Hans Georg Gadamer and Hermeneutics Gadamer’s HermeneuticsJune 27, 2021
In Truth and Method, Gadamer states that his aim is to discover what the human sciences are. The two themes presented are crucial to the Truth and Method project.
First; states that its purpose is to investigate what the human sciences really are. This search leads Gadamer to analyze the evolution of the human sciences, the influence of the “spirit of modern science” on their development, and the fact that the humanistic heritage has preserved some essential elements. The first half of the book touches upon the basic humanistic concepts defined by Vico, Dilthey and other representatives of the humanist tradition. There is also an analysis of the art experience in the context of truth.
The second theme constitutes the central interest of the work. How is “understanding” possible? While the discovery of the humanities is the first task in his book, he concentrates on how the much more difficult “understanding” itself is possible. From this he is led to concern himself with the question of what kind of understanding is appropriate for the human sciences, and therefore with the question of what is universal understanding itself.
His answer to this question is that all understanding is hermeneutic, and therefore an analysis of the nature of understanding coincides with an analysis of “universal hermeneutics.”
He defines it as the fundamental being of being there in motion, which constitutes its “finitude/limitation” and historicity and therefore includes all of its experience with the world.
Therefore, hermeneutic study is the study of Being and ultimately the study of language; because the being that can be understood is language.
According to him, understanding in human sciences should be examined in the language environment. Linguistics of understanding is key to Gadamer’s approach.
Setting out to explore the nature of the human sciences in Truth and Method, Gadamer engages in the discussion of this overarching set of problems; nature of aesthetic experience, role of play, history of human sciences and ontology. Language overshadows all the issues that Gadamer discusses.
In him, the problem of language replaces the problem of ontology.
Dilthey is the person Gadamer reckoned with in formulating his own philosophical views. Therefore, it seems appropriate to first consider how he criticizes Dilthey, and then examine how he bases his own philosophical views on it. Gadamer Dilthey’s effort to ground the spiritual sciences epistemologically is in Wahrheit und Methode (Truth and Method).
He criticized it under the title of “The Transition from the Problem of the Epistemological Grounding of History to the Hermeneutic Grounding of the Spiritual Sciences” and summarized his own attitude towards it under this title.
According to Gadamer, “Dilthey determined his place in treating the historical world-conception as an epistemological problem, as opposed to the idealism’s understanding of the same world” (Gadamer 1960: 205). In this case, the two traditions he opposes—19. He was torn between 19th century positivism and German idealism, and this split affected his entire philosophy. Dilthey’s aim is to complement Kant’s “critique of pure reason” with a “critique of historical reason”. Because historical reason, like pure reason, needs justification. Just as the epoch-making result of the critique of pure reason has not only been to smash metaphysics, a pure science of reason about the universe, the soul, and God, but also to show how pure natural science is possible, the same must be done for the science of history, how the science of history is possible, Kant ‘s effort should be shown by example. Because 19th century. Both positivism and German Idealism are wrong on this issue (Gadamer 1960: 206). Idealist discourse claimed that reason dominates the world and history and knows it. However, according to Dilthey, idealist philosophy could not achieve what Kant had achieved for natural sciences, and could not go beyond being dogmatist (Gadamer 1960: 207). Therefore, the possibility of a pure historical science should be investigated in order to ground historical knowledge philosophically. By determining the location of the categories that make it possible to know, Kant’s contribution to the establishment of phenomena should be taken as an example, and historical world categories that have the power to carry the historical world should be found (Gadamer 1960: 208). According to Dilthey, what carries the historical world is not the facts obtained through experience, as the English empiricists thought, on the contrary, the basis on which this world rests is the “internal historicity” (inere Geschichtlichkeit) or inner experience, that is, the experience of living (Gadamer) 1960: 208): The actual experience is the “experience of living”; This is also the object of the historical sciences, so these sciences turn to what has been lived, and rethink what has already been thought for the experience of living.
According to Gadamer, Dilthey did not see any harm in questioning it epistemologically, since the historical world to which he was directed is always a world created by the human spirit. Because what needs to be revealed is how to reveal the experience of the individual and his knowledge of historical experience.