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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heidegger: Language is the home of the Being. In its housing man is at home

This essay is not available at
Rhetoric is the Home of the Transcendent: Ernesto Grassi's Response to Heidegger's Attack on Humanism
Intellectual History Review Volume 22, Issue 2, 2012


  1. When Heidegger says that Language is the house of being, he is talking about the linguistic phenomenon of "tagging" or "labeling". Basically, research as shown that language modifies perceptual processes such that it changes what we pay attention to. This is particularly evident with the phenomenon of names. Names allow for a higher-order perceptual interpretation in terms of "objects". For Heidegger then, language allows for the literal creation of new objects i.e. beings qua beings. Hence, he says:

    "Genuinely and initially, it is the essence of language to first elevate beings into the open as beings. Where there is no language — as with stones, plants, and animals — there is also no openness of beings and thus also no openness of non-beings, un-beings, or emptiness. By first naming objects, language brings beings to word and to appearance."

    Language is the house of being because it allows for the perception of a chair qua chair, rather than a collection of wood suitable for sitting on. This is part of what Heidegger means when he says that humans have both a tacit and explicit understanding of being. We understand object relations on an ontological scale because we have linguistic concepts that structure our experience in terms of beings and entities.

    Hope this helps.

  2. This would be a semiotic, if not simply an Aristotelian interpretation of Heidegger. In that quotation (source?) all hinges on the meaning of "open(ness)".