Hermeneutics and the truth

05 Nov

The great architect of hemeneutics in the twentieth century was Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), influenced by the studies of Martin Heidegger, who was a student at the Universität Marburg.
In his masterpiece Truth and Method: Elements of a Philosophical Hermeneutic, published in 1960, Gadamer not only revolutionized modern Western hermeneutics, but reoriented it by creating a new philosophical hermeneutic based on language ontology.
According to Heidegger, hermeneutics is philosophical rather than scientific (in the sense of conventional methods still in force), ontological rather than epistemological, existential rather than methodological, because it seeks the essence of understanding and not its norm or “method.” The study and understanding of existence, since it allows the knowledge of Being, precedes norms, even that considered “ethical” by the Enlightenment / idealism, because “Sabbath belongs to Man and not Man belongs to Sabbath” , here in reference to the “Jewish ethical rule” or Sabbath-keeping 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.


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