Originating from a confrontation with the contemporary French thought, especially with Jacques Derrida, the article discusses the question of the relation between text and interpretation. It receives the basic impulse for the deliberation on the theme from the tradition of hermeneutics and from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, from his considerations upon the subjects of the circle of understanding and the phenomenon of language. What is the relation of the text towards the language? What comes from the language forth into (...) the text? What does understanding between speakers mean and what does it mean that there can be commonly given to us something like texts, or even that in mutual understanding something comes into being that is, like a text, one and the same thing for us? How has the concept of the text been able to undergo such a universal extension? In this theme more is at stake than reflections upon the methodology of the philological sciences. Text is more than a title for the subject matter of literary research. Interpretation is more than the technique of scientifically interpreting texts. (shrink)
English summary: Gadamer's main work, Truth and Method, will be published in 2010, exactly 50 years after the first edition, in a slightly corrected version as an inexpensive student edition. This is seen as one of the few standard works of German post-war philosophy which has achieved worldwide recognition. The huge reaction to this is surprising for many reasons, among other things because in this work an important new theory is presented in intimations only using the author's own conceptual instruments; (...) in fact the author is careful when touching on ancient themes in the philosophical approach to the world. The main question in the work is: What actually happens when we understand? Gadamer focuses on the historical dimensions of understanding, including his famous rehabilitation of prejudice. In addition to the systematic excursus, the book contains an intellectual history of hermeneutics, which is convincing in its virtuosity in dealing with a variety of inspirational figures such as Hegel, Dilthey, Husserl and Heidegger. The amiability and objectivity with which Gadamer invites his readers to a discussion are what account for the enormous influence of this exemplary textbook. German description: Wir sagen, dass wir ein Gesprach fuhren, aber je eigentlicher ein Gesprach ist, desto weniger liegt die Fuhrung desselben in dem Willen des einen oder anderen Partners. Was bei einem Gesprach herauskommt, weiss keiner vorher. Das Hauptwerk Wahrheit und Methode erscheint 2010, genau 50 Jahre nach der Erstausgabe, in durchgesehener und korrigierter Form als preiswerte Studienausgabe. Dieses Buch, das sein Autor erst im Alter von 60 Jahren schrieb, wurde zu einem Uberraschungserfolg der philosophischen Literatur. Als eines der wenigen weltweit anerkannten Standardwerke der deutschen Nachkriegsphilosophie wurde es in viele Sprachen ubersetzt.Die grosse Resonanz konnte aus vielerlei Grunden erstaunen, unter anderem weil hier nur in Andeutungen eine grosse neue Theorie mit eigenem begrifflichen Instrumentarium vorgestellt wird; der Autor umkreist vorsichtig uralte Themen des philosophischen Weltzugangs. Vor allem geht es um die Frage: Was geschieht eigentlich, wenn wir verstehen? Er stellt die geschichtliche Dimension des Verstehens in den Mittelpunkt, auch durch seine beruhmte Rehabilitierung des Vorurteils. Die systematischen Exkurse werden erganzt durch eine Geistesgeschichte der Hermeneutik, die in ihrer virtuosen Behandlung so unterschiedlicher Anreger wie Hegel, Dilthey, Husserl und Heidegger uberzeugt. Die Freundlichkeit und Sachlichkeit, mit der Gadamer seinen Leser ins Gesprach einladt, machen den Rang dieses vorbildlichen Lehrbuchs aus. (shrink)
This essay was Gadamer 's position paper in the April 1981 “debate” with Derrida at a conference on “Text and Interpretation” held at the Sorbonne in Paris. In it he discusses his approach to texts and several elements of Derrida's philosophy,..
This volume makes available for the first time in English the most important of Hans-Georg Gadamer's extensive writings on art and literature. The principal text included is 'The Relevance of the Beautiful', Gadamer's most sustained treatment of philosophical aesthetics. The eleven other essays focus particularly on the challenge issued by modern painting and literature to our customary ideas of art, and use that challenge to revitalize our understanding of it. Gadamer demonstrates the continuing importance of such concepts as imitation, truth, (...) symbol, and play for our appreciation of contemporary art, and thereby establishes its continuity with the Western tradition. The essays here are not technical and are readily accessible to the beginning student and the general reader. The collection as a whole serves to illustrate the practice of hermeneutics and to introduce Gadamer's thought. Robert Bernasconi provides an introduction clarifying the central aims of the essays and their relations to Gadamer's major work, Truth and Method, and to the philosophy of art since Kant. A bibliography of Gadamer's writings available in English is also included. (shrink)
This volume presents six lively conversations with Hans-Georg Gadamer (born 1900), one of the twentieth century's master philosophers. Looking back over his life and thought, Gadamer takes up key issues in his philosophy, addresses points of controversy, and replies to his critics, including those who accuse him of having been in complicity with the Nazis. A genial and direct conversationalist, Gadamer is here captured at his best and most accessible. The interviews took place between 1989 and 1996, and all but (...) one appear in English for the first time in this volume. The first three conversations, conducted by Heidelberg philosopher Carsten Dutt, deal with hermeneutics, aesthetics, and practical philosophy and the question of ethics. In a fourth conversation, with University of Heidelberg classics professor Glenn W. Most, Gadamer argues for the vital importance of the Greeks for our contemporary thinking. In the next, the philosopher reaffirms his connection with phenomenology and clarifies his relation to Husserl and Heidegger in a conversation with London philosopher Alfons Grieder. In the final interview, with German Nazi expert Dorte von Westernhagen, Gadamer describes his life. (shrink)
Understanding is a ‘language event’ founded upon a ‘silent agreement’ between participants in a conversation. This silent agreement, built up of conversational aspects held in common, is what makes social solidarity possible and shows that the methods of science are an inappropriate starting point for our self-understanding. However, with the advent of industrial technical civilization, the question arises whether understanding has come under the control of a centrally steered communication system where language is a consciously wielded instrument of politics with (...) a corresponding loss of free insight and critical judgement. Only via a hermeneutic logic of words, which begins from recognition that words get their meaning from the open space of living conversation, can critical judgement be defended in the face of the authority of science and technology. (shrink)
Johann Gottfried Herder: Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte zur Bildung der Menschheit Edition Holzinger. Taschenbuch Berliner Ausgabe, 2013 Vollständiger, durchgesehener Neusatz mit einer Biographie des Autors bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Michael Holzinger Erstdruck: Erstdruck: o.O. 1774 (anonym). Textgrundlage ist die Ausgabe: Sturm und Drang. Weltanschauliche und ästhetische Schriften. Herausgegeben von Peter Müller, Band 1-2, Berlin und Weimar: Aufbau, 1978. Herausgeber der Reihe: Michael Holzinger Reihengestaltung: Viktor Harvion Umschlaggestaltung unter Verwendung des Bildes: Johann Gottfried Herder (Gemälde von Anton Graff, 1785).
One of this century's most important philosophers here focuses on Plato's Protagoras, Phaedo, Republic, and Philebus and on Aristotle's three moral treatises to show the essential continuity of Platonic and Aristotelian reflection on the nature of the good. "Well translated and usefully annotated by P. Christopher Smith.... Gadamer's book exhibits a broad and grand vision as well as a great love for the Greek thinkers."--Alexander Nehemas, New York Times Book Review "The translation is highly readable. The translator's introduction and frequent (...) annotation provide special elucidation on points of doctrinal complexity, giving ample references to other works and rival interpretations."--Choice "This book is an important addition to the steadily growing number of Gadamer's works available in English. In it, we see Gadamer at his best, that is, engaged in the practice of interpreting important texts from the philosophical tradition, and also at his most controversial.... I enthusiastically recommend this...challenging book as one that rewards all efforts to understand the important claims it makes on its readers."--Francis J. Ambrosio, International Philosophy Quarterly Hans-Georg Gadamer is professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Heidelberg. He is the author of numerous books, including two others translated by Smith: Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato and Hegel's Dialectic: Five Hermeneutical Studies. (shrink)
Hermeneutics is a mantic art involved in the translation of the unintelligible into the intelligible. However, within modern contexts the term possesses a more methodological sense - ‘a universal doctrine for the interpretation of signs’. This conception of hermeneutics was given impetus during the Renaissance with the quest for theological objectivity, but it was with Schleiermacher and other philosophers of the Romantic movement that hermeneutics was viewed as a universal ‘dialogical’ condition. The Romantic conception of hermeneutics was psychologized by Dilthey (...) and re-founded upon the principle of consciousness. With Heidegger became conceived as an ontological phenomenon identical to Existenz itself. For Gadamer, hermeneutics criticizes the ‘pale abstractions’ of Enlightenment conceptions of philosophy for neglecting the work of concepts in philosophy; concepts that have their origins in the self-critical communicative movement of human interpretation. (shrink)
In “Pain,” Hans-Georg Gadamer offers several reflections on the experience of pain and its importance for both modern medicine and hermeneutic thought. Having already celebrated his 100th birthday at the time of this lecture, Gadamer speaks of his own experience with polio and the pains of old age, and the influence that his friend and physician, Paul Vogler, had on his approach to the treatment of pain. In the year 2000, Gadamer is concerned with the dominance of technology and chemical (...) “pain management” in the professional medical community, which has largely forgotten the more natural or traditional healing methods in approaching pain and recovery. In light of this, what is crucial for Gadamer is that individuals approach the challenges of pain by taking an active part in their own recovery. For Gadamer, hermeneutics speaks to these encounters with pain and recovery as decisive for human life and understanding. (shrink)
_Plato's Dialectical Ethics,_ Gadamer's earliest work, has now been translated into English for the first time. This classic book, published in 1931 and reprinted in 1967 and 1982, is still important today. It is one of the most extensive and imaginative interpretations of Plato's _Philebus_ and an ideal introduction to Gadamer's thinking. It shows how his influential hermeneutics emerged from the application of his teacher Martin Heidegger's phenomenological method to classical texts and problems. The work consists of two chapters. The (...) first, which puts Socratic/Platonic dialectics and ethics in the context of Gadamer's thinking about how we come to shared understanding through conversation, helps to clarify the intentions and trajectory of all Gadamer's subsequent work. The second chapter, on the _Philebus, _will interest everyone who is concerned with the connection between Plato's discussions of ethics and those of Aristotle, and with the substantive issues of the relation between pleasure and reason that Plato explores and Gadamer interprets. This edition includes a new and useful introduction by the translator, Robert M. Wallace. (shrink)