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I NTRO DU CTION

of ‘criteria’. In the literature, criteria are often conceived as behavioural conditions of some type. And in a sense that is correct. However, I argue that what is in question here is never simply a case of the presence of some typical condition which then elicits some typical response. On the contrary, the behavioural condition in question is not something that can be established to obtain independently of such a response. That is, the identification or recognition of such a behavioural condition is already a response. This suggests that one is implicated in the ‘what’ of what is recalled when one recalls criteria. As Wittgenstein puts it, ‘my relation to the appearance here is part of my concept.’ On this account, in each case, what one recognises (for example, a wink or a wince) is not a ‘merely behavioural’ feature of the behaviour of a living thing; not something which is accessible to just anyone. Here again it seems compelling to elaborate this thought with the suggestion that, in order to be open to a living thing as an other, one must be able to read its behaviour. Two basic claims are developed with respect to this notion of reading the behaviour of a living thing. First, a claim concerning the identity, the ‘what’, of inner states and processes; and second, a claim concerning the identity, the ‘who’, of their owner or possessor. The first claim is that the ways in which we read–respond to the behaviour of a living thing are integral to the ‘what’ of inner states and processes themselves. As Wittgenstein puts it, ‘an “inner process” stands in need of outward criteria.’ The second claim is more difficult to articulate in an unproblematic way. We can approach it through consideration of the thought that ‘writing’ (a readable identity) must, in virtue of its essential detachability from every context and from every ‘inscriber’, possess a structural anonymity. The trouble is that, far from supporting it, this feature seems to destroy the very possibility of being with others. In my view, this anonymity is ineliminable, and any reading must pass through it. However, as will become clear, such anonymity is also essentially limited. There is no absolutely anonymous trait because its reading–response entails a singularity of its own (a ‘this time’, even if one structured by internal relations to other times). And my claim is that, for this reason, such a response is best conceived as presuming, in each case, a spontaneous or originary apostrophe. That is, it is a turn to a living thing as an other in advance of evidence or reasons which might ground it. Responding to the behaviour of a living thing in this distinctive way is, here and now, to leap to a ‘we’. This leap does not, however, constitute the other as other. Rather, it is what first assigns to a living thing the position of a subject. This, then, is the second claim: that the individuation of a subject, the ‘who’, like the ‘what’, stands in need of a reading–response. It is with these points in view that I develop a new approach to being with others. Others, I argue, are like myself not because I know that there is one of these (a mind) which is not my own and is over there (or, somehow, in that). Rather, as living things at home with the ‘writing’ of living things, they are, in Heidegger’s words, ‘those from whom, for the

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Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
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