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)
This excellent collection contains 13 essays from Gadamer's _Kleine Schriften, _dealing with hermeneutical reflection, phenomenology, existential philosophy, and philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer applies hermeneutical analysis to Heidegger and Husserl's phenomenology, an approach that proves critical and instructive.
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,..
The book brings together thirteen essays presented to medical and psychiatric societies, mainly during the 1970's and 1980's. In these essays, Gadamer justifies the reasons for a philosophical interest in health and medicine, and a corresponding need for health practitioners to enter into a dialogue with 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)
This volume explores some of the more 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 in turn 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)
The author approaches Plato's dialogues as live discussions in which the concrete concerns of the participants define the horizons of discourse. He takes up such perplexing problems of Plato's though as the role of poetry in the state and the theory of ideal numbers and brings to them a fresh understanding. With its emphasis on the dialogue form and the dramatic situation, this work complements the main tendencies of the analytical tradition which dominates contemporary Anglo-Saxon writing on Plato.
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)
The essay “Was ist der Mensch?” appeared for the first time in December 1944 in the German magazine with a hundred years of tradition edited by the publisher J. J. Weber Illustrierte Zeitung Leipzig [Illustrated Magazine Leipzig]. This special cultural edition, entitled Der europäische Mensch [The European Man], which was distributed exclusively abroad, was to be the last volume of the magazine after its final regular issue in September 1994 (No. 5041). Only in 1947, the text was republished, with the (...) same pagination, in a compilation made by J. J. Weber, Vom Wahren, Schönen, Guten. Aus dem Schatz europäischer Kunst und Kultur [On the True, the Beautiful, the Good. From the Treasury of European Art and Culture]. The publisher was expropriated in 1948, and three years later the company was finally removed from the German commercial registry. “Was ist der Mensch?” has never been released in any of Gadamer’s books or separately published in a journal; it also does not appear within the 10 volumes of his Gesammelte Werke [Collected Works]—the only exception is an Italian translation included in a volume devoted to Gadamer’s views on education and the notion of Bildung (cf. Gadamer 2012). The aim of this translation is to make accessible this Gadamer’s quest for the occidental interpretations of human self-consciousness, which has until now been almost unknown and in which, for the first time, Gadamer shows, from a theoretical standpoint, not only his early—although implicit—keen interest in Max Scheler’s anthropology (particularly Scheler’s considerations on the basic historical types of the occidental man’s self-perception in accordance with the basic and underlying concept of human history that still have powerful effectiveness in modern times), but also—at the historical threshold of the imminent ending of World War II—his own concern regarding possible philosophical answers to the question: “What is man?” Cf. especially Scheler 1926 (GW 9, 120–144); 1928 (GW 9, 7–71); 1929 (GW 9, 145–170). All commenting annotations to Gadamer’s text are authored by the editor and translator. (shrink)
These autobiographical reflections by a major contemporary philosopher offer an enjoyable and enlightening tour not only of his own intellectual development but of the rich and fruitful collaboration of minds during a rich period in German cultural history. Hans-Georg Gadamer, the author of Truth and Method, traces his "philosophical apprenticeships" with some of the most important thinkers of the 20th century.Perhaps more than anyone else, Hans-Georg Gadamer, who is Professor Emeritus at the University of Heidelberg, is the doyen of German (...) philosophy and the recognized chief theorist of hermeneutics. His book Reason in the Age of Science is an ideal introduction to his thought and to the problems of hermeneutics more generally. Philosophical Apprenticeships is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy. (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)
This volume presents six lively conversations with Hans-Georg Gadamer, 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 Dörte von Westernhagen, Gadamer describes his life as a struggling young professor in Germany in the 1930s and refutes accusations of his complicity with the Nazis. These conversations are a lucid introduction for readers new to the philosopher’s thought, and for experts they present an invaluable commentary on Gadamer’s most important themes. (shrink)
Tracing the development of the notion of the dialectic from the classical Greek thinkers to the modern thinkers, Gadamer demonstrates that Hegel 'worked out his own dialectical method by extending the dialectic of the Ancients.' Excellently translated, this book is a valuable if demanding addition to Gadamer's philosophical work now available in English.
In The Beginning of Philosophy Gadamer explores the layers of interpretation and misinterpretation that have built up over 2500 years of Presocratic scholarship. Using Plato and Aristotle as his starting point his analysis moves effortlessly from Simplicius and Diogenes Laertius to the 19th-century German historicists right through to Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger. Gadamer shows us how some of the earliest philosophical concepts such as truth, equality, nature, spirit and being came to be and how our understanding of them today is (...) deeply indebted to Presocratic thinkers. The book is based on a series of lectures delivered by Gadamer in 1967 which were then translated into English and edited by Gadamer for this collection. This is a major philosophical-historical work from one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers. (shrink)