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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 30, 2018

Philosophical Hermeneutics

Silvana Ballnat
Pages 5-10

Hermeneutical Amendment to the Contemporary Philosophy of Language
Gadamer’s, Taylor’s and McDowell’s Contributions to the World Disclosure as Dimension of Language

This paper argues that philosophical hermeneutics provides an indispensible contribution to the understanding of language particularly with its idea of world disclosing dimension of language. This tradition entails the heritage of Hamann-Herder-Humboldt theories of language, while also reaching out to Dilthey’s hermeneutical and Heidegger’s existential phenomenological philosophy. It became most recognizable profile in Gadamer’s work, which was prominently continued in the works of Taylor and McDowell. The notion of world disclosure can be regarded as a complement to the firmly established designative and communicative dimensions of language. It is this notion that marked the philosophical hermeneutics as ‘unattractive’, since this assertion was seen as idealistic and relativistic. In this paper, I challenge this prevailing view and explain that precisely this notion supports a correct and non-instrumental view of language. I insist that language should not be considered as a tool, which can be put aside, but becomes constitutive of all human cognitive capacities allowing for human being to be able to have a world. To have a world means to have a language and living as human being means living in a world.

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