fusion of horizons


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fusion of horizons

the merging of perspectives which in HERMENEUTICS is seen as an essential feature of the understanding of an unfamiliar TEXT or culture (GADAMER, 1960). For Gadamer, such ‘understanding is not a matter of forgetting our own horizons of meanings and putting ourselves within that of the alien text or the alien society’ (Outhwaite, 1985) and therefore not a matter of‘detachment’; instead, it involves a ‘rapprochement between our present world… and the different world we seek to appraise’. The concept stands opposed to two ideas:
  1. that we can expect to understand and explain alien cultures and societies by imposing an external ‘grid’; and
  2. that we can never hope to understand (or translate) such ideas. Rather ‘truth’ can be the outcome of such a fusion.

The idea of INTERSUBJECTIVITY as the basis of scientific knowledge or political agreements has a similar basis (compare FEYERABEND, HABERMAS), although the fusion of horizons for Gadamer is far from being the basis for ‘emancipatory knowledge’ it is for Habermas. However, the similarity indicates that Gadamer's hermeneutics does not necessarily involve the degree of RELATIVISM sometimes suggested.

References in periodicals archive ?
Conceived as a coherent set of situations, the evolution of the world is also, seen as a fusion of horizons of a different hermeneutical situation.
Therefore, understanding is itself the fusion of horizons where the interpreter is aware of his/her own prejudices and allows the text to modify them.
In tracing the endogenous and exogenous factors that led to transformations in Muslim societies in Southeast Asia, these two volumes provide evidence that Southeast Asian Islam is a product of a fusion of horizons, which occurred through the interactions between local cultures and colonial modernity, through endless disagreements between defenders of tradition and advocates of reform as well as through the creative ability of Muslims in that part of the world in reinterpreting the ideals of Islam in order to suit their immediate needs.
In the field of comparative poetics, for example, Zhang Longxi "argue [d] for the fusion of horizons in the study of literature" (Zhang, 1989), which echoed with James J.
Chung's discussion of the fusion of horizons brings attention to the need for inclusive missiological praxis in multi-cultural contexts.
It is in dialogue that a fusion of horizons can take place between individuals or between a text and a reader, and hence meaning can be generated.
Fusion of horizons refers to a hermeneutic approach that is philosophically inclusive of turns-of-meaning texts take over time.
36) As thus conducive to promoting a fusion of horizons incorporating the best insights deriving from multiple perspectives, a dialectical exchange of views embarked on under appropriate dialogical conditions enables participants to develop a new 'situation definition', an 'enlarged' mode of understanding, embodying creative new possibilities for responding to a problematic situation, possibilities that transcend, and indeed transform, those initially available to any of the participants.
Similarly, Patil's elucidation of the implicit and explicit argumentative interaction between Ratnakirti and the Naiyayikas--not to mention his triangulation between Ratnakirti's world, the Euro-American academy, and their shared context--immediately brings to mind the more literary philosophies of Gadamer or Bakhtin and their conceptualizations, respectively, of the fusion of horizons and the dialogic imagination.
It has brought about what we might call, not quite in Gadamer's sense, a fusion of horizons.
21) What takes place in understanding is a fusion of horizons of the partners (whether this is another person or a text).
Then, I discuss possibilities to address such challenging issues, which include: (1) engaging in narrative inquiry as Bakhtinian novelness; (2) transforming lived experience to lived theory; (3) considering narrative research as an aesthetic inquiry; and (4) imagining the implied readership as a fusion of horizons.