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

The Experience of the Essence of the Human Being from His Determination -[Extract from §28. The blasting of the being-subject through the determination of the Volk] -The lore of history is given only for him who stands in resoluteness; only he can and may know the inevitability of the historical Dasein. However, the unknowing ones, and even those who are drifting around in the unessence of history can, all the same, never release themselves from history and labor. For, even the irresoluteness [Unentschlossenheit], the self-shutting [das sich verschliej3ende] just-barely-still-staggering-along, is always, because essential, different from the snapping ensnarement of the animal in nature.  (p.133)


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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