Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Philosophical Hermeneutics & Authenticity

The purpose of hermeneutics seems to be to help one discover who they are within the writing of another. Writings of another could very well be who that person was, but interpreting the text for one’s self, grants one the opportunity of finding out, at least getting closer, to who they might be. I think this article ties largely into the concept of authenticity. Philosophical hermeneutics is “an interpretation of interpretation, a prolonged meditation upon what “happens” to us within “hermeneutic experience” when we are challenged by texts and artwork,” (1) it allows one to interpret the text in a unique way, possibly pertaining solely to that individual, but at the same time, grasping what the overarching idea is, which would relate that individual to the author and his experience. We could become who we are, with the help of others, through their writings, while simultaneously philosophizing on our own.

One of the most interesting things about philosophizing like this is the fact that it requires difference. And by acknowledging the possibility of difference, allows for the possibility of becoming who we are, it allows one to become authentic. But this only comes through experience; one must experience this for who they are, but in a way that is respectable to the author’s text. I think this connects so much with Heidegger’s philosophy about Dasein. We become we are by participating in it; not by being caught in the ‘they’ but rather by realizing who we are, for we are. We need the help of others but we cannot be dependent upon others for becoming who we are. Other peoples writings can only take us so far and we cannot merely interpret the text the same as they did, for the way they interpreted it, may have been their particular experience, which does not constitute to our particular experience. It can only help us on our way.

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