The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur

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

we interpret the world. Social actions can only be comprehended in an objective framework that is constituted conjointly by language, labor, and domination. The happening of tradition appears as an absolute power only to a self-sufficient hermeneutics; in fact it is relative to systems of labor and domination. Sociology cannot, therefore, be reduced to interpretive sociology. It requires a reference system that, on the one hand, does not suppress the symbolic mediation of social action in favor of a naturalistic view of behavior that is merely controlled by signals and excited by stimuli but that, on the other hand, also does not succumb to an idealism of linguisticality [Sprachlichkeit] and sublimate social processes entirely to cultural tradition. Such a reference system can no longer leave tradition undetermined as the all-encompassing; instead, it comprehends tradition as such and in its relation to other aspects of the complex of social life, thereby enabling us to designate the conditions outside of tradition under which transcendental rules of world-comprehension and of action empirically change.

A descendant of Marburg neo-Kantianism, Gadamer is prevented by the residues of Kantianism still present in Heidegger's existential ontology from drawing the consequences that his own analyses suggest. He avoids the transition from the transcendental conditions of historicity to the universal history in which these conditions are constituted. He does not see that in the dimension of the "happening of tradition" he must also conceive as mediated what, according to the ontological difference, cannot be mediated--linguistic structures and the empirical conditions under which they change historically. Only on that account can Gadamer conceal from himself that the practical [lebenspraktische] connection of understanding with the hermeneutic vantage point of the interpreter makes necessary the hypothetical anticipation of a philosophy of history with a practical intent. 33

Translated by Fred R. Dallmayr and Thomas McCarthy


Notes
*
Jürgen Habermas. "Zu Gadamers Wahrheit und Methode," in Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 251-90. Copyright 1970 by Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main.--ED.
1.
H.-G. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, 2nd. ed. (Tübingen, 1965), p. 380. [Cf. Truth and Method, translation by Garrett Barden and John Cumming ( New York: The Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 363-64. All references to the English translation will follow in brackets Habermas's references to the German text.--ED.]
2.
Ibid., p. 362ff. [p. 346f.].

-241-

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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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