Consciousness and language - the problems of the formation of philosophical hermeneutics
Language and consciousness in the era of romanticism
In the first third of the 19th century, there was a struggle for influence between the romantic and rationalistic philosophical currents. Then, along with trends oriented to social progress - the positivist, Marxist, national-state, a special psychological and humanitarian approach is formed, called hermeneutic. He gained especially wide popularity in Germany in the circles of romantic ideology. Here such concepts as consciousness and language have acquired a new sound.
Previously, hermeneutics was understood only as the art of interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. But Schlegel first brought her closer to philosophy. He put at the head of literary criticism the problem of understanding the work better than the author himself did. And the founder of the philosophy of language, Alexander Humboldt, translated this issue into the context of the formation of a nation. He thought about the problem of the emergence of a specific "spirit of the people."The philosopher suggested that national consciousness and language are interrelated. The latter plays a key role in shaping the first, but it is based on the principle of dialogue. That is, the main thing in understanding is the desire to comprehend not one's own, but “someone else's”. This makes the language not just a way of communication, but a special kind of activity. After all, even etymolThe word “meaning” comes from “co-thinking,” that is, creating a general concept. Thus, the dialogic process is co-creation. This discovery of Humboldt was later laid the foundation for the entire humanitarian culture.
Consciousness and language in the philosophy of Schleiermacher
A contemporary and a colleague of Humboldt, the theologian Schleiermacher, who is considered the creator of philosophical hermeneutics, also began his thoughts with language problems. He agreed that understanding is the basis of communication. However, he wondered why it was possible at all. The philosopher believed that the fact is that there is both a difference and a similarity between the consciousness of the interlocutors, as well as the author and the reader. Therefore, understanding in the process of dialogue is established not only in conversation, but also in the study of something. Consciousness and the language of the creator and “consumer” of spiritual food are also connected.That is why dialogue, from the point of view of Schleiermacher, is a universal method of interpreting any text - sacred, literary, historical, etc. If language is an environment of understanding, then its function in relation to human consciousness is twofold. He forms the mentality and has power over it.
"The language of the gods"
However, any spiritual activity individualizes the language. It changes and develops it. Thus, consciousness and language in Schleiermacher's philosophy are interdependent. They lead an endless game between themselves, in which active and passive roles change. The discipline, which is able to capture the moment of tension between the spirit of language and the originality of the text, the thinker believed, is not a theoretical wisdom, but a practical art of understanding. This is philosophical hermeneutics. Schleiermacher believed that by looking at it from a philological perspective, one could offer the universal art of understanding culture and religion. At the same time, he returned to the ancient antique interpretation of hermeneutics as "the language of the gods", extrapolating it to any text.