Reply To: What is philosophy?

  • Encyclios

    April 3, 2023 at 8:33 AM

    From Existentialism to Hermeneutics

    No less and even more vigorously than Husserl, M. Heidegger polemicizes with objective and calculating thinking. In Being and Time, he shows how conceptual abstractions presuppose lived experiences, of which those abstractions are the no longer lived derivatives. The second phase of his philosophy is also characterized by the polemic against objectivist thinking (metaphysics and the scientific spirit).

    At the center of his reflections is no longer the particular entity that is man, but rather Being. This being, however, is far from identifying itself with the most real being, because it is fluidity and temporality, manifestation and concealment: it is the possible being, its infinite possibilities, which have manifested, which have not manifested, or which will be able to manifest, and it is therefore, by eminence, never fully present, never circumscribable. The possible is therefore superior to the real and includes it. In both phases of his thought, then, we have a rigorously finite position, in which man tends toward Being or, inauthentically, distances himself from it, and a rigorously anti-rationalism: discursive thought does not bring us closer to it, but distances us from Being, to which poets, or rather some poets, and the wisdom placed in certain “original” words tend instead.

    The finalist approach is also the basis of the hermeneutic philosophy (H.G. Gadamer), of the evident and confessed Heideggerian inspiration. Before understanding, it reflects on understanding, on the conditions of understanding, and finds that understanding is interpretation and therefore conditioned by the situation of the interpreter. But if everything is interpretation, then nothing is unquestionable, everything is subject to revision. The intention of hermeneutic philosophy is, once again, anti-objectivist: it denies absolute transparency. Humble listening, not exalted seeing, is the appropriate metaphor for thinking.