Heidegger on Philosophy and Language

Guy Andrew Bennett-Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper attempts to explain why Heidegger¿s thought has evoked both
positive and negative reactions of such an extreme nature by focussing onhis answer to

central methodological question “What is Philosophy?”After briefly setting forth Heidegger¿s answer in terms of attunement to
Being, the centrality to it of his view of language and by focussing on his
relationship with the word „philosophy¿ and with the
history of philosophy,the author shows how it has led Heidegger to construct his own work, itself linguistic, as a self-referential union of form and meaning. It is suggestedthat, from a Heideggerian perspective, this gives his work addedargumentative force but, conversely, allows the critic no point of entry intohis hermeneutical circle

hence the extreme reactions. This observation isthen applied to address a related critical question; it is used to make sense of the apparent distinction, in Heideg
ger¿s work, between talking
attunement to Being and actually effecting such an attunement. The authorargues that, for Heidegger, there is actually no distinction and that hisapparent descriptions of attunement to Being at once describe and effectsuch an attunement. This union can therefore be conceived as one dimensionof the intimacy, previously observed, between form and content and which is
recognised to be a feature of Heidegger¿s work by both the acolyte and the
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophical Writings
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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