Truth and Method
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Truth and Method (Gesammelte Werke #1)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,593 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Written in the 1960s, Truth and Method is Gadamer's magnum opus. An astonishing synthesis of literary criticism, philosophy, theology, the theory of law and classical scholarship, it is undoubtedly one of the most important texts in twentieth century philosophy. Looking behind the self-consciousness of science, he discusses the tense relationship between truth and methodol...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published December 7th 2004 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published January 1st 1960)
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Republic by PlatoThe Prince by Niccolò MachiavelliThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnDiscourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy by René DescartesThe Order of Things by Michel Foucault
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Not to be recommended to the casual reader. By any stretch. Specialists only.

Here’s a few reasons why you’ll wanna pass ::

You want a text address’d to you in your average everydayness sitting at the lunch counter at the local Diner.

Do you know the names Schleiermacher or Dilthey? Those are the famous thinkers discussed.

You believe that the Method of (emperico-naturalistico-quantito) science is the very finest and last arbiter of Truth.

You don’t already know what the ‘hermeneutic circle’ is an...more
John Roberson
Wow, Gadamer really knocks it out of the park. It's a long, fairly dense book -- sorry -- but he's basically undermining the modern conception of "objective truth." Now, I don't mean that he's treating truth less seriously or holding out a vacuous "anything goes" mentality; rather, he argues that we have built such an abstract conception of proof and objectivity that we've actually *lost* truth in the process. Instead he suggests we recover the fact that real human knowing and existing occurs in...more
Joe
One of the greatest philosophical writings of the twentieth century, and one of the few that actually matters. As the status of science rose in modernity Gadamer sets out to justify the relevance of the humanities and show the possibility and importance of non-scientific truth.

A long and technical book. Not to be read without a decent background in Continental philosophy and some serious patience.
Drenda
Gadamer is in the line of thinkers devoted to hermeneutics, a field of thought that at one time desired to build a science of the interpretation of texts. Gadamer completely disputes the science, but acknowledges his part in the tradition that saught a true method in achieving communion with the text. In the modern, academic form of hermeneutics, these texts were often historical. Thus, the question of how one could open oneself to the necessarily foreign world of another historical situation be...more
0spinboson
Hermeneutics, properly done, is cool. Also, this book is about the most systematic and all-encompassing as you'll find on the topic, and, as Gadamer shows, it applies to every area of learning, as well as character formation and ethics.
Steven Peterson
Hans-Georg Gadamer's "Truth and Method" must be considered alongside the great works of Dilthey, Husserl, and Heidegger as a treatise on hermeneutics, defined by Gadamer as understanding and the correct interpretation of what has been understood. More commonly, people define hermeneutics as the study/theory of interpretation.

Two major contentions that help frame his analysis are: (1) rejection of the view that proper understanding calls for eliminating the influence of the interpreter's context...more
Bradley
Have to say I did not get through the entire book. Had to put it down. Firstly, it is quite intertextual, and I cannot really get into all the referencing of other books. Of course, this can be useful to graduate students (such as myself) and professors, but on another level, in the first few chapters (at least in my not so close reading of them) there is very little in the way of original material.

I enjoyed the section of Aesthetics and Play, could be of use to a Philosophy of Sports class. Hi...more
Michael
I first read this book in 1999-2000, while Gadamer was still alive. Now, 8 years later I return to it and find myself more critical than I was 8 years ago. While I still like this book very much and want to read everything Gadamer has written, Truth and Method fails to cohere as well as I would like. The connection between part I on aesthetics and part II on history, while stimulating and bold, if not extremely well read, do not tie together as closely as they should. It is like taking two separ...more
Pavel
Gadamer's erudition in the field of history of hermeneutics is impressive, but a less informed reader such as I am can often find himself in a difficult situation of having to interpret polemics with a thesis he doesn't know. All these obstacles are overweighted by the depth and clarity of author's insight when he starts to explore the problem itself. How can we understand historical tradition? Exposing inner contradictions of subjectivistic or relativistic historism he concludes that the hermen...more
Craig
Nov 01, 2012 Craig added it
Gadamer's Truth and Method is treatise on his thoughts on hermeneutics. He examines hermeneutics through the lens of language and assesses the issues language brings to understanding. Gadamer's writing is difficult, therefore, it is important to get a worthy translation. The first two thirds of the book will make no sense unless the last thirds is read. I found it very helpful in developing a complete understanding of the field of hermeneutics, but it is not a book for everyone.
Taylor
An deep, important, and these days I think somewhat underrated work. Part 2 (of 3) is by far the best of the book and stands on its own — you can save Parts 1 and 3 for a rainy day (or maybe several rainy days). But be warned: Gadamer takes it for granted that his readers have had a good German education, so if you have no background at all in philosophy, you might find it pretty hard going.
Aviad
Incredibly challenging to read, but the chapter on hermeneutics changed my life.
Jessica
Oct 23, 2007 Jessica marked it as owned-for-years-but-still-not-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: i would not
Long story.


(Not really.)


Long book, though.
Kyle
I am really only TRYING to read this book.
Raully
How many thousand-page books are worth it?
GONZA
Chiaramente non ho capito buona parte di questo libro, ma ci sono degli argomenti che mi hanno colpito parecchio, per esempio:
1)il recupero del problema della verità nell'arte e il suo significato ermeneutico;
2)la scuola storica e l'ermeneutica romantica;
3)il problema dei pregiudizi
4) tutta la parte sul linguaggio.
Non mi aspettavo poi una scrittura così chiara e scorrevole da parte di Gadamer, magari un giorno leggerò anche la seconda parte, ora mi vado a disintossicare con qualche romanzon...more
Greg Coates
Wow, this was good!
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
Gadamer argomenta in merito al fondamento e al metodo delle scienze dello spirito, in relazione (e in contrapposizione) al metodo proprio delle scienze esatte. Per fare ciò si interroga sull’esperienza estetica e sulla conoscenza storica.

Al di là di questo tema (dibattuto a lungo nella cultura europea e con interventi di altissimo livello, che sarebbe bene conoscere nello specifico per seguire la linea dell’argomentazione dell’autore – non è ahimè il mio caso), sto trovando davvero interessante

...more
grant
I didn't actually read all of this. The last section is called something like the 'Ontology of heurmenetics' and I have the look up both those words before I want to read that, but the book does have a great index so you can find his opinions about many individual things, such as architecture.

Gadamer thinks that architecture is dense with potential for art as a result of the necessity of choosing where and what too built. “Architecture gives shape to space… that is why architecture embraces all...more
Marc
Perfect example of German philosophical "dense-ness," both in style and substance.

Important aspects have to do with acknowledging the legitimacy of genuine truth and knowledge gained from the human sciences and how it is arrived at in a way very different from the empirical sciences. The evaluation of Enlightenment presuppositions for knowledge independent of all basis except the "rational, knowing subject" is brilliant. He argues that historicity of knowledge, the value of tradition, and genuin...more
Anya
did I learn? yes. is it brilliant? yes. was it fun? no.
I barely ever do not enjoy books that teach me things. this taught me a ton but for some reason I cannot say I liked the experience. go figure
Megan Lengel
Very clear and helpful in understanding the concept of Truth for my Formal Logic class!! I liked it very much.
David Redden
Sep 23, 2012 David Redden rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Nicole Wiswell
This is an extremely difficult book to read, especially because it assumes a level of knowledge about German philosophy that most people, including me, simply don't have. Even so, it caused me to think more seriously about how I interact with and think about art, literature, and history than I had ever thought to do before. His suggestion that we really come to understand literature by considering the question the author was attempting to answer is an intriguing concept; one that I think I've be...more
Martin
This is Gadamer's Magnum Opus. It's not a light read, but deeply enriching if you put the time into it. I consider it the definitive book of the twentieth century on Hermeneutics. If you are interested in interpretation, translation theory, and philosophies of experience, this is a must read. My own understanding of the Islamic tradition is greatly informed by many of the points made in this fairly hefty tome.
Lorena Francisca
Si bien tiene aspectos interesantes referidos a las ciencias del espíritu (filosofía), una crítica al modelo racional del siglo XVIII y una forma de entender y valorar la hermenéutica, en algunos momentos me pareció bastante tedioso...pero es mi opinión, sin duda, éste debe ser un libro cumbre en la filosofía (fenomenológica?) bueno no tengo mucho conocimiento; la verdad, no es mi fuerte...
Aaron Winston
Very easy to read if a bit dense due to his ready inclusion and conversation with other philosophers and their ideas. Particularly helpful guide to understanding Paul Ricoeur's own lineage and subsequent work.
Victor Sianghio
This requires careful introspection and reflection. As an avid reader, I allow myself to question what the writer had to say without being too critical. It is important for readers to understand that in order to appreciate a written material, he or she must understand where the writer is coming from. This is not judgement, but consideration.
Tyson Guthrie
Gadamer is a pivotal figure in hermeneutics. He seeks to disarm the readers confidence in method as the source of truth in hermeneutics, rather the text is allowed to speak for itself...to ask its own questions, and to encounter the reader in their time through the tradition to which both the reader and the text belong.
Müzeyyen
Kitap bugün bitti. Çok duygulandım, hüzünlendim. Dile kolay koca dönemdir birlikteyiz. Çok sevdim Gadamer'i ben, öyle böyle değil. Yazılacak çizilecek şeyler çok da dermanım yok şimdi. Ama şöyle söyleyeyim, tez için boş değilim bu hermeneutik işlerine karşı, nasip kısmet.
Michael
Gadamer is a workman like philosopher, and this is one of his best investigations. I think one of the great moments of the text is when he describes play. I still use this metaphor in classes, particularly the role of risk in both play and in interpretation.
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Hans-Georg Gadamer was born February 11, 1900 in Marburg, Germany.

Gadamer showed an early aptitude for studies in philosophy and after receiving his doctoral degree in 1922 he went on to work directly under Martin Heidegger for a period of five years. This had a profound and lasting effect on Gadamer's philosophical progression.

Gadamer was a teacher for most of his life, and published several im...more
More about Hans-Georg Gadamer...
Philosophical Hermeneutics The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato Hegel's Dialectic: Five Hermeneutical Studies Reason in the Age of Science

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“In truth history does not belong to us but rather we to it.” 7 likes
“What man needs is not just the persistent posing of ultimate questions, but the sense of what is feasible, what is possible, what is correct, here and now. The philosopher, of all people, must, I think, be aware of the tension between what he claims to achieve and the reality in which he finds himself.” 6 likes
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