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On the Tragedy of Hermeneutical Experience

On the Tragedy of Hermeneutical Experience 191 On the Tragedy of Hermeneutical Experience GERALD L. BRUNS University of Notre Dame Breakdown and failure reveal the true nature of things - Karl Jaspers, Tragedy is Not Enough A common (or commonplace) objection to hermeneutics is that it is too cheerful by half. From a transcendental standpoint it lacks rigor and point- there is no knowing what it hopes ultimately to achieve; from a critical standpoint it is like Swift's state of happiness, which is "a perpetual Posses- sion of being well Deceived"; from the standpoint of deconstruction it is a refusal of radical thinking, a step back from Heidegger and Derrida into the cozy warmth of phenomenological immanence. ' Each of these standpoints, to name only these three, thinks of itself as having got "beyond hermeneutics." As if hermeneutics belonged to that sort of history where the main idea is always to be overcoming doctrines and systems. Thus a "radical hermeneutics," in John Caputo's phrase, would be a hermeneutics that had somehow overcome itself, cured itself of itself: a Post-hermeneutical hermeneutics or a hermeneutics without neuroses or illusions: a hermeneutics that no longer needs doctrines of comfort like the fusion of horizons: a hermeneutics that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

On the Tragedy of Hermeneutical Experience

Research in Phenomenology , Volume 18 (1): 191 – Jan 1, 1988

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1988 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
DOI
10.1163/156916488X00101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

191 On the Tragedy of Hermeneutical Experience GERALD L. BRUNS University of Notre Dame Breakdown and failure reveal the true nature of things - Karl Jaspers, Tragedy is Not Enough A common (or commonplace) objection to hermeneutics is that it is too cheerful by half. From a transcendental standpoint it lacks rigor and point- there is no knowing what it hopes ultimately to achieve; from a critical standpoint it is like Swift's state of happiness, which is "a perpetual Posses- sion of being well Deceived"; from the standpoint of deconstruction it is a refusal of radical thinking, a step back from Heidegger and Derrida into the cozy warmth of phenomenological immanence. ' Each of these standpoints, to name only these three, thinks of itself as having got "beyond hermeneutics." As if hermeneutics belonged to that sort of history where the main idea is always to be overcoming doctrines and systems. Thus a "radical hermeneutics," in John Caputo's phrase, would be a hermeneutics that had somehow overcome itself, cured itself of itself: a Post-hermeneutical hermeneutics or a hermeneutics without neuroses or illusions: a hermeneutics that no longer needs doctrines of comfort like the fusion of horizons: a hermeneutics that

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1988

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