[hist-analytic] "The Nothing [[It --JLS]self --JLS] Nothings" (Ayer, 1946:)

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 20 17:42:09 EST 2010


------ I am discussing elsewhere this with R. B. Jones,
 
but wonder if S. R. Bayne can give us a minute of his precious attention,  
to consider 'selbst'.
 
Heidegger did write in his "What is metaphysics?" lecture, as typed,
 
   Das Nichts selbst nichtet.
 
When in 1946 Ayer was popularising Vienna-Circle 'doctrine' in Oxford  (and 
whereabouts, London) he skipped, like Carnap before him had, the  'selbst'.
 
I wonder:
 
    The nothing nothings itself?
 
    Or Nothing itself nothings?
 
---- I am not too vernacular with German vernacular reflexives. But in  
English we do distinguish, I think, between:
 
    The Nothing self-nothings
 
and
 
    The Nothing, itself, nothings (things 
        which are not necessarily  Nothing
        itself).
 
I should contrast with other vernacular versions in other  vernaculars.
 
   Sp. "La nada anonada", I think it goes.
   where: "Nada" is feminine, rather than a 'thing' -- but I  think "Thing" 
was feminine in Old English, too. I think it's neuter in German  (Ding) but 
Heidegger is not using 'ding' at all -- plain "Nichts".
 
   Eng. is very tricky here: There's Nought. But that's Ne-Ought.  German 
"Nichts" itself is "Ne" plus "Ichts" which can also mean "aught", I  
understand.
  Sartre would have put it yet differently.
  Sp. 'anonada' for the verb, 'anonadar', is puzzling, in that the  'a-' 
prefix is NOT negative. It is just emphatic. "Nothing" turns things onto  
"nothing". "Ex nihilo nihil" sort of thing.
  Pap tr. the thing in 1959 in a different way, still. Etc.
 
         I'm not sure if German  requires the 'it' in 'itself', or the 
'her' in 'herself', etc. so one wonders  about strict tr. of the Heideggerian 
'selbst', etc.
 
  J. L. Speranza
 
          "Heidegger is the  greatest living philosopher"
                    Grice, WoW:18 --- google.books.
 
 
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