Understanding and Non Understanding. Hermeneutical Philosophy Elements

Christian Berner


It is from the experience of not understanding that we will develop the outline of a reflection on what it is understanding. This experience reveals to us the desire to understand that is extended into the dialectic between the will to understand and the desire to be understood. Insofar talk is mainly to communicate with others, dialogue will serve here as a guide: it not only enables us to recall the conditions of possibility of understanding, but it highlight the nature of the duty to understand. In a second step, we will leave this pragmatic and ethical dimension of the act of understanding and its implications and we will show that the reflection about the intersubjective nature of understanding, finds its meaning in political reflection. 

Indeed, if it is true that language is essentially understood from the background knowledge shared by individuals, groups or communities of interpretation in a society, then the simple coexistence of a plurality of these interpretive communities requires the consideration of the claims of recognition of each of them claim in a politically structured space. There too the dialogue will be central to the experience of negativity that inhabits the act of understanding.


Understanding; Non understanding; Will; Dialogue; Communities of interpretation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22370/rhv.2014.4.113

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