Gadamer notes, 3

Now we are getting into the meat of it.  Gadamer is setting the stage for what goes into “understanding a text” (which he fully develops in the next part).  He introduces several key concepts which he will later exploit with great skill: fusion, God’s-eye-view of history, etc.  The most important concept is “horizon,” and the limitations and finitude it implies.

Of great importance are his sections on Heidegger and Husserl.  And in true Heideggerian fashion, you don’t need to “analyze” them, but just approach them and let them open new horizons of being.


Historical preparation

  1. To understand means to come to an understanding with each other.  It is to come to an understanding about something.
  2. Schlieiermacher: the act of understanding is a reconstruction of the production
    1. We must also understand the psychology of the author.
  3. Dilemma of universal history: historical research can lead to a universal view of history.
    1. Power is the central category of the historical worldview (209).
    2. Power exists in expression.  It cannot be measured by its expressions but only experienced as an indwelling.
    3. The historian applies the Boethian view of time to the historical method:  all historical phenomena are equally available to him.
  4. Dilthey’s entanglement in the aporias of historicism
    1. Experience (Erfahrung) is a fusion of memory and expectation (225).
    2. The ultimate presupposition is experience–the identity between consciousness and object.
    3. Husserl: intentionality is not a psychic component but an ideal unity.
    4. Historical consciousness is a mode of self-knowledge (237).
  5. Overcoming the epistemological problem through phenomenological research
    1. Husserl: consciousness is not an object but an essential co-ordination
    2. Phenomenology: bracketing all positing of being and investigating the subjective modes of givenness.
      1. Every experience has implicit horizons of before and after and finally fuses with the continuum of experiences present in the before and after to form a unified flow of experience (246).
      2. Every intentional experience has a two-fold horizon.
      3. Df. horizon = not a rigid boundary but something that moves with and invites one to advance further.
      4. Everything that is given as existent is given in terms of a world and hence brings the world horizon with it.
      5. As a horizon phenomenon “world” is essentially related to subjectivity, and this relation means also that it exists in transciency.”
    3. We cannot conceive of subjectivity as the opposite of objectivity, because this concept of subjectivity would also be conceived in objective terms (250).
  6. Heidegger’s project of a hermeneutic of phenomenology
    1. The whole idea of grounding itself underwent a total reversal (257).
    2. Temporality is ontologically definitive of subjectivity.
    3. The “there” for Heidegger (Da-sein) functions as a “clearing in being, a distinction between beings and being (258).
    4. Understanding is the original form of the realization of Dasein (260). It is potentiality for being and possibility.
      1. Understanding is also self-understanding because you project yourself upon a new field of possibilities.

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