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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 5, 1979

Barbara Warnick
Pages 660-675

Logos in Heidegger’s Philosophy of Language

This paper provides an account of the development of the logos concept in Heidegger’s writings on language and examines the implications of logos for a philosophy of language. In Being and Time/ Heidegger described logos as prelanguage, a preliminary perception of the world which often finds expression in verbal communication. This view is made clear by Heidegger's account of the act of speaking in which formless prior understanding (logos) is shaped into verbal expression. Heidegger's analysis of the communicative act in Being and Time viewed logos as one of the ways in which man can experience his world. In his later writings, however, logos is the path to Being. Language precedes man and is the "house of Being." By this Heidegger means that man lives in language which is the major force in the creation of his world. Heidegger's view of language, then, is a protest against the modern tendency to view language as a mere tool, thereby stripping it of its value and connotative dimensions.

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