Monday, April 27, 2009

Faithful Gadamer

The art of the question in the substratum of the dialectic is to point out the thisness or thatness of something and ask what it is that we've named in the process of giving a title to it. The question then opens up the object of what is named so that we may peer into it and get direction from it. As illustrated by the text, the Platonic dialogues do just this, but they also indicate the difficulty that such a process can invite. For while it may appear to be an easy task to open up some named thing in order to get direction from it, only the right types of questions will yield beneficial results from an investigation between two people with the named thing in the middle of them.

From the thing in the middle to be opened up we each have perspectives of that thing and can speak to our perspectives of it. However, when we want to learn from the thing what it is, we must rely upon the other (and their perspective) and listen closely to what they say because they are the ones that have something new to add as their perspective is different from ours. This doesn't mean that we can't learn something new from our own perspective, in my opinion, if we haven't done a lot of work on the named thing and trying to understand what it is. However, if we've done the work, then only the other can help to shed new light on what it is that we might have missed because of our particularness.

Finally, the difficulty of the question resides in that what we must ask is something that we must recognize that we do not know. Because we don't know it, asking questions about it, the right kinds of questions, becomes the most important part.

My question... I'm not sure I understood the truth of questions and how they become true. I hope we spend some time here and mull over this a bit.

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