But it remains double-entry accounting, behind which there is concealed a breach that can be cured neither by science nor by morality, if indeed, it is curable at all.
However, what has all this to do with the nature of language? More than our thinking can encompass today. We may of course have had an intimation by now, in the form of that positive system which reckons nearness and remoteness as measurements of distance in space and time conceived as parameters.
What is it that here makes us uneasy? The fact that in this way the nearness to which neighborhood belongs can never be experienced. If nearness and neighborliness could be conceived parametrically, then a distance of the magnitude of one millionth of a second, and of one millimeter, would have to mean the nearest possible neighboring nearness, compared with which even the distance of a yard and a minute represents extreme remoteness. Even so, we are bound to insist that a certain spatial-temporal relatedness belongs to every neighborhood. Two isolated farmsteads—if any such are left—separated by an hour's walk across the fields, can be the best of neighbors, while two townhouses, facing each other across the street or even sharing a common wall, know no neighborhood. Neighboring nearness, then, does not depend on spatial-temporal relation. Nearness, then, is by its nature outside and independent of space and time. This view, however, would be premature. We may say only this, that the nearness which prevails in the neighborhood does not depend on space and time considered as parameters. But are time and space something else, then, assuming they are at all? Why is it that the parametrical character of space and time prevents neighboring nearness? If we assume that the parameters space and time furnish the standard for neighboring nearness, and thus bring about nearness itself, then they would have to contain even within themselves what distinguishes neighborliness: to be face-to-face with one another. We tend to think of face-to-face encounter exclusively as a relation between human beings. These lectures, too, have indeed restricted face-to-face encounter to the neighborhood