Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuesday's Reading

"The Nature of Language," Lectures I and II, pp. 57-90 in On the Way to Language

We spoke today of limits as possibilities. Dasein is gifted with possibilities, but the possibilities come "packaged" as limits. Language is perhaps Dasein's most profound gift of this nature— excruciatingly limiting as we try to express our thoughts, yet possessed of limitless possibilities in the hands of the poet.

What is the nature of language that it works in the way that it does and how can we use it most authentically to become who we are? In lecture I, Heidegger tries to learn from the poet, especially regarding the relationship between word and thing. In Lecture Two, he turns more to the philosophers to explore the relationship between thinking and language. In both, the words of the poet, Stefan Georg resound:

"So I renounced and sadly see:
Where word breaks off no thing may be."

See you Tuesday.

(Also, please bring your copy of Richardson for "Old Business.")

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