[lit-ideas] Re: The nothing noths

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:14:53 +0100

So how are we to understand "Das  Nichts
nichtet", according to Henry ? Also, would it be possible to supply a
source for the statements that are copy-pasted ?

O.K.

On Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Redacted sender Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx for
DMARC <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> In a message dated 2/17/2015 9:14:21 A.M.  Eastern Standard Time,
> donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> how much is really  lost in translation between the German and the English
> here?
>
> i.e.
>
> i. The nothing noths.
>
> ii. Das Nichts nichtet
>
> or
>
> iii. The Nought noughts.
>
> (cfr. Sartre -- "le néant néantisant")
>
> That infamous paradox has been compared to "The Absolute is lazy", and this
>  may relate to translation. It is alleged that there is some 'semantic'
> rule, if  not syntactic rule (but Carnap prefers, I think, to speak of
> 'logical' syntax of  the world) which is broken.
>
> But it might be that in German, "Das Nichts" has colloquial uses that "the
> Nought" or "the Nothing" lacks. Note that 'the' is hardly used as applied
> to  'the' in English ("Much ado about nothing", not "Much ado about the
> nothing".
>
> Morphologically, there is this -s in "Nichts" that may have something  to
> do with it. The equivalent older English, "Nought" does not add the -s,
> but a
>  final -s is added in colloquial English expressions meant in the singular,
>  "Hullo Ducks".
>
> Chomsky speaks of a native speaker competence and provided Heidegger was a
> native speaker of German, the fact that he is breaking this syntactic or
> semantic rule is perhaps something that a Carnapian should address.
>
> On the other hand, if Heidegger's utterances are compared to Jabberwocky --
>  the first four lines cited by Geary -- who decided yesterday, Goedelianly,
> not  no decide on stuff -- , one might wonder not so much if something is
> lost in  translation, but whether alleged nonsense CAN be translated in the
> same way as  'sense' can? (I think Strawson did say, "What is nonsense in
> one
> language is  nonsense -- in any other language to which the expression can
> be translated" --  cited in Mundle, "Critique of linguistic philosophy",
> Clarendon).
>
> It may DO to compare the above with
>
> iv. Negation negates.
>
> Surely nothingness is _not_ negation (and they may not even be  related),
> but 'nichtet' is not German for 'negate'. But there is something  analytic
> a
> priori (or 'trifle' as Locke would have it) or tautological
> (etymologically, 'saying the same thing', as "Kings reign") about
> Heidegger's  utterance
> that may have done with Carnap's overreacting over it.
>
> Carnap and Ayer focused on this, rather than in the 'Dasein'. The forms for
>  'to be' in German are innumerable, and 'Sein' I don't think has an English
>  cognate. But 'da' does. It's "there". "Being there". So the "Dasein" is
> there.
>
> Now "is there" contrasts with "there is" ("Is there any sugar?", "There is
> a policeman in the corner").
>
> The point was made in one of the quotes by C. B. that Heidegger got into
> 'fashion' (or vogue as Anna Wintour prefers) going back to odd etymologies.
> He  infamously said that
>
> philo-sophia
>
> rather than love of wisdom is best regarded as a 'sophia', i.e. a wisdom,
> of what? 'love', of course. I think he was thinking of Plato's Symposium,
> which  dwells, almost wisely, about love.
>
> It may do to revise Heidegger's further etymologies.
>
> If philo-sophia is the wisdom of love, then philo-logia would not be the
> love of words, but a discourse on it.
>
> It seems that while the German language invites for such an interpretation
> of compounds like 'philo-sophia' and 'philo-logia' (or 'philo-sophos', and
> 'philo-logos'), such compounds were felt different by native ancient Greek
> speakers. But it may not be rejected as silly the idea that both
> interpretations resonated with ancient native Greek speakers, and that
> whoever
> coined 'philo-sophia' or 'philo-logia' or many other compounds Heidegger
> considered in his work and tried to provide a German equivalent for, was
> EXPLOITING such ambiguities.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Speranza
>
>
> ps. 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'
> --  note
> 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  metaphysics.  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, Carnap 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: there IS 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   nonsense."
>
>
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