Expression and silence: the language of phenomenology in Wittgenstein and Heidegger
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This thesis is a comparative study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger in relation to their engagement with the problem of phenomenological expression. My central argument is that by reading Wittgenstein in this way, we can begin to make sense of the qualified equivalence he draws between his own phenomenology in 1929, and his earliest experiments in ordinary language philosophy in the Philosophical Remarks. The very same problem-set, I suggest, can be found in Heidegger’s early Freiburg lectures. Many of his key concepts, I argue, such as formal indication and phenomenological destruction, are developed as a direct response to the limits of language. By looking to the sense in which his hermeneutic phenomenology overcomes such linguistic constraints, we find the best correlate in the continental tradition for Wittgenstein’s account of philosophical grammar. It is on the basis of this comparison, I suggest, that the phenomenological relevance of Wittgenstein’s later work can be historically situated.