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Language after Heidegger

Krzysztof (Linguagem:5-6) – Das Ereignis wortet [GA74]

Introduction

sábado 11 de novembro de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro

The event, Heidegger explains, has the momentum of ostendere: of manifesting and showing, and doing so not   mutely but as the inceptual word, as the breaking open of language.

Crucial for phenomenology and philosophy in general is the fact that in Heidegger we have two explicit articulations: of language as the event; and of the idea   that the event issues (into) words in such a way that, although its occurrence is not   prior to language, it is neither captured by nor signified in it. Heidegger approaches language initially not through signs (Zeichen  ) or through meaning and reference (Bedeutung  ) but from showing (Zeigen  ), which manifests from the freeing spatiotemporalizing realm of the clearing, constituting the way in which language moves—has always already moved— into signs. This unfolding of language, though requiring human participation and decision, is not animated by human beings but rather is spurred on by the nihilating momentum of being, by what Heidegger calls “the silent [or quiet, stille] force of the possible” (BW  , 220, modified; W, 314). The event, Heidegger explains, has the momentum of ostendere: of manifesting and showing, and doing so not mutely but as the inceptual word, as the breaking open of language. As he puts it in volume 71 of the Gesamtausgabe, Das Ereignis  : “The event is the inceptual word” (E, 145)—“Das Ereignis ist das anfägliche Wort  ” 170), or even more directly in GA 74  , “The event comes to word”—“Das Ereignis wortet” (99). This last   phrase needs to be understood carefully, for it is not the case that words already exist and the event comes to them, that is, becomes articulated, repeated, or represented in them. Instead, it is the event that, literally, “words,” as the German phrase would need to be rendered in English by turning the noun   word into a verb, “to word” in order to underscore [6] the occurrence, the event, of the word. The event in one gesture issues (into) words, which means that words originate from the event while at the same time remaining of the event. In other words, the event and “its” word are neither different nor identical. To understand Heidegger’s thought, it is necessary then to experience the ways in which the manifestation of phenomena, their giving from being or event—the “there is” or “es gibt  ” marking the event—is also the start of language, its initial opening words, which Heidegger describes as a kind of pre- or fore-word to human signs. What is thus required for undergoing what Heidegger calls “an experience with language” is both the awareness of these complex and shifting movements repeatedly underwriting language, beyond human languages and sign systems, and the attentiveness to the silent stillness (Stille) enveloping language. It is important to note here that dependent on this experience is not only the transformation in our relation to language, which Heidegger mentions in “The Way to Language,” but also the very possibility of perhaps twisting free (Verwindung) of metaphysics.


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