Interpretation, historization, emancipation. On the controversiesover hermeneutics and on its potential in postmodern reality
Nowadays hermeneutics is often discredited as a conservative, idealistic and obsolete orientation, which does not respond to real social and political problems of the contemporary world. Following Odo Marquard, the article’s authoress inquiries about the question which hermeneutics seeks to answer. Having analyzed the objections to hermeneutics, she demonstrates its indispensability in postmodern, technological and media-dominated reality as a philosophy enabling us to keep the fragile continuity of being in a liquid world, whose image we constantly have to re-compose. The article shows that hermeneutics is a fundamental — and antifundamentalist — reflection about the historicity of human beings and understanding. Notwithstanding, this orientation has also an emancipatory potential, reminding one that to meet another person’s alterity, one should perceive and understand the alterity in oneself first. Eventually hermeneutics deepens our feeling for interpretation, which means both the ability to introduce changes in things experienced as a burden, and the art of restoring familiarity of the world. Therefore, it corresponds to the situation of the implosion of meaning: depriving of illusions, it does not deprive of hope.