Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Hans-Georg Gadamer on Thinking - Dictionary of Arguments

I 430
Thinking/Gadamer: [From the Trinitarian doctrine (and implicitly from scholasticism) we can learn something for our hermeneutical problem]: The inner unity of thinking and saying oneself, which corresponds to the Trinitarian mystery of the incarnation, implies that the inner word of the Spirit is not formed by a reflexive act. See >Trinity/Gadamer.
Whoever thinks something, i.e. says something to him- herself, means what he or she thinks, means the thing. So this person is back to his or her own thinking when he or she forms the word. The word is probably the product of the work of the mind. The person trains it in him- or herself, provided this person trains the thought and thinks it to the end. But unlike other products it remains completely in the spiritual. Thus the appearance arises as if it was a matter of behaviour towards oneself and as if the saying to oneself was a reflection. In truth, it is not, but the reason why thinking can reflexively direct itself towards itself and thus become representational lies in this structure of thinking.
Inwardness/Gadamer: The inwardness of the word, which constitutes the intimate unity of thinking and speaking, is the reason why the direct, unreflective character of the "word" is easily misjudged. Someone who thinks does not progress from one to the other, from thinking to speaking. The word does not arise in a realm of the mind that is still free from thinking (in aliquo sui nudo). Hence the appearance that the formation of the word comes from a self-direction of the spirit to itself.
Reflection: In truth, in the formation of the word there is no reflection active. For the word does not express the spirit, but the thing that is meant. The starting point for the formation of the word is the factual content itself (the species) that fills the spirit.
Expression/Reference: The thought that seeks its expression is not related to the spirit but to the thing. Thus the word is not an expression of the spirit, but goes to the similitudo rei.
Similarity: It is the imaginary fact (the species) and the word that belong together most closely. Their unity is so close that the word does not take a second place in the mind next to the species, but is that in which knowledge is completed, i.e. in which the species is thought in its entirety. Cf. >Word/Thomas.


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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. 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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-19
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