Gadamer on Hermeneutical Experience
According to Gadamer, experience, including hermeneutic experience, is a process which is essentially negative. By “negative,” he means that our expectations of what something is or means are regularly disappointed and disconfirmed. But if we begin with an expectation, a hope, then hope is always prior to experience and is its condition. As we move through our disappointments and struggle to understand—in light of our shattered expectations or dislodged assumptions and biases—the person or subject at hand, new expectations/hopes arise. Thus, hope both precedes and follows disappointment and disconfirmation. Experience, as Gadamer understands it, is characterized by alternating cycles of hope and disappointment… click here to read more.