How Does the Concept of “Tradition” Stand in Hermeneutics? Discuss in Relation to the Gadamer-Habermas Debate.

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How does the concept of “tradition” stand in Hermeneutics? Discuss in relation to the Gadamer-Habermas debate. This essay will aim to explore the contemporary views on the questions surrounding that of the definition and role of “tradition” and “language” in hermeneutics, discussed through the influential views of Heidegger on Gadamer’s philosophical thought, Gadamer’s theory on the speculative dimension of language, and the well-known debate between Habermas and Gadamer. The dispute largely concerns the judgment of tradition and the position language holds within it; comparing Gadamer’s arguably more conservative hermeneutical view to the ideological criticisms demonstrated by Habermas. Habermas critiques Gadamer’s thought by questioning the overall concept and the central role of tradition, arguing the possibilities of certain sub-conscious interests and specific authorial forces that distort tradition. In order to accurately explore the thoughts and beliefs of Gadamer and Habermas surrounding that of the concept of “tradition”, one must first establish the basic foundation of hermeneutics upon which these ideas are to be centred. Heidegger offers an effective ground on which to base the majority of these philosophical positions for that of classical hermeneutics by initially revealing hidden meanings in hermeneutical texts, exploring authoritative objectives and developing a clearer overall understanding of them. A later shift in focus in hermeneutics during the 20th century brought about an apparent lean toward specifically “epistemological foundations… or the methodological principles which lead to objective knowledge in the human sciences” (Ormiston, G & Schrift, A, 1990), thus encouraging the questioning of knowledge to be centred upon that of “truth” and “Being”. To Heidegger, it is the former understanding which leads to a solid basis of

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