'Was bleibet aber, stiften die Dichter'. Heidegger's Late Language Philosophy

'Was bleibet aber, stiften die Dichter'. Heidegger's Late Language Philosophy
15 October 2018, 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Convenor: Johan Siebers

In Unterwegs zur Sprache (On the Way to Language, 1959) Heidegger develops his understanding of language as a complement to the thinking of being by which he sought to overcome metaphysics and metaphysical notions of the subject. In the course of the book he comes to reflect on the nature of sagen (saying), on poetry, technology and the reign of methodology. He writes: ‘A speaking about language turns language almost inevitably into an object. (...) A speaking of language could only be a dialogue’ (‘Ein Sprechen von der Sprache könnte nur ein Gespräch sein’). What, if anything, have Heidegger's reflections on language to say to us today? Can we enter into the kind of dialogue he is speaking of? What is required to do so, and what happens if we do? Who would be the ones im Gespräch in such a dialogue? Is the extensive work of critique, which is overly familiar as far as Heidegger is concerned, final, or can we read, and respond to, this text afresh? In the seminar we will close-read Unterwegs zur Sprache to gain some insight into these questions and ask ourselves what it means to be on the way to language, what it means to be a speaking being, and what it means to speak with, and listen to, one another. Is Heidegger's late philosophy of language a psychotic formation, brought about by the absence of the Gods? Or is the late Heidegger to be compared to Joyce, a Sinthome, having overcome Aquinas’ doctrine of the inner word, verbum interior? Or are we here, in Jameson's phrase borrowed by Žižek 'in the ‘torture-house of language’? Or are neither of these perspectives adequate to the text? What, finally, drives our speech and how can we speak in the vicinity of this question?

Further details: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/ernst-bloch-centre-german-thought/bloch-centre-seminar-series-2018-19


Jane Lewin
020 7862 8966