Truth, being and the work of art: reflections on Heidegger's and Gadamer's interpretations of the tradition
McCord, Barbara Ann
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This thesis addresses the fundamental and interrelated questions of truth and being, which have occupied Western philosophical thought since the time of the Ancient Greeks, giving particular attention to how they relate to works of art. More specifically, it examines the unique way in which works of arts enable an unfolding of truth to occur, which exceeds the notion of truth as correspondence or correctness. Martin Heidegger’s phenomenological enquiry into the meaning of being, which leads him to an analysis of the question of truth, shows that there is an inseparable connection between being and truth. Furthermore, with his 1930s essay on the work of art, which represents a challenge to the aesthetic tradition and establishes the role of art in facilitating the enactment of truth, Heidegger re-introduces the operations of art to the centre of philosophical thought. Following Heidegger, and hugely influenced by his thinking, Hans-Georg Gadamer, by means of his own philosophical hermeneutics, develops a theory of art’s unique role in opening up an experience of truth which cannot be attained in any other way. And, in their separate ways, both Heidegger and Gadamer find an intrinsic link between the questions of truth, being, and the work of art. This dissertation will explore the tensions in the continuity and discontinuity of their respective reflections on the above concerns.