Hans-Georg Gadamer on Language and Thought - Dictionary of Arguments
Language and Thought/Gadamer:
Linguistics: The intimate unity of language and thought is the prerequisite from which linguistics also starts. It is only through this that it has become a science. It is only because this unity exists that abstraction is worthwhile for the researcher, through which he or she makes language as such the object of each case.
Humboldt/Herder: It was only by breaking with the conventionalist prejudices of theology and rationalism that Herder and Humboldt learned to see languages as world views. By acknowledging the unity of thought and language, they came to the task of comparing the various forms of this unity as such.
Gadamer: We now start from the same insight, but we go so to speak
the other way around. Despite all the differences in the ways of saying, we seek to capture the indissoluble unity of thought and language as we encounter it as the unity of understanding and interpretation in the hermeneutical phenomenon. The question that guides us, then, is that of the conceptuality of all understanding. >Understanding/Gadamer.
Problem: The interpreter does not know that he or she is bringing him- or herself and his or her own concepts into the interpretation. The linguistic formulation dwells so completely in the interpreter's meaning that it does not become representational to him or her in any way.
Concept formation: If we adhere to what happens in word and speech and, above all, in every conversation with tradition that the humanities conduct, we must recognize that constant conceptualization is taking place in it. This is not to say that the interpreter uses new or unusual words. But the use of habitual words does not come from the act of logical subsumption, through which an individual would be brought under the generality of the term. Rather, we remember that >understanding always includes a moment of application, and in this respect it accomplishes a constant development of the formation of the concept.
Language and Thought/Gadamer: Linguisticity is so completely part of the thinking of things that it is an abstraction to think the system of truths as a given system of possibilities of being, to which signs could be assigned, which a subject reaching for these signs uses.
The linguistic word is not a sign that one reaches for, but it is also not a sign that one makes or gives to another, not a being thing that one takes up and loads with the ideality of meaning in order to make another being visible. This is wrong on both sides.
Meaning: Rather, the ideality of meaning lies in the word itself. It has always been meaning. But, on the other hand, this does not mean that the word is ahead of all experience of being and externally adds to an already made experience by submitting it to itself.
Experience: The experience is not, at first, wordless and is then, through the naming, made an object of reflection, for instance in the manner of subsumption under the generality of the word. Rather, it belongs to experience itself that it seeks and finds the words that express it._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977