“Language and Silence: A Discussion Between Gadamer and Cioran on the Prerequisite of Language in Human Being” (Brendan Dean)

Abstract: Language plays a focal point in Gadamerian hermeneutics, allowing human beings the ability to gain an understanding of reality through the linguistic interpretative process. Yet the status that he grants language must be questioned with regard to ourexperience with the world before an acceptance of his hermeneutical human ontology.Such a questioning can be posed by Cioran, who relegates language to a human constructthat impedes us from contacting reality. By placing these two thinkers next to each otherthe explicit dichotomy on the question of language and human origins is illuminated,whereby it is argued that Gadamer’s insistence on the absence of a human prelinguism forces him to admit a foundation of violence within language. In order to rid such a violent bedrock in human ontology and understanding, it is concluded that we must lean more towards Cioran, who insists that a silence which connects us with our prelinguistic roots allows human beings to gain a far greater understanding of reality than language ever could.