Notes on Gadamer Gadamer’s Philosophical Hermeneutics

April 2, 2012 — 1 Comment

“Gadamer is not anti-science, but he is, quite rightly, anti-scientism.”

This relates to Gadamer’s argument that there is no methodology as such for understanding. Understanding is a dialogical process.

Gadamer simply ignores many key problems of phenomenology: our ways of encountering inner-worldly entities, other Dasein, the problem of our knowledge of the external world, and of other minds. For Gadamer the phenomenon of understanding is basic.

“We cannot get behind it to something more basic, because the something more basic would itself have to be understood.” (p 137)

“What Dilthey sees as a progressive growth of understanding [the development of historical consciousness, and putting one’s own values and standards out of action when interpreting a text] Gadamer sees as a progressive distortion of the nature of understanding and hence as the obscuring of a major area of truth.” (p 138)

Gadamer and Language

Gadamer argues that language is a world-view, but not by virtue of its form, but rather by virtue of what is spoken or said, and thus handed down. Language embodies the happening of tradition, and in doing this is a world view.

“Language is not something added to our being-in-the-world, rather it is only through language that we have a world at all. The world is there for human beings in a way that it is not there for any other living thing. But this being there of the world is linguistically constituted.THis is what is meant by saying that languages are world views.” (p152)


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  1. Karl Popper: The Myth of the Framework – Irrationality and Relativism « A Blog by James Thompson - September 24, 2012

    […] This has correlation to Gadamer’s fusion of horizons. […]

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