Truth and Method

4 min readNov 26, 2020


Reading by Hans-Georg Gadamer Translation revised by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall

I have the shame to say that I am licenced psychology and academic and never really read Gadamer. Maybe I met his name quickly somewhere.

Maybe the problem is not the only mine. The psychology curriculum of my study didn’t include any reading of this author; no teachers in my path have suggested reading more about this author. More, as said in the introduction of “Truth and Method” 2 editions, this kind of author is difficult and need to meet “the contemporary cultural dialogue”. In this, mine is already a story of failed rendezvous.

When in an online reading group, a colleague suggests reading the book, here I am. So, we need sometimes some bridge to move the attention from the scrolling of social networks to real reading. Or more, we need an organic soil where the Bildung as “the properly human way of developing one’s natural talents and capacities” will happen.

The concept of experience is expressed as the meeting point between the flow of possible information “the noise” and the knowledge that can be retained from living in the moment. The example proposed is that of the game: that play is not a subjective attitude of the players, but rather the players are caught up in the shaped activity of the game itself”. Probably the same thing happens in the flow of participation in social networks, daily playful moments.

The discussion on the aesthetic dimension about science/knowledge versus truth refers to the still current definition of STEM, now revised in STEAM: “These are all modes of experience in which truth is communicated that cannot be verified by the methodological means proper to science “. An affirmation that is familiar to me, to be sought in daily and spiritual life. In philosophy, the author argues that the truths of the great thinkers remain true even in the light of scientific progress and the same happens in art in the face of science: “but at the same time truth comes to speech in it “.

“The hermeneutics developed here is not, therefore, a methodology of the human sciences, but an attempt to understand what the human sciences truly are, beyond their methodological self-consciousness, and what connects them with the totality of our experience of the world.”

This discussion refers to the separation/defence of the disciplinary field behind an interdisciplinary discourse (I am thinking of the secondary choice of the professional/humanistic versus scientific high school still present in the everyday culture of families) and a lack of consideration of the human sciences as necessary baggage of mediation with the world.

In a hyper-stimulated society, the contact with the necessary knowledge of the authentic experience of the world is lost, reified in reference standards (for teachers) and in reference standards of skills to be achieved for students.

“It is not only that historical tradition, and the natural order of life constitute the unity of the world in which we live as men; the way we experience one another, the way we experience historical traditions, the way we experience the natural givenness of our existence and our world, constitute a truly hermeneutic universe, in which we are not imprisoned, as if behind insurmountable barriers, but to which we are opened”.

This openness is embodied by exams, didactic units, national certificates, and standards to be achieved, which deviate and distort a legitimate experience validated and calibrated on oneself. A personal experience of open knowledge towards a hermeneutic universe to be experienced.

“The continuity of the Western philosophical tradition has been effective only in a fragmentary way”

A fragmentation that we find in summaries pdf, videos, recordings of explanations in the classroom, online tutorials, which multiply the reception method and impoverish the depth of understanding. As in my case, Gadamer himself came to me in the form of some references in some psychology course and then, years later, in an emailed pdf.

“We have lost that naive innocence with which traditional concepts were made to serve one’s thinking”: a simple observation, which would answer a continuous training, based on needs that are sometimes difficult to understand if not in light of the trends and market dynamics to which to adapt since adolescence in school choice.

A perspective that question “what happens to us over and above our wanting and doing”.

Reassuring is belonging to a collective questioning, shared in the past and in the future since the hermeneutical problem is universal and where the understanding process, it “belongs to the being of that which is understood”.

I like when the author introduces his perspective about the alterity “Thou so decisive for all self-understanding. (…) The experience of the Thou also manifests the paradox that something standing over against me asserts its own rights and requires absolute recognition”. Dialogic confrontation becomes an internalized experience.

I like it when a text becomes a space for understanding.




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