Andrzej Bronk

Chair of the Department of Methodology and Philosophy of Science

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

The Rationality of Belief and the Prejudgmental Character of Interpretation

According to the Enlightenment (Cartesian) paradigm of knowledge, it is only reasonable to maintain a belief with sufficient justification for its acceptance and no known reasons for its rejection. Hence the Enlightenment discredits authority and tradition, displacing them in favor of an ideal of pure, ahistorical, unprejudiced reason. Hans-Georg Gadamer criticizes the Enlightenment's hostility to prejudices as a "prejudice against prejudice itself." Because of the essential historicality and linguality of all understanding a finite human being can never achieve a transparency of presuppositions that would exclude the possibility of error. Moreover, prejudices in Gadamer's view are a positive, essential, inevitable condition of all genuine understanding. What are the consequences of Gadamer's thesis of the prejudgmental character (Vorurteilshaftigkeit) of understanding for the interpretation of literary texts? Is there any way to distinguish between a correct (adequate) and incorrect (inadequate) interpretation of a text or are all interpretations equally acceptable?
Autor: Ireneusz Piekarski
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 26.03.2008, godz. 08:38 - Ireneusz Piekarski