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The Hermeneutical Challenge

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Chapter Summary

When look at the development of hermeneutics in the twentieth century, especially the work of Martin Heidegger and his student Hans-Georg Gadamer, one can see a strong opposition to the idea of reducing the human sciences to epistemological constructs that can be explained with the methodologies of the natural sciences. Aesthetic consciousness deprives the work of art of its being since it takes away from the work of art its moral and cognitive dimensions, leading to the autonomy of art which is a characteristic of modernism. Language possesses a human logic that does not follow the model of logical demonstration. The Heideggerian insight into the hermeneutical circle allowed Gadamer to rescue the idea of tradition from all negative shadows that the Enlighteners had cast upon it: the interpreter always belongs to the object of understanding; whether he likes or not, he is tradition.

Keywords: Hans-Georg Gadamer; hermeneutics; Martin Heidegger



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