1st Edition

Language and Phenomenology

Edited By Chad Engelland Copyright 2021
    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    At first blush, phenomenology seems to be concerned preeminently with questions of knowledge, truth, and perception, and yet closer inspection reveals that the analyses of these phenomena remain bound up with language and that consequently phenomenology is, inextricably, a philosophy of language. Drawing on the insights of a variety of phenomenological authors, including Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, and Ricoeur, this collection of essays by leading scholars articulates the distinctively phenomenological contribution to language by examining two sets of questions. The first set of questions concerns the relatedness of language to experience. Studies exhibit the first-person character of the philosophy of language by focusing on lived experience, the issue of reference, and disclosive speech. The second set of questions concerns the relatedness of language to intersubjective experience. Studies exhibit the second-person character of the philosophy of language by focusing on language acquisition, culture, and conversation. This book will be of interest to scholars of phenomenology and philosophy of language.

    PART I

    Language and Experience 19

    1 Language and Experience: Phenomenological Dimensions 21


    2 Merleau-Ponty on Expression and Meaning 43


    3 On Husserl’s Concept of the Pre-predicative: Genealogy of Logic and Regressive Method 56


    4 Husserlian Phenomenology, Rule-Following, and Primitive Normativity 74


    5 The Place of Language in the Early Heidegger’s Development of Hermeneutic Phenomenology 92


    6 Logos, Perception, and the Ontological Function of Discourse in Phenomenology: A Theme from Heidegger’s Reading of Aristotle 115


    7 We Are a Conversation: Heidegger on How Language Uncovers 132


    8 The Phenomenology of Poetry 149



    Language and Joint Experience 175

    9 Complex Community: Toward a Phenomenology of Language Sharing 177


    10 The Scaffolding Role of a Natural Language in the Formation of Thought: Edmund Husserl’s Contribution 194


    11 Widening the World through Speech: Husserl on the Phenomenon of Linguistic Appropriation 212


    12 The Priority of Language in World-Disclosure: Back to the Beginnings in Childhood 229


    13 Play in Conversation: The Cognitive Import of Gadamer’s Theory of Play 248


    14 Translating Hospitality: A Narrative Task 264


    15 Inflecting “Presence” and “Absence”: On Sharing the Phenomenological Conversation 273



    Chad Engelland is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Dallas. He is the author of several books, including Ostension: Word Learning and the Embodied Mind (2014), Heidegger’s Shadow: Kant, Husserl, and the Transcendental Turn (Routledge, 2017), and Phenomenology (2020).

    "Language and Phenomenology is a remarkable, and long overdue, consideration of the ways in which phenomenology reveals the depth and richness of our extraordinarily various experiences with language. In clearly written essays, a distinguished group of authors—drawing on resources from eidetic, transcendental, existential, and hermeneutic phenomenology and engaging directly with analytic approaches—demonstrate how careful attention to experience can both overturn traditional assumptions about linguistic meaning and point the way to a deeper philosophical understanding of what language is. An indispensable contribution to the literature." ―Steven Crowell, Rice University, USA, author of Normativity and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger

    "Husserl addressed the issue of language at the very start of his Logical Investigations. It was the tip of the spear in his breakthrough into phenomenology. The essays in this book show how the phenomenology of language, in its many dimensions, was further developed in Husserl’s later work and by writers like Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Ricoeur, and Gadamer. The book shows how the phenomenology of language can be compared with the work of Wittgenstein and Kripke, Carnap and Quine, and Derrida, and how it can shed light on ostension, joint intentionality, and poetry. The final essay in the book, appropriately enough, discusses not just another issue in human language, but the language of phenomenology itself, and shows how, by an ‘inflection’ of syntax, it differentiates itself from natural speech. Language is the pivot on which phenomenology spins." —Robert Sokolowski, The Catholic University of America, USA, author of The Phenomenology of the Human Person

    "This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the phenomenology of language." —Mark Wrathall, Oxford, UK, author of Heidegger and Unconcealment: Truth, Language, and History

    "It succeeds in offering a rich contribution to ‘phenomenology of language’ as its own domain, tracing some central threads about the fundamental presuppositions such a domain has to grapple with, whilst also making space for detailed reflection on the lived experience of our linguistic lives . . . For those already engaged in phenomenological ideas, the writing is largely very accessible and illuminating."—Sarah Pawlett Jackson in Phenomenological Reviews