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Description: This course explores the linguistic turn in modern European philosophy by focussing on specific works by Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida. Is language essentially poetry? (Heidegger) What is speculative about the structure of language? (Gadamer) How does language deconstruct itself? (Derrida)

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Philosophy 227b

The Linguistic Turn in Modern European Philosophy

Kathleen Wright



Description: This course explores the linguistic turn in modern European philosophy by focussing on specific works by Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida. Is language essentially poetry? (Heidegger) What is speculative about the structure of language? (Gadamer) How does language deconstruct itself? (Derrida)



Required and Recommended Texts: Heidegger, Basic Writings, On the Way to Language, and Poetry, Language, Thought, Gadamer, Truth and Method, Derrida, Of Grammatology, Margins of Philosophy, and Writing and Difference



Requirements: Weekly response papers, two short papers, one oral presentation, and a term paper



Course Outline

Week One Introduction to the Linguistic Turn Taken by Modern European Philosophy



PART ONE Heidegger: Language is Poetry.

Week Two Science, Metaphysics, and Mathematics and The Thing

Week Three Words and What are Poets For?

Week Four The Nature of Language

Week Five The Nature of Language



PART TWO Gadamer: The Structure of Language is Speculative.

Week Six The Ontology of the Work of Art

Week Seven The Hermeneutic Priority of the Question

Week Eight Language as the Medium of Hermeneutic Experience

Week Nine Language as Horizon of Hermeneutic Experience





PART THREE Derrida: Language is the Play of Difference.

Week Ten Diffrance

Week Eleven Structure, Sign, and Play

Week Twelve Writing before the Letter

Week Thirteen White Mythology



Week Fourteen Oral Presentations