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Art and History in Gadamer's Hermeneutics

Odenstedt, Anders

Phänomenologische Forschungen, Bd. 2007 (2007), Iss. 0: S. 75–93

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Odenstedt, Anders


This paper discusses Hans-Georg Gadamer’s account of what he sees as a major change in the approach to the Western philosophical and aesthetic traditions that began in the second half of the eighteenth century, and the results of this change today. According to Gadamer, these traditions ceased to be binding at this time and became objects of historical research. Instead of being seen even as potential sources of insight, traditional knowledge claims and works of art were subjected to historical and aesthetic analysis. And Gadamer holds that these approaches have partially come to encompass the present as well. Thus, modern art has often downplayed cognitive and pedagogical tasks in proceeding in a purely aesthetic, playful way. And the study of history has been seen as providing insight into the contextually determined nature of presuppositions, those of the modern age included. According to Gadamer, this unduly limits the possibilities of both art and history to provide learning.


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Anders Odenstedt: \nArt and History in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics 1