Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. For the understanding of signs and words plays a role, whether one can connect an object with the word or sign, as well as whether one can replace the sign or word with another sign or word. In order to understand full sentences, the context must be grasped as well. A point of contention is whether knowing the truth conditions gives the sentence its meaning. In other words Whether there is the knowledge about what should be if the sentence were true. If that is correct, there is no need to know whether the sentence is true (cf. M. Dummett, Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992, p. 20). See also substitution, truth conditions, 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

Hans-Georg Gadamer on Understanding - Dictionary of Arguments

I 270
Understanding/Hermeneutics/Heidegger/Gadamer: Heidegger only addressed the problem of historical hermeneutics and critique in order to unfold from there in ontological intention the preliminary structure of understanding(1).
Gadamer: Conversely, we pursue the question of how hermeneutics, once freed from the ontological inhibitions of the objectivity concept of science, is able to do justice to the historicity of understanding.
Understanding/Heidegger: [One will be allowed] to ask about the consequences that Heidegger's fundamental derivation of the circular structure of understanding from the temporality of >Dasein
has for hermeneutics in the humanities. These consequences (...) could (...) consist (...) in the fact that the self-understanding of understanding, which is always practiced, would be corrected and cleansed of inappropriate adjustments - a process that would at most indirectly benefit the art of understanding. >Hermeneutic Circle/Heidegger, >Expectations/Gadamer.
I 273
How should a text be protected from misunderstanding in advance? If you look more closely, you will see (...) that even opinions cannot be understood arbitrarily. As little as we can constantly misunderstand a use of language without the meaning of the whole being disturbed, as little can we blindly stick to our own pre-opinion on the matter when we understand the opinion of another. It is not as if, when we listen to someone or start to read something, we have to forget all our pre-opinions about the content and all of our own opinions. Only openness to the opinion of the other or the text is required. Such openness, however, always implies that one puts the other opinion in relation to the whole of one's own opinions or is in relation to it. Therefore, a hermeneutically trained awareness of the otherness of the text must be receptive from the outset. But such receptiveness requires
I 274
neither factual nor even self-extinction, but includes the detached appropriation of one's own prejudices and preconceptions. It is important to be aware of one's own bias so that the test presents itself in its otherness and thus has the opportunity to play off its factual truth against one's own pre-opinion.
I 295
Understanding/Gadamer: Understanding itself is not so much to be thought of as an act of subjectivity, but rather as an engagement with an event of tradition in which past and present are constantly communicated.
I 304
Understanding/Gadamer: The first thing that understanding begins with is (...) that something appeals to us. This is the highest of all hermeneutical conditions. We now know what is required: a fundamental suspension of one's own prejudices. All suspension of judgements, however, and therefore even more so that of prejudices, has, logically seen, the structure of the question.
I 311
Merging of horizons: There is as little a contemporary horizon for itself as there are historical horizons to be gained. Rather, understanding is always the process of merging such supposedly separate horizons. >Horizon/Gadamer.
I 316
It is quite absurd to base the possibility of understanding texts on the premise of "congeniality" that should unite the creator and interpreter of a work. If that were really the case, the humanities would have a bad outlook. The miracle of understanding consists rather in the fact that it does not require congeniality to recognize what is truly significant and what is originally meaningful in the tradition. Rather, we are able to open ourselves to the superior claim of the text and understand the meaning in which it speaks to us. >Legal Hermeneutics, >Theological Hermeneutics.
I 346
Understandig/Application/Gadamer: Application is not a subsequent application of some given generality, which would first be understood in itself, to a concrete case, but is only the real understanding of the general itself, which the given text is for us. Understanding proves to be a way of effect and knows itself as such effect. >History of Effect/Gadamer.
I 399
Understanding/Gadamer: Not only is the preferred object of understanding, the tradition, of linguistic nature - understanding itself has a fundamental relationship to linguistics. We were based on the proposition that understanding is already interpreting, because it forms the hermeneutical >horizon in which the opinion of a text is expressed. But in order to be able to express the opinion of a text in its factual content, we have to translate it into our language, i.e. we put it in relation to the whole of possible opinions in which we are speaking and are ready to express ourselves.

1. Heideger, Sein und Zeit, 312ff

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.

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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