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H.-G. Gadamer: The Question & the movement of thought/meaning

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Presentation on theme: "H.-G. Gadamer: The Question & the movement of thought/meaning"— Presentation transcript:

1 H.-G. Gadamer: The Question & the movement of thought/meaning
EDCP 585 Feb. 4, 2015

2 E. Husserl Edith Stein Eugen Fink Martin Heidegger M. Merleau-Ponty Michel Foucault O.F. Bollnow H-G Gadamer Hannah Arendt B Waldenfels

3 Experience as “Negative”
in bringing up children… parents may try to spare them certain experiences, [but] experience as a whole is not something anyone can be spared. Rather, experience in this sense inevitably involves many disappointments of one's expectations and only thus is experience acquired. That experience refers chiefly to painful and disagreeable experiences does not mean that we are being especially pessimistic, but can be seen directly from its nature. experience is initially always experience of negation: something is not what we supposed it to. […] Every experience worthy of the name thwarts an expectation.

4 Experience and Openness
the concept of experience …refers not only to experience in the sense of information about this or that. It refers to experience in general. This experience is always to be acquired, and from it no one can be exempt. Experience stands in an ineluctable opposition to knowledge and to the kind of instruction that follows from general theoretical or technical knowledge. The truth of experience always implies an orientation toward new experience. That is why a person who is called experienced has become so not only through experiences but is also open to new experiences.

5 Dialectic (Socratic Dialogue)
Socrates questions others in his dialogues to find contradictions or inconsistencies in their thinking. (presupposes openness) Thus, he reveals their negative, their antithesis. (an expectation is thwarted) This questioning shows that we don’t know; that we are limited and finite in experience and knowledge. “And just as the dialectical negativity of experience culminates in the idea of being perfectly experienced—i.e., being aware of our finitude and limitedness—so also the logical form of the question and the negativity that is part of it culminate in a radical negativity: the knowledge of not knowing.”

6 The Question It is clear that the structure of the question is implicit in all experience. We cannot have experiences without asking questions… To ask a question means to bring into the open. The openness of what is in question consists in the fact that the answer is not settled. The significance of questioning consists in revealing the questionability of what is questioned. It has to be brought into this state of indeterminacy, so that there is an equilibrium between pro and contra. The sense of every question is realized in passing through this state of indeterminacy, in which it becomes an open question.

7 there is no methodical way to arrive at the solution
there is no methodical way to arrive at the solution. But we also know that such ideas do not occur to us entirely unexpectedly. They always presuppose an orientation toward an area of openness which the idea can occur—i.e., they presuppose questions. The real nature of the sudden idea is perhaps less that a solution occurs to us like an answer to a riddle than that a question occurs to us that breaks through into the open and thereby makes an answer possible.

8 that in dialogue spoken language—in the process of question and answer, giving and taking, talking at cross purposes and seeing each other's point—performs the communication of meaning that, with respect to the written tradition, is the task of hermeneutics.

9 Organizing a Phenomenological Study
Existentials Thematically Analytically Concentric from main theme Question raising Critique of status quo knowledge Exemplification Exegesis Inventing an approach

10 Existentials Weave one's phenomenological description against the existentials of temporality (lived time), spatiality (lived space), corporeality (lived body) sociality (lived relationship to others) the meaning of parenting one may structure the phenomenological description around the question of how parents experience time differently from non-parents, how parents experience space or place differently from non-parents, how people embody the experience of parenting, how parents experience their pedagogical relation to their children and with their spouses, and so forth.

11 Thematic Writing about the lived experience of parenting by organizing one's writing around the themes of Bearing children Preparing the child's world as a place to be and to become Living with children as living with hope Exercising parental responsibility The need to act tactfully toward children

12 Analytic One may conduct one's writing analytically in an ever-widening search for ground. Start with one theme highlighted in a description, and move concentrically outward. For example, if the research involves in-depth conversational interviews with certain persons, then these interviews may be reworked into reconstructed life stories, along with reflective contextualization and interpretation. Another approach is to start with a singular description of some particular life situation or event taken from everyday life, thus showing the puzzling and depthful nature of a determinate research question. Standard explanations: begin by describing how ordinary social science at present makes sense of a certain phenomenon. Experience as presented by traditional social science is ill-understood; the generally accepted conceptualizations actually gloss over rather than reveal a more thoughtful understanding of the experience. Next, one may reflectively show how certain themes emerge examining experiential descriptions, literary and phenomenological material, and so forth.

13 Exemplification Begin the description by rendering visible the essential nature of the phenomenon and then filling out the initial description by systematically varying the examples. For instance, after explicating the essential structure of the phenomenon of parenting, one may proceed by showing how this description is illuminated by considering various modalities of parenting: Being an adoptive parent Being a stepmother or stepfather Parenting disabled children . Being a young parent or an older parent Being a single or divorced parent Being a parent of a lost child, and so forth.

14 exegesis engaging one's writing in a dialogical or exegetical fashion with the thinking of some other phenomenological author(s)-in other words, with the tradition of the field. This approach is often taken in the classic discussions of themes of phenomenology. For example, Richard Zaner's Problem of Embodiment (1964) is organized into chapters around the writings on the phenomenology of the body by Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Marcel, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

15 Inventing an Approach the textual approach one takes in the phenomenological study should largely be decided in terms of the nature of the phenomenon being addressed, and the investigative method that appears appropriate to it. E.g., exploring the experience of depression in the context of meeting for coffee with someone who is struggling with depression. It starts off with a description of how the other feels with the depressed friend, then begins to use other sources and the ensuing conversation to explore the friend’s experience.

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