Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory… Toward Accepted Knowledge

PALMER, R.E. (1969) Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

“in Being and Time Heidegger finds a kind of access in the fact that one has with his existence, along with it, a certain understanding of what fullness of being is. It is not a fixed understanding but historically formed, accumulated in the very experience of encountering phenomena. (…) Ontology must turn to the processes of understanding and interpretation through which things appear; it must lay open the mood and direction of human existence; it must render visible the invisible structure of being-in-the-world. How does this relate to hermeneutics? It means that ontology must, as phenomenology of being, become a ‘hermeneutic’ of existence. (…) It lays open what was hidden; it constitutes not an interpretation of an interpretation but the primary act of interpretation which brings a thing from concealment.” (p129)


Through hermeneutic interpretation from a Heideggerian phenomenology understanding needs to be seen as more than an interpretation-of-an-interpretation. It is a primary act that brings those internal aspects of being into the external world through discussion toward accepted knowledge. The hermeneutic, intuitive circle of inquiry, counter to being invalid, is a powerful tool to bring those things from concealment that logic alone cannot.

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