This thesis, centered on Herder and Heidegger's concept of language, is written for the purpose of illuminating their view of language and investigating the relationship between a origin of language and a matter of Listening. First, Herder's theory of ...
This thesis, centered on Herder and Heidegger's concept of language, is written for the purpose of illuminating their view of language and investigating the relationship between a origin of language and a matter of Listening. First, Herder's theory of language clearly rejects the theological explanation, the recourse to the claim of a divine origin of language; it is intended to account for the origin of human language as essentially different from animal sounds (natural, imitative, expressions of animals) based on the philosophical and scientific (descriptive) analysis of the radical difference between human beings and animals or other living being.
For Herder, language is a natural endowment of human being as well as, at least in part, the result of human inventiveness and development. His ideas about the origin (derivation) of language are embedded in a quite impressive concrete research (empirical evidence) as well as in his assumption that ultimately language is nature itself finding expression in the mind of human being. However, for Heidegger, the origin of language is not to be traced back to a metaphysically conceived "essence" or to some "eidos" that objectifies language (as well as the word); it is found in what language really is, in "what is ownmost" to language, as well as to the word, in the "belongingness to being, in enowning as differing." The "word" as the ground of language is ultimately "the word of being."
Thus Heidegger's critique of Herder's ideas on the origin of language leads to the rethinking of the very question of the origin of language; it moves from a historical, developmental explanation to the ontological (phenomenological) understanding of the very question of, that is, of the inquiry into, origin. For Heidegger, Attending to or "hearing"(erh？ren) and "saying"(sagen) being ultimately take place "through (durch) being", in light of Dasein's decision for being; being "grants"(verschenkt) itself as "clearing"(Lichtung) to human being, and this "granting"(gift) sets human being apart from, and beyond any comparison to, other being (e. g., animals). After all, Heidegger's language is the place in which the truth of being opens and metaphysical one which reveals being of the being. So we can say that the place being resides and sojourns is 'the language' and that the thinking of being can illuminate the original meaning in a language as 'the house of being.'