Towards a language of inquiry: the gesture of etho-poetic thinking
Hanley, Fiona Marie Cecelia
This thesis presents a recollection of the relation of “being” and thinking through an articulation of the gesture of etho-poetic thinking. Part I marks out a path towards such a thinking through an encounter with Martin Heidegger’s “sketch” of the self as Dasein, where his description of being-there is read as an originary language of inquiry – one which attempts to respond to the issue of being, to the questionability and groundlessness of existence stemming from simply being-in-the-world. Part I follows out a description of this language of inquiry as a pre-conceptual, pre-cognitive, attuned, bodily understanding, through chapters which unfold this sketch of Dasein. This language of inquiry is construed as a two-fold action of being begun, being sketched, and beginning, sketching-out. The final chapter of part I connects Heidegger’s articulation of “Care” to the ancient practice of “care of the self” and the transformative, etho-poetic potentiality of thinking. As the thesis proffers, it is this pre-conceptual language of inquiry which must be repeated in a resolute thinking, as Heidegger articulates it in Being and Time, seeking not to objectivise the world, to represent it, but to resonate with it. In this sense, the “purpose” of thinking is not so much the obtainment of knowledge as it is an attempt to come back into “Care” for the questionability of one’s existence. As the thesis gestures to in the conclusion, part of the attempt of the thesis is, thus, an implicit critique of the contemporary situation and discourse on thinking with its emphasis on outcomes and outputs. The thesis itself follows the two-fold structure of the language of inquiry. Whilst part I depicts Heidegger’s sketch of this originary language of inquiry, part II sketches-out this language, seeking to articulate how an etho-poetic language of inquiry can occur in writing by bringing the sketch of part one into conversation with other etho-poetic thinkers; Walter Benjamin, Henri Meschonnic, Jan Zwicky, Giorgio Agamben, Lisa Robertson. In this way, through the textual composition of the writing, the thesis presents itself as the primary example of such a language of inquiry, making it not an investigation which objectifies an etho-poetic thinking, but makes an attempt at its own performance of it.