This paper is an exploration of the commonality in take between Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus", hereafter referred to as the Tractatus

, and Heidegger's "The Way to Language". Written by: Shawn Monaghan (critical on scribd.com) November 23, 1995 That which mirrors itself in language, language cannot represent. That which expresses itself in language, we cannot express by language (4.121). In this proposition of the Tractatus, Wittgenstein delimits the limits of language. We cannot represent the link language has with the world as this goes beyond the limits of language and to do so is impossible, to do so is to fool ourselves that we are getting anywhere. We can only show how language links with the world, Wittgenstein does this through the tool of pictures. A picture is a model of reality, a model that represents the possible structure of reality. To know if the picture is true one must compare it to reality and by doing so the picture if it agrees with reality is right if not then it is wrong. The way that pictures is compared to reality is through the stuff of atomic propositions and atomic facts. On Wittgenstein's estimation their exists an isomorphic one-to-one relationship between atomic facts and atomic propositions and this is the only thing we can know as to how language relates to the world. To cognisize, theorize or otherwise about the rightness or wrongness of the picture is something we cannot do, this would overstep the bounds of language and of thought leading us to the realm of the unsayable the realm of nonsense. Theories which make a proposition of logic appear substantial are always false. One could e.g. believe that the words 'true' and 'false' signify two properties among other properties, and then it would appear as a remarkable fact that every proposition possesses one of these properties.... Indeed our proposition now gets quite the character of a proposition of natural science and this is a certain symptom of its being falsely understood (6.111). This idea displayed by Wittgenstein is perhaps better looked at in conjunction with his fundamental thought: My fundamental thought is that the 'logical constants' do not represent. That the logic of facts cannot be represented (4.0312). Or, in other words, the structural identity between language and reality is unrepresentable. This general principle is also upheld in Heidegger's : If we are on the trail of language as language,... We can no longer root about for general notions like energy, activity,... view upon the world, or expression, under which we might subsume language as a particular instance of this or that universal. Instead of explaining language as this or that, and thus fleeing from it, the way to language wants to let language be experienced as language. True in the essence of language, language is grasped conceptually; but it is caught in the grip of something other than itself (406).

The mode of showing is the only meaningful device, to meaningfully understand language, we can adopt when studying language (and its limits) is clearly set here in both Heidegger and Wittgenstein. If one looks merely at the implied concept of showing in the above quotation Heidegger's concept of showing appears very similar to Wittgenstein's. For Wittgenstein the isomorphic relationship between atomic propositions and atomic facts is a form which cannot be represented (4.0312). It can only be shown, as representing logical constants or representing the relationship between language and reality cannot be done: That which mirrors itself in language, language cannot represent (4.121). For this would be to get outside of the realm of language, to look at language itself from outside of it, this is impossible and to try to do so is to ignore the limits of language and of thought. Wittgenstein's conceptualization of 'showing', appearing below in my own words, is quite plain and unembellished: That which cannot be represented can only be shown. This he attempts to do by developing the concept of a picture as a tool for illustrating propositions. The picture is a model of reality it shows reality it shows what but not how. The way it can do this showing is by the isomorphic relationship it shares with reality this cannot be explained it merely is. Heidegger has a vaguely similar principle in mind when he says that explaining language by way of some conceptual framework, calling it 'this or that,' is to think we can somehow look upon it as a subject of study separate from ourselves. As if to say we are capable of objectively removing ourselves from language, capable of isolating it and categorizing it as if it were merely an object at our disposal to prod and probe, a chair which we could encircle with a line, for instance. When we look at language we are assaulted with a weft. A complex interwoven web is language. We are not capable of merely looking at this complex weft and isolating it as we would cut a knot from a shoelace, we ourselves are inextricably tied into that weft. So the way to language is not to theorize to objectify it for this we cannot do, we must allow language to show us the way. We must follow the trail of language to gather and somehow glean what it shows us in all its concatenations, turns and knots: We human beings, in order to be who we are, remain within the essence of language to which we have been granted entry. We can therefore never step outside it in order to look it over circumspectly from some alternative position (423).

A greater understanding of Heidegger's means of exploring language through the showing rather than understanding that we traditionally know as knowledge is demonstrated by this: If we grasp what we shall now try to say as a sequence of assertions about language, it will remain a concatenation of unverified and scientifically unverifiable claims. If on the contrary we experience the way to language in terms of what transpires with the way while we are under way on it, then a kind of surmise could awaken, a surmise by which language would henceforth strike us as exceedingly strange (397).

Heidegger in essence is telling us that we are not going on a journey of thought in its normal sense but a tour of language. Showing is what this whole treatise is about, we explore language in order to allow it to show us that which we cannot traditionally objectively grasp. We are directed to keep in mind simple pictures of where we have gone and the end result, if our tour is successful, will be the big picture the big showing of language. Keep in mind the word 'transpire' used above (in quote) that which transpires, it can be said, is that which we come to know: that which comes to light. Knowing in the traditional sense of knowledge is not something we can do with language according to Heidegger (as we can't separate ourselves from language), this leaves us with 'that which comes to light' this light we are projecting through our journey as a showing of language, our way is a sort of slide show of our journey to language, a type of showing that might have benefited greatly by Wittgenstein's concepts of pictures. Although Heidegger thinks we can use language to show the way to language, this is a long process of peering at that which is shown then thus allowing something else to be shown etc. (a long chain-linking of Showings (pictures?)), Wittgenstein's version of showing is relatively short and uninvolved, I will write it again: That which cannot be represented can only be shown. For Wittgenstein little else can be said about showing, he describes it as something that merely 'becomes clear' as something 'mystical'. Once this clarity occurs that which we wonder about can be said to have shown itself and we no longer doubt or wonder about it, but once this experience has transpired we can not explain it, we cannot say where or in what way the senseless became sense-full (came to make sense)(6.521). This is strikingly similar to Heidegger's way in that where we arrive is not necessarily cognition, but it does give us a kind of surmise. We do not have knowledge in its traditional sense, but neither are we back at square one from which we started. The primary difference between the two forms of showing appears to be that Wittgenstein's form seems more private. It is a private experience that one cannot describe to another, at least that is the way it appears in proposition 6.521. Heidegger's experience however appears to be a public tour he can be the tour guide to show the way on our journey of showing. Now if I were to take the Tractatus as a whole Wittgenstein also shares the public nature of the showing of Heidegger: My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognises them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them (6.54). In the light of this statement proposition 6.521 seems to take on different proportions. Yes we can have a time of clarity where the senseless comes to make sense, it is inexplicable and yet it can be a way that could successfully show others to the clarity (for why else would he have written it thus). This is a striking similarity between Heidegger and Wittgenstein the isomorphism is uncanny. Both attempt to take their readers on a tour-guide of nonsense toward an ultimate goal which they hope will come to make sense to be sense-full. Wittgenstein says that the limits of our language our also and therefore the limits of our world. Egoistic solipsism is therefore not possible for the egoistic I of the solipsist is negated by the world being my world. Wittgenstein shows this by using the example of 'the world as I found it', in this world the I does not exist it the subject can not be mentioned: of it alone in this book mention could not be made (5.631).

Wittgenstein then carries on to say that the above shows that the subject does not exist in the world and so it is metaphysical nonsense. Heidegger too talks on solipsism: "Thus freed to its own open space, language can concern itself solely with itself alone."(420) He also speaks of language as self-mirroring (4.121) but not in an egoistic, self-enamoured way. The language as the saying is the pointing out of words and by so pointing showing us the way to be a part of language to use language. We do not know how to learn or understand language we are shown by language itself. Showing is the realm for which signs exist for the purpose of showing and for whom the signs are able to exist (410). This showing is clearly not just a human action as that which we show or say when we speak existed as a sort of self-showing prior to our use, so that we could use it as language this is what Heidegger calls "thing's letting itself be shown" (410). In this spirit language speaks to us by being the first saying of itself, by showing itself in pointing; "reaching out to every region of presencing, letting what is present in each case appear in such regions or vanish from them" (411). Propriation bestows on mortals residence in their essence, such that they can be the ones who speak.... Because the showing of the saying is an owning, our being able to hear the saying, our belonging to it, also depends on propriation. In order to catch a glimpse of this state of affairs in its full enormity, we would have to think the essence of mortals, in all its sundry connection, in a sufficiently comprehensive way. And of course, above all else, we would have to think propriation as such (416-17). In the new understanding we have of ourselves and of language through the way to language we must admit we are not the self-enclosed autonomous beings we have always thought ourselves to be. We owe all that we are to language and it would appear that all that we do even today is not just our doing but also the doing of language. That the 'thing's letting itself be shown' exists is a realization that there is something we do that we can not take all of the credit for. That which we are is not solely our own doing a sort of limiting of the self occurs here which is implied by Heidegger. Perhaps not just a limiting of the self but an eliminating of the self. If language is that which we can not treat as an object, something from which we can not remove ourselves in order to study and classify it, then it goes a long way toward saying we cannot have a concept of self either. What is the self without language, nothing, everything that humans are today is a result of the fact that we are a part of language if we cannot know language in the traditional sense of knowledge how can we know ourselves in that way. Perhaps the self does not even exist as we normally visualize it. The dialectic of the self-other, object-subject is a false concept if we cannot separate the self, the subject, out to be treated as an object to be known or thought about. Where is it that language's 'saying' stops and our 'saying' starts? Is it at the point which languages pointing stops, presumably the realm of representation, that we say that which is our own to say and not languages? But language speaks in the pointing as that which is spoken as well as that which is silent, that which is silent can be said to be prior to that which is said (420). How can we know whether that which is silent has not already said that which we are saying?

In order to think back to the essence of language, in order to reiterate what is its own, we need a transformation of language, a transformation we can neither compel nor concoct. The transformation does not result from the fabrication of neologisms and novel phrases. The transformation touches on our relation to language. That relation is determined in accordance with the sending that determines whether and in what way we are embraced in propriation by the essence of language, which is the original pronouncement of propriation. For propriation owning, holding, keeping to itself - is the relation of all relations. For this reason, our saying, as answering, constantly remains relational. The relation is here thought always and everywhere in terms of propriation. and is no longer presented in the form of a mere relationship. Our relation to language is defined by the mode according to which we belong to propriation, we who are needed and used by it (424-5). Language is the means by which we interact with the world and too it is the means by which we interact with language itself. Here again is a similarity to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, whereby he says language is our world, the limits of language are the limits of our world. To 'think back to the essence of language' to grip the essence of language we must allow it to unfold. This is a curious thing Heidegger has said, to think back is to backtrack in a sense and to think back to the essence of language seems to be a strangeness as Heidegger has said that perhaps the search for the essence of language is missing the point, is not the way to go. Is the essence of language that way that essentially unfolds to allow us to use and be a part of language (413)? When we create a new language we will then get back to the essence of language. The key is to change our relation to language itself, so that we become the propriation that owns and shows and ourselves. Though we can not do this ourselves we can prepare for the transformation.

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