Monday, April 27, 2009

Gadamer's Truth and Method

In this passage, I feel like Gadamer is trying to work within the parameters of Heidegger's Phenomenology to produce a method, a way of inquiring and talking about how we act in, construct, and exist in the world. I understood this best when he spoke of openness. There is something about openness which reminded me of the call of conscience, insofar as it is a genuine, authentic experience. Gadamer writes, "To ask a question means to bring into the open. The openness of what is in question consists in the fact that the answer is not settled." This is why the Platonic dialogues are such excellent examples of openness - the goal of the questioner, Socrates, is to bring into the open questions which have no set, determined answers. It is only through a dialectic, which requires more than one person, that an answer can be found (and perhaps that answer is, or cannot be, the same for every two people involved in a similar kind of dialectic). So we see a Hegelian dialectic on a smaller scale - negative and positive judgments back and forth, with some parts of each being preserved as the dialectic continues, in order to reach a fuller understanding of the topic of the question. Hence it is an authentic experience. I missed, in all this, where experience comes into play, however. While the questioning, the openness, and the conversion form an experience, I fail to see how experience, in general informs the other three aspects. 

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