Life[ edit ] Gadamer was born in MarburgGermany the son of Johannes Gadamer — a pharmaceutical chemistry professor who later also served as the rector of the University of Marburg. He resisted his father's urging to take up the natural sciences and became more and more interested in the humanities. His mother, Emma Karoline Johanna Geiese — died of diabetes while Hans-Georg was four years old, and he later noted that this may have had an effect on his decision to not pursue scientific studies.
His mother died of diabetes when Gadamer was only four, and he had no surviving brothers or sisters. Showing an early interest in humanistic studies, Gadamer began university studies in Breslau in studying with Richard Hoenigswaldmoving to Marburg with his father in In that same year, Gadamer also contracted poliomyelitis, from which he recovered only slowly, and the after-effects of which remained with him for the rest of his life.
Paul Friedlander introduced him to philological study, and Gadamer also received encouragement from Rudolf Bultmann. Gadamer had first met Heidegger in Frieburg in earlyhaving also corresponded with him in As a result, Gadamer decided to abandon philosophy for classical philology.
Gadamer was not alone in being the recipient of such criticism—Heidegger was also unimpressed by Jacob Klein and was certainly prone to deliver harsh judgments on his students and colleagues—but Gadamer seems to have been more particularly affected by it.
In the meantime, from —35, Gadamer held a temporary professorship at Kiel, and then, intook up the Directorship of the Philosophical Institute at the University of Leipzig, becoming Dean of the Faculty inand Rector inbefore returning to teaching and research at Frankfurt-am-Main in Inhe succeeded Karl Jaspers at Heidelberg, officially retiring becoming Professor Emeritus in Following his retirement, he travelled extensively, spending considerable time in North America, where he was a visitor at a number of institutions and developed an especially close and regular association with Boston College in Massachusetts.
During the s and s, Gadamer was able to accommodate himself, on his account, reluctantly, first to National Socialism and then briefly, to Communism. While Gadamer did not identify himself strongly with either regime he was never a member of the National Socialist Party, although he did belong to the affiliated National Socialist Teachers Unionneither did he draw attention to himself by outright opposition.
Intogether with Helmut Kuhn, Gadamer founded the highly influential Philosophische Rundschau, but his main philosophical impact was not felt until the publication of Truth and Method in b. Gadamer was twice married: Remaining intellectually active until the very end of his life he held regular office hours even in his ninetiesGadamer died in Heidelberg on March 13,at the age of The only way to understand Plato, as Gadamer saw it, was thus by working through the Platonic texts in a way that not only enters into the dialogue and dialectic set out in those texts, but also repeats that dialogic movement in the attempt at understanding as such.
Moreover, the dialectical structure of Platonic questioning also provides the model for a way of understanding that is open to the matter at issue through bringing oneself into question along with the matter itself.
The way in which Gadamer conceives of understanding, and interpretation, is as just such a practically oriented mode of insight—a mode of insight that has its own rationality irreducible to any simple rule or set of rules, that cannot be directly taught, and that is always oriented to the particular case at hand.
The concept of phronesis can itself be seen as providing a certain elaboration of the dialogic conception of understanding Gadamer had already found in Plato.
In the hands of eighteenth and early nineteenth century theorists, writers such as Chladenius and Meier, Ast and Schleiermacher, hermeneutics was developed into a more encompassing theory of textual interpretation in general—a set of rules that provide the basis for good interpretive practice no matter what the subject matter.
For these writers, as for many others, the basic problem of hermeneutics was methodological: Already familiar with earlier hermeneutic thinking, Heidegger redeployed hermeneutics to a very different purpose and within a very different frame. Thus, to take a simple example, if we wish to understand some particular artwork, we already need to have some prior understanding of that work even if only as a set of paint marks on canvasotherwise it cannot even be seen as something to be understood.
Yet since that situatedness is indeed prior to any specific event of understanding, so it must always be presupposed even in the attempt at its own explication.
Gadamer thus develops a philosophical hermeneutics that provides an account of the proper ground for understanding, while nevertheless rejecting the attempt, whether in relation to the Geisteswissenschaften or elsewhere, to found understanding on any method or set of rules.
This is not a rejection of the importance of methodological concerns, but rather an insistence on the limited role of method and the priority of understanding as a dialogic, practical, situated activity.
It is important to recognize, however, that the unconcealment at issue is not a matter of the bringing about of some form of complete and absolute transparency. The revealing of things is, in fact, always dependent upon other things being simultaneously concealed in much the same way as seeing something in one way depends on not seeing it in another.
Truth is thus understood as the unconcealment that allows things to appear, and that also makes possible the truth and falsity of individual statements, and yet which arises on the basis of the ongoing play between unconcealment and concealment—a play that, for the most part, remains itself hidden and is never capable of complete elucidation.Gadamer's correlation between hermeneutics and practical philosophy can be seen as the accomplishment of a movement, started by Husserl and deepened by Heidegger, aiming at reaching the pre-objective moment of experience as the foundational level of philosophical reflection.
Hans-Georg Gadamer "I think, then, that the chief task of philosophy is to justify this way of reason and to defend practical and political reason against the domination of technology based science. Hans-Georg Gadamer (/ ˈ ɡ æ d ə m ər /; German: [ˈɡaːdamɐ]; February 11, – March 13, ) was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his magnum opus Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode) on hermeneutics.
Hans-Georg Gadamer is the decisive figure in the development of twentieth century hermeneutics—almost certainly eclipsing, in terms of influence and reputation, the other leading figures, including Paul Ricoeur, and also Gianni Vattimo (Vattimo was himself one of Gadamer's students).
Hans-Georg Gadamer (—) Hans-Georg Gadamer was a leading Continental philosopher of the twentieth century. His importance lies in his development of hermeneutic philosophy. Hermeneutics, “the art of interpretation,” originated in biblical and legal fields and was later extended to all texts.
Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is a popular qualitative META: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy – IV (2) / something is called ” (Gadamer a, ). Heidegger and Gadamer’s phenomenological inquiry into Being (human.