Historicity and Temporality

In Niall Keane & Chris Lawn (eds.), A Companion to Hermeneutics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. pp. 105–113 (2015)
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Abstract

Hermeneutics in the twentieth century opened the way for thought of history and time in terms of the very emergence of meaning or the “interpretation” of being as such. Referring to Heidegger and his successors, this chapter contends that the themes of historicity and temporality grant philosophical access to truth and universality in experience without the demand for an “objective” view of things‐in‐themselves or of the very conditions of rationality and human agency. It begins with a reflection on Heidegger's radical appropriation of the older hermeneutic tradition. The chapter also argues that the core themes of hermeneutics, historicity and temporality, open the way for rethinking our relation to truth and universality. Finally, the chapter highlights that while hermeneutics discloses the irreducibly historical and temporal nature of our existential situation as finite human beings without the idea of an independent and objectively certain relation to reality.

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