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HHS, 206) Hermeneutics, conceived of as the interpretation of history, is nothing other than the attempt to discern -- amid what Kant called the seemingly “idiotic course of things human”134 -- various patterns of action, and to interpret these as to their significance. This sort of pattern-analysis (the discernment of what Geertz calls “structures of significance”) is a form of eidetic analysis. Patterns are “essences” of a sort, and, when we attempt to understand anything, we must have recourse to essences or universals (individuum ineffabile est).

100 In stressing the role of “application,” Gadamer was emphasizing the inescapable “situatedness” (as Marcel would say101) of understanding and the unavoidable role that presuppositions or prejudgments (“prejudices”) play in understanding, and thus also our unavoidable “belogingness” (Zugehörigkeit) to our own particular cultural/historical traditions -- all of which is summed up in his key notion of historically-effective consciousness (das wirkungsgeschichliche Bewusstsein). ”103 Like language itself, effective-history is the onto- 97 Hans-Georg Gadamer, Gadamer in Conversation: Reflections and Commentary, trans.

HHS, 206) Hermeneutics, conceived of as the interpretation of history, is nothing other than the attempt to discern -- amid what Kant called the seemingly “idiotic course of things human”134 -- various patterns of action, and to interpret these as to their significance. This sort of pattern-analysis (the discernment of what Geertz calls “structures of significance”) is a form of eidetic analysis. Patterns are “essences” of a sort, and, when we attempt to understand anything, we must have recourse to essences or universals (individuum ineffabile est).

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