Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring 1992
The Notions of “Discourse” and “Text” in Postmodernism
Some Historical Roots
I address a simple question: How are the notions or “discourse” and “text” to be understood, and what does it mean that they “create” their own object? A historical reconstruction seems to be required, if we are to make some sense of the provocative postmodern statements. In order to understand how a discourse can create its own object, three features need to be examined: (1) the inheritance of F. de Saussures’s structuralism, (2) the influence of the Freneh NouvelIe Critique, and (3) Heidegger’s radicalization of hermeneutics. A brief overview is provided of the first two topics, and l will then focus upon the third: an attempt to reconstruct Heidegger’s understanding of ‘discourse’, ‘Ianguage’, and ‘category’ in a course he gave on Aristotle in Freiburg University in 1931.