Heidegger, Language, and World-Disclosure


In her excellent Heidegger, Language, and World-Disclosure Cristina Lafont urges a fresh way of looking at the issue: she argues that cognition and assertion are dependent not upon precognitive, engaged practice, but rather upon language as a holistic phenomenon. Being-in-the-world is at its core the disclosure of a symbolically mediated world in terms of which anything that we can experience, judge, or talk about is given its place and parameters. Entities and states of affairs are accessible to us in terms of meaning, and meaning is itself made accessible to us through understanding. Understanding is, however, always essentially “discursive,” or symbolically mediated, so that our access to the world around us, and anything that might show up within that world, is structured by language. The difference between Lafont’s approach and its practice-oriented rival is especially clear vis-à-vis the “fore-structure of interpretation.” According to Lafont, cognition is grounded in what Heidegger calls “forehaving,” because forehaving is the disclosure of the whole of linguistic meaning available to the cognizer. According to a practice-oriented approach, by “forehaving” Heidegger means the holistic set of precognitive practices in which whatever we are currently doing is domiciled.

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William Blattner
Georgetown University

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Heidegger, Lafont and the Necessity of the Transcendental.R. Matthew Shockey - 2008 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (5):557-574.

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