- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 2 edition (July 8, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520256409
- ISBN-13: 978-0520256408
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Philosophical Hermeneutics, 30th Anniversary Edition 2nd Edition
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He articulates the "aesthetic-resonance-chamber" of the unconscious; and the fusion of horizons "triad" of methodology as tradition, reflection, and linguistic idealism. He gives a quick synopsis of hermeneutics as it stands today after emerging from :Hegel to Bultmann to Heidegger to himself. He articulates the triad of forming the relatedness of the language-model as the triad of : "nature of things" - "language of things" - "rhythm of things". And he discusses the mediation of "buoyancy" as "inner dialogue of the soul". Plugging these clarifications into your overall understanding of Gadamer is a significant gain for the reader. I found Gadamer to be very accessible in his writing; deep meaning, easily grasped. Gadamer "is" post-modern hermeneutics - period. So don't ignore him in your theological and philosophical studies. You will enjoy these "bites" (average of 20 pages each) of truth. A welcome scholarly work; "5" big stars.
This 1976 book is a translation of essays from Gadamer’s Kleine Schriften (Small Writings), as well as the essay, “Heidegger’s Later Philosophy.” The Editor’s Introduction explains, “The essays contained in this volume continue to develop the philosophical perspective that Gadamer originally set forth in his systematic work, ‘Truth and Method,’ a perspective he has called philosophical hermeneutics. Like the larger work, these essays are not primarily concerned with the methodological questions pertaining to scientific understanding that have been the preoccupation of hermeneutical theory… The task of philosophical hermeneutics, therefore, is ontological rather than methodological… ‘the question is not what we do or what we should do, but what happens beyond our willing and doing.’” (Pg. xi)
In the first essay , he states, “Why has the problem of language come to occupy the same central position in current philosophical discussions that the concept of thought… held in philosophy a century and a half ago? By answering this question, I shall try to give an answer indirectly to the central question of the modern age… It is the question of how our natural view of the world… is related to the unassailable and anonymous authority that confronts us in the pronouncements of science… I want to elucidate several phenomena in which the universality of this question becomes evident. I have called the point of view involved in this theme ‘hermeneutical,’ a term developed by Heidegger. Heidegger was continuing a perspective stemming originally from Protestant theology and transmitted into our own century by Wilhelm Dilthey.” (Pg. 3-4)
He adds, “The hermeneutical question… is not restricted to the areas from which I began in my own investigations. My only concern there was to secure a theoretical basis that would enable us to deal with the basic factor of contemporary culture, namely, science and its industrial, technological utilization.” (Pg. 10-11)
He continues, “What I am describing is the mode of the whole human experience of the world. I call this experience hermeneutical, for the process we are describing is repeated continually throughout our familiar experience. There is always a world already interpreted, already organized in its basic relations, into which experience steps as something new, upsetting what has led our expectations and undergoing reorganization itself in the upheaval. Misunderstanding and strangeness are not the first factors, so that avoiding misunderstanding can be regarded as the specific tasks of hermeneutics.” (Pg. 15)
In the next essay , “The universal phenomenon of human linguisticality also unfolds in other dimensions than those which would appear to be directly concerned with the hermeneutical problem, for hermeneutics reaches into all contexts that determine and condition the linguisticality of the human experience of the world. Some of those have been touched upon in my ‘Truth and Method’; for instance, the … consciousness of effective history, of the consciousness in which history is ever at work… was presented in a conscious effort to shed light on the idea of language in some phases of its history. And of course linguistically extends into many different dimensions not mentioned in ‘Truth and Method.’” (Pg. 19-20)
He continues, “It seems… to be generally characteristic of the emergence of the ‘hermeneutical’ problem that something DISTANT has to be brought close, a certain strangeness overcome, a bridge built between the once and the now. Thus hermeneutics, as a general attitude over against the world, came into its own in modern times, which had become aware of the temporal distance separating us from antiquity and of the relativity of the life-worlds of different cultural traditions. Something of this awareness was contained in the theological claim of Reformation biblical exegesis …. but its true unfolding only came about when a ‘historical consciousness’ arise in the Enlightenment… and matured in the romantic period to establish a relationship (however broken) to our entire inheritance from the past.” (Pg. 22-23)
He adds, “My thesis is… that the thing which hermeneutics teaches us is to see through the dogmatism of asserting an opposition and separation between the ongoing, natural ‘tradition’ and the reflective appropriation of it. For behind this assertion stands a dogmatic objectivism that distorts the very concept of hermeneutical reflection itself. In this objectivism the understander is seen… not in relationship to the hermeneutical situation and the constant operativeness of history in his own consciousness, but in such a way as to imply that his own understanding does not enter into the event.” (Pg. 28)
In a 1962 essay, he suggests, “Now it seems to me that these observations also hold for dealing with written texts and thus for understanding the Christian proclamation that is preserved in Scripture…. To understand a text is to come to understand oneself in a kind of dialogue. This contention is confirmed by the fact that the concrete dealing with a text yields understanding only when what is said in the text begins to find expression in the interpreter’s own language. Interpretation belongs to the essential unity of understanding… This observation holds true in every respect for the text of the Christian proclamation, which one cannot really understand if it does not seem to speak directly to him. It is in the sermon, therefore, that the understanding and interpretation of the text first receives its full reality. It is the sermon rather than the explanatory commentary of the theologian’s exegetical work that stands in the immediate service of proclamation, for it not only communicates to the community the understanding of what Scripture says, but also bears witness itself… Such self-understanding certainly does not constitute a criterion for the theological interpretation of the New Testament…” (Pg. 57-58)
In a 1960 essay, he observes, “To be sure, classical metaphysics’ concept of truth---the conformity of knowledge with the object---rests on a theological correspondence. For it is in their creatureliness that the soul and the object are united… Now philosophy certainly can no longer avail itself of such a theological grounding and will also not want to repeat the secularized versions of it… But for its part, philosophy may also not close its eyes to the truth of this correspondence… Is there a grounding of this correspondence that does not venture to affirm the infinity of the divine mind and yet is able to do justice to the infinite correspondence of soul and being? I contend that there is…. the way of language.” (Pg. 74-75)
In a 1972 essay, he says, “Ideological criticism represents only a particular form of hermeneutical reflection, one that seeks to dispel a certain class of prejudices through critique. Hermeneutical reflection, however, is universal in its possible application. As opposed to the sciences, it must also fight for recognition in those cases where it is a matter… of self-enlightenment with regard to the methodology of science as such. Any science is based upon the special nature of that which it has made its object through its methods of objectifying. The method of modern science is characterized from the start by a refusal: namely, to exclude all that which actually eludes its own methodology and procedures. Precisely in this way it would prove to itself that is without limits and never wanting for self-justification.” (Pg. 93)
He continues, “The work of art says something to the historian: it says something to each person as if it were said especially to him, as something present and contemporaneous. Thus our task is to understand the meaning of what it says and to make it clear to ourselves and others. Even the nonlinguistic work of art, therefore, falls within the province of the proper task of hermeneutics. It must be integrated into the self-understanding of each person. In this comprehensive sense, hermeneutics includes aesthetics. Hermeneutics bridges the distance between minds and reveals the forgiveness of the other mind. But revealing what is unfamiliar … also means apprehending what is said to us, which is always more than the declared and comprehended meaning. Whatever says something to us is like a person who says something. It is alien in the sense that it transcends us.” (Pg. 100-101)
The next essays are historical studies and analyses of Phenomenology, Heidegger, etc.
This book is very helpful for understanding Gadamer’s ‘Truth and Method,’ and will be of interest to students of contemporary philosophy.