Download Hans-Georg Gadamer (Routledge Critical Thinkers) by Karl Simms PDF

By Karl Simms

Hans-Georg Gadamer’s idea of hermeneutics is among the most crucial smooth theories of interpretation and figuring out, and at its center is the adventure of interpreting literature. during this transparent and finished consultant to Gadamer’s concept, Karl Simms:

1. offers an outline of Gadamer’s existence and works, outlining his value to hermeneutic concept and its position in literary studies
2. explains and places into context his key principles, together with ‘dialogue’, ‘phronēsis’, ‘play’, ‘tradition’, and ‘horizon’
3. exhibits how Gadamer’s principles were influential within the interpretation of literary texts
4. explains Gadamer’s debates with key contemporaries and successors, comparable to Habermas, Ricoeur and Derrida
5. offers certain feedback for additional reading.

With a value that crosses disciplinary obstacles from cultural reviews, literary conception and philosophy via to background, song and fantastic arts, Gadamer’s pioneering paintings on hermeneutic concept continues to be of an important significance to the learn of texts within the humanities.

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Extra info for Hans-Georg Gadamer (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

Example text

But since Dilthey insists that this is not the case, he is stuck in history, and history is ‘inexhaustible’. Life is an ‘inexhaustible, creative reality’ (Gadamer 2004: 225), and history is made out of life, out of all of the individuals’ lives that are continuously being poured into it. History therefore keeps changing, and not only in the sense of being added to but also insofar as each of these additions provides further context through which existing history is reinterpreted. ’ Dilthey’s attempts to answer this question are, for Gadamer, the weakest points of his theory.

For Dilthey, meanwhile, spirit can only become absolute through absolute knowledge of history. Thus, as Gadamer points out, Dilthey replaces Hegel’s metaphysics by history: ‘Historical consciousness appropriates what seemed specially reserved to art, religion, and philosophy … Historical consciousness discerns historical spirit in all things. Even philosophy is to be regarded only as an expression of life’ (Gadamer 2004: 224). The difficulty with this theory, says Gadamer, is that complete historical knowledge – absolute historical consciousness – is impossible.

Again, this is a surprising inversion of the standard, or ‘metaphysical’, view by Heidegger. According to most thinking about language prior to Heidegger, language is learnt or acquired according to a determined process, so that ‘discourse’ becomes its final manifestation in the human being. For Plato, for example, language was essentially functional and was developed by humans out of imitation of the sounds made by objects or actions they were trying to describe. For Descartes in the seventeenth century, language was the expression of innate ideas, whereas for Locke it was learnt by a mind coming to know that words stand for ideas of objects (two opposing views which initiated the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate).

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