Monday, March 05, 2018
Making sense of language.
This way of being—always already living ahead in the end-for-which as returning-to and disclosing—is an original, unified, fundamental comportment whose structure expresses the “as.” The “as” has the function of uncovering something in terms of something, of uncover something as—i.e., as this or that. The “as” is the structure of understanding. The understood is a ἑρμηνεία, that-which-is-understood in an understanding. We said that understanding is a basic comportment of existence. Therefore, the structure of the “as” is the fundamental hermeneutical structure of the being of that being which we call existence (human life). This fundamental hermeneutical structure can be apprehended in a relatively (and I emphasize relatively) original form of what we called “direct dealing-with-something.”
Only insofar as this capacity to understand—to make sense of—already belongs to existence, can existence express itself in sounds, such that these vocal sounds are words that now have meaning. Because existence, in its very being, is sense-making, it lives in meanings and can express itself in and as meanings. Only because there are such vocal sounds (i.e., words) that accrue to meanings, can there be individual words, i.e., the linguistic forms that are stamped by meaning and can be detached from that meaning. We call such a whole of sounds in which existence’s capacity to understand has somehow evolved and become existential, language; and when I speak here of a whole of existence I do not mean an individual act of existence, but being-with-each-other qua historical.
P. 127
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