The Way to Language [GA 12 252-253]

for itself a formalized language—that kind of informing by virtue of which man is molded and adjusted into the technical-calculative creature, a process by which step-by-step he surrenders his "natural language." Even when information theory has to concede that formalized language must again and again revert to "natural language," in order by means of nonformalized language to bring to language what the technological inventory has to say, this happenstance represents—according to the current self-interpretation of information theory—merely a transitional stage. For the "natural language" that perforce must be invoked here is posited from the outset as a language that, while not yet formalized, has already been ordained to formalization. Formalization, the calculative orderability of saying, is the goal and the standard. What is "natural" in language, whose existence the will to formalization finds itself compelled as it were to concede for the time being, is not experienced with a view to the originary nature of language. Such a nature is φύσις, which in turn rests on propriation, out of which the saying bestirs itself and surges upward. Information theory conceives of the natural as a shortfall in formalization.

Yet even if a long path should lead us to the insight that the essence of language can never be dissolved into a formalism and then tabulated as such; even if we should accordingly have to say that "natural language" is not formalizable language; even then "natural language" would still be defined purely negatively; that is to say, against the backdrop of the possibility or impossibility of formalization.

However, what if "natural language," which for information theory remains but a disturbing remnant, drew its nature—that is, the essential unfolding of the essence of language—from the saying? What if the saying, instead of merely disturbing the devastation that is information, had already surpassed information on the basis of a propriation that is not subject to our ordering? What if propriation— when and how, no one knows—were to become a penetrating gaze [Ein-Blick] whose clearing lightning strikes what is and what