10/08/2006

Historically effected consciousness...


In fact history does not belong to us; but we belong to it. Long before we understand ourselves through the process of self-examination, we understand ourselves in a self-evident way in the family, society and state in which we live. The focus of subjectivity is a distorting mirror. The self-awareness of the individual is only a flickering in the closed circuits of historical life. That is why the prejudices [pre-judgments (Vorurteil)] of the individual, far more than his judgments, constitute the historical reality of his being. (Truth and Method. By Hans-Georg Gadamer. 2nd rev. edition. trans. J. Weinsheimer and D.G.Marshall. New York: Crossroad, 1989)

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