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“Either a Hermeneutical Consciousness or a Critical Consciousness”: Renegotiating Theories of the Germany-India Encounter

“Either a Hermeneutical Consciousness or a Critical Consciousness”: Renegotiating Theories of... Bra Dley l . h erl ing “Either a Hermeneutical Consciousness or a Critical Consciousness” Renegotiating Theories of the Germany- India Encounter In his 793 1 essay “Hermeneutics and the Critique of Ideology,” Paul Ricoeur articu- lates the demands of the human sciences by recalling what he referred to as “the fundamental gesture of philosophy”: Is this gesture an avowal of the historical conditions to which all human under- standing is subsumed under the reign of n fi itude? Or rather is it, in the last analysis, an act of defiance, a critical gesture, relentlessly and inden fi itely turned against “false consciousness,” against the distortions of human communication which conceal the permanent exercise of domination and violence? . . . What is at stake can be expressed in terms of an alternative: either a hermeneutical con- sciousness or a critical consciousness. (63) Ricoeur identie fi s the r fi st attitude, “hermeneutical consciousness,” with Gadamer, who conceived tradition, context, and “prejudices” (qua “pre- judgments,” or Vorur- teilen) as the basic coordinates of human understanding. Instead of trying to es- cape these conditions, hermeneutical theory oe ff rs an “avowal” of “the reign of n fi i- tude.” Understanding http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

“Either a Hermeneutical Consciousness or a Critical Consciousness”: Renegotiating Theories of the Germany-India Encounter

The Comparatist , Volume 34 – Jun 24, 2010

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Bra Dley l . h erl ing “Either a Hermeneutical Consciousness or a Critical Consciousness” Renegotiating Theories of the Germany- India Encounter In his 793 1 essay “Hermeneutics and the Critique of Ideology,” Paul Ricoeur articu- lates the demands of the human sciences by recalling what he referred to as “the fundamental gesture of philosophy”: Is this gesture an avowal of the historical conditions to which all human under- standing is subsumed under the reign of n fi itude? Or rather is it, in the last analysis, an act of defiance, a critical gesture, relentlessly and inden fi itely turned against “false consciousness,” against the distortions of human communication which conceal the permanent exercise of domination and violence? . . . What is at stake can be expressed in terms of an alternative: either a hermeneutical con- sciousness or a critical consciousness. (63) Ricoeur identie fi s the r fi st attitude, “hermeneutical consciousness,” with Gadamer, who conceived tradition, context, and “prejudices” (qua “pre- judgments,” or Vorur- teilen) as the basic coordinates of human understanding. Instead of trying to es- cape these conditions, hermeneutical theory oe ff rs an “avowal” of “the reign of n fi i- tude.” Understanding

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 24, 2010

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