Hans-Georg Gadamer: The rediscovery of truth

Muller, Anja (1998) Hans-Georg Gadamer: The rediscovery of truth. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b1787456


When the first publication of Hans-Georg Gadamer's magnum opus Wahrheit und Methode (Truth and Method) came to life in I960, the work was initially received with a slight sense of puzzlement and yet concurrently acknowledged as monumental. The title, in English, Truth and Method, was regarded by the philosophical community both in Germany and abroad as being somewhat obscure, as Gadamer himself would later admit, but the ingeniousness of the book's content could hardly be debated. Since its initial publication, Truth and Method has, respectively helped to expand and light up the horizon of modern hermeneutics by provoking, at once, a reconsideration of the phenomenon of understanding while, at the same time, enlivening the debate over scientific methodology and its exclusive claim to truth. The central aim of the present thesis has been to focus on Part I of Truth and Method, concentrating primarily on the 'guiding humanistic concepts' and the experience of truth in art, to clarify Gadamer's understanding of truth and to shed new light as to how the experience of tmth is to be grasped in relation to the human sciences, i.e. the humanities. The humanistic concepts, I believe, are vital to understanding the experience of truth. One reason, which leads me to this conclusion, is that in Truth and Method Gadamer begins his philosophical undertaking with the elucidation of the humanistic concepts rather than with a direct exposition of truth. By opening with the humanistic concepts, Gadamer seems to demonstrate subtly the phenomenological and ontological nature of knowledge and understanding. The outcome of this manoeuvre is that one comes to realise that truth does not simply belong to method and that it is not something which can be defined solely as 'absolute certainty'. Moreover, in my interview with Professor Gadamer, the humanistic concepts, he explained to me, are the most 'natural' and 'original' concepts. By natural and original he means that these concepts are intrinsic. They evolve from life as well as being a part of life, i.e. a way of living. Thus these concepts, he affirmed, represent 'a way of life' and a way to truth. Consequently, insofar as comprehending the phenomenon of truth, I believe any and every investigation of the concept of truth must begin with the understanding of the humanistic tradition. The following thesis however does not end simply with the humanistic concepts. It also devotes to examining the truth-claim or the 'truth-experience' of art. This part of the inquiry centres on two important questions: (1.) How are we to understand art? (2.) What does it mean to experience art? The challenge here has been to show how Gadamer overcomes Kant's subjectivation of the aesthetic experience and to demonstrate how and why Gadamer considers the experience of art as the 'self-presentation' of being. In surveying the various works of criticism I have tried to draw attention to what seem to me to be the most insightful comments and analyses. If 1 have failed in any way to supply proper acknowledgement to ideas, which might seem close to other critical works, I offer my apologies. As I am sure those in the research business know well, in reflection ideas often interfuse with one's own, making it difficult sometimes to discriminate between one's own ideas from another's. However, I have tried my best to keep from that error.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Philosophy.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Professor David
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-71504
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 14:28
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:45
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71504
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71504

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