Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Theories: theories are statement systems for the explanation of observations, e.g. of behavior or physical, chemical or biological processes. When setting up theories, a subject domain, a vocabulary of the terms to be used and admissible methods of observation are defined. In addition to explanations, the goal of the theory formation is the predictability and comparability of observations. See also systems, models, experiments, observation, observation language, theoretical terms, theoretical entities, predictions, analogies, comparisons, evidence, verification, reduction, definitions, definability.

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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 Item Summary Meta data
Gadamer I 458
Theory/Ancient Philosophy/Gadamer: As the language says, one "forms" theories. This is because one theory replaces another, and each theory demands only conditional validity from the outset, namely, unless progressive experience teaches otherwise.
Ancient philosophy: The ancient theoria is not a means in the same sense, but the end itself, the highest way of being human(1). Nevertheless, there are close connections. Here as there, the practical-pragmatic interest is overcome, which sees everything that always encounters in the light of its own intentions and purposes. Aristotle tells us that the theoretical attitude towards life could only arise where everything necessary for the needs of life was already available(2).
Modern: (...) the theories themselves, which are drafted here, [are] evaluated from the point of view of their possible applications, i.e., theoretical knowledge itself is thought of from the willful mastery of being and not as an end, but as a means. Antiquity: Theoria in the ancient sense, on the other hand, is something entirely different. Here, not only are existing orders viewed as such, theoria rather means, beyond that, participation in the whole of the order itself.
I 459
Presence-at-hand/Vorhandenheit/Heidegger: When [Heidegger] presented the concept of "Vorhandenheit" (engl: presence-at-hand) as a deficient mode of being and recognized it as the background of classical metaphysics and its continued effect in the concept of subjectivity in modern times, he had followed an ontologically correct connection between the Greek Theoria and modern science.
Gadamer: In the Greek Theoria itself, however, there was certainly something else. Theoria grasps not so much what exists as the thing itself, which still has the dignity of the "thing". That the experience of the thing has as little to do with the mere ascertainability of pure existence as with the experience of the so-called
I 460
experiential science, was later precisely emphasized by Heidegger himself(3).


1. Cf. my work "Lob der Theorie" in the volume of the same name published by me, Frankfurt 1983, pp. 26-50; Vol. 10 of the Ges. Werke.
2. Met. A 1.
3. Cf. on "das Ding" lectures and essays, pp. 164f. Here the summary of the "Theoria" with the "Science of the Existing" which "Being and Time" had undertaken, is dissolved under the question of the late Heidegger (see also ibid. p. 51 f.). (Cf. also my afterword to M. Heidegger's Kunstwerk-Aufsatz, Stuttgart 1960 (Reclam), pp. 102-125,now in "Heideggers Wege. Studien zum "Spätwerk", Tübingen 1983, p. 81-92; Vol. 3 of the Ges. Werke).


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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.
Ancient Philosophy
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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-19
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