A key metaphor for the hermeneutic method: the "time...

A key metaphor for the hermeneutic method: "time of the world picture"

The cosmos of culture has never been for man a transparent world of clear and distinct ideas - he invariably appeared before him as a sacrament of accomplished forms. This is one of the great paradoxes of culture: being a creation of man, it remains for him a miracle and a secret. That is why the problem of interpretation of the symbols of culture has always been highly relevant. Ancient people generally refused to consider themselves the creators of their own creations: they interpreted the creative process mystically, seeing in it the manifestation of divine intervention. As Ernst Cassirer points out, some savage peoples, such as the Ewe in South Togo, even during the seasonal harvest holidays, even now, mystical victims are sacrificed to an ax, a plane, a saw.

Even more mysterious were the spiritual tools that he himself created-language and writing. God, from whose hands the writing was received, always had a special, privileged place in the divine hierarchy. The Egyptian moon god Toth was simultaneously "scribe of the gods" and the heavenly judge. It was he who pointed out to the gods and people what is right for them, since he determined the measure of things.

For the first time a man tried to understand the cosmos of culture as some kind of integrity already in Antiquity. In Plato, the cosmos or the objective order of culture appears where different persons belong to the common world and consciously participate in it. However, what he tried to define as the meaning of this common world, he resisted him whenever he turned to the supra-individual, universal for all, trying to go beyond his own ideas. The problem of understanding the integrity of the culture and the interpretation of its value values ​​was clearly revealed even then and appeared as the need for a breakthrough through individual limitations into the space of a common sense.

Opinion of a famous philosopher

Aristotle in the work of "Interpretation" links interpretation (Hermeneia) in the strict sense as /strong> with understanding, interpreted in a broad sense as comprehension of signs or symbols of culture. Aristotle's Hermeneia refers to all meaningful discourse, or rather the meaningful discourse itself Hermeneia, because he interprets reality even when it says something about something. " Aristotelian Hermeneia is necessary, because each interpretation is the mastery of reality with the help of meaningful expressions, and not the essence of the so-called impressions emanating from the things themselves.

For ancient philosophers, the concepts and symbols of culture have never been simple copies of impressions: they explained their appearance as the result of hard work of the spirit, in which new facets of reality were opened to man. The name was not simply attached to the finished image as an external sign: it reflected a certain way of knowing the world. It is the symbolism of culture in Aristotle that explains a special stage in the spiritual life of civilization - the stage of the creation of a common spiritual cosmos by each people. In the course of mastering his cosmos of culture, a person not only got acquainted with the existing order, but partially completed and developed this order: he was not included in it as a kind of cog, but subordinated to himself every separate phenomenon of culture. Thus, through submission, a person kept and continuously updated his cultural symbols. At the same time, ancient authors attached special importance to understanding the differences between cultural traditions and symbols among different peoples.


Aristotle in Policy draws attention to the fact that for a person as political creatures the ability to interpret actions and symbols of different cultural traditions plays a special role: it is thanks to this art that political agreements between peoples are possible. In Policy Aristotle explored and described 158 Greek and barbarous state devices, trying to interpret their political characteristics in the broad context of culture. His fundamental work has not lost its heuristic significance for modern political science: he still teaches understanding of the integrity of the political cosmos through the interpretation of individual unique phenomena as features of culture.

Aristotle brilliantly mastered the art of political hermeneutics, understanding it primarily as a certain way of understanding the political world through interpretation. However, modern philosophical hermeneutics consider this way too easy.

Expert opinion

Paul Rieker , in particular, refuses to debate the method, immediately stepping into the ontology plan to find understanding here no longer as a way of knowing, but as a way of being. In his opinion, hermeneutics opens a way of existence that remains from the beginning to the end an interpreted being, where reflection alone, destroying itself as a reflection, can lead to ontological roots of understanding. But this is precisely what happens in the language and in the movement of reflection.

Recognizing the possibilities of this "ontology of understanding", to which the linguistic and semantic analysis is inclined today, it is nevertheless necessary to note that in politics it is difficult to bring reflection to the level of ontology, therefore political hermeneutics must follow the Aristotelian path, where the understanding of the political world is way of knowing. Let's turn to the methodology of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, trying to use his metaphor pictures of the world as a key to political hermeneutics.

Curriculum Vitae

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) in 1909-1913. at the University of Freiburg studied theology, then philosophy, the humanities and the natural sciences. In the years 1913-1915. defended two thesis - "The doctrine of judgment in psychology" and "Duns Scott's Doctrine of Categories and Meanings" (the latter led by Henry Rickert). In the years 1919-1922. was an assistant to Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. In the years 1923-1928. - an extraordinary professor in Marburg, since 1928 - an ordinary professor in Freiburg at the department, which before retirement was occupied by Husserl. In 1927, Heidegger's main work of this period - the treatise "Being and Time", where the question of the meaning of being is largely based on the activity of the inquiring being (man). In 1933 Heidegger became the rector of the University of Freiburg. This circumstance, as well as individual statements in his rector's speech (Self-Confirmation of the German University, 1933), laid the beginning of an ongoing discussion of Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (in 1945 the occupation authorities imposed a ban on his teaching activities, which lasted until 1951 .). Heidegger later explained that in the new political situation he hoped for a spiritual renewal of the German people. After experiencing disappointment, in 1934 he resigned from the post of rector and in 1936-1938. works on his second major work - "To Philosophy" (published only in 1989). During this period, Heidegger uses exclusively German: he does not use more than just the terms "ontology", "hermeneutics", "interpretation", "phenomenology" etc., but even the words philosophy & quot ;. The late works of Heidegger (1947-1976) are devoted to the problems of modern technology and language, considered on the basis of the theory of being as unreachable (geschehen), a person in his limb can correspond (ent-sprechen). The main works published during his lifetime: "What is metaphysics?" (Lecture on the inauguration of the Ordinary Professor, 1929), "Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics" (1929), "The Teachings of Plato on Truth. A Letter on Humanism (1947), Technique and rotation (1962), Travel milestones (1967).

Assuming that every political culture is a certain picture of the political world, it should be clarified what meaning we will put in this category.

From the source

What is this - a picture of the world? Apparently, the image of the world, - wrote M. Heidegger. "But what is the world called here?" What does the picture mean? The world appears here as the designation of what exists in general & lt; ... & gt; At the word "picture" we think first of all about the image of something. The picture of the world will then be, as it were, the canvas of what exists in general. The picture of the world, however, speaks of more. We mean here the world itself, its essence as a whole, how it is decisive and binding for us. "

So, to make a picture of the political world of another civilization for yourself means not only to draw the image of the world of another political culture, but also to imagine this world as an integrity, a self. In this principle of holistic perception is the main difference between hermeneutical understanding and the analytical-scientific, differentiating.

Classic view

Great Goethe was one of the first to decipher the features of this principle of cultural understanding. He emphatically declared that mathematics is not capable of influencing the moral sphere, so we would have known much better if we had not been so eager to learn. After all, "an object becomes understandable to us only at an angle of forty-five degrees."

If the analytical principles are aimed at making the phenomena countable, the cultural principles tend to present them as fully visible. Analytical perception, dissecting integrity and validating calculus, can significantly damage, destroying the visibility of culture.


Goethe explained this thought by the example of the perception of the phenomenon of beauty. In his Songbook there is a poem about a young man who wants to catch a dragonfly, to look close to the play of her colors; but catching, disappointedly notes that these ghosts disappear before his gaze:

I caught it! Caught her! Now I'll look at it!

But I can only see the dark blue.

Such is your fate - the dismemberment of your own joys. "

The problem is that the analytical tools appeared in the arsenal of science rather late, when the basic principles of the development of culture were already formed, therefore analytical ideas have no heuristic significance either in the world of culture in general or in the world of political culture in particular.

Definition of concepts

Analytical principles of scientific research were first clearly stated by Galileo and Kepler: they are based on an analysis of the infinitesimal, the concept of a function and a variable quantity. Any object or process, in order to become an accessible explanation, must first turn into a sort of differentiated complex of interrelated small quantities that determine each other with the help of functional laws. In other words, the functional thinking of science transforms the process of cognition into an infinite task of decomposing being into elements.

Thus, the method of induction can only hinder the understanding of the picture of the political world. The danger of induction as a method of ascent from the part to the whole in the world of political culture is that it brings together disparate elements, erasing and leveling their diversity in the "murderous universality" (I. Goethe). Therefore, modern political analysts - professionals of the inductive method - are so helpless in their forecasts, although unlike Aristotle they have at their disposal huge databases and supercomplex computing equipment. Like Salieri, who tried to "disunite music like a corpse," they dissect the political world into endless components and thereby kill his image: the world picture disappears, and the prediction closes on the primitive platitudes of "murderous universality."

In fact, the thinking of political culture develops in a bright, multicolored world of images that can not be decomposed into constituent elements without loss of content. The world of political images is synthetic and requires a holistic perception: it offers us the "illusion of political existence", the beauty of which is that it bears a "color gleam" the soul of the people who created it. The very concept of cultural reflection (reflection) in politics speaks already of those features that are inherent in it. The political image can not be identical to the political process: it only reflects the process in a certain way. Such a symbolic reflection can not be decomposed into a symbol and an object, since the symbolic function is initially synthetic. In the images of political culture, the objective and subjective merge into one, creating a unique symbolic synthesis. This explains the paradox of perception in the political sphere: when the "color gleam" sociocultural identity disappears, the image is destroyed and the picture fades.

Another important feature of political symbols is its secondary nature in relation to the general images of culture. This feature of modern political science is especially often ignored, trying to remain entirely in the context of modernity. Asking the eternal question of why political processes are developing today precisely so, the analytical mind does not come out of the circle of modern ideas, describing and ordering a simple existing being. Meanwhile, modern anthropologists have proved that the political structure of human society is the latest division on which human thought rests in its symbolic classifications. Forming the symbolic world of culture from era to era, man did not just create a certain set of images, but developed a universal principle of the division of the world, which presupposed the development of certain laws of human thought. Political symbolism arose at the final stage of the formation of the common cosmos of culture, and the laws of development of the political world are subject to the general vectors of the development of civilization, therefore understanding the picture of the political world is possible only in the broader context of civilization.

Emil Durkheim introduced the notion collective consciousness into social science and proved that initially the logical and socio-political were merged with each other without any distinctions. According to Durkheim, the totality of beliefs and feelings, universal for members of the same society, forms a certain system that has its own life. It diffuses a special reality in the world of culture, which can be called general, or collective, consciousness . It does not depend on individual individuals, the generation change. On the contrary, the common consciousness connects generations with each other: it is a mental type of society, similar to individual types, although in a different form, having its own way of development, its properties, conditions of existence. 1


Emil Durkheim in the work "Elementary forms of religious life" he traced how the human mind developed in the direction of ever more concrete definition - from the most general ideas to the socio-political. In primitive societies, members of the tribe and the entire universe were divided into distinct groups according to their particular totems. In a broad sense, universal totemism included everything that exists in the person's view, and even the forces of nature-sun, thunder, lightning, rain-were endowed with special totem signs. The division of labor and professions, the entire social structure, also scrupulously followed this principle: the clans of one totem were engaged exclusively in war, the other with hunting, and the third with magic and religion. On all holidays, ceremonies and public gatherings, a certain unshakable order was observed, in detail corresponding to the general symbolic picture of the world.

All this allowed Durkheim to conclude that socio-political division occupies a subordinate place in the general symbolic picture of the world, and it can only be investigated in indissoluble connection with the general evolution of social consciousness. Subsequently, the work of other cultural anthropologists - P. Witz, F. Cushing, A. Kreber, confirmed the conclusions of Durkheim. It was cultural anthropology that first came to the conclusion that the world of culture develops according to special spiritual laws that are not amenable to analytical perception. Understanding these laws brings us close to how we can interpret the picture of the political world in every civilization.

Expert opinion

Frank Cushing (1857-1900), an American archaeologist and ethnographer who studied the mythological sociological organization of the Indian Zunya tribe in New Mexico, was struck by the detailed structuring of the entire social life of this tribe in accordance with the general mythological picture of the world . He wrote in concluding his research: "With this classification system - and this can all be considered just as a classification, - with such a light way of symbolizing order (not only in the number of areas and their division in the corresponding sequence and sequence of their elements and seasons, but also by the availability of certain colors, etc.), finally, with such appropriately structured classification of names and relations of kinship, which mean more a place in a row than blood-bearing ligature, a mistake in the procedure of conducting ceremonies, processions or meetings is simply impossible, and about the people using this way of life, one can say that he should have and keep a record of his civil status and laws in all his daily relationships and public appearances. "

The basic law of the development of culture, well known to all world religions, is the principle of unity of the micro and macrocosm. In this sense, the picture of the political world is a crystal: even if you try to break up crystal to the smallest pieces, they can always recognize the same form of organization. What appears as a "crystal lattice" political culture? Modern science offers many hypotheses: "archetypes of the collective unconscious" (CG Jung), "Types of Spiritual Patterns (GG Shpet), "pre-opinion", "pre-understanding" (M. Heidegger), "prejudice as a condition of understanding" (H.-G. Gadamer). According to the figurative remark of the English ethnosociologist Victor Turner, all these culturological categories contain a "postulate or position - an explicit or implied, usually controlling behavior or stimulating activity that is tacitly approved or openly encouraged in society".

Archetypes, or themes, political culture, in fact, are socially transmitted patterns of behavior that characterize management and politics in a particular society, and cultural code is a kind of algorithm that specifies the spatial and temporal configurations of the main archetypes of culture. The transfer of political symbolism is characteristic of all civilizations: culturologists have long noted that political culture tends to monosymbolism. In political culture, symbols acquire an abstract form, are imbued with ideology and thereby increase their independent influence in the cultural field.

Expert opinion

Victor Turner proved that the discovery of genuine culture archetypes is possible only when referring to the ancient layers of public consciousness, the archaic past in which the ritual dominated. It is the ritual that forms the cultural code of civilization, conveying cultural themes through ritual symbols, and the ritual itself provides the conditions for the expression of archetypes. At later stages of the development of culture, the role of the ritual begins to be fulfilled by traditions and norms of culture.

Each symbol of political culture in its secret subtexts contains the main archetypes and codes of civilization, which creates a hidden unity of the content of the political picture of the world, therefore its modern image can be understood only on the basis of its ancient origins - those archetypes and codes of civilization that ask his cultural program. This is the socio-cultural paradox of the political world: it dynamically changes from epoch to epoch, but ancient archetypes and codes of culture are invariably woven into our sensuous modernity. Similarly, a person in every civilization is subject to the laws of his culture, even if he does not experience any new influences from her. He himself, in a reduced form, carries within him the cosmos of culture, he is "nourished" this culture from early childhood - this is the key to unraveling the law of sociocultural identity, which is so difficult for modern politicians.

Another law of the development of the world of culture is the Goethe's rule of continuity: what is truly unique is that which originates from the general forming principle and can be thought of as being born out of it. In culture, the method of unfolding from the single archetype of the whole picture of the world according to the rules of "accurate sensual fantasy" is applied. This method is directly opposed to the inductive one: the expansion follows the crystal growth model, and not along the path of simple integration of the sum of the original elements. The symbolic world of culture blossoms like a spring tree: every apple tree is unique, but we do not confuse it with the colors of other trees, for it carries its own special "archetype" apple trees. This is how the phenomenon of integrity and uniqueness of each civilization is formed.

Expert opinion

This idea was shared by many well-known culturologists. H. Ya. Danilevsky wrote about the fact that all civilizations ("cultural and historical types" in the author's terminology) are called upon to develop unique creative ideas in the world, each of which leads man and humanity to the heights of progress in his own way. He singled out a special mission of Slavic culture as a just structure of people's socio-economic life.

Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), a German philosopher, viewed the development of culture as the awakening of a great soul from the "prismymbol", or the ideal form. In his book "The Decline of Europe" he brilliantly, deeply and subtly analyzed the features of the "Apollonian Soul" ancient culture, magical soul Arab culture, the Faustian Soul Western culture. With his characteristic expression, Spengler wrote that each of the great cultures has a special "secret language of the world-feeling," which is completely understandable only to the one whose soul belongs to this culture. When we translate into the native language the symbolic symbols of other peoples, we make only a lingering attempt to penetrate into the world of feelings of other civilizations, the most subtle and deep sections of which still remain dumb. These attempts at translation are tantamount to intentions to shift the sculptures of the Parthenon to string music or to pour the god Voltaire of bronze.

The bright, captivating artist, Spengler in his statements is too categorical, but he well marked the problem: the integrity and uniqueness of each civilization put natural barriers on the way to dialogue. The symbolic world of culture is endowed with a special function of creative self-development and self-creation. A person can not escape from nature, break or destroy its organic barriers, but inside them he is free - free to create his own special the world by special laws, continuously expanding and improving it.

Each person lives in the symbolic world of his culture. This world surrounds him as closely as the walls of the prison (E. Cassirer), from which a person can be freed not when he takes down its walls, but when he realizes them. Reflecting on this, Hegel remarked that he who knows about the limitation has already surpassed him. The hermeneutical methodology of understanding enables us to comprehend sociocultural restrictions in the sphere of politics and thereby surpass them, gaining the long-awaited freedom of creative dialogue with other civilizations.

The metaphor of the picture of the political world as a unique crystal will help us to present the dialogue of civilizations in the form of an inimitable mosaic of symbolic forms in which the political life of people is realized. Although such forms are infinitely diverse, they clearly see a single core, which creates a global world as a universal integrity. Traveling through different historical epochs, surveying countries and continents, we everywhere meet familiar stranger - an Aristotelian "political man," who looks at us through thousands of different masks. In the dialogue of civilizations, political science is called upon to approve a special cognitive ideal of understanding and interpreting the totality of political forms in their sociocultural uniqueness.

The irrational intersubjective logic of understanding another in political dialogue is capable of becoming the logic of true humanism. Thanks to it, the universals of the global world must finally be filled with "blooming complexity" planetary being (KN Leontiev). A person is free only if he can live according to the understanding of freedom that is accepted in his society. In the modern dialogue of civilizations there should be so many hypostases of freedom, how many equal partners in it participate. And each of the political universals of the global world must have as many necessary facets of understanding as there are today civilizations on Earth. The global world and the common information space must be seen in the dialogue of civilizations as a common space of multifaceted spirituality - always open and eternally improved in the process of understanding the other.

thematic pictures

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