Volume 8, 2016
Discussion of the Ethical Significance of Language in the Philosophy of Heidegger and Levinas
This article investigates the ethical significance of language in relation to Heidegger and Levinas’s thought. It first examines the prerequisites of the discussion of language based on the concepts of Being (Heidegger) and the Other (Levinas). Then, it deals with the concept of time as an essential element in understanding language. Thirdly, it compares Heidegger’s ontological-language and Levinas’s ethical-language, highlighting Levinas’s critique of Heidegger’s ethical deficiency, especially in Heidegger’s articulation on language. The paper argues that Levinas’s emphasis on the priority and exteriority of the Other in our relation to language both reveals and replaces Heidegger’s mystical significance of language as ‘the House of Being’.