Of Pain: The Gift of Language and the Promise of Time

Comparative and Continental Philosophy 3 (1):59-78 (2011)
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Abstract

This essay attempts to think anew the relationship of pain with finitude and language. If man is that finite, mortal being whose being is essentially linguistic and being-in-communication, where language is not seen as mere attribute, property, or instrumental means of appropriation, then language cannot be understood in its cognitive disposal as categorical grasp of the “entities presently given,” but must be understood in a more originary manner as opening of the coming into presence, as the event of this coming itself. If a certain dominant ontology, in its innermost ground, understands pain as the very grounding work of logos, then it is necessary to open up the closure of this logos of metaphysics to another, more originary experience of pain in relation to mortality that dispropriates us beforehand, and thereby grants us language itself as gift and promise which welcomes the incalculable event of the “not yet.” This essay reads Heidegger, Schelling and Benjamin to think of the promise of this redemptive, messianic language in relation to an originary finitude, outside the metaphysics of subjectivity, insofar as this metaphysics subsumes language to its cognitive disposal, to its categorical grasp of entities’ “given present.”

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of Spirit.Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - 1977 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Arnold V. Miller & J. N. Findlay.
Poetry, Language, Thought.Martin Heidegger - 1971 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (1):117-123.
Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel & A. V. Miller - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4):268-271.
Poetry, Language, Thought.Martin Heidegger - 1971 - New York: Harper & Row.

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