Hermeneutics as a philosophical doctrine of human being - Philosophy of Science

Hermeneutics as a philosophical doctrine of human being

The further discussions on hermeneutics as a methodology of humanitarian cognition were significantly influenced by the idea of ​​M. Heidegger, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, who laid the foundations of the doctrine of existentialists.

Heidegger turned the traditional philosophical ideas about man and knowledge. Classical philosophy saw in man mainly the "cognizing subject" and identified him with consciousness. Heidegger does not speak of the subject and not of consciousness, but of the mortal (and in this sense finite) human being. He chooses the term Dasein, which is sometimes translated as here-being or here-being & quot ;, sometimes as presence & quot ;. This term is intended to emphasize that the initial characteristic of a person, we would even say, his fate, is that he is "neglected" in a certain place and time, in a situation. In this case, it does not mean that a person "is getting used to" to the world: in the image of Heidegger, a person challenges the situation in which he is abandoned to come true and find himself in spite of everything.

The person whose existence is being-to-death and who is conscious of this is given the question of the meaning of being. The person seeks existence, he is open to being, tries to hear his call Heidegger calls this openness an understanding. Therefore, hermeneutics is transformed from him and his followers from the methodological concept in the doctrine of human being. As for the problem of the "hermeneutic circle," Heidegger points out that "circular "Structure is not only historical, but also all knowledge in general. And this is for the reason, Heidegger says, that understanding [hermeneutics] constitutes the ontological basis of human existence itself. ... Being is a circle, and therefore all knowledge also proceeds as a movement in a circle. But Heidegger refers to this circle differently than Schleiermacher or Dilthey: he believes that the most important thing is to enter correctly into it, while these his predecessors sought to solve the problem of how to get out of this circle . strong> As for the exit from the circle, Heidegger is inclined to think that such an exit is impossible, and we do not need [6, p. 412-413].

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Currently, hermeneutics exists in two ways. On the one hand, there is a tradition in which hermeneutics is a methodology for interpreting texts. On the other hand, hermeneutics became an influential current of the philosophy of the 20th century. The most prominent of its representatives are Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) and Paul Ricker (1913-2005) . For both hermeneutics there is more than a methodology for interpreting texts, because it is a doctrine of a person, his relation to the world and to other people. This is due to the fact that human existence is inextricably linked with language. A person does not simply speak with language about the world around him or communicates with other people. The fact is that peace and other people are given to man through the prism of language. "The man who lives in the world," says Gadamer, "is not merely equipped with a language as a kind of snap-but in the language it is based and expresses the fact that there is the world in general. For man, the world is "here" as a world; for no other living creature in the world, the world does not have such a here-being. However, this here-being of the world is the being of language ... Not only the world is a world only insofar as it receives a linguistic expression - by the true being of a language, it consists only in that the world is expressed in it " [4, p. 512-513]. Therefore, Gadamer, like Heidegger, becomes a hermeneutic activity in the way of human existence: a search for understanding, an opportunity for communication with other people.

A person tries to understand, first of all, the meaning of his own existence. When understanding began to be regarded as one of the fundamental characteristics of human existence, this could not but lead to changes in the ideas about the goal of hermeneutics. If Schleiermacher is looking for a method that would allow the interpreter to overcome the distance between epochs and cultures, how to reincarnate as the author of the interpreted text, then for hermeneutics of the 20th century, such getting out of yourself becomes impossible. Since man is not a disembodied spirit, man can not get out of his "here-being", free himself from the situation in which he is abandoned, for this is, in fact, part of himself.

What, then, can the hermeneutic method give? Admittedly, Gadamer is critical of the thesis of hermeneutics as a universal methodology of humanitarian knowledge. He believes that this thesis is generated by the notions of scientific cognition and the scientific method that emerged in the 17th century: that scientific knowledge is characterized by a method as a guaranteed way of acquiring more and more new truths . From the point of view of Gadamer, such a representation corresponds to the technological rationality of modern culture, when the task of cognition is to continuously produce new knowledge. Humanitarian knowledge now also proceeds from this ideal and therefore seeks its own method; it is considered that this method is hermeneutics. According to Gadamer, understanding is not guaranteed by any method. Understanding announces such a truth, to which join (such, for example, the truth contained in the great philosophers of the past or in the poetic text). The hopes of previous generations of supporters of the hermeneutical method seem illusory to him, for the experience of people of past epochs or other cultures recreated in his own experience is not at all the same as the real experiences of people of the past that happened in history, and it is impossible to ignore this circumstance.

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Pondering over the problems of historical hermeneutics, Gadamer emphasizes that the historian himself belongs to the story and some cultural tradition. Therefore, when approaching any historical text, it inevitably proceeds from its "preconception", which can also be called "prejudice". The last word, Gadamer explains, must be freed from the negative associations that have been firmly associated with him since the Enlightenment. It expresses the inevitable fact that every act of reason is preceded by a multitude of interpretations (prejudices) that the reasoning person absorbs along with the language. Therefore, it is illusory to hope that a historian can reproduce in his experience the world of the people of the past. The historian must first of all realize how much separates him from this world! In the process of work, the historian corrects his preconception, but he can never get rid of him completely. There is no and can not be a "pure" free from preliminary interpretations and prejudices of thinking, for the ego is connected with the very existence of man - in history, in language, in tradition. Therefore, historical knowledge always flows in a circle, it is impossible to get out of it.

The linguistic cohesion of our experience does not at all introduce us into a perspective that excludes all other perspectives; if we, through interaction with other linguistic worlds, overcome the prejudices and boundaries of our former experience of the world, this in no way means that we leave and deny our own home. ... And even having historical knowledge and perfectly aware of the historical conditionality of all human thinking about the world, and, consequently, of its own conditioning, we do not at all become that unconditional point of view. ... Consciousness consciousness does not remove the conditionality itself [4, p. 518-519].

"He who, relying on the objectivity of his methods and denying his own historical conditioning, thinks himself free from prejudice, he is experiencing the power of these prejudices ..." [4, p. 424]. In historical knowledge, says Gadamer, the situation is the same as in the relationship between "I" and "You": if a person somehow destroys the reciprocity of this relationship (for example, believing that he understands the other, but the other can not understand it), he distorts the human attitude. Similarly, if a historian studies a certain tradition and its impact on people, while believing that he himself, through the use of some objective methods, has freed himself from the influence of any tradition, he thereby deprives himself of the opportunity to understand that such a tradition and what impact it has on people.

Thus, the human destiny is such that prejudices, on the one hand, are a condition for understanding, but, on the other hand, they, of course, remain an obstacle to understanding. Therefore, movement in the hermeneutic circle turns out to be a constant work on yourself, ie. detection and awareness of own prejudices. The hermeneutic experience, therefore, is invaluable for self-knowledge.

At the same time, in the field of historical knowledge, Gadamer emphasizes the productive role of historical distance. Everyone knows how powerless our judgment is if the temporary distance does not provide us with a reliable measure . So, the scientific consciousness in its judgments about contemporary art feels at times highly unsure. It is obvious that we approach such creatures with pre-existing judgments that are inaccessible to our control ... Only when all such actual connections die out, their true appearance will come forth, only then will the opportunity open to understanding what is really said by them ... [5, p. 80].

The time distance increases infinitely, opening up new possibilities of understanding that will never come to a conclusion, to the possibility to say that some historical event is finally objectively understood. This is also impossible when it comes to human communication, the understanding of another person. So what can provide the hermeneutic method?

Gadamer says that as a result of thinking about the activity of understanding, a person receives experience of comprehension of one's own extremity, ie. the limitations of the human being. At the same time, since this experience points to a fundamental feature of human existence in general, not only mine, but also of the one I try to understand, it constitutes a necessary condition for the possibility of understanding. First of all, it is an experience that helps a person realize the limitations of his own knowledge and understanding and prepares him to meet with the unexpected.

Paul Ricker, like Gadamer or Rickert, also emphasizes that the historian or culturologist interprets not the inner experiences of other people, but universally significant meanings. At the same time, he emphasizes that the researcher social structures itself occupies a certain place in this structure and has acquired a system of historically formed meanings and interpretations. Hc can be clean perception of social processes and relationships "as they are in themselves." The researcher understands they are through interpreted by them, consciously or unconsciously. His work will require efforts to understand his own interpretative schemes and to distract from them critically. But this work can not be completed. Therefore, says Ricoeur, there can not be a universal explanatory social theory, free from ideology and from the personal position of supporters of this theory.

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