The basic structure and argument of truth and method
Is part ofGadamer's truth and method : a polyphonic commentary ; pp. xv-xxxiii.
Publisher(s)Rowman & Littlefield
This paper aims to present the basic structure and argument of the complex work that is Truth and Method, by recalling the main elements of its genesis, the way its constitutive parts interlock into one another and defend a basic thesis that evolves considerably from its starting point (the task of justifying the truth claim of the humanities, which could be seen as the main task of hermeneutics in the Dilthey tradition) to its conclusion which raises a universality claim for hermeneutics and the theses it defends on language. Gadamer’s basic thesis on the humanities, namely that the presentation of meaning by the interpreter and throughout the history of its reception (Wirkungsgeschichte) is constitutive of the meaning that is to be understood, is first exemplified by the art experience whose truth, i.e., the way it reveals true reality, is inseparable from the way it comes to be interpreted by the artist and the spectator. After showing that this productive import of the interpreter and history is constitutive of the human sciences, Truth and Method finds the foundation of this insight in language itself in which a fusion of horizon occurs between the Being that is presented and its articulation in language itself. A hermeneutics of the human sciences thus becomes a universal philosophy endowed with an ontological and even a metaphysical outreach.