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Fackenheim’s hermeneutical circle

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Chapter Summary

The author draws our attention to Emil Fackenheim's acknowledgment of the central importance to his inquiry of what he here calls the "indispensable help" of testimony of survivors and witnesses. The philosophical excursus, as he calls it, and the inquiries into post-Holocaust existence are separated by important points. The first is the introduction of the notion of Tikkun; the second is the formulation of what he calls a contemporary "hermeneutical teaching" that begins with historical situatedness. In one sense, of course, Fackenheim as philosopher and as author of To Mend the World and its philosophical excursus on resistance as ontological ground is historically situated. Later in To Mend the World, Fackenheim presents and then challenges Heidegger's way of formulating and coping with ontic-ontological circle. In a discussion of language, in the introduction to To Mend the World, Fackenheim addresses directly the questions of communicating the incommunicable and of objectivity.

Keywords: Emil Fackenheim; Heidegger; hermeneutical teaching; philosopher; philosophical excursus; To Mend the World



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