[lit-ideas] Re: The nothing noths

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 09:38:35 -0500

In a message dated 2/17/2015 9:14:21 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx quotes:
ii. Das Nichts nichtet.
i. The nothing  noths.
and asks

>But how so?
 [i.e. these two differ -- cfr. "If you haven't read Heidegger in  German, 
you haven't read Heidegger". Cfr. Barrett: A great deal  of this  
'obscurity' is a matter of translation, and disappears when Heidegger is   read 
German. To be sure, his German is at times a very highly   individualized 
vehicle of expression: Heidegger does coin his own terms when  he  has to, and 
usually these are coinings that stick very close to the  etymological  roots 
of German. Heidegger thinks very much within the matrix  of the German  
language, and his expressions hugs the particularity of this  language to its  
bosom.  All of this makes for difficulty in  translation."
Jürgen Ludwig Scherb attempts an answer in his brilliant essay, "Nichtet  
das Nichts wirklich nicht? Analyse und Explikation : oder: eine deutsche  
Vorkriegsdebatte europäisch belichtet," which appeared in vol. 115 of  
Philosophisches Jahrbuch, vol. 115.
Scherb writes:
"The agenda of the ... explication project is set by a German pre-war  
debate between Rudolf Carnap and Martin Heidegger about allegedly meaningless  
metaphysical statements such as "The Nothing noths" ("Das Nichts  nichtet")."
"Within the mainstream of 20th century analytical philosophy this  
statement, "The Nothing noths" [O. K. is right and we SHOULD 'capitalise' --  
that it's MANDATORY in German, and merely stylistic in modern English -- it  
was mandatory in older English] has come to be regarded as obvious 
metaphysical  nonsense."
"As we all know, this led to an unfortunate confrontation between  
analytical and continental philosophy."
"Despite the fact that this former judgement had been corrected in a short  
remark by the Mancunian philosopher Desmond Paul Henry in the 1960s, which 
he  repeated more explicitly in the 1980s, this unnecessary conflict still 
seems to  exist."
"Unfortunately Henry's remark didn't find its way to a greater audience,  
perhaps because Henry didn't prove his claim in a canonical way, perhaps 
because  it contains an ambiguity, which may give rise to criticism."
"However, the required disambiguation together with the missing proofs can  
and will be given here within Lesniewski's ontology."
"Following Ludger Honnefelder we can call the Lesniewski systems, which  
were developed roughly at the same time (1913-1939), the third beginning of  
"They will provide the still missing bridge between Carnap and Heidegger,  
which can be regarded as an ontological supplement to and a partial 
correction  of Michael Friedman's brilliant background study on Heidegger, 
and  Cassirer."
"The hermeneutical conclusion to be drawn is that reconciliation between  
the two types of philosophy is not only possible along Cassirer's ideas, but  
also along the lines of broadly logical form."
"In other words: I propose a more fundamental way for  reconciliation."
"The hermeneutical outcome is as follows: one can make use of precise logic 
 tools in a more general way than Carnap himself without declaring at least 
some  central statements of Heidegger's Fundamentalontologie to be pure  

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