By Dennis J. Schmidt
Dennis J. Schmidt develops a hermeneutic idea of language that types the place to begin for pondering throughout the matters of moral lifestyles. operating from texts by way of Homer, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Gadamer, this quantity explores a number of the ways that we adventure the fringes of language, and highlights the relation of either freedom and historical past to such adventure. The ebook can be guided via the conviction that such reflections upon the bounds of language can open up whatever decisive for the hassle to deal with the enigmas and demanding situations of judgment within the realm of moral existence. Taking heavily Kant’s declare within the 3rd Critique that aesthetic adventure opens up a foundation for judging that's except that present in the language of the idea that, Schmidt pursues this declare via addressing the relation of language to poetry, to song, to silence, to script, to signal language, and to painting—those reviews of language which set themselves except the idea that. Out of the therapy of those studies of language at its limits, the writer argues that we discover a gap upon the world of moral lifestyles that's actually past the calculus of fine and evil. What effects is an adventure of radical freedom, an adventure that precedes whatever like a thought of freedom discovering its rationalization within the enterprise of an issue. it really is the following that we discover the contours of what Heidegger as soon as defined as "original ethics," and event anything of the resources of moral lifestyles.
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Extra info for Lyrical and Ethical Subjects: Essays on the Periphery of the Word, Freedom, and History
But, as Gadamer reminds us, this doubling in language equally opens up the distance that we can take from ourselves insofar as language belongs to all thinking. The neediness opened up in this differential element of language that is, the necessity and failure of language to return to itself-which defines all language is, according to Holderlin, experienced in its most compressed form in the language of tragedy. " 10 It is this longing that speaks in every effort at translation. And of course, this relation of language to ruin, rupture, and longing says much about who we are.
The experience of translation clearly belongs to the special anxiety of always being only on the way to language, never quite there, of, as Canetti recalls, the imminence having one's tongue cut off. The passage from Canetti that I have in mind and find pertinent is from his autobiogra phy, The Tongue Set Free: My earliest memory is dipped in red. I come out of a door . . the floor in front of me is red, and to the left a staircase goes down, equally red . . A door opens, and a smiling man steps forth .
It is precisely when a language is asked most pointedly to define itself by answering the question of what can and cannot be said that the inner limits of that language begin to become apparent. In translation, as in the poem, language is thrown back on itself and pushed to its own barriers. Here, at its own limits, language most affirms and asserts itself, insisting on remaining itself. But it is nonetheless equally the point at which every language as such must run aground. In Gadamer's words: "Thinking sets to work [and here that means: language comes to word] at the point where translation, that is the illusion of the option of some transport of a thought, meets its ruin" (HW, 1 1 6).