Read Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer Joel Weinsheimer Donald G. Marshall Online


Written in the 1960s, Truth and Method is Gadamer's magnum opus. An astonishing synthesis of literary criticism, philosophy, theology, the theory of law and classical scholarship, it is undoubtedly one of the most important texts in twentieth century philosophy. Looking behind the self-consciousness of science, he discusses the tense relationship between truth and methodolWritten in the 1960s, Truth and Method is Gadamer's magnum opus. An astonishing synthesis of literary criticism, philosophy, theology, the theory of law and classical scholarship, it is undoubtedly one of the most important texts in twentieth century philosophy. Looking behind the self-consciousness of science, he discusses the tense relationship between truth and methodology. In examining the different experiences of truth, he aims to "present the hermeneutic phenomenon in its fullest extent."...

Title : Truth and Method
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ISBN : 9780826476975
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Number of Pages : 601 Pages
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Truth and Method Reviews

  • Nathan
    2019-04-13 22:10

    Not to be recommended to the casual reader. By any stretch. Specialists only. Here’s a few reasons why you’ll wanna pass ::You want a text address’d to you in your average everydayness sitting at the lunch counter at the local Diner. Do you know the names Schleiermacher or Dilthey? Those are the famous thinkers discussed.You believe that the Method of (emperico-naturalistico-quantito) science is the very finest and last arbiter of Truth. You don’t already know what the ‘hermeneutic circle’ is and why it’s important to get into it in the right way.You haven’t read Being and Time, which is a better work anyway.You know enough to know that reading Paul Ricoeur is much more enjoyable and just as enlightening.You’re not really interested in, to borrow that Ricoeur phrase, understanding Yourself as Another. And you don’t want your horizon to merge with the horizon of another. You think Wirkungsgeschichtlichesbewusstsein is not a word.You know absolutely nothing about nineteenth century German Geisteswissenschaften, nor about the various projects to legitimate them in the manner Kant did for the Naturwissenschaften. You don’t like to see a discussion on legal hermeneutics following a discussion of biblical hermeneutics. On equal planes. You laugh at people who say ‘science’ but don’t have a pocket protector ; and who say ‘science’ but don’t measure things.That is to say you think ‘science’ means ‘measuring’ and not ‘knowledge.’You don’t really understand understanding. But this is important, so you really should read Being and Time.No but seriously, don’t go swinging casually at this thing. It’s important. And it would certainly clarify a lot of misuse of swinging words like ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’, but probably if you’ve not already started down that road and are a very far distance down that road, you’ll want to pick up something of a different size. Meanwhile, for the curious, I recommend looking into the article at the Stanford :: HERE.Not recommended. But really you should know it.

  • David M
    2019-04-14 17:03

    I find the idea of rating Truth and Method on a star system kind of offensive after Gadamer did so much to overturn the ontological prejudice that being is what can be quantified. Reading this book was one of the joys of my life (I finished it July 4 three years ago, happy to ignore the jingoistic explosions all around me), and I honestly didn't find it all that difficult. I wouldn't lie about that: who would deny that continental philosophy is often EXTREMELY difficult? At times in my reading life I've been bludgeoned by Husserl, Heidegger, even Merleau-Ponty, but not Gadamer. Yet he's fully the peer of these other thinkers. By the end of Truth and Method I felt illuminated, not beaten-down.In his own words:"The structure of play absorbs the player into itself, and thus frees him from the burden of taking the initiative, which constitutes the actual strain of existence.""Each science, as science, has in advance projected a field of objects such that to know them is to govern them."(this is contrasted with...)"In understanding we are drawn into an event of truth and arrive, as it were, too late if we want to know what we are supposed to believe.""Being that can be understood is language."

  • John Roberson
    2019-03-20 22:06

    Wow, Gadamer really knocks it out of the park. It's a long, fairly dense book -- sorry -- but he's basically undermining the modern conception of "objective truth." Now, I don't mean that he's treating truth less seriously or holding out a vacuous "anything goes" mentality; rather, he argues that we have built such an abstract conception of proof and objectivity that we've actually *lost* truth in the process. Instead he suggests we recover the fact that real human knowing and existing occurs in time, in communities, in bodies. This means rejecting first a recasting of the humanities according to the controlled empirical methods of the natural sciences -- arguing instead that we recover the art of interpretation for understanding -- and then a conception of interpretation which would make the object of understanding original authorial intent -- this being an abstraction, not a lived engagement with the text.Powerful stuff. A huge bombshell for the 20th century.

  • Jacob Aitken
    2019-03-27 14:57

    This is one of those great moments where a great student follows his master (Heidegger) yet gives us a new product and not simply a repetition of his master. In short, for Gadamer language is the horizon of being. As Kant was wrong to seek a thing-in-itself, so we also should beware of a "meaning-in-itself."Gadamer begins and ends his work on a strange note: the aesthetics and interpretation of art. It’s not that art determines how we interpret text, but art allows Gadamer to illustrate (no pun intended) the tension given that great works of art are considered “timeless,” yet they were produced in historical, finite circumstances. This tension points to the horizon, a key Gadamerian term.Every experience has implicit horizons of before and after and finally fuses with the continuum of experiences present in the before and after to form a unified flow of experience (246). Df. horizon = not a rigid boundary but something that moves with and invites one to advance further. Everything that is given as existent is given in terms of a world and hence brings the world horizon with it. As a horizon phenomenon “world” is essentially related to subjectivity, and this relation means also that it exists in transciency.”Hermeneutical circle: possesses an ontological positive significance. We have already fore-projected before we even approach the text. This creates an openness which situates our meaning with other meanings. Understanding is a participation in the event of tradition and not so much a subjective act (302). Horizons are temporally-conditioned. Time is not a gulf to be crossed by a supportive ground in which the present is rooted. We cannot stand outside of our situation. “All self-knowledge arises from what is historically pre-given, what Hegel calls “substance’” (313). Horizon: every finite present has its limitations. Every situation represents a standpoint that limits the possibility of vision. Horizons move with us. When we understand something, we fuse the horizons between text and interpreter. Fusion of horizons: We regain concepts of a historical past in such a way that it also includes our own comprehension of them (382).This will go down as one of those truly great books. Ground-breaking works. It’s not super-hard to read simply because it is well-written. However, he does presuppose a good bit of Hegel and Heidegger, so keep that in mind.

  • Joe
    2019-03-23 18:02

    One of the greatest philosophical writings of the twentieth century, and one of the few that actually matters. As the status of science rose in modernity Gadamer sets out to justify the relevance of the humanities and show the possibility and importance of non-scientific truth. A long and technical book. Not to be read without a decent background in Continental philosophy and some serious patience.

  • David Withun
    2019-04-02 19:13

    Although Gadamer wrote this before the major work of Derrida and Foucault was published, this work stands as a very worth rebuttal to many of the claims of the two great postmodernists and those of a similar ilk. While, under the influence of Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger and after the late 1960s especially, many in the fields of linguistics and hermeneutics, as well as the humanities more generally, were willing to abandon the search for truth qua truth in favor of an amalgamated individualistic materialism, Gadamer instead offers a, so to speak, third way.Undoubtedly the most important idea in his work is Gadamer's notion of the "fusion of horizons," in which the perspectives of author and reader are fused through the production and interpretation of texts. While the reader will never be able to fully comprehend the original intent of the author (nor, for that matter, can the author ever fully comprehend his own text as the original moment of creation cannot be reproduced), he is nonetheless able to grow through the text as a result of partaking, in a sense, of the experience which first produced the text. But this new reading of the text is neither (as the traditional school, represented in the 20th century perhaps most adamantly by E. D. Hirsch) a reproduction of the original experience nor (as the postmodernists) the dominance of the reader asserted over the text to create its meaning. It is, instead, a new experience which fuses the experiences of author and reader to produce something that contains some of both but is neither.This is essential reading for anyone interested in the question raised by hermeneutics, by ontology, and by linguistics in the last two centuries.

  • Steven Peterson
    2019-04-16 14:59

    Hans-Georg Gadamer's "Truth and Method" must be considered alongside the great works of Dilthey, Husserl, and Heidegger as a treatise on hermeneutics, defined by Gadamer as understanding and the correct interpretation of what has been understood. More commonly, people define hermeneutics as the study/theory of interpretation. Two major contentions that help frame his analysis are: (1) rejection of the view that proper understanding calls for eliminating the influence of the interpreter's context; (2) rejection of the view that the author's intent in writing a text has any special weight to it. As to the first point, he argues that it is simply not possible for the interpreter to escape his present situation. He advances the concept of the "horizon." For Gadamer, the horizon is ". . .the range of vision that includes everything that can be seen from a particular vantage point." It is the grounding of the interpreter, including that person's language, that fixes the possibilities of what that person can see and understand. In Gadamer's words, it is ". . .the way in which thought is tied to its finite determination, and the nature of the law of the expansion of the range of vision. A person who has no horizon is a man who does not see far enough and hence over values what is nearest to him. Contrariwise, to have an horizon means not to be limited to what is nearest, but to be able to see beyond it. A person who has an horizon knows the relative significance of everything within this horizon, as near or far, great or small." To interpret the words of the past, Gadamer says that: "Just as in a conversation, when we have discovered the standpoint and horizon of the other person, his ideas become intelligible, without our necessarily having to agree with him, the person who thinks historically comes to understand the meaning of what has been handed down, without necessarily agreeing with it, or seeing himself in it." In interpreting texts, two horizons are involved--one is the horizon of the interpreter and the other the particular historical horizon into which he or she places him or herself in trying to understand the text. Thus, the two horizons interact to produce understanding. The historical horizon of the text is not fixed; it cannot take on a meaning that is unchanged for all times and places. Here, he gets to the heart of successful hermeneutic inquiry--the fusing of horizons. He says: "Hence the horizon of the present cannot be formed with the past. There is no more an isolated horizon of the present than there are historical horizons. Understanding, rather, is always the fusion of these horizons which we imagine to exist by themselves. . .Every encounter with tradition that takes place within historical consciousness involves the experience of the tension between the text and the present." But what of the intention of the original author of a text? That leads to another of Gadamer's major points, by now clearly implicit in his idea of fusion of horizons. In short, it is not particularly important in trying to interpret a text. Once a text is created by its author, it becomes, so to speak, freed from the creator and begins to take on its own meaning, based upon its historical horizon, continually evolving as circumstances change. It is the text's horizon that interacts with the interpreter's horizon. So what? To the extent that "reality" is the subject of inquiry, our understanding of "reality" will change as the historical horizon of a particular claim about reality changes. We can, then, never come to a satisfactory conclusion about a transcendental reality, about an absolute truth. Is relativism the end product of the endeavor? The hermeneutist in the Gadamerian tradition would simply note that there is no way out. This is one of the most historically important works available on interpretation. It is difficult and challenging as a work; however, the effort to learn from Gadamer is well worth it.

  • Drenda
    2019-04-14 21:59

    Gadamer is in the line of thinkers devoted to hermeneutics, a field of thought that at one time desired to build a science of the interpretation of texts. Gadamer completely disputes the science, but acknowledges his part in the tradition that saught a true method in achieving communion with the text. In the modern, academic form of hermeneutics, these texts were often historical. Thus, the question of how one could open oneself to the necessarily foreign world of another historical situation became primary. One aspect of contemporay hermeneutics, based in Gadamer and Ricoeur,is the belief that earlier thinkers were naive in their ideal of complete empathic connection with the historical past. All contact with new worlds is a shift that brings partial understanding; the investigator brings his own world view into the very questions that he brings to the text. The text inserts its own weight into this discourse because the interpretor never just steps back into his previous world having made adjustments for the historical. He/she is a slightly different person, the elements of their worldview adjusted by certain unavoidable assertions from the text. In fact, the reader of these texts is a very mobile, uncentered person, and it has been argued that in their more gentle fashion, Gadamer and Riceur dismantled the metaphysical subject almost as thoroughly as their Continental companions, say Foucault or Levi-Strauss. And like other Continental thinkers, the text flew off the printed page and became the model for dealing with all sorts of incoming, new information. Gadamer is a major part of an image I have of human transaction with the world and it assumes a very 'laden-upon' participant. This person carries the burden of every past influence from his national-cultural situation to church membership to his best friend in kindergarden to his proclivity for colds. Actually, Gadamer would not appreciate the over emphasis on burdens, because, indeed, these are the the same influences that provide for his possibilities. All these influences, Gadamer is willing to calling them prejudices, provide the horizon with which he meets the world. This horizon is the front line,let us say, of a mass of history that is never in total equalibrium, but rather held in tentative containment. Each encounter with a different historical situation, a new text, a discussion, disrupts that front line, sometimes minutely and sometimes with major shifts. However, the encounter can never result in complete agreement, complete empathy with the text or historical figure; there's just too much contrary weigh from the past. Equally important, why would this person moving through the world ask a question of the past, of the text, if he had achieved complete equalibrium from his previous encounter with the world? It is the lack of having all components brought together that forces the questions that initiates the next discussion, the next reading. We cannot encounter the world with anything more than this tentative adjustment of necessarily contrary impulses, and what has made Gadamer controversial is the view that all truth consists in this tentative containment. Truth is the very temporay condition that results from close attention to the matter at hand, and even more, from the self analysis that allows some degree of awareness of the prejudices which most impinge on our reflection. Thus, Gadamer's thinker is a very serious person in distinction to someone like Rorty, who at one time sounded like an academic jokester, throwing out ideas to entertain the other faculty members. However, like Rorty, Gadamer resists even the 'final historian/scientist' who has had the priviledge of weeding through the discredited theories of the past. There is always distortion, not only in the input that determines the output, but also as the force that demands the question in the first place.

  • Pavel
    2019-03-20 14:46

    Gadamer's erudition in the field of history of hermeneutics is impressive, but a less informed reader such as I am can often find himself in a difficult situation of having to interpret polemics with a thesis he doesn't know. All these obstacles are overweighted by the depth and clarity of author's insight when he starts to explore the problem itself. How can we understand historical tradition? Exposing inner contradictions of subjectivistic or relativistic historism he concludes that the hermeneutic circle, the fact that tradition already preshapes our understanding of tradition is no hindrance to understanding, but basic principle that makes any understanding possible.I was overwhelmed especially by the revelatory power of the final part, which shows the universal aspect of hermeneutics. "Being that could be understood is language." Therefore all our understanding of being is actually interpretation.

  • Gary
    2019-04-18 22:52

    Heidegger's Being and Time is my favorite book. Matter of fact it's my first original source philosophy book I ever read. But, as I was reading it I had no idea why he would have long quotes from Dilthy and Count Yorck in the book, and I didn't realize what Husserl's Phenomenology really was, or what Aesthetics and Judgment really meant, or what was meant by Hermeneutics. This book lays the background for those items and more, and I wish I had read this book before I read Heidegger. The pre-Socratics and the big three, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle take center stage in this story. It helped me immensely that I concurrently was listening to An Introduction to Greek Philosophy. The author pretty much just assumed the reader would know Parmenides from Heraclitus and the difference each implied. So, this book really excels at using what I've learned elsewhere and putting it into practice. He'll do the same with Hegel and Kant.I'd say that the author definitely didn't like the Enlightenment (for the usual reasons), he liked the Romantics, but really loved the post-Romantics (Schopenhauer, Dilthy and Count Yorck). Since I've recently read Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology I could follow most of what he was talking about. Gadamer was a student of Heidegger and like all good students he takes some of Heidegger and tweaks it. He makes a statement in the book that the "thing-in-istelf as Husserl has shown is nothing but the continuity with which the various perceptual perspectives on objects shade into one another". This is actually the exact opposite from Heidegger. Gadamer likes Heidegger but he prefers Hegel. Matter of fact he makes the statement that the aim of philosophical hermeneutics is "to retrace the path of Hegel's phenomenology of mind until we discover in all that is subjective the substantiality that determines it". I haven't really mentioned what the book is about. Partly, that's because I really loved his process (Method) before he got to his event (Truth). "All understanding is interpretation. Being that can be understood is language". He'll step the reader through with real examples. According to him, "Judgement is applying the particular under a universal, recognizing something as a result of a rule. It provides the bridge between understanding and reason". To get to the meaning of these kind of statements the author steps the reader through Aesthetics, Kant, Hegel, and Husserl's take on the world. He'll use the example of hermeneutics in the law and what it means to apply the law. That's when he had a footnote that basically said, "you might not know why I'm telling you this, but I'm setting you up for understanding how text (and the spoken word) really works". At first I did not understand why he was talking about art, aesthetics, and playing and why playing both for children and then for actors was relevant(imitation and representation, and signs and symbols). But, it's at that point in the book I started to figure out that he had to establish the background before he could get to the 'foreground'. Foreground is a very important word for him, all language (all text, all hermeneutics including conversation) needs a context, a tradition and a culture (now you see why he doesn't like the Enlightenment). I like the book a lot. He's a good writer (or is it good translator?). I really would recommend it for anyone. It's not impenetrable like Hegel, Kant and Heidegger can be. Each paragraph (or sentence) makes sense. Matter of fact that's actually what he's getting at in the book: it's not the pieces of the whole (e.g. words in sentences) we understand and it's not the whole we understand but the both before we can understand each.

  • Raully
    2019-03-22 15:10

    How many thousand-page books are worth it?

  • Matthew Stanley
    2019-03-22 16:48

    In this text, Gadamer provides us with an account of understanding that he hopes will counter the Enlightenment project of 'objectivity' and rationalism. Gadamer begins his account of understanding, that is, coming to know something true about the world, by recovering art as a means of gaining knowledge. The enlightenment had effectively marginalized art as a means of knowing, reducing it to expression of psychological states and thus meaning becomes located in the subjective process of the act of creation. Instead, Gadamer wants us to see that art is an event where we are invited into a mode of being which he calls play. In play, we are gathered into a particular mode of being where we play roles which consequently bring structures into representation. This act of bringing into representation facilitates understanding about the world to take place. Having dealt first with art, Gadamer then turns to Heidegger, Schleiermacher, and some 19th century German historians (particularly Dilthey) in order to offer an account of 'historically effected consciousness.' Essentially, Gadamer draws on Heidegger in order to demonstrate that we are always historical located in our understanding and, consequently, we possess a 'horizon.' This horizon is the unity of our experience of the world. This unity is a fore-projection which we always bring to the table in our act of understanding. This fore-projection is received from tradition, but exists always in the 'hermeneutical circle' which is the act of understanding. In the hermeneutical circle, we bring our horizon into conversation with another person (or text's) horizon in order that we might revise our horizon. What is crucial in Gadamer's account is that we are always bringing our own horizon to the table, that is, our act of understanding can only take place within the bounds of time, space, language, and communal structures of meaning. There is no de-contextualized, a-historical, or (as he will go on later to explain) language-less understanding. Gadamer's final section is, perhaps, the most vital section in the entire book because it's where he shows how this act of understanding can truly be an act of knowing about the world. His argument proceeds thus: He argues that language and thought exist in a fundamental unity with one another. Another way of putting this is to say that understanding always and only happens in language. Gadamer then delves into the tradition in order to show how Western thought, beginning with the Greeks (as exemplified in Plato's Cratylus) conceptualized thought (knowing being) as prior to language. Language comes to function as a sign system which is constructed to represent and communicate knowledge of being which is possessed prior to the construction of the system. Rejecting this construal of language forms the foundation of Gadamer's project. For Gadamer, thought and language exist in inextricable unity. Further, thought comes to consummation as word because it exists as word prior to being spoken. In order to explain this difficult saying, Gadamer draws on high Scholasticism's understanding of the co-eternality of God the Father and God the Son, who is the Word. In the Trinity, one sees a picture of the eternal co-existence of the one explicated (the Father) and the one who explicates (the Son). Said differently, the one revealed in speaking exists eternally with the one who reveals by being spoken. This Word therefore exists as word both prior to and in being spoken. This then leads Gadamer to argue for, what he calls, a "hermeneutic ontology." This hermeneutic ontology essentially sees the world as disclosing itself only in and through language. There is no discreet datum about the world which we know prior to language and then affix an arbitrary sign to that datum so that it may then be passed along. Rather, language becomes the site in which meaning about the world becomes concrete. Ultimately then, for Gadamer, this means that the task of explicating the world is an infinite process of play whereby communities discover meaning in the world through their use of language. This account of language rejoices in its creatureliness, arguing that we cannot ever have knowledge of the sort which God possesses (total, whole, de-contextual, a-historical, transcendent) but we can only possess knowledge as historically effected consciousnesses (located in time, space, and especially language!). Instead, through the proliferations of human communities which inhabit the world from within language, human beings are able to discover and unearth truth about the world. We can do this because the world is overflowing and bursting at the seems with meaning, and thus the task of that meaning coming to concretion within particular times and places becomes an endless task. This endless task is not Sisyphean though. It is the child-like joy of endless curiosity encountering a feast of meaning which exceeds curiosity's ability to ever consume it all.

  • Feliks
    2019-04-14 14:47

    A book of this erudition is like sending your brain to a mental bootcamp. It is a book of ideas (or rather the history of certain ideas) and where the author believes he has a new one to introduce. Gadamer painstaking outlines his contribution by tracing the faintest shadow where it has already been illuminated even slightly, in the works of other authors gone before him. Even if the authors are many centuries old. There are frequent references to Kant, Hegel, Aristotle, Pascal, Spinoza, Mill, Hume.It is very slow going, indeed; but upon inspection this 600 page juggernaut of European philosophical history can be apprehended as a series of just four, lengthy sections to traverse. Each one in itself is not that terrifying; they are 130, 70, 150, and 100 pages each (respectively). The rest of the pages are an extraordinarily large volume of endnotes, appendices, indexes, afterword, etc etc etc.In the main, Gadamer is concerned with the difference between the laws and the accuracy which governs the hard sciences vs the principles which oversee human civilization and behavior.As far as I can make out (I'm just 30 pages in) he asks the question, 'Is there some consistent, predictable force which drives human history in the same way that (for example) the force of gravity drives physics? If so, can we discern such a force and codify its behavior?' Thus, the book's title: 'Truth' (human truth) vs 'Method' (scientific method).The chapters embedded among the four large sections deal in turn with topics like: art, play, humor, sympathy, experience, science, and language; with numerous subsections. Its a dissertation which constantly cuts back-and-forth across disciplines and schools-of-thought to make each, careful, deliberate, point.Some of it is exhilarating; most of it is simply a rigorous mental exercise. A treatise few individuals would 'read for fun'. However, you will obviously come away from such a challenge with a good refresher on western intellectualism.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-15 16:06

    Here is another book that may have killed me but I have endured and won the battle. This is a very fascinating book that is a translation of German philosophy regarding how we determine truth in the humanities. Some really beautiful moments, and lots of ideas that resonated with me. However, like Derrida, the text is often too dense and he seems to purposely be difficult. For that he does not get five stars! What else can a reader do??? Punish philosophers by withholding stars. That will do it. Dear philosophers, you may know how to think well. Next task: how to write well.

  • 0spinboson
    2019-04-18 17:08

    Hermeneutics, properly done, is cool. Also, this book is about the most systematic and all-encompassing as you'll find on the topic, and, as Gadamer shows, it applies to every area of learning, as well as character formation and ethics.

  • Aviad
    2019-04-01 20:00

    Incredibly challenging to read, but the chapter on hermeneutics changed my life.

  • Klaus
    2019-03-26 15:47

    Ich wollte doch auch mal mit einem Titel aufploppen, den ich gerade wieder lese.

  • Laurens Trommel
    2019-04-16 21:02

    "Zo bestaat er beslist geen verstaan dat vrij zou zijn van alle vooroordelen, hoezeer onze behoefte aan kennis er ook op gericht moet zijn onder de ban van onze vooroordelen uit te komen. In ons hele onderzoek is gebleken dat de zekerheid die het gebruik van wetenschappelijke methoden biedt niet volstaat om waarheid te garanderen. Dat geldt in het bijzonder voor de geesteswetenschappen, wat echter niet betekent dat deze minder wetenschappelijk zouden zijn. Integendeel, uit ons onderzoek is gebleken dat de aanspraak die zij van oudsher maken op een bijzondere, humane betekenis legitiem is. dat in hun kennis het eigen zijn van de kenner mede in het spel komt, stelt weliswaar een grens aan de 'methode', maar niet aan de wetenschap. waar het werktuig van de methode tekortschiet, moet en kan juist een discipline van vragen en onderzoeken, die instaat voor waarheid, uitkomst bieden."Een mooi einde van een uitermate moeilijk werk. Hoewel lang niet alle hoofdstukken even interessant waren en het belang van sommige me soms niet duidelijk zijn geworden, is dit boek een zeer mooi betoog over waarheid en de mens.

  • Boris
    2019-03-29 15:11

    A brilliant introduction to the practice of hermeneutics (the art of understanding). Gadamer manages to clearly describe the conditions for understanding, revealing many great ideas also present in Derrida, Levinas and others. The advantage of Gadamer is that he explains these ideas with rigor and systematically. It is not an easy book, but due to Gadamer's skill in explaining, the ideas manage to get across quite well.Especially noteworthy is the unbelievable achievement of Gadamer to cross the boundaries of hermeneutics as a practice of understanding texts, towards an ontological hermeneutics. Here he is especially close to Derrida's concept of differance, which, albeit in first instance refering to language, also refers to world-constitution. The last part of Wahrheit und Methode is of paramount importance to understand these ideas and I would recommend it the most - even though it becomes most clear if one reads the entire book.

  • Lenny
    2019-04-05 18:05

    The work of Gadamer has transformed my life on an individual and spiritual level. This work is dense and thorough. The application of the mode of thought discussed is all encompassing and difficult to employ as it can hardly be called a method. In many ways I am more lost than when I started studying hermeneutics. I feel like this is possible the most important philosophical text of our time and essential for anyone working in the humanities or social sciences. Too underrated and unknown for the impact that Gadamer's thought can have on placing scientific positivism into question. His thoughts are everywhere and he is seldom referenced.

  • Craig
    2019-04-17 22:44

    Gadamer's Truth and Method is treatise on his thoughts on hermeneutics. He examines hermeneutics through the lens of language and assesses the issues language brings to understanding. Gadamer's writing is difficult, therefore, it is important to get a worthy translation. The first two thirds of the book will make no sense unless the last thirds is read. I found it very helpful in developing a complete understanding of the field of hermeneutics, but it is not a book for everyone.

  • Martin
    2019-04-10 17:00

    This is Gadamer's Magnum Opus. It's not a light read, but deeply enriching if you put the time into it. I consider it the definitive book of the twentieth century on Hermeneutics. If you are interested in interpretation, translation theory, and philosophies of experience, this is a must read. My own understanding of the Islamic tradition is greatly informed by many of the points made in this fairly hefty tome.

  • Alex Obrigewitsch
    2019-04-06 22:51

    I completely respect this work for its place in the tradition of thought, and what it has done for tradition. That being said, it is not an enjoyable read. I thoroughly enjoy reading Heidegger, and I felt that having read Heidegger made much of Gadamer's work somewhat superfluous and repetitive. The thought on play was probably one of the most innovative sections of the work.This is an important text for tradition, but I think that its place has been somewhat superseded and displaced.

  • Tyson Guthrie
    2019-04-16 14:56

    Gadamer is a pivotal figure in hermeneutics. He seeks to disarm the readers confidence in method as the source of truth in hermeneutics, rather the text is allowed to speak for ask its own questions, and to encounter the reader in their time through the tradition to which both the reader and the text belong.

  • Lorena Francisca
    2019-04-14 19:57

    Si bien tiene aspectos interesantes referidos a las ciencias del espíritu (filosofía), una crítica al modelo racional del siglo XVIII y una forma de entender y valorar la hermenéutica, en algunos momentos me pareció bastante tedioso...pero es mi opinión, sin duda, éste debe ser un libro cumbre en la filosofía (fenomenológica?) bueno no tengo mucho conocimiento; la verdad, no es mi fuerte...

  • Leonardo
    2019-04-06 15:58

    Filosofía de la Historia. Clase 3. Leí el capítulo 9. También obligatoria para Filosofía del Lenguaje. Me resultó bastante pesado y difícil de entender. Creo que leer de a pedazos tampoco ayuda.

  • Timothy
    2019-03-28 21:10

    I am a believer in hermeneutics. This book has shaped the way I look at and interpret the world to a great degree. It shapes how I write as well.

  • LunaBel
    2019-04-10 19:04

    One of the best books i've ever read. It invites you to speculate and to question things you may not have noticed before.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-07 17:52

    Long story.(Not really.)Long book, though.

  • Ingrid
    2019-04-05 14:50

    Una hermenéutica adecuada debe mostrar en la comprensión misma la realidad de la historia. Entender es, esencialmente, un proceso de historia efectual.