This is a great dialogue between Hubert Dreyfuss and Bryan Magee on Phenomenology and Existentialism from 1970’s british television starting from Husserl, to Heidegger, to Sartre and Merleau-Ponty.
[Magee: “…the later Heidegger is not just concerned with language, he’s almost obsessed by language, isn’t he? Why is that?”
Dreyfuss: “We’re in a way set to see that. Because since there’s no way the world is set in itself, language isn’t there to correspond to reality, nor is language there just to be made up arbitrarily. For Heidegger a vocabulary or the kind of metaphors one uses name things into being. When in California somebody said that he was laid back, there were already people with hot tubs[?], taking it easy and taking drugs, but now they discovered that that all fitted together ‘and they were laid back’, so there ‘was more of it’. So language is a marvelously powerful way to change the practices, focus them, and add new practices to ‘Da-sein’s’ way of life. So it’s the poets, not the philosophers, or the priests, or the scientists who are the vanguard of humanity and the hope of some new understanding of being.”
[video via youtube.com]