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Birth in Language: The Coming-to-Language as a Mark of Non-difference in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics

  • Tsutomu Ben Yagi
Chapter
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 95)

Abstract

This essay advances an interpretation of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics that is worked out in light of the works of two contemporary German philosophers, Bernhard Waldenfels and Peter Sloterdijk. By bringing Gadamer in dialogue with these two thinkers, I aim to present the dimension of non-difference that characterises his hermeneutic thinking. To this end, Gadamer’s views on the mother tongue (Muttersprache) and the home (Heimat) will be explored by examining the phenomena of foreignness and birth, each of which was developed by Waldenfels and Sloterdijk respectively. In the first part of the essay, I offer a reading of Gadamer that shows how Waldenfels’ critique of Gadamer based on radical foreignness is unfounded and misguided. I then proceed to make the case that the mother tongue must be thought in terms of the coming-to-language (Zur-Sprache-Kommen), the notion of which is employed by both Gadamer and Sloterdijk. As a notion that marks our original belonging to the world, I contend that the coming-to-language needs to be understood outside of the logic of difference. This essay thus concludes with the reflection that hermeneutics is essentially bound up with the character of non-difference, which is to be distinguished from the thinking of difference that dominates contemporary discourse.

Keywords

Hans-Georg Gadamer Peter Sloterdijk Bernhard Waldenfels Hermeneutics Language Non-difference Birth Coming-to-language 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsutomu Ben Yagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Catholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtEichstättGermany

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