Ideas of Friedrich Schleiermacher, by Theme

[German, 1768 - 1834, Professor of Theology at the University of Berlin.]

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1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 3. Hermeneutics
An interpreter of a text, because of wider knowledge, can understand it better than its author
     Full Idea: Schleiermacher proposed that an interpreter of a text may be in a better position to see the author's life and work and historical setting as a whole, and so understand the text better than its author.
     From: report of Friedrich Schleiermacher (works [1825]) by Thomas Mautner - Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy p.248
     A reaction: This sounds like a very quaintly old-fashioned enlightenment view which has been swept away by post-modernism, which is why I agree with it. We have a perspective on Descartes now which he could never have dreamt of.
Unity emerges from understanding particulars, so understanding is prior to seeing unity
     Full Idea: We only gradually arrive at the knowledge of the inner unity via the understanding of individual utterances, and therefore the art of explication is also presupposed if the inner unity is to be found....The task is infinite, and can never be accomplished.
     From: Friedrich Schleiermacher (works [1825], p.235), quoted by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 06
     A reaction: [p.235 in ed Bowie 1998] This is the first statement of the hermeneutic circle, which needs whole to grasp parts, and parts to grasp whole. Personally I think the dangers of circles in philosophy are greatly exaggerated.
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
Concepts are only analytic once the predicate is absorbed into the subject
     Full Idea: The difference between analytic and synthetic judgements is an unimportant fluid one. 'Ice melts' is analytic if it is already taken up into the concept of ice, and synthetic if not yet taken up. It is just a different state of the formation of concepts.
     From: Friedrich Schleiermacher (Dialektik [1833], p.563), quoted by Andrew Bowie - Introduction to German Philosophy 8 'Scientific'
     A reaction: [compressed] I wonder if Quine ever encountered this quotation. The idea refers to Kant's notion of analyticity, and makes the good point that predicates only become 'contained in the subject' once the situation is very familiar.