Arquivo para January 26th, 2021

Hermeneutics and the truth

26 Jan

The great architect of of hermeneutics in the 20th century was Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), who created a philosophical hermeneutics, influenced by the studies of Martin Heidegger, of whom he was a student at Universität Marburg, reworked the concept of the hermeneutical circle from Heidegger.

In his masterpiece Truth and Method: elements of a philosophical hermeneutics, published in 1960, Gadamer not only revolutionized modern Western hermeneutics, but also reoriented it by creating a new philosophical hermeneutics based on the ontology of language. According to Heidegger the hermeneutics is philosophical and non-scientific (in the sense of conventional methods still in force), ontological and non-epistemological, existential and not methodological, because it seeks the essence of understanding and not its norm or “method”, the method oscillates between positivism and rationalism, but without belong to the phenomenon.

The study and understanding of existence, since it allows knowledge of the Being, precedes the norms, even the one considered “ethical” by the Enlightenment / idealism, of social rules and not moral rules, says the theo-ontology why the “Saturday belongs to Man and not Man belongs to Saturday”, here in reference to the “Jewish ethical rule” or Sabbatarians to keep the Sabbath. According to Heidegger, hermeneutics would be philosophical rather than scientific; ontological rather than epistemological; existential rather than methodological. It would be responsible for seeking the essence of understanding, not the standardization of the comprehensive process.
The study of comprehension would be confused with the study of existence, since it would allow the knowledge of the Self.
Although contemporary hermeneutics comes from Schleiermacher and Dilthey, who advocated opening the spirit to an age that judges the antecedent, and this would be the historical process, Gadamer points out that we cannot abandon the present and take the past as having a “historical lesson”.
On the contrary, it is the terms of past questions that can define the terms of the present. The fact that man experiences a historical reality causes his worldview, and consequently, his possibilities of knowledge to depart from the preconceptions that surround him, making it impossible to completely eliminate them, so that he can read the absolute truth, as intended modern illuminists and historicists, is a veil over the truth and not itself.
The hermeneutic circle that was already drawn in Heidegger’s work from Gadamer’s point of view has an ontologically positive sense for understanding, which, according to him, in the course of interpretation, the elaboration of new projects and a new horizon is necessary.
Thus only with the admission of the preconceptions coming from the historicity of the interpreter that when properly analyzed in their veracity, allows a new understanding, the development of new horizons, truly coherent.
Going from pre-comprehension to analysis and synthesis is to remain in error, however creative this process may be, the rupture of preconceptions comes from outside, from openness and reworking.
That is why addicted, closed, provincial and demagogic systems succumb, crush the Being, claim to give it “identity”, but give only closure and obsession.