Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. See also actions, meaning, knowledge.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Johann Martin Chladenius on Understanding - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 301
Understanding/Chladenius/Gadamer: The real meaning of a text as it addresses the interpreter does not depend (...) on the occasional that the author and his original audience represent. At least it is not absorbed by it. For it is always also influenced by the historical situation of the interpreter and thus through the whole of the objective course of history.
Chladenius: An author like Chladenius, who does not yet force understanding into the historical, takes this into account in a completely unbiased and naïve way when he believes that an author does not need to recognize the true meaning of his or her text him- or herself and that therefore the interpreter can and must understand more than the author does. But this has fundamental significance(1). Gadamer: The meaning of a text surpasses its author not only occasionally but always.
Therefore understanding is not only reproductive, but always productive behaviour.
Gadamer I 186
Understanding and interpretation are (...) not the same for Chladenius (§ 648). It is quite clear that for him the need for interpretation of a passage is basically a special case, and that one generally understands a passage directly, provided one knows the matter dealt with in the passage, whether one is reminded of the matter by the passage, or whether one first reaches recognition of the matter through the passage (§ 682).
Thus, there is no doubt that for the understanding here, the expert knowledge, the factual insight,
Gadamer I 187
the decisive factor are still necessary - it is not a historical nor even a psychological and genetic procedure.
Interpretation/Chladenius: Nevertheless, the author is fully aware that the art of interpretation has taken on a new and special urgency, provided that the art of interpretation simultaneously provides the justification for the interpretation. This is apparently not necessary as long as "the student is in agreement with the interpreter" (so that the "understanding" becomes clear to him without "proof") or "because of the good faith against the interpreter". Both conditions no longer seem to him to be fulfilled in his time, the second insofar as (in the sign of the Enlightenment) "the students want to see with their own eyes", the first, insofar as with increasing knowledge of things, i.e. with the progress of science - the darkness of the passages to be understood becomes ever greater (§ 668 f.).
Gadamer: The need for hermeneutics is thus given precisely with the dwindling of the self-understanding. >Meaning Change/Chladenius.

1. J.M.Chladenius, Einleitung zur richtigen Auslegung vernünftiger Reden und Schriften, 1742.

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. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Chladenius, Johann Martin
Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977

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