THE RELEVANCE OF TRADITION – 2014-3

Basic elements of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s” universal hermeneutics” concept

Summary

Achot V. Voskanian

In his “Truth and Method” H.-G. Gadamer contra posed the concept of “universal hermeneutics” against the analytic methods prevailing in the humanities during the sixties of the last century. This paper is an attempt to present the basic elements of this concept in a systematic way. Special attention is paid to the notion of “Bildung” (the German for “education as a formation”). For Gadamer “Bildung” is first of all a formation, in which the result and the process are combined. It is not confined to the external goal of a simple knowledge transfer, since the formation of an individual passing the path to knowledge is itself the main goal. Since the implementation of the Humboldian concept of “Bildung” in the University of Berlin the classic education in humanities was seen as a universal value. Contemporary debates about the nature of university education (the paper considers the views of J. Habermas, M. Naumann, Jean-François Lyotard, on that matter) show the relevance of controversy, as reflected in the title of the main book of H.-G.Gadamer.

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