On the Philosophical Legitimateness of Heidegger’s Language Licenses

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Associate Professor
Affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy of Saint Petersburg State University
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg
Journal nameVoprosy filosofii
EditionIssue 11

In this article I pretend to systematize the notorious language licenses of Heigedders’ philosophical style in “Sein und Zeit” and his later works. All their main types are discussed and illustrated by examples. On account of them I conclude the existence of an essential correlation between Heideggers’ philosophical self-imposed tasks and the style of their textual presentation. I enumerate 8 principal conventions of the philosophical functional writing style, which were tacitly and universally accepted down to the late twenties of the XX-th century. They include the structure of technical terms as language units, the manner of their introduction and usage in a text, the possible terminologization limits and so on. As a matter of fact, all these rules were numerously and deliberately violated by Heidegger in “Sein und Zeit” and later. We witness e.g. terminologizations by him of non-root morphemes (ausfragen, befragen, erfragen…); creation of rootless technical terms (umhaft, Inheit…); the trespass of the prohibition of tautological assertions (Die Welt weltet, die Sprache spricht); extremely cumbrous compound words on the very edge of the language norm (Gewissen-haben-wollen), abrupt disregard of syntax , viz. verbal governing (Fragen nach…, Anfragen bei…). As a consummation of all these licences, we observe numerous newly coined technical and semi-technical terms characterized by intentionally multiple derivation, where all variants are pertinent and ought to be grasped quasi-simultaneously (Abkünftigkeit has five derivation chains, Vorhabe has two, vorgängig has three etc.). As a whole, all these novelties not only tend to establish a new canon of the philosophical functional style, but induce in the reader’s mind an unprecedented type of activity and level of reflexivity in his efforts to comprehend the text. The previously extreme and unsurpassable antithesis f a lexical unit as being grasped by the mind in a moment of immobile apperception, and a syntactical structure which is being understood by a thought movement, becomes relative. The reader, therefore, has got a chance to develop an ability to be present, to witness the activity of his own mind. Finally, this very presence (and not an objectifying thought) discloses us the Being according Heidegger. The Being is non and cannot become an object.

Keywordssemantics, syntax, Heidegger, neologism, derivation, ambiguity, Being, functional style, comprehension activity
AcknowledgmentThe paper is prepared in the fames of the project supported by the RFBR under Grant 16–03–00806 “Methodological Problems of Investigation of History of Philosophy in the Context of Translation Studies”.
Publication date19.12.2018
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8. Zilberman, David V. (1972) “Revelation in Advaita-Vedanta as an experience of the semantic destruction of the language”, Voprosy Filosofii, Vol. 5 (1972), pp. 117–129 (in Russian).

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