13 SES 17, “When Are We Ever at Home?”: Nostalgia for the future, for Europe and elsewhere
Is Heidegger’s philosophy of language capable of receiving the other that is quite different? Of seeing or witnessing this? This paper attempts to demonstrate the limits of Heidegger in terms of the capacity to recognise and acknowledge the complete otherness of the other. In doing so, I examine some of Heidegger’s remarks regarding being and language, particularly in relation to his attitude toward other languages. Through exploring this, I move from language to languages, and then to translation. I explore translation, beyond the technical understanding of the term, as a site of diversity and plurality: I consider it as the place for a responsible response to the other. To this end, I acknowledge language already in its plurality, as sustained in and by that plurality rather than as being rooted and secured in its specificity. To understand language in this way is also to acknowledge the very condition of human being in its plurality, always already in relation to the other. In this sense, no matter how thought-provoking his account of language is, Heidegger’s philosophy of language may not be enough to address current problems in society—that is, societies now, more evidently than ever before, that are based on human plurality.
Cassin, B. (2016) Nostalgia: When Are We Ever at Home? Trans. Brault, P-A. New York: Fordham University Press. Derrida, Jacques. 1998. Monolingualism of the Other: Or, The Prosthesis of Origin. Translated by Patrick Mensah. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press. ———. 2005. Sovereignties in Question: The Poetics of Paul Celan: The Poetics of Pual Celan. Edited by Thomas Dutoit and Outi Pasanen. New York: Fordham University Press. Heidegger, Martin. 1976. What Is Called Thinking? Translated by J. Glenn Gray. New York: Harper Perennial. ———. 2003. ‘A Dialogue on Langugae: Between a Japanese and an Inquirer’. In On the Way to Language, 1st Harper & Row Pbk. Ed edition. San Francisco: HarperOne.
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