Philosophy Today 58 (1):67-83 (2014)

Authors
Greg Lynch
North Central College
Abstract
In Truth and Method Gadamer makes the curious claim that “we cannot have experiences without asking questions.” At first blush, at least, this appears to be patently false. We have experiences all the time without asking ourselves anything. In this paper I offer an alternative reading of Gadamer’s claim that does not fall prey to this objection, one that centers around his analysis of the question as a structure that can be implicitly present in experience even when no explicit questioning occurs. Unpacking this sheds interesting light on a central, but often overlooked, aspect of Gadamer’s hermeneutics: his account of intentionality. According to this account, questioning enjoys a certain ‘priority’ over other types of intentional activity. Building on Gadamer’s largely unsystematic comments, I offer an analysis of what this priority consists in and an argument for Gadamer’s claim that it obtains
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DOI 10.5840/philtoday20131267
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