in which it can appear as meaningful. Just as the saying of the language of Being summons things, so does it also summon a world. It entrusts a world to things and, at the same time, preserves things in 'the luster of a world'. This world grants things their proper modes of Being, whereas things 'bear' their own world. The


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 311 saying of the language of Being therefore speaks; it makes things come to a world and a world to things. Because world and thing can never be independent of one another, these two ways of 'making something come' cannot be separated, either. They penetrate each other, and in so doing they cross, as it were, a middle point in which they are one. However, world and thing do not melt into a unity at this middle point; even there they remain distinct in their closeness. In an 'original' dif-ference the saying of the language of Being, in a manner of speaking, keeps apart from itself a middle point to which and through which world and thing are one toward each other. This saying makes the things be things and the world be world, and thus carries them toward each other. But this saying does not make the things and then the world be present in order to appropriate one to the other in a later phase by connecting them at the middle point. The dif-ference of this saying, as the middle point, mediates world and things in their own and proper modes of Being and thus carries out their belonging together. That which this saying first summons is thus the dif-ference between world and things in their essential correlatedness.69 In this way the primordial saying of Being makes a world and things be what they are. It makes what is present and what is absent attain their characteristic modes of Being from which they can manifest themselves and abide according to their own characters. It makes world and things achieve what is proper to them by ap-propriation. What this appropriation, which comes about through the saying of the language of Being, is, cannot be explained by comparing it with the activity of a cause; neither can it be described as some occurrence. In the manifestation of the saying it can be experienced only as that which grants. There is nothing to which this ap-propriation could be reduced or from which it could be explained. The only thing that can be said of this appropriation is that it ap-propriates; it lets things and world be what they really are. It lets the world come to the fore and so grants to man an abode in his own proper mode of Being so that he can manifest himself as speaking. The only thing that man as Dasein can do in his speaking is to listen to the primordial ap-propriation which comes about in the saying of the language of Being, and to respond to it in his own speaking.70 Before going on to the next issue, a very brief reflection on the meaning of the expression 'basic philosophical words', I would like to make a few brief comments to prevent misunderstanding. First of all, all that has been argued for here in regard to the thinking of Being and for the thinking and the poetizing that authentically respond to this thinking of Being, is obviously true also for Heidegger's own thinking to the degree that it tries to respond to Being's address and attempts to think


312 Joseph J. Kockelmans the various ways in which Being sends itself in the history of Being and, thus, prepares for a new form of thinking. Secondly, the expression 'metaphysics as such' {die Metaphysik, la metaphysique) can easily be misunderstood. In some sense one could indeed say that metaphysics as such does not exist; it does not exist in the sense in which things exist; nor does it exist in the sense in which common events can be said 'to exist'. It does not exist either as some doctrinaire system. Yet it is not meaningless to speak about metaphysics as such to refer to the large historical epoch in the history of Western thinking between Plato and Nietzsche in which the leading thinkers of the West have tried to think Being in terms of beings. Taken in this sense, the term does not suggest that one can throw all forms of metaphysics together and derive some lowest common denominator of meaning from this conglomerate. The large epoch obviously consists of a number of shorter epochs, and each shorter epoch is to be characterized by the manner in which great thinkers have tried to think the Being of beings in terms of some being (a first cause, a first mover, an absolute substance, a transcendental subject, will-to-power, etc.). Furthermore, when Heidegger speaks about metaphysics he does not mean to refer to a historical movement or process for which some form of closure would be essential. Yet even though Heidegger does not take metaphysics in a Hegelian sense, he nonetheless can still legitimately claim that metaphysics has come to its end. What in Plato began as metaphysics has now run its course; and it came to its end when it made itself superfluous by the positivist interpretation of science and technology which it itself had generated (nihilism). Also, Heidegger does indeed claim that in each epoch of metaphysics' long history Being itself hides itself. Yet Being itself does not then appear under different guises, such as eidos, idea, energeia, actualitas, reality, substance, subject, Spirit, will, will-to-power, objectivity, etc.71 One should note here that it is only the Being of the beings, i.e., ousia, that after the withdrawal of Being itself begins to appear in ever new modalities. There is another point that I would like to discuss here briefly.72 This concerns the claim made by several authors to the effect that Heidegger's own philosophical discourse, even though it may not be metaphorical in the usual sense, nonetheless still is metaphorical in another sense. It seems to me that if Heidegger had meant to say this, he would have done so. Instead he continually states that the thinking of Being is not and cannot be metaphorical.73 For Heidegger 'basic texts', i.e., texts that genuinely reflect the thinking of Being and texts that 'result' from original poetizing are not and cannot be metaphorical; for if original poetizing and original thinking truly respond to the originary thinking and poetizing of Being itself, then


Heidegger on metaphor and metaphysics 313 their language brings about a dif-ference, or it responds to such a difference, which is to be taken strictly as a singulare tantum.74 The difference between world and things is in each case unique; it holds apart the middle in and through which world and things are in a completely new manner at one with each other. Thus metaphor has its place within a given world; it cannot yet have a meaningful place and function where world and things for the first time come-to-presence. Metaphor has its proper place in ontic discourse, not in discourse that focuses on the ontological condition of all ontic discourse. One could also say that it makes no sense to call the language that tries to articulate the comingto-pass of the ontological difference metaphoric because this language and this speaking are precisely the conditions of the possibility of metaphoricity. Note, however, that the discourse of Being is obviously metaphorical, if one looks at it from the perspective of metaphysics, i.e., from the perspective of a 'closed' epoch of Being's history. But if one looks at it from the perspective of Being itself, of the thinking and speaking of Being as language (logos), it is not metaphorical and cannot be so simply because it is not concerned with beings, things, events, or even the Being of beings.75 One should also note that when Being itself withdraws in one of its concrete forms of sending, metaphoric discourse on things has then been made possible. However, metaphor itself has to withdraw from that form of discourse that authentically tries to respond to the thinking of Being. For this latter thinking tries to show how Being itself became concretized into a particular world, whereas metaphoric discourse is about things and, thus, presupposes that these things have already been made possible as what they are by the particular world to which they belong. - We must now make a few remarks about Heidegger's conception of 'basic' philosophical words, a conception that is essential for a proper understanding of his position in regard to metaphor. According to Heidegger, the basic assumption in our everyday conception of language as well as in all scientific theories about language is that words are things, namely signs, that can have multiple meanings and 'fixed' characteristics which in the different sciences can be discussed methodically and systematically.76 Heidegger does not reject or criticize this conception of the word; this assumption about the word's mode of Being, an assumption that is particularly relevant for our discourse about beings, is correct; yet Heidegger himself focuses mainly on the essential historicity of the basic philosophical words that function in the discourse a