Gadamer’s Assessment of the Controversy between Husserl and Heidegger

  • Burt C. Hopkins
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 11)


Toward the end of situating the results of the present study in terms of the most prevalent tendency cited above, I will single out Gadamer’s eloquent and challenging treatment of the problem. As Mohanty has pointed out, Gadamer is “appreciative of the goal, the inner potentiality, and even the universality of the transcendental-phenomenological research.”I Indeed, Gadamer clearly, and in my view quite correctly, recognizes something which many who are partial to the Heideggerian prerogative of the phenomenological priority of the Seinsfrage do not see, namely, that for Husserl “not all consciousness is consciousness of an object, or better, objectifying consciousness.”2 Gadamer is also careful not to fall into the trap of interpreting Husserl’s methodological preoccupations as somehow symptomatic of uncritical adherence to the Cartesian epistemology and its attendant “dogmatism of an immanent consciousness, which must ask: How can we transcend ourselves and make contact with the external world?”3 Again, in my view he rightly sees that “Husserl overcame this by demonstrating that consciousness is exactly intentionality, which means that we are in the matter and not simply enclosed in ourselves.”4 And finally, Gadamer is aware that, for Husserl, phenomenologically methodical reflection is not to be confused with traditionally understood “inner-perception,” since it “is not exploring the ‘inner perception’ of a real ‘l’.”5


Phenomenal Character Ontological Difference Methodological Immanentism Ultimate Foundation Fundamental Ontology 
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  1. 1.
    Mohanty, “Transcendental Philosophy and the Hermeneutic Critique of Consciousness,” op. cit., p. 111.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gadamer, “The Phenomenological Movement,”Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gadamer, “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion,” op. Phenomenological Movement,“ op. cit., pp. 131Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid; Cf. Truth and Method, op. cit., p. 249Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gadamer, Truth and Method,op. cit., p. 244.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cf. Mohanty, “Transcendental Philosophy and of Consciousness,” op. cit., p. 112.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gadamer, “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion,” opGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gadamer, “The Phenomenological Movement,”Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cf., my discussion of the issue of immanence inGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gadamer, “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion,” opGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    Ibid., p. 62.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gadamer, “The Phenomenological Movement,”Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid., p. 170.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
    Ibid., p. 171.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    Ibid., p. 169.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 170.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
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    Ibid., p. 169.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Ibid., p. 170.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Regarding this distinction see §§ 42, 45, 70 abovGoogle Scholar
  26. 27.
    See § 39 above.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Gadamer, “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion,” opGoogle Scholar
  28. 29.
    Mohanty, “Transcendental Philosophy and the Consciousness,” op. cit., p. 112.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burt C. Hopkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySeattle UniversityUSA

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