The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur

By Gayle L. Ormiston; Alan D. Schrift | Go to book overview

but is rather an absolute one. For it speaks no longer of individuality and nationality, but of the True, the Beautiful, and the Good, as such. The True, as such, is the point of view of philosophical and scientific texts, the Beautiful, as such, is the principle by which works of art are judged, and the Good, as such, is the spirit of life that encompasses both.

If, for example, we evaluate a Platonic text relatively and individually, we are then relating its spirit to Plato's genius; if we evaluate it nationally, the spirit of antiquity becomes the criterion of our evaluation. However, if we wish to appreciate it absolutely, then we must rise above the merely relative and national standpoint to the highest, absolute one. We will first ask how the idea represented by Plato corresponds to Truth itself. Does it approximate or depart from the absolute idea of truth? Secondly, to what extent are the Platonic dialogues works of art? How do they represent the idea of the Beautiful, as such? Does the Beautiful emerge from them purely and serenely, or is it confined by any one thing (the subject matter, the purpose, the manner, etc.)? Thirdly, what is the soul, the heart of the Platonic dialogues? Is it the inner life, the Good transfigured in them, its virtue unblemished and aspiring to sacredness, or do they bear too visibly the imprints of their age, of their national character, etc.? For Plato is one of the few writers who are at once thinkers, artists and transfigured spirits, for whom the unconditional appreciation is threefold. In contrast, most others are only thinkers or artists or witty writers.


93.

However, only that person who is capable of such a consummate appreciation as is necessary for perfect understanding, as well as for the complete explication of the author's spirit, is able to rise above the author himself, through the idea of the True, the Beautiful, and the Good, as such. And if philosophy alone is the one chosen to live in the bliss of these ideas, then also, only the philosophically trained philologist will be capable of rising from the temporal grounds of the grammatical and historical interpretation to the ethereal heights of the spiritual, consummate interpretation and appreciation.

Translated by Dora Van Vranken


Notes
*
Friedrich Ast, Grundlinien der Grammatik, Hermeneutik und Kritik ( Landshut, 1808), pp. 165-212.--ED.

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The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Editors'' Introduction 1
  • Notes 28
  • Part I - The Hermeneutic Legend 37
  • 1 - Hermeneutics 54
  • 2 - The Aphorisms on Hermeneutics from 1805 and 1809/10 83
  • 3 - The Hermeneutics- Outline of the 1819 Lectures 1 99
  • 4 - The Rise of Hermeneutics 114
  • 5 - Being and Time 139
  • Part II - Hermeneutics and Critical Theory- Dialogues on Methodology 145
  • 7 - Hermeneutics as the General Methodology of the Geisteswissenschaften 194
  • 8 - Truth and Method 198
  • 9 - A Review of Gadamer''s Truth and Method 241
  • 10 - The Hermeneutic Claim to Universality 270
  • 11 - Reply to My Critics 294
  • 12 - Hermeneutics and the Critique of Ideology 333
  • Selected Bibliography 335
  • Contributors 367
  • Index 369
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