Heidegger's critique of Gerede and Kierkegaard's analysis of chatter show language in crisis. However, this also reveals tensions in the basic structures of linguistic representation. This is explored further through Hegel, Heidegger, and Derrida. Particular attention is paid to the development in Heidegger's concept of language from his early lectures on Aristotle's Rhetoric through to his later concept of Ereignis. However, language is a human practice and what language ‘means’ is inseparable from how it is used or performed by those who speak it. Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky and M.M. Bakhtin are used to draw out the significance of the moral commitment of the speaker and the consequent problematization of language as a means of truthful communication in a human world characteristically moving in a fog of lies, prevarications, and misunderstanding. The question of language therefore leads to the question of human relationships, and their capacity to reveal Being.
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