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§71 [438-39]

within everyday human discoursing with one another, and furthermore as the kind of discourse which is predominantly and for the most part present at hand. What is more, the logical theory of the λόγος as propositional statement came to acquire the dominant position within the theory of the λόγος in general as discourse and language, i.e., within the field of grammar. The inner construction, the fundamental concepts, and the particular questions of gen­eral and specific grammar as the science of languages in the broader sense have stood for centuries and even today still stand under the domination of the logic in question. We are only now slowly beginning to comprehend that as a result of this the whole science of linguistics and thus philology as well rest on shaky foundations. This reveals itself every day in philology with reference to a simple state of affairs. When a poem is made the object of philological interpretation, the resources of grammar find themselves at a loss, and precisely with respect to the greatest creations of language. Such analyses usually terminate in commonplace observations or arbitrarily selected literary phrases. And yet even here these foundations are gradually beginning to shake, even though the new is still hesitant and rather arbitrary. Here too we can see a process of transformation as philology is being transferred onto new foun­dations. Yet even here we see the remarkable fact that the younger and older generation alike behave as though nothing at all were happening.

When we said that the history of Western logic, and following from that the science of languages in general, is determined by the Greek theory of the λόγος in the sense of the propositional statement, then it must also be mentioned that the same Aristotle who—under essential influences from Plato—first pen­etrated to an insight into the structure of the statement, also in his Rhetoric recognized and undertook the mighty task of submitting the forms and for­mations of non-thetic discourse to interpretation. It was certainly true for various reasons, however, that the power of logic was too strong to leave open any genuine possibility of developing this attempt.

These indications must suffice to show that the problem of the statement represents anything but a specialist question. It entails the task of a funda­mental engagement with the logic of antiquity, and one which cannot even be begun without tracing this logic back to ancient metaphysics. From another perspective this task is also that of laying the foundations of philology in the broader sense. And by this we understand neither the unearthing of grammat­ical rules and sound-shifts, nor gossiping about literature after the manner of the literati, but rather a passion for the λόγος for it is in the λόγος that man expresses what is most essential to him, so as in this very expression to place himself into the clarity, depth, and need pertaining to the essential possibilities of his action, of his existence. It is only from this perspective that all the apparently technical aspects of philology acquire their inner justification and their genuine, albeit relative necessity.

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