Gadamer and the Question of Understanding by Adrian Costache download in pdf, ePub, iPad
Indeed, the author is only the first reader of the text. Ascriptions of a mono-horizon belong to historicist positions that fail to note the complex nature of horizons that always, at least potentially, grant provisions for us moving beyond them. Against historicism, Gadamer argues that the ability of a contemporary interpreter to understand a text of the past does not presuppose two entirely distinct, reified horizons. Referencing Augustine and Nicholas of Cusa, he goes on to stress the speculative nature of language in order to contend against those who would reduce language to propositions. Without such an acknowledgment, one finds not true authority but passive submission resulting in tyranny.
One must be open not only to the voice of the other, but to make the effort to explain oneself to another. This, according to Costache, eliminates the idea of a hermeneutic situation.
What this criticism overlooks, however, is that Gadamer insists his work is not a prescriptive or normative call to endorse prejudice, tradition or authority. Had Gadamer completed Truth and Method with the analysis of the principle of effective history and the fusion of horizons, he would have remained a mere disciple of Heidegger. We must be open to their understanding.
It was not until after his retirement that he gained status as an international thinker and a philosopher in his own right. This happens before we settle on our final view. We are thrown into a world whose contexts moulds us and limits our imagination and, hence, our options.
An excessively theoretical or scientific knowledge forgets that knowledge stems out of and must return to praxis. Hence, understanding always has a built-in possibility for critique as we strive to make something our own and do not simply passively mimic it.
One of the most important aspects here is our language. It was Heidegger's influence that gave Gadamer's thought its distinctive cast and led him away from the earlier neo-Kantian influences of Natorp and Hartmann. Through conversation, a synthesis of sorts is accomplished. Gadamer and Practical Philosophy. Regarding his anti-subjectivism, Gadamer describes the event of truth as an experience in which one is drawn away from oneself into something beyond oneself.
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