eyes of Oedipus and those of Tiresias, though in a different way) and singularizes the hero to the point that the city no longer has a place for him. In fact, there is no double bind unless the both-and of the two conflicting laws exhausts the field of possibilities.51 Blindness is transformed from denial to recognition. Hubristic sightlessness is transformed into visionary blindness. Deprived of eyeballs, Oedipus sees. What? Tragic truth, the truth of the differend.

Like Agamemnon, the philosopher–civil servant of humanity declares the law by repressing the counter-law.

I have found the denotative rigor by which to pinpoint tragic truth—a model (or an instance) of the phenomenologically originary double bind—present in Wittgensteinʼs “differend.” To be sure, this term functions differently than it does in what he would call the grammar of investigating being, which is where I insert it. I might add that in these investigations he in turn asked what is the ordinary use of the words one uses in these interrogations. But if usage makes the meaning, it must be permitted to introduce into a tragic critique of hegemonies a term that, even in Wittgenstein, expresses precisely the conflict between some fantasmic sense invoked in ordinary usage and the “there, that singular” which is the case. It is because of this term and this singular conflict—hence because of a lexical need—that I will here take up a few sections from the Philosophical Investigations dealing with the nature of philosophy, which appears in its pages as irreducible to a principial bureaucracy.

Originally Wittgenstein meant to use the re mark by Heinrich Hertz, cited above, as an epigraph to the Investigations. Hertz wondered about the being (Wesen) of electro - magnetic energy. Having invented the antenna—the “Hertzian relay”—he asked what those forces were that the device captured, a field of waves or a stream of corpuscles? The problem was to remain painful and insoluble. The physicist never the less succeed ed in “eliminating” the problem by borrowing sometimes Eulerʼs photic model, and some times Newtonʼs.

But why, moreover, did Hertz consider the question of electromagnetic energy to be unjustified? Wittgenstein answers, as it were, in his stead: What disqualifies all interrogations into the inner constitution of things—all the while spur ring them on—is the “tendency to assume a pure intermediary being (Mittelwesen) between the propositional signs and the facts.” Language inflicts a specific injury on us. “Our forms of expression prevent us in all sorts of ways from seeing that everything hap pens quite ordinarily; they send us off in pursuit of chimeras.”52 Our idioms add chimeras to what is simply the case and is born out by experience. They traumatize the mind by exceeding experience, which alone can teach us which family of sentences belongs to which network of facts.

Thus, two types of conflicts are to be distinguished. One can be eliminated by the anal y sis of language signs and the features that link them to each other. This is the type of conflict in which two images of the same fact are opposed: “Le temps sʼen va.—Las!, le temps non, mais nous allons” “Time goes on—alas, not time, but it is us that go” (Ronsard). This is a factual conflict, which can be solved by territorializing according to language games. It is eliminated by assigning signs or images to their respective usages. Following Hertz here, Wittgenstein calls this sort of conflict a contradiction (Widerspruch). In ordinary language, we lapse incessantly into

Reiner Schürmann - Broken Hegemonies