Authors
Abstract
Abstract What is the origin of language? For Levinas, from Aristotle to von Humboldt, the tradition of Western metaphysics has understood language as a representation of reality, going beyond or transcending experience. In this way, language is a metaphor that substitutes for experience?and all language is originally metaphorical. Experience however, is essentially inexpressible?for it not only transcends language, but it does so because experience is always experience of the other, of that which remains infinitely other. And language reminds us of its failure (a failure which Derrida sees, ironically, as a success) to express this other by maintaining a trace of the inexpressible in every expression?and metaphor is failure of expression par excellence. But what is the origin of this original failure? In fact, it can be found in the way in which language makes metaphors (which is the way in which it makes itself, transcends itself, substitutes for itself, becomes other than itself). For as Aristotle reminds us: metaphor-making (indeed, all language, every word and deed) is poi?sis?and the origin of poi?sis is improvisation. If we have, however, discovered the origin of language in improvisation?but what is that?
Keywords Levinas  Aristotle  Improvisation  Metaphor
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/09672559.2012.699225
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,257
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

De la Grammatologie.Jacques Derrida - 1967 - Editions de Minuit.
Nature.Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1836 - J. Munroe.
The Levinas Reader.Sean Hand (ed.) - 2001 - Wiley-Blackwell.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Adorno and Heidegger on Language and the Inexpressible.Roger Foster - 2007 - Continental Philosophy Review 40 (2):187-204.
On the Meaning of Metaphor in Gadamer's Hermeneutics.Ben Vedder - 2002 - Research in Phenomenology 32 (1):196-209.
Language as Gesture: Merleau-Ponty and American Sign Language.Jerry H. Gill - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):25-37.
In Defense of Public Language.Ruth G. Millikan - 2003 - In Louise M. Antony & H. Hornstein (eds.), Chomsky and His Critics. Blackwell.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-08-25

Total views
42 ( #267,916 of 2,499,746 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,066 of 2,499,746 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes