Hans-Georg Gadamer was born February 11, 1900 in Marburg, Germany.
(Arabic: هانز جورج غادامير)
Gadamer showed an early aptitude for studies in philosophy and after receiving his doctoral degree in 1922 he went on to work directly under Martin Heidegger for a period of five years.This had a profound and lasting effect on Gadamer's philosophical progression.
Gadamer was a teacher for most of his life, and published several important works:Truth and Method
is considered his magnum opus.In this work Heidegger's notion of hermeneutics is seen clearly:hermeneutics is not something abstract that one can pick up and leave at will, but rather is something that one does at all times.To both Heidegger and to Gadamer, hermeneutics is not restricted to texts but to everything encountered in one's life.
Gadamer is most well-known for the notion of a horizon of interpretation, which states that one does not simply interpret something, but that in the act of interpretation one becomes changed as well.In this way, he takes some of the notions from Heidegger's Being and Time
, notably that which Heidegger had to say about prejudgements and their role in interpreting and he turns them into a more positive notion:Gadamer sees every act and experience (which is a hermeneutical experience to a Gadamerian) as a chance to call into question and to change those prejudgements, for in the horizon of interpretation those prejudgements are not forever fixed.
Gadamer is considered the most important writer on the nature and task of hermeneutics of the 20th century, which was still widely considered a niche within Biblical studies until Truth and Method
was widely read and discussed.
He died at the age of 102 in Heidelberg (March, 2002).
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