Hermeneutic circle and dialogue

07 Jun

Before the dialogue, Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle builds a concept of fusion of horizons, it seems idealistic, but it is just the opposite, knowledge does not happen by revealing the object to the subject, as understood by Kant, it is not a mere projection of the subject on the subject. object as thought by Kant’s idealism.

Subject and object have their own horizons, as both are endowed with historicity, I exemplify with a very present example: war, it is not enough to look at the subjects at war on both sides of a dispute, there is war as an instrument of hatred and oppression, and it itself has its historicity, of course the subjects at war as well.

Knowledge then takes place from the fusion of the horizons of the subjects, hence the overcoming of the subject-object scheme, it is dualistic and in it the dialogue is segmented.

When perceiving an object, the subject always contributes with his pre-understanding, his interpretation is partial, so it is necessary to understand the other pre-understanding, in philosophical hermeneutics although they are called pre-concepts, it has a positive aspect, the starting point of dialogue and the next step is the fusion of horizons.

If both want peace, and this cannot be just rhetoric, it is necessary to know the prejudice.

Gadamer criticizes Dilthey’s romantic historicity and clarifies: “[…] the idea of ​​an absolute reason is not a possibility of historical humanity. For us, reason only exists as real and historical, which simply means: reason is not master of itself, since it is always related to the data on which it is exercised. (GADAMER, 1998).

Kant provided the overcoming of the object paradigm, with his spiritual vision he went to the philosophy of subjectivity, however today, with the studies pertinent to the linguistic turn, there is already a vision of overcoming subjectivity through intersubjectivity, manifested in language as a condition for the possibility of knowledge and not just as a third thing between subject and object or simple opposition and confrontation.

Philosophical hermeneutics is based not on the duality of meanings, but on its broad and plural vision of possible meanings, the possibility created by the understanding that takes place in the fusion of horizons that is not “anything about anything”, but rather penetrating what Husserl’s phenomenology called “the thing in itself”, that of the Being of beings.

The dialogue of positions in confrontation is just another form of war, there is no analysis that goes to the bottom of each subject’s pre-understanding and what is in the objects.

A sincere dialogue is necessary for a new civilizing step, an “other” dialogue.


Gadamer, Hans-Georg. (1998) Método e Verdade (Truth and method) Trans. Flavio Paulo Meurer. 2nd ed. Brazil, Petropolis: Vozes.


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