Thursday, February 5, 2009


Another link from HCP, hermeneutics and 'speculative grammar'

whew-wipes brow- a lot of names in there, many people I haven't read.

I've often thought speculative grammar, just by itself, can give us ways to 'think around' the constraints that we may perceive to be binding or limiting us, or just because its funny and clever to use them once you see the use in them, slang of the african-american diaspora for example, that one can pick up on by going to poetry slams - even though you would likely remain the epitome of white bread once you try to apply it in a performance context, haha

Never knew there was a term for it, though.

significatio passiva - interesting concept. Attributes of God only have import when they appear in us - correct? Directs attention away from the iconography of roman or orthodox approaches, maybe, toward the subject.

an excerpt:

"that which we truly understand, is never other than that by which we are tried, that which we undergo, which we suffer and toil with in our very being. Hermeneutics does not consist in deliberating upon concepts, it is essentially the unveiling or revelation of that which is happening within us..."


Then, there is the Modist project of Thomas of Erfurt and his collaborators , which supposedly influenced Heidegger:

The heart of the Modist project is the assumption that there is a triadic or parallel relationship between word, concept, and thing. Meaning is based proximately on understanding but ultimately on being. According to Thomas of Erfurt:

Every mode of signifying is from some property of the thing. Concerning the second thing to be noted, that since such notions or modes of signifying are not fictions, it must be that every mode of signifying radically originates from some property of the thing. This is plain thus: since the intellect, in order to signify, imposes the voice under some mode of signifying, it considers the property itself of the thing from which it originally drew the mode of signifying; this is because the intellect, since it is a passive power indeterminate of itself, does not advance to a determinate act unless it is determined from another source. Whence since it imposes the voice in order to signify under the determinate mode of signifying, it is necessarily moved by a determinate property of the thing; therefore some property of a thing, or mode of being of a thing, corresponds to any mode of signifying. (DMS, 2.4; Bursill-Hall: 3)

The connection of all this to Heidegger intrigues me, since he keeps popping into my daily ruminations. The understanding of Being is possible given only an event - this is key in Heidegger. This may mean that good journalism makes an understanding of Being possible.
uh huh, right. :)

But here is the possible connection to the significatio passiva - this is the event of an attribute of God becoming present in an individual. I could take this to mean, among other things, that words and concepts are at the least, not fixed - but some degree of free speech is valued by a rebel to stand opposed to the fixedness - which may in Heidegger's early theological approaches be a way for him to stand apart from the Catholic clergy, who at least in services repeat the same tracts over and over, ad nauseum. Although to me, the attribute communicated and valued in such services - mass for example, is the constancy of God, not a demand on our own behavior. This is the kind of thing taken for granted today but I suppose it could have been quite the bogey at one time, speculative grammar equals heresy, and so on.

Believing in God is a difficulty but I do keep a door open for the unexplained.

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