Thursday, April 23, 2009

Heidegger and Hermeneutics

What is distinctive about hermeneutics as a philosophy is that it is interested in the experience that can happen in the encounter with text. It is not a method or an abstract theory that is concrete; a formula set in stone for interpreting difficult material. Rather it is constantly changing, because it looks at the relationship between the text and the reader (or the music and the listener). Because it is concerned with discerning objectivities manifested within particulars of each experience, it is different in every case. It is interested in the place in which that person is viewing the text, what is his mood, why is it that way? This connects to Heidegger's notion of the possibility of a meaningful experience with language, and specifically that our mood brings us the experience we will have. It seems to me though that Hiedegger may be missing the extent to which language itself shapes our experience and even our mood, and therefore rather than percieving yourself to be a certain way because of your relationship to a text you encounter, the hermenuetic itself, the experience, is shaped by the language you use. Heidegger sees the everyday experience to be something to get past, to overcome by grasping authenticity. Does hermeneutic fit into the category of the everyday or is it a part of becoming more one's 'Self'?

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