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Re: [xmca] Understanding is no method but rather a form of communication

Dear Larry - I do agree with you about Gadamer having a contribution to make to action research. I've integrated the following insights from Gadamer into my own action research:

"To conduct a conversation requires first of all that the partners to it do not talk at cross purposes. Hence its necessary structure is that of question and answer. The first condition of the art of conversation is to ensure that the other person is with us…. To conduct a conversation…. requires that one does not try to out-argue the other person, but that one really considers the weight of the other's opinion. Hence it is an art of testing. But the art of testing is the art of questioning. For we have seen that to question means to lay open, to place in the open. As against the solidity of opinions, questioning makes the object and all its possibilities fluid. A person who possesses the 'art' of questioning is a person who is able to prevent the suppression of questions by the dominant opinion.... Thus the meaning of a sentence is relative to the question to which it is a reply (my emphasis) , i.e.  it necessarily goes beyond what is said in it. The logic of the human sciences is, then, as appears from what we have said a logic of the question.  Despite Plato we are not very ready for such a logic." (pp. 330-333)

Gadamer, H.G. (1975)   Truth and Method, p. 333. London; Sheed and Ward.

Gadamer recommended Collingwood's ideas on the importance of forming a question in Chapter 5 of his autobiography on Question and Answer.

Love Jack.

On 17 Jul 2012, at 18:58, Larry Purss wrote:

> I have been reflecting on action research and the turn it took into
> discussing voice, tone of voice, and the loss or extinguishing of voice
> when others are marginalized.
> I came across this statement from Gadamer who wrote the foreword to the
> book "Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics" by Jean Grondin.
> "So, understanding is no method but rather a form of community among those
> who understand each other. Thus a DIMENSION is OPENED up that is not just
> one among many FIELDS of inquiry but rather constitutes the PRAXIS OF LIFE.
> Gadamer is exploring the 2nd person voice and putting it play with the 1st
> person and 3rd person voice.
> I wanted to abstract this dis-position towards the 2nd voice. I want to now
> embed this statement in its context. Gadamer wrote,
> "But it was only when Dilthey and his school gained influence on the
> phenomenological movement that understanding was no longer MERELY
> juxtaposed with conceptualization and explanation."[Gadamer, foreword]
> In other words, understanding came to be seen as constituting the very
> fundamental structure of human becoming-in-the-world and moved to the very
> center of philosophy.
> "Thereby subjectivity and self-consciousness lost their primacy. Now there
> is an Other who is not an object for the subject - but someone to whom we
> are BOUND in the reciprocations of language and life. So, understanding is
> no method but rather a form of COMMUNITY among those who understand each
> other. Thus a dimension is opened up that is not just one among many fields
> but rather constitutes the praxis of life." [Gadamer, foreword]
> Gadamer's tone of voice may have something to contribute to action research.
> Larry
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Love Jack.
When Martin Dobson, a colleague, died in 2002 the last thing he said to me
was 'Give my Love to the Department'. In the 20 years I'd worked with
Martin it was his loving warmth of humanity that I recall with great life
affirming pleasure and I'm hoping that in Love Jack we can share this
value of common humanity.

Jack Whitehead , Professor, Liverpool Hope University, UK.    
Visiting Fellow, University of Bath, UK.

Life-time member of OMNIBUS (All Bath University Staff).

web-site http://www.actionresearch.net with email address. 

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