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TH E H U MAN AN I MAL

that, for Wittgenstein, the conceptual intelligibility that characterises human openness presents just the kind of ‘closed horizon’ I have identified in Heidegger’s analytic of Dasein. The ‘spirit of a lion’, for example, is absolutely opaque to us: ‘If a lion could talk we could not understand him’ (ibid., p. 223). On the other hand, however, given Wittgenstein’s insistence on ‘family resemblances’, there is no reason to assume that what it is, on his view, to be ‘another like myself’ must be defined with regard to only one feature or only one respect. Indeed, it is characteristic of Wittgenstein’s later work that it often exploits such resemblances; appealing to the perspicuous patterns of animal life in order to shed light on the inconspicuous ‘depth grammar’ of human language-games. In short, for the later Wittgenstein, humanity and animality are not absolutely distinguished from each other: the human being is itself a living thing, not something essentially different from other living things as the humanist insists. Nevertheless, while Wittgenstein resists the assumption that animals form an homogeneous set which must be absolutely distinguished from human beings, he does accept that a human being’s understanding of the lives of non-human living things is distinctively limited. Indeed, he stresses a difference of order in the ‘opacity of the other’ that a human being can encounter in its respective relations with other human beings and other animals: One human being can be a complete enigma to another. We learn this when we come into a strange country with entirely strange traditions; and what is more, even given a mastery of the country’s language. We do not understand the people. (And not because of not knowing what they are saying to themselves.) We cannot find our feet with them. If a lion could talk, we could not understand him. (ibid., my emphasis) The life of a lion, it seems, is just too different from a human life for there to be the kind of ‘transparency’ (ibid.) that one human being can present to another human being. Again, however, this conception is not humanist in character. This can be seen by comparing Wittgenstein’s later views with the extreme and extremely traditional humanism of his youth. In contrast even to Heidegger’s conception of animality as so radically ‘other’ that all but ‘bodily kinship’ is ruled out, according to the early Wittgenstein the spirit of the lion is really one’s own spirit: ‘Only remember that the spirit of the lion is your spirit. For it is only from yourself that you are acquainted with spirit at all’ (NB, p. 85). I have already noted a connection between Heidegger’s ‘existential “solipsism”’ and Wittgenstein’s early realism. In both cases these positions are fundamentally connected to an insistent humanism.7 In fundamental contrast to his early humanism, however, it seems to me that one of the outstanding features of Wittgenstein’s later ‘naturalism’ is its willingness to acknowledge a non-appropriating openness to ‘the spirit’ of

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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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