analysis begins with naming. Naming is not the distribution of titles or the applying of monikers; instead, “naming calls,” it “calls into the word” (GA 12: 18/PLT 196, tm). In naming, something is called into the words of language. Heidegger thus turns the discussion to what we might term the logic of “calling” (rufen). In calling, we bring what is called closer to ourselves—“it brings the presencing of what was previously uncalled into a nearness” (GA 12: 18/PLT 196, tm). Calling calls out to something that it might come to this nearness. But in so doing, Heidegger explains, calling does not strip what it calls of its distance. Calling brings closer without cancelling distance. Instead, calling introduces a middle ground, so to speak, neither present-at-hand before us, nor utterly absent and apart from us. Calling extends across this middle ground, calling out that something might come in: “Calling itself calls and thereby constantly thither and hither [hin und her]; hither: into presencing, thither: into absencing” (GA 12: 18/PLT 196, tm). The call thus stretches between the present and absent. Its calling calls what is called precisely into this between space. As Heidegger puts it, “in the call, the place of arrival that is called along with the call is a presencing that is sheltered in absencing” (GA 12: 19/PLT 197, tm). Calling provides this space for the thing. Such a place is nothing that one could simply occupy. It is a place of arriving, not of completed arrival. As such, the call can be heard as an invitation and understood as a beckoning (heißen): “the naming call beckons to enter into such an arriving. Beckoning is inviting” (GA 12: 19/PLT 197, tm). As one can only be invited into such a place, the naming call constitutes a beckoning.
What is invited into this cannot be anything merely present, but something that extends to us while being distant from us. What is invited is already arriving. What is beckoned to enter is no isolated thing, but just such a coming. As such, the invitation is not to a discrete party, but to a relation. The invitation extends to a coming thing that brings with it its relation to world. As coming, what is invited is opened and exposed to a world around it and so essentially so that it brings this world with it. Thus Heidegger will speak of a “thing-world” or “world-thing” in regards to this (GA 12: 26/PLT 203). The invitation extends to the very relationship between thing and world. What will appear in this place of arriving will be a thing that exudes beyond itself into world, a world that pinions itself around things. The medium of language allows for the unfurling of this relation.
If speaking is an invitation to enter language, then listening is its acceptance. Such hearing enjoys a certain primacy for Heidegger. “Before all else, mortal speech must have heard the behest [Geheiß],” he writes, the behest that “calls world and things” (GA 12: 29/PLT 206, tm). Such hearing cannot be construed as simply a precondition for speak-