For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Logic as the Question Concerning the Essence of Language

by Heidegger, Martin (2009)


This first English translation of Logik als die Frage nach dem Wesen der Sprache, volume 38 of Martin Heidegger’s Gesamtausgabe, contains novel ideas on logic and language that are important for anyone wishing to think beyond traditional views of these topics. Based on student transcripts of Heidegger’s lectures and manuscripts for a 1934 summer course, the work contains his first public reflection on the nature of language itself. Given shortly after Heidegger’s resignation to the rectorship of the University of Freiburg, the course also opens up fresh perspectives on his controversial involvement with the Nazi regime. Heidegger’s critical probing of logic involves metaphysics and poetry and intertwines essential questions concerning language as a world-forming power, the human being, history, and time. This work marks a milestone in Heidegger’s path of thinking as his first meditation on language as a primal event of being.

Key Passage

One talks much today about the historicity of the human being, and yet one does not come to know the essence of this historicity. One does not comprehend the inner demand that lies in the essence of historicity. This comprehending is only possible in a  transformed relationship with time, in an original experience of time. In order to incorporate this transformed time-concept into our Dasein, it is necessary to subject our kind of experiencing and understanding of time to a  fundamental change, as well as to bring about and to carry through a fundamental experience. We do not experience time originally in the fact that we look at the clock and ascertain time as a  flow that is measurable by the clock, which goes by fast or slowly, nor in the fact that we relate every occurrence that encounters us to its point in time and can date it according to this point in time. We experience time only and properly, if we bring ourselves in our determination to the experience.  (p.105)


Heidegger, Germany, National Socialism, Nazi, Twentieth Century, National Socialist Education, Academia, Duty, Work Creation, Service


Logic as the Question [1934], Heidegger Citations

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