Truth and Method (Bloomsbury Revelations) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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Gadamer begins and ends his work on a strange note: the aesthetics and interpretation of art. It’s not that art determines how we interpret text, but art allows Gadamer to illustrate (no pun intended) the tension given that great works of art are considered “timeless,” yet they were produced in historical, finite circumstances. This tension points to the horizon, a key Gadamerian term.
Every experience has implicit horizons of before and after and finally fuses with the continuum of experiences present in the before and after to form a unified flow of experience (246). Df. horizon = not a rigid boundary but something that moves with and invites one to advance further. Everything that is given as existent is given in terms of a world and hence brings the world horizon with it. As a horizon phenomenon “world” is essentially related to subjectivity, and this relation means also that it exists in transciency.”
Hermeneutical circle: possesses an ontological positive significance. We have already fore-projected before we even approach the text. This creates an openness which situates our meaning with other meanings. Understanding is a participation in the event of tradition and not so much a subjective act (302).
Horizons are temporally-conditioned. Time is not a gulf to be crossed by a supportive ground in which the present is rooted. We cannot stand outside of our situation. “All self-knowledge arises from what is historically pre-given, what Hegel calls “substance’” (313). Horizon: every finite present has its limitations. Every situation represents a standpoint that limits the possibility of vision. Horizons move with us. When we understand something, we fuse the horizons between text and interpreter. Fusion of horizons: We regain concepts of a historical past in such a way that it also includes our own comprehension of them (382).
This will go down as one of those truly great books. Ground-breaking works. It’s not super-hard to read simply because it is well-written. However, he does presuppose a good bit of Hegel and Heidegger, so keep that in mind.
A note about the reprint: I have the Bloomsbury edition and the text is fine. SHucks, I even got mine used. Yes, the spine willl crease when you read it, but that's true of most books. The spine, though, will not break.
Not recommended if you plan to write in the book (although practically impossible in such small margins).
The text can be pretty dry (and there's nothing wrong with that) but it's as if the font tries to beg that it's not, and that's a little conflicting when trying to read it.
I recommend that everyone read this book.
I particularly enjoyed reading about our natural prejudice of thought in how we reject or accept information that we come across.
It is one of the great philosophical works.
I strongly recommend that folks with some background in philosophy and history take this book on; it's well worth the hard read.
Most recent customer reviews
As a historian, its a great book to help you understand yourself and how you conduct your writing and research.Read more