The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy

The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy: A Study of Ernst Tugendhat

FOREWORD BY GIANNI VATTIMO
TRANSLATED BY THE AUTHOR WITH MICHAEL HASKELL
Copyright Date: 2008
DOI: 10.7312/zaba14388
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/zaba14388
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  • Book Info
    The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy
    Book Description:

    Contemporary philosophers-analytic as well as continental-tend to feel uneasy about Ernst Tugendhat, who, though he positions himself in the analytic field, poses questions in the Heideggerian style. Tugendhat was one of Martin Heidegger's last pupils and his least obedient, pursuing a new and controversial critical technique. Tugendhat took Heidegger's destruction of Being as presence and developed it in analytic philosophy, more specifically in semantics. Only formal semantics, according to Tugendhat, could answer the questions left open by Heidegger.

    Yet in doing this, Tugendhat discovered the latent "hermeneutic nature of analytic philosophy"-its post-metaphysical dimension-in which "there are no facts, but only true propositions." What Tugendhat seeks to answer is this: What is the meaning of thought following the linguistic turn? Because of the rift between analytic and continental philosophers, very few studies have been written on Tugendhat, and he has been omitted altogether from several histories of philosophy. Now that these two schools have begun to reconcile, Tugendhat has become an example of a philosopher who, in the words of Richard Rorty, "built bridges between continents and between centuries."

    Tugendhat is known more for his philosophical turn than for his phenomenological studies or for his position within analytic philosophy, and this creates some confusion regarding his philosophical propensities. Is Tugendhat analytic or continental? Is he a follower of Wittgenstein or Heidegger? Does he belong in the culture of analysis or in that of tradition? Santiago Zabala presents Tugendhat as an example of merged horizons, promoting a philosophical historiography that is concerned more with dialogue and less with classification. In doing so, he places us squarely within a dialogic culture of the future and proves that any such labels impoverish philosophical research.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51297-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. TRANSLATORS’ PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. FOREWORD
    (pp. xi-xx)

    Ernst Tugendhat came to my attention for the first time in the 1960s when I was studying in Heidelberg, through his phenomenological investigations of Aristotle, Husserl, and Heidegger (especially TI KATA TINOS. Eine Untersuchung zu Struktur und Ursprung aristotelischer Grundbegriffe [1958] and Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger [1967], which became indispensable books for anyone interested in continental philosophy). However, it is through my friend Richard Rorty’s 1985 review of Tugendhat’s Traditional and Analytical Philosophy (1976) for the Journal of Philosophy that I realized that Tugendhat, Jürgen Habermas, and Karl-Otto Apel were going to become the most distinguished German philosophers...

  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)

    Richard Rorty once described the culture of the future as one in which human beings would want to live up to one another and where the relationship between master and disciple would be conceived not as “a power-laden relation of ‘overcoming’ (Überwindung) but as a gentler relation of turning to new ‘purposes’ (Verwindung)”—a “Gadamerian culture.”¹ The Gadamerian culture to which Richard Rorty alludes is represented by the philosophy of Ernst Tugendhat. This book seeks not only to be a historical account of Tugendhat’s so-called linguistic turn, his passage from phenomenology to analytical philosophy, but also a clarification of his...

  6. ONE OVERCOMING HUSSERL: THE METAPHYSICS OF PHENOMENOLOGY
    (pp. 11-24)

    If, as Gadamer says, the ground of language is itself to be interpreted, then “the subject as starting point, just as orientation to the object, is contested by making the intersubjective communication in language the new universal system of reference. Formulated so generally, this is the same as the hermeneutic program, but in linguistic analysis it is carried through in a more elementary fashion.”¹ After the end of metaphysics, according to Tugendhat, two possibilities open up: hermeneutics and analytical philosophy. Both find themselves on the ground of language and interpret themselves as postmetaphysical. One may consider analytical philosophy “as a...

  7. TWO CORRECTING HEIDEGGER: VERIFYING HEIDEGGER’S PHILOSOPHY FROM WITHIN
    (pp. 25-44)

    John Lloyd Ackrill noted that the whole discussion of Tugendhat’s study on Aristotle, TI KATA TINOS. Eine Untersuchung zu Struktur und Ursprung aristotelischer Grundbegriffe,¹ “is conducted in the framework of ideas of Heidegger and with terminology derived from him.”² Pierre Aubenque believes that Tugendhat’s work is inspired primarily by Heidegger’s exegetical works, in other words, by the significance Heidegger attributes to language. Language, says Aubenque, is no longer considered an instrument of thought,

    but on the contrary, as the place of a philosophical revelation of which the philosopher is nothing else than semi-conscious instrument. Tugendhat does not base his analysis...

  8. THREE SEMANTIZING ONTOLOGY: AFTER THE METAPHYSICS OF LOGICAL POSITIVISM
    (pp. 45-62)

    Tugendhat begins his famous essay “Phenomenology and Linguistic Analysis” by explaining that, ever since it was noticed in the European Union that “linguistic analysis is not reducible to logical positivism, parallels between analytic philosophy on the one hand and phenomenology and hermeneutics on the other have been noted.”¹ These parallels allow Tugendhat not only to push even further his criticism of Heidegger’s and Gadamer’s too “broad” use of language but also to capture some metaphysical aspects of logical positivism. The logical-positivist criticism of ontology, such as Rudolf Carnap’s critique of Heidegger, is not a real linguistic analysis, according to Tugendhat,...

  9. FOUR PHILOSOPHIZING ANALYTICALLY: THE SEMANTIC FOUNDATION OF PHILOSOPHY
    (pp. 63-92)

    In so-called analytic philosophy, as Tugendhat explains in the foreword to his famous lectures on analytical philosophy, there is little reflection on its own grounds. For the most part, the problems treated by philosophers are inherited problems that are not questioned. This is partially due to a lack of historical consciousness: a way of philosophizing can only become a fundamental philosophical position when it is confronted with earlier conceptions of philosophy. “This reflection on foundations is not just an additional act of self-clarification. It is a condition of a philosophy’s ability to perceive the task that has always been the...

  10. EPILOGUE THE LINGUISTIC TURN AS THE END OF METAPHYSICS
    (pp. 93-106)

    Tugendhat, by his own honest admission, shows himself to be a postmetaphysical philosopher who never tried to correct his master. After working on Heidegger for twenty years, he acknowledged that his own interpretation of Heidegger‘s philosophy “does not correspond exactly to Heidegger’s self-understanding, but . . . is the best I could make of Heidegger’s question of Being.”¹ Even at the end of his four-hundred-page magnum opus, Traditional and Analytical Philosophy, he admits that the “question of what it is to understand a linguistic expression seems, if we do not deceive ourselves, as unclear as ever.”² He must then be...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 107-160)
  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 161-190)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 191-200)