In this article I wish to develop some of the ideas I introduced in my book
The Science of Reading. Towards a New Philology. Here I used the term ‘philology’ to indicate a relationship between language and what I have referred to in a very general way as ‘history’, not as opposites but as necessarily interdependent and interrelated phenomena. It is thus not a question of language or history, or even of language and history, but
of language in history. In this article, however, I will try to move one step further, redefining and hopefully thus defining more clearly the notoriously ambiguous notion of ‘history’. Redefining in this case actually means replacing. More specifically, it means replacing ‘history’ and ‘historicity’ with the concepts of ‘time’ and ‘temporality’, one important effect of this redefinition, this replacement, being that ‘temporality’ doesn’t seem to have the same disciplinary constraints as ‘historicity’, but also points in the direction of linguistics and literary criticism. From the concept of ‘temporality’ I shall then move on to another concept, that of ‘intertemporality’. As I see it, there is more than a morphological affinity between this concept and the already mentioned concept of ‘interdisciplinarity`. The question I shall ask here is whether one way of achieving the ambition of interdisciplinarity in the study of foreign languages is by means of a theoretical reflection upon the intertemporality of language itself. Hence, I make two presuppositions which will be discussed later in the article: firstly, that the notion of discipline is in fact interrelated with the notion of temporality; secondly, that there is a connection between interdisciplinarity as an ambition and a possibility in Foreign Language Studies, and intertemporality as an aspect of language in history. This article will proceed in three steps. In the first part, I shall return to the title ‘Philology of the future, futures of philology’ and discuss the
possible implications of this rather prophetic vision of philology, a discussion
that leads on to a first and very tentative explanation of what I mean by ‘intertemporality’. In the second part, I will explore how the temporality
of philology is challenged by the so-called ‘linguistic turn’ which derives
from the lectures of Ferdinand de Saussure. Finally, in the third and longest part of the article I intend to explore how the idea of intertemporality is developed by the German historian and theorist of history Reinhart Koselleck, within the framework of the so-called Begriffsgeschichte, the history of concepts.