Philosophy of Gadamer

Philosophy of Gadamer

Jean Grondin
Translated by Kathryn Plant
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 191
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  • Book Info
    Philosophy of Gadamer
    Book Description:

    Grondin situates Gadamer's concerns in the context of traditional philosophical issues, showing, for example, how Gadamer both continues and significantly modifies Descartes' approach to the philosophical problem of method and advances rather than simply follows Heidegger's treatment of the relationship of thinking to language. In doing this Grondin shows that the issues of philosophical hermeneutics are relevant to contemporary concerns in science and history.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8221-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Translator's Note
    (pp. ix-x)
    Kathryn Plant
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    Hans-Georg Gadamer was born in Marburg, Germany on 11 February 1900. By chance, he was born, to the exact day, 250 years after Descartes’s death. There are coincidences in the calendar! Indeed, it is difficult not to draw a further parallel with Descartes in the very title of Gadamer’s major work,Truth and Method.

    Descartes is the originator of the idea of method that forms the basis of the scientific project of modern times, or quite simply the modern method. For Descartes, the whole edifice of certain and indubitable knowledge, that of science, must be methodologically reviewed and made secure:...

  6. CHAPTER ONE The Problem of Method and the Project of a Hermeneutics of the Human Sciences
    (pp. 17-38)

    Gadamer’s work opens with one of Rilke’s poems, which does not fail to capture the reader’s attention. It is also an issue of capture: “as long as you follow and capture only that which you yourself have initiated, it is nothing but competence and venial gain”. These words also remind us of Descartes and of his ideal of a method of knowledge thanks to which we will become the “masters and possessors of nature”. But who are we, Rilke seems to reply, to hope to master what has always captured us until now? Does true power not come from elsewhere?...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Truth after Art
    (pp. 39-54)

    If we wish to recognize that art has a claim to truth, or better still, to learn what truth is from art, we must above all overcome the Kantian “subjectivization” of aesthetics. For Gadamer, it is a case of the great impasse of aesthetics, if not of the whole of modernism. The vice of modern science is the notion of objectivity that constrains the aesthetic experience to being understood in subjective terms, as if there were no question of its being understood in anything other than spiritual states and the “lived experiences” of the subject. To reduce everything to the...

  8. CHAPTER THREE The Destruction of Prejudices in Nineteenth-Century Aesthetics and Epistemology
    (pp. 55-78)

    For Gadamer, the experience of the work of art is not primarily a specifically aesthetic experience, but one of understanding. This is why aesthetics should be conveyed by hermeneutics. All the rest of Gadamer’s work is therefore taken up with hermeneutics. But the shadow of aesthetic consciousness continues to hover over hermeneutic development. To be concerned with understanding, or with the human sciences, is not enough to pretend to have grasped the complete radicality of hermeneutics. The whole of Gadamer’s thought can be seen as an attempt to reconquer this universality of the hermeneutic problem. In his work, the cascade...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Vigilance and Horizon in Hermeneutics
    (pp. 79-122)

    As he starts with Heidegger andBeing and Time,Gadamer also starts with the circle of understanding. To the circle of understanding Heidegger gave an ontological, non-epistemological direction, becauseDaseinis an object of care and its future forms the priority of care, which he understands as the function of more or less implicit anticipations. Through these anticipations of meaning, he tries in a way to ward off attacks, knowing that existence itself will still reserve some for him, up to the unanswerable blow, death, which all the dispositions of metaphysics seek to escape.

    The reason is that there is...

  10. CHAPTER 5 The Dialogue that We Are
    (pp. 123-142)

    “To understand what takes us”, to seize what has forever seized us, is how we can resume the paradoxical wager of hermeneutics.¹ The hermeneutics that we have dared to call “projection” focuses on the addition of understanding to a dimension which avoids instrumentalism in that it takes note of our projected being more than it does of our projects. It is so in history, to which we belong much more than it belongs to us. In 1960, Gadamer saw that the most satisfactory way in which a being worked by history could add to its knowledge was through language. This effectiveness...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 143-156)

    In the hope of approaching its uncanny nearness, Gadamer first spoke of an anteriority of language to thought. To think is to try to explain yourself in words. We are awoken by language to thought, but still earlier, to the presence of things. Gadamer eventually speaks of a contemporaneity of language to thought, rather than of an anteriority. The anteriority of language is not reduced to a vision or a schematization of reality by the mind, since the world is present through language, and we are present to the world. The past anterior of the language is really a present...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 157-172)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 173-176)
  14. Index
    (pp. 177-180)