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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter presents the topic of “historicity” (Geschichtlichkeit) as a core concern for phenomenological thinking in the intersection with hermeneutics. It is first coined as a philosophical term by Dilthey and Yorck von Wartenburg as a way to capture the unique way in which humans exist historically and belong to history. Through their correspondence published posthumously in 1923 it enters the orbit of Heidegger’s existential phenomenology, as he quotes extensively from these letters in Being in Time. For Heidegger, historicity was the key to transforming Husserlian phenomenology into hermeneutical ontology. In his reappraisal of hermeneutic thinking, Gadamer also locates historicity at the center of his magnum opus Truth and Method. The chapter also shows how Husserl was a thinker of historicity. This is brought out in particular in Derrida’s early interpretations of Husserl, where the deconstructive approach emerges literally from the problem of the historicity of ideal objects.

Keywords: historicity, hermeneutics, temporality, deconstruction, finitude, memory, event, repetition, tradition, difference

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