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Rethinking German language education : a hermeneutic approach Struch, Angelika 2007

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R E T H I N K I N G G E R M A N L A N G U A G E E D U C A T I O N : A H E R M E N E U T I C A P P R O A C H by Angel ika Struch B.A., The University of Victor ia, 1986 M.A., T h e University of British Co lumb ia , 1994 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F D O C T O R O F P H I L O S O P H Y in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Germanic Studies) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRIT ISH C O L U M B I A April 2007 © A n g e l i k a S t ruch , 2007 Abstract This dissertation argues that the educat ional value of Ge rman language study would be improved by a hermeneut ic approach. Language educators have for some time had difficulties forging a common approach. In my view, language pedagogy should concentrate on the transformation of the familiar by the unfamiliar, or the change in sel f -understanding made possib le by the learning of a new language. My original contribution to this d iscuss ion is to show how the phi losophy of Martin Heidegger could be usefully appl ied. Chapter O n e gives an overview of contemporary language educat ion in terms of its recent developments. In my account, the recent cultural turn has led to an impasse over the very concept of culture. My suggest ion is that, in order to educate students better to reach current goals , a more productive approach would be to encourage the turn from one 's own, familiar language to another, unfamiliar one. Greater knowledge of other languages is an important step on the way to greater knowledge of the world. Chapter Two introduces my claim that Heidegger 's hermeneut ics specif ical ly should be appl ied to language educat ion. Of course many writers have promoted Heidegger 's importance for general educat ion, but an historical overview of his contributions reveals how the possibil ity of applying his work to Ge rman language educat ion has emerged. Chapter Three deve lops a model of Heidegger 's hermeneut ic phi losophy. The two main features of this model are authentic understanding and poetic thinking. Chapter Four explores the c la im that a more hermeneut ic model of teaching and learning, especia l ly if der ived from Heidegger 's reading of Plato, would lead to a crucially different understanding of language teaching and learning. Chapter Five contrasts three different first-year G e r m a n language programs from the perspect ives of authentic understanding and poetic thinking. The aim in this chapter is to recommend new ways of conceiv ing G e r m a n language programs more general ly. My conclus ion underl ines the importance of language study for post-secondary educat ion today. IV TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv Acknowledgements vi Chapter I Hermeneutics and Pedagogy 1 1.1 Foreign Language Study: Ideas, Ideals, Ideologies 2 1.2 Phi losophies of Educat ion 15 1.3 Intercultural App roaches within Language Study 24 1.4 Hermeneut ics: A Historical Overv iew 44 1.5 Understanding in Learning: From Theory to Pract ice 68 1.6 The Apor ia of an Intercultural Hermeneut ics 70 Chapter II Heidegger, Hermeneutics, Education 82 2.1 Heidegger as Phi losopher and Teacher 83 2.2 Heidegger: The Controversy 88 2.3 Heidegger: The Crit ical Recept ion 96 2.3.1 Logical Posi t iv ism: Heidegger and Rudolf Ca rnap 100 2.3.2 Heidegger, Understanding and Phi losophica l Hermeneut ics . .105 2.4 Heidegger and Educat ion 113 2.4.1 Historical Cr i ses within Educat ion 115 2.4.2 The Cr is is of Educat ion within a History of Be ing 120 2.4.3 The Cr is is of Educat ion as Enframing 128 2.4.4 Prob lems and Quest ions within Educat ion 138 2.4.5 Concept ions of Educat ion 146 2.5 Educat ion Otherwise 152 Chapter III Authentic Understanding and Poetic Thinking 161 3.1 Heidegger 's Phi losophy of Authent ic Understanding 162 3.1.1 Fal l ing into the Famil iar 178 3.1.2 Fleeing the Unfamil iar 188 3.1.3 Achiev ing Authent ic Understanding 195 3.2 „dichterisch wohnet der M e n s c h auf d ieser Erde" .201 3.3 Understanding, Dwel l ing, Teach ing , Learning 215 3.3.1 Authent ic Understanding as a Pedagog ica l Sensibi l i ty 217 3.3.2 Poet ic Thinking as a Pedagog ica l Sensibi l i ty .223 3.3.3 Wonder as a Hermeneut ic Receptivity ...226 V Chapter IV Principles and Practices in Language Education 228 4.1 Authent ic Understanding as Pedagog ica l Pract ice 228 4.1.1 Thomson , Heidegger and Plato 230 4.1.2 Anxiety and Authent ic Understanding 239 4.1.3 Anxiety and the Language Learner 243 4.2 Intercultural Language Pedagogy : Definitions and Object ives 248 4.2.1 Definitions in Language Educat ion 248 4.2.2 Def ic iencies of Theoret ical Understanding 254 4.2.3 Def ic iencies of Hermeneut ical Understanding .......264 4.3 The Teacher 271 4.3.1 He idegger in the Lecture Hal l 271 4.3.2 Learning, Thinking, Understanding 274 4.3.3 The Return of the Teacher 281 Chapter V New Themes in Language Education 288 5.1 Approaches to Language Teach ing 288 5.1.1 Approaches : Three Moments in Learning 291 5.1.2 Reproduct ion in Learning 293 5.1.3 Disruption in Learning 302 5.2 Three Programs in G e r m a n Language Educat ion 305 5.2.1 Ph i losoph ies and Object ives of Language Learning 308 5.2.2 Mater ials in Language Learning 318 5.2.3 App roaches and Materials in Language Programs 322 5.3 A New Theme for Language Study 339 Bibliography 346 vi Acknowledgements This dissertation was inspired in the first p lace by my students. For over fifteen years I have had the p leasure and privilege of teaching severa l hundred students at var ious s tages of learning Ge rman . Th is dissertat ion has been written about and for them. The next stage of dissertation development occurred under the guidance of my original supervisory committee, which consis ted of Dr. Joe rg Roche , Dr. T h o m a s Sa lumets and Dr. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young. I want to acknowledge them for their help in encouraging this project. In the final s tage this dissertation has benefited from the support of my ultimate supervisory committee, compr ised of Dr. Patr ic ia Duff, Dr. Marketa Goetz -Stank iewicz , and Dr. G a b y Pai ler. My heartfelt thanks go to Dr. Duff for her stimulating, insightful teaching. Dr. Goetz -Stank iewicz has for a long time been a role model for me in every way. I especial ly appreciate Dr. Pai ler 's wi l l ingness to take on the chal lenging task of supervis ing the committee. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 1 Chapter I Hermeneutics and Pedagogy The relationship between pedagogy and hermeneut ics, theories of learning and of understanding, is an ancient one. Aristotle dealt with the grammatical structure of statements in human speech in a work entitled Peri Hermeneias. He implied an inherent relation between pedagogy and hermeneut ics in his Nicomachean Ethics when he observed that: "We frequently use the words learning and understanding synonymously . " 1 In this chapter I will examine the relationship between learning and understanding in its practical express ion within a speci f ic context: the role of understanding in the learning of another language. Th is chapter will be guided by a three-part division of inquiry and analys is . I will begin by reviewing briefly the shifts in paradigm that language learning has undergone during the twentieth century, in order to arrive at a contemporary character izat ion of the discipl ine. In my opinion, language study today offers an unprecedented opportunity for constructive contribution as part of post -secondary educat ion within the twenty-first century. It is my purpose in this work to affirm and advance that role through phi losophical hermeneut ics. The tradition of hermeneut ics a lso has a long, complex history and the term is used in many s e n s e s . Consequent ly , I will extend my argument by attempting to arrive at a current conceptual izat ion of hermeneut ics. The chapter will conc lude 1 Ar istot le, Nicomachean Ethics, t rans, and e d . R o g e r C r i s p (New York : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 2000) . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 2 by exploring the traditions of learning and understanding within the specif ic context of the language c lass room. 1.1 Language Study: Ideas, Ideals, Ideologies Language study has undergone a number of changes in its long history and each new approach has broadened our perspect ive through its particular contribution. In my survey of this history, I will focus upon the language learning context that is the subject of my dissertat ion: the foreign language context. In a critical examinat ion of the designat ions ass igned to learning contexts by acquisit ion researchers, David Block def ines the foreign language context as fol lows: The foreign context is the context of mill ions of primary schoo l , secondary schoo l , university and further educat ion students around the world who rely on their time in c lass rooms to learn a language that is not the typical language of communicat ion in their communi ty . 2 In his examinat ion, Block explains how the "foreign language context" is dist inguished both from the "second language context" and the "naturalistic context." 3 The "second language context" shares the c lass room setting of the "foreign language context," with the important distinction that the second language c lassroom is situated inside a community where the language to be learned is spoken , rather than outside. The "naturalistic context" dist inguishes 2 Dav id B lock , The Social Turn in Second Language Acquisition (Ed inburgh : Ed inburgh Univers i ty P r e s s Ltd., 2003) 48 . 3 B lock 4 8 - 5 5 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 3 itself from the foreign in that there is no formal c lassroom instruction and the language being learned is spoken in the surrounding community. In his examinat ion of these designat ions, Block agrees that it is necessary to dist inguish between learning contexts, but shows how none of the three contexts are f ixed and separate enough to warrant such distinct designat ions. B lock 's major focus is upon the use of "second" in second language acquisi t ion. He points out the many ways in which this designat ion does not accurately represent the exper iences of language learners, in the first instance that of multi-l inguals, who have learned three or more languages in their l i fet imes. 4 Accord ing to Block, foreign language contexts a lso vary immensely, depending on such factors as the international economic posit ion of the country in which a foreign language is studied and var ious socio-histor ical factors related to the educat ional sys tem. Other important factors are the extent to which learners have the opportunity to actually put their knowledge of the target language to use, as well as attitudes in general about fo re ignness. 5 B lock argues that each of the designat ions misrepresents, to some extent, the learning contexts and exper iences of many individuals, and he fol lows Rampton in his suggest ion of such terms as "other" or "addit ional" as being ultimately more appropr iate. 6 4 B lock 33. 5 B lock 49. 6 B lock 57 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 4 In this dissertat ion, I will follow Block by being judicious in my use of the designat ion "foreign" and refer to the formal c lassroom learning of "another" language simply as language study. The language c lassroom to which I am referring is the post-secondary c lass room of co l leges and universit ies within North Amer i ca . My language of reference will be Ge rman . In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the methods used for the formal learning of a modern language such as Ge rman were modeled upon the study of ancient Latin and Greek. The consequent "grammar-translat ion method" of language learning has s ince been widely refuted for current language- learning purposes, but it should not be crit icized for not doing what it had not set out to do. It was never intended to produce speakers of the target language a s s e s s e d against the ideal of a (usually highly educated) "native." Rather, its goal was to produce learners who could read and write in the target language by teaching them its rules and appl icat ions. L e s s o n s were grammatical ly sequenced and error less translations were the expected standard from the outset. Little or no attempt was made to actually communicate in the target language, and instruction was given exclusively in the native language: Little value was p laced on using the language in its spoken form and limited travel abroad, together with more restricted foreign trade than there is today, meant that there was no socia l or economic pressure for language proficiency to have a communicat ive e lement . 7 During the S e c o n d Wor ld W a r and after, however, the necessi ty of fostering communicat ion between nations changed the approach to language 7 S u z a n n e G r a h a m , Effective Language Learning: Positive Strategies for Advanced Level Language Learning ( C l e v e d o n : Mult i l ingual Mat ters , 1997) 11 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 5 learning in a substantial way. In the United States, for instance, large numbers of serv ice personnel needed to be trained in other languages and especia l ly in oral language use, and the grammar-translat ion approach was thought to be inappropriate for them. In addit ion, increased travel, trade, scientif ic and cultural exchange, and migration on a world sca le made language learning under the most var ied c i rcumstances necessary . To attain or approximate the oral proficiency of the "native" speaker became the new ideal of most modern language teaching approaches and , although there has been much argument and debate within the field, this debate has usually focused upon methods. Al though the ideal of the "native" speaker has been contested by many writers, s o m e of whom I will mention in this historical survey, it still inf luences our thinking even today. 8 In regard to the methods used to attain this ideal, they are in part a reflection of the prevail ing v iew of learning at a given t ime. In the 1950's it was the behaviour ism of, among others, B .F . Skinner, that was particularly influential. 9 Sk inner 's behaviour ism held that language acquisi t ion w a s a product of habit formation. Language learning was thus v iewed as a process of internalizing the habits of the target language. This was to be accompl ished through the pedagogica l pract ices of dialogue memorizat ion, imitation and pattern practice. Structures of the target language were carefully ordered and d ia logues were repeated in an attempt to develop correct habits of speak ing. 8 H .H . S te rn , Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching (Oxford: Ox fo rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 1983) 103 . 9 B . F . Sk inner , Verbal Behavior [New York : App le ton-Cen tu ry -Cro f t s , 1957). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 6 Listening and speak ing skil ls now took precedence over the reading and writing skil ls of grammar-translat ion; however, attention was paid primarily to correct pronunciation rather than the independent production of language. Pract ice sess ions focused upon aural-oral skil ls and frequently took p lace in so-ca l led " language laboratories"; consequent ly , this approach to language instruction c a m e to be known as the audio-l ingual m e t h o d . 1 0 By the early 1960's Noam C h o m s k y and his adherents were insisting that language development was too compl icated a phenomenon to be expla ined through the tenets of behaviour ism a lone . 1 1 Instead, C h o m s k y p roposed the idea of an innate, genetical ly programmed mental structure which he cal led the " language acquisit ion device" (LAD). From this deve loped what is commonly known amongst l inguists as a transformational grammar: sentences are ' t ransformed' into other sentences by application to phrase structure rules. S u c h a p rocess was presumed to be consistent with the innate ordering and process ing mechan isms that C h o m s k y pos i ted . 1 2 Transformat ional grammar gave a new slant to grammatical drills. Language teachers using a transformational model bel ieved that by teaching a finite set of phrase structure rules and expanding them via the application of transformations, learners could understand and produce new sentences . T h e s e newly created sentences would have been neither produced nor understood had 1 0 Pat r ic ia A . R i c h a r d - A m a t o , Making It Happen: Interaction in the Second Language Classroom (New Y o r k : L o n g m a n , 1988) 11 . 1 1 N o a m C h o m s k y , „A R e v i e w of B . F . Sk inner ' s Verbal Behavior," Language 35 (1959) 26 -58 . 1 2 G r a h a m 12. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 7 they been limited merely to repetitive imitation, as had been the case with the behaviourist approach. B e c a u s e the sentence recombining and other kinds of exerc ises centered on form, however, the resulting sen tences were neither temporal ly ordered nor logically motivated; in other words, they were based on an understanding of language that was ahistorical and uncontextual ized. Their reason for being was to demonstrate the use of s o m e grammatical structure or other in an effort to aid the development of linguistic proficiency. App roaches to language learning that focused on such metalinguistic analys is and understanding were referred to as cognitive approaches . C h o m s k y ' s transformational grammar was used to justify and perpetuate a focus on structure and cognit ive p rocesses in language teaching. However, by the mid-1970's this approach was crit icized by those who emphas ized the socia l aspec ts of language (Hymes, 1970; Wi lk ins, 1976; W iddowson , 1978; Hall iday, 1979). It was argued that the more a grammar system can be related to meaning within soc ia l contexts, the more insight will be gained into language sys tems. Out of this approach came the idea of constructing a notional-functional syl labus as the basis for language learning in the c lassroom (Wilkins, 1976). The notional-functional approach is concerned primarily with helping the learner meet speci f ied communicat ion needs. T h e s e needs are organized around a set of notional categor ies which form the bas is for a syl labus: semant ico-grammat ica l categor ies (time, quantity, space , matter, case , deixis), and categor ies of communicat ive function (modality, moral evaluation and I Hermeneutics and Pedagogy 8 discipl ine, persuas ion, argument, rational inquiry and exposit ion, personal emot ions, emotional relations, interpersonal relations). Syl labi based on a notional approach often include such topics or speech acts as accept ing or rejecting invitations, requesting information, and express ing needs or emot ions of var ious k i nds . 1 3 Notional-functional approaches broadened the chal lenge of the learner from attaining grammatical competence to what c a m e to be known as communicat ive competence. The emphas is in communicat ive approaches is upon actual active use of the language as a technique for learning. Examp les of such active learning include role-play, simulat ions, games , problem-solv ing, and group work. Instead of sentence recombining exerc ises centered on form, or content subdiv ided into ser ia l ized categor ies of functions, it became crucially important for learners to use and engage with 'authentic' language. Centra l , however, is that through the many verbal activities, learners are introduced to language as a form of socia l interaction. Th is new emphas is on the soc ia l , interactive nature of language can be sa id to character ize communicat ive approaches and is attributable in part to events occurr ing outside of the pedagogica l sc iences , most particularly the substantial increase in the migration of people around the world from the 1970's until today. Immigrants to new societ ies had to be given a basic level of competence to function within their newly adopted societ ies as quickly as possib le. A s a result, a principal focus of this approach is linguistic proficiency in 1 3 D. A. Wilkins, Notional Syllabuses (London: Oxford University, 1976) 92. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 9 what are regarded as universal , pragmatic needs : requesting directions, ordering a meal , using the te lephone, getting a job. Communicat ive approaches may work well for the goals they have set out for themselves, but task -based , pragmatic notions of language acquisit ion have their limitations. The efforts of these approaches are directed primarily at making foreign language more relevant to everyday life, so they endeavour to empower learners to use words in order to have their practical needs fulfilled. Communicat ive approaches have been crit icized, however, for valuing the exchange of information over other purposes and goals. For example , David Block (2003) points out that the communicat ive approach doesn' t foster enough accuracy in language learning. Instead, teachers are interested mainly in having students talk, and direct activities in the c lassroom towards this goal . But accord ing to Cla i re K ramsch , a leading scholar in the field of language pedagogy: Ou r major task is not... to find ever better ways of 'making students talk', but to understand in ever more sensit ive ways why they talk the way they do, and why they remain s i l e n t . . . 1 4 Kramsch ' s call for a more "sensit ive" understanding relates to addit ional important components frequently miss ing from communicat ive pedagogies: the d imens ions of critical quest ioning, attention to learner identities, and awareness of power relations within target language communit ies. Bonny Norton, for example , insists that a "limitation of communicat ive language teaching methods is that many do not actively seek to engage the identities of language learners in 1 4 C la i re K r a m s c h , Context and Culture in Language Teaching (Oxford: Ox fo rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 1993) 2 4 5 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 10 the language teaching p r o c e s s . " 1 5 I will descr ibe below the important role of identity formation as part of the broader educat ional a ims of language learning. Communica t ive course books are general ly des igned for learners of all countr ies and are based on a kind of immersion in the target language that inc ludes a considerable amount of mimetic learning. Learners are suppl ied with enough "native" speech patterns and socia l pract ices to enable them ostensibly to function appropriately within an unfamiliar society and to e a s e their integration into that society. However, these approaches do not general ly encourage learners to quest ion those pract ices or to try to understand their soc ia l and historical contexts. For instance, practical, skil l-oriented tasks such as ordering a mea l , or ask ing for directions, do little to reveal the subtle, more intricate vagar ies of socia l contexts that make socia l interaction so open to interpretation - and contradict ion. Indeed, following K ramsch ' s point, communicat ive approaches tend to overlook the potential for speakers to be s i lenced within language communi t ies. Proceed ing from the standpoint of socia l consensus , communicat ive approaches do not address the conflict, or even the ever-present possibil ity for misunderstanding, that can arise from cultural diversity and d i f ference. 1 6 1 5 B o n n y Nor ton, Identity and Language Learning: Gender, Ethnicity and Educational Change (London : P e a r s o n Educa t i on , 2000) 139. 1 6 C la i re K r a m s c h and L i n d a von H o e n e , "The Dia log ic E m e r g e n c e of Di f ference: Femin is t Exp lora t ions in Fore ign L a n g u a g e Learn ing and T e a c h i n g , " in Rethinking the Disciplines: Feminism in the Academy, D. S tan ton and A . Stewart e d s . (Ann Arbor : Univers i ty of M ich igan P r e s s , 1995) 13. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 11 Through the use of authentic language as material from which to learn, and through such activities as role-play and simulat ions, communicat ive approaches offer an opportunity to learners to have the exper ience of communicat ing in another language in the c lass room. Stil l, the exper ience of the c lass room can never be more than a simulated version of using the language in the target culture. Moreover, the primary focus in many programs remains on the learner accuracy that communicat ive approaches do not foster. A value of institutionalized learning is the criterion of measurab le s u c c e s s . Educat ional exce l lence is often equated with achieving higher levels of cognit ive knowledge as measured by standardized test scores . In the c a s e of language proficiency, results may be too strongly affected by the testing method. They do not reflect what a subject can do in the local sett ings of a culture and they certainly do not meet the demands of creativity and spontaneity required by that sett ing. In this respect, c lassroom exper ience may misrepresent language use in the real world and the learners may be i l l-served by communicat ive approaches . They are i l l-served at a time when the role of language study for socia l and political realities has an unprecedented relevance. The twentieth-century revolution in communicat ions, the rise and pervas iveness of m a s s media , m a s s tour ism, and m a s s migration, have served to bring more peoples and cultures into contact with each other more often than ever before. With the advent of global markets and global information technologies has come a corresponding need to communicate ac ross nations and cultures. In order to become an aware I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 12 cit izen of this global community, individuals began to need an understanding not only of their own culture but a lso of other cultures in the world. Consequent ly , success fu l communicat ion across cultures has come to be seen as a new ideal for language teaching. Th is goal required much more comprehens ive ideas about language acquisi t ion, about language pedagogy, and about culture than previous approaches. S o m e of these were identified by H.H. Stern in "Language Teach ing and the Universit ies in the 1980 ' s . " 1 7 Stern envis ioned programs of language study assuming a leadership role at the forefront of scholar ly inquiry and research. To realize this role, however, he c la imed that language teaching and learning had to be v iewed as more than an "ancil lary sk i l l . " 1 8 The study of languages had to become the study not of " language a lone or language and literature, but a knowledge of language in relation to society and cul ture." 1 9 The recognition that language proficiency cannot be equated with cultural proficiency was an important first impetus for change. Understanding an unfamiliar culture and making oneself understood in that culture requires more than the acquisit ion of technical , linguistic ski l ls. Accord ing to Lothar Bredel la : "we should not conce ive of cultural competence as a skill ana logous to linguistic competence which al lows us to dec ide which sentence is correct and which 1 7 H. H. S te rn , " L a n g u a g e T e a c h i n g and the Univers i t ies in the 1980 's , " Die Unterrichtspraxis (1981): 212 -225 . 1 8 S te rn 218 . 1 9 S te rn 219 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 1 sentence is wrong. For Bredel la , it was not enough to have a command of grammar and vocabulary and to be able to construct grammatical ly correct sentences . If language study were to make a genuine contribution to post-secondary educat ion, the emphas is had to shift away from the idea of language learning as merely skil ls training. A more educated awareness was needed to cons ider the complexi t ies, contradict ions, and tendenc ies towards both intercultural understanding and misunderstanding. Extracting a language from its cultural whole in order to concentrate the learners' minds on it has been relatively standard practice within language teaching; however, this practice, too, required reassessment . Culture is not a detachable attribute of language. To treat language as independent of the cultures from which it der ives is to disregard the nature of both, language and culture. Cul tures are largely conta ined and constituted in language. Language embod ies the va lues and meanings of a culture, informs people 's cultural identity and shapes cultural artifacts and pract ices. It is not surpr is ing, therefore that appl ied linguists, especial ly researchers in sociol inguist ics and pragmatics, began working with v iews of language implicitly connected with v iews of culture, with socia l interaction and even with issues like identity formation and the 'se l f : 2 0 Lothar B rede l l a , "The S ign i f i cance of Intercultural Unders tand ing in the Fo re ign L a n g u a g e C l a s s r o o m , " The Notion of Intercultural Understanding in the Context of German as a Foreign Language, T h e o H a r d e n and A rnd Wit te eds . (Bern : Pe te r L a n g A G , 2000) 146. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 14 "We add new d imens ions to our Se l ves ; we expand, through use of the language, our repertory of possib le identities and ways of being human . " 2 1 Approaches to language study which understand proficiency as cultural competency, that is, as knowledge of other and self, can be seen as potentially transforming identity - not just grammatical patterns. By contrast, approaches committed to a view of language proficiency as linguistic proficiency, tend to evaluate their s u c c e s s by compar ison to the native speaker . Not only does such a compar ison undermine the conf idence of learner and teacher alike, it equates cultural competency with linguistic competency, and contributes to the idea that language learning is a form of skil ls training. Th is is not to d ismiss the common s e n s e re levance and usefu lness of learning another language as a skil l, but if language learning were to address the broader a ims of post -secondary educat ion, the long-standing, undisputed ideal of native speaker proficiency had to be re -assessed and was re -assessed by Cla i re K ramsch ; The teaching and learning of foreign languages has traditionally been divided over pedagogica l methods, approaches and techniques based on powerful but no less controversial theories and models of language acquisi t ion, but it has not put in question its one common goal : the attainment of a recognizable standard of nat ive-speaker competence. Indeed, it has a s s u m e d that it is possib le, even desirable, for learners to reach that s tanda rd . 2 2 2 1 J a y L. L e m k e , "Mult ip le t imesca les in the soc ia l eco logy of learn ing," Language Acquisition and Language Socialization. Ecological Perspectives, C la i re K r a m s c h , ed . (London : C o n t i n u u m , 2002) 84 . 2 2 C la i re K r a m s c h , " R e d r a w i n g the Bounda r i es of Fore ign L a n g u a g e Study, " M .K ruege r and F . R y a n eds . , Language and Content: Discipline-Based Approaches to Language Study (Lex ington, M a s s . : D . C . Hea th & C o , 1992). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 15 To stop striving for the unattainable ideal of the native speaker immediately f rees up the time needed to pursue other goals and activities. Th is does not mean , however, that a new approach can disregard the field's parameters of reference. It is necessary , for instance, to identify the broader educat ional a ims of which a new approach will form a part, to establ ish the theoretical foundations upon which it will s tand, and to dev ise the forms of mediat ion through which it will be structured. Of these considerat ions, the educat ional value of language learning within educat ion as a whole is the first a rea of inquiry. 1.2 Philosophies of Education Not everyone agrees either on the nature of learning general ly or the goals of educat ion specif ical ly, and it is not my purpose here to provide a complete inventory of posit ions. My intent rather is to p lace language study within the broader contemporary d iscuss ion . I'll begin with the approach to educat ion which cons is ts primarily of learning to solve problems. In this instance, the actual content of pedagogy has little inherent value but rather receives its value when it is brought to bear upon the resolution of a speci f ic issue or situation. The focus is on utility and in many c a s e s this is expl icated in terms of learning how to deal with the environment. S u c h an approach to learning is usually referred to as pragmatic or instrumentalist and finds its concrete express ion in the model of the modern sc iences and their emphas is on I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 16 method. In the c a s e of language study, this approach would align with an approach to language acquisit ion as skil ls acquisi t ion. There are, of course , those approaches which character ize learning from a more humanist ic standpoint. Two general ly acknowledged pedagogica l approaches form the basis for the d iscuss ion : cultural literacy and critical thinking. Both of these approaches reflect particular historical developments. With regard first to the contemporary d iscuss ion of cultural literacy, it has been focused primarily upon the book of the s a m e title, publ ished in 1987 by the Amer ican educator E.D. Hi rsch. Accord ing to Hi rsch: "the basic goal of educat ion in a human community is acculturation, the t ransmission to chi ldren of the specif ic information shared by the adults of the group or polis."23 A decade later, this goal cont inued to be affirmed not only in the United States, but in C a n a d a as well . In The Educated Mind, Kieren Egan descr ibed cultural social izat ion as the "first idea" of educat ion: "Central to any educat ional s c h e m e is initiation of the young into the knowledge, skil ls, va lues, and commitments common to the adult members of the soc ie ty . " 2 4 It was most recently reiterated by Pau l Smeyers : "Liberal educat ion is concerned with the initiation of the learner into forms of thought and understanding which are part of the cultural her i tage." 2 5 2 3 E . D . H i r sch , Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (Bos ton : Hough ton Miffl in, 1987) xvi i . 2 4 K ie ran E g a n , The Educated Mind. How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding ( C h i c a g o : T h e Univers i ty of C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1997) 10. 2 5 P a u l S m e y e r s , "The Or ig in : Educa t i on , Ph i l osophy , and a W o r k of Art," Heidegger, Education and Modernity, e d . M i c h a e l A . Pe te rs (Oxford: R o w a n & Litt lefield Pub l i she rs , Inc., 2002) 88. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 17 Educat ional va lues such as those expressed above are based on the premise that one cannot get along in one 's soc ia l , political and cultural world without first possess ing the concepts that constitute literacy for that world. Th i s approach has hermeneut ical support as well . It was the view of Friedrich Sch le iermacher , the Ge rman "Father of Hermeneut ics" that educat ion serves as the m e a n s by which the cultural traditions of a society or nation cou ld be p a s s e d on to the next genera t ion . 2 6 For Sch le iermacher , to be culturally literate means to p o s s e s s the necessary information needed to function and preferably thrive within a given culture and to communicate effectively with other members of that culture. Despi te the considerable support that this approach enjoys, educators have not fai led to recognize s o m e of its inherent contradict ions. In her comprehens ive work entitled Rethinking University Teaching, D iana Lauri l lard refers to one of these contradict ions as "the paradox" of the teaching profession: "We want all our students to learn the s a m e thing, yet we want each to make it their o w n . " 2 7 C la i re K ramsch acknowledges the necessi ty of such a program and points out a "paradoxical d i lemma" of all pedagogical sys tems which must "both socia l ize learners into the socia l order and give them the means to change that order . " 2 8 2 6 Fr iedr ich S c h l e i e r m a c h e r , Sammtliche Werke, Part 3 , vo l . 9, "Zur Padagog i k , " p. 40 ; c i ted in S h a u n Ga l l aghe r , Hermeneutics and Education (A lbany: S ta te Univers i ty of N e w York P r e s s , 1992) 2 1 3 . 2 7 D i a n a Laur i l lard, Rethinking University Teaching. A Framework for the Effective Use of Educational Technology (New York : Rou t ledge , 1993) 3. 2 8 K r a m s c h , Context and Culture in Language Teaching, 236 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 18 Certainly one of the most comprehens ive crit iques of the approach of cultural reproduction within educat ion is that of Pierre Bourdieu and J e a n -C laude P a s s e r o n in their study of the French educat ional sys tem, Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. The conc lus ions of Bourdieu and P a s s e r o n are based on empir ical studies which show complex interactions between certain socia l factors (race, c lass , gender) and factors of educat ional s u c c e s s . Consis tent with the cultural literacy approach, Bourdieu and Passe ron identify the t ransmission of cultural and socia l structures as the "essent ial function of educa t ion . " 2 9 Indeed, for Bourdieu and P a s s e r o n , pedagogic action operates as the "chief instrument of the transubstantiation of power relations into legitimate authori ty." 3 0 How a society se lects , c lassi f ies, transmits and evaluates educat ional knowledge reflects both the distribution of power and the principles of socia l control within that society. In other words, the educat ional sys tem transmits the constraints of the dominant socia l order through the educat ional exper ience. The educat ional theory of cultural literacy as presented by Bourdieu and P a s s e r o n leaves little opportunity for change within the educat ional context. What gets reproduced in educat ional exper ience is the dominant culture. The socia l order and its individual c i t izens are determined in a p rocess that prec ludes any possibil ity of the self-creation or socia l transformation that 2 9 P ie r re Bourd ieu and J e a n - C l a u d e P a s s e r o n , Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, t rans. R i cha rd N i c e (London : S a g e , 1977) xii i. 3 0 Bourd ieu a n d P a s s e r o n 15 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 19 Lauril lard and K ramsch claim as a necessary and inevitable d imension of pedagogy. Educators like Lauril lard and K ramsch , who dispute this strictly deterministic concept ion of pedagogica l exper ience, usual ly emphas ize instead the acquisit ion of thinking ski l ls, specif ical ly, 'critical' thinking skil ls as the goal of pedagogy. In approaches promoting critical thinking there is a c lear emphas is on method rather than content, and on the acquisit ion of transferable skil ls rather than the t ransmission of information. Crit ical thinking c la ims to effect a methodological d isconnect ion from ideological standpoints and thus to e s c a p e political or socia l interests. Through critical thinking, the legit imacy of any ideology may be chal lenged, either on the basis of its own standards or accord ing to standards of an ostensibly neutral rationality. In Educating Reason: Rationality, Critical Thinking, and Education, Harvey S iege l argues for the ideological neutrality of critical thinking. He conce ives of critical thinking as a pure, instrumental rationality prior to and independent of any ideological commitment or pre judice. 3 1 Yet even S iege l admits that reason is embedded in particular traditions: . . . rationality cannot be taken simply as an abstract and general idea. It is embodied in multiple evolving traditions, in which the basic connect ion holds that i ssues are resolved by reference to reasons, themselves def ined by principles purporting to be impartial and un ive rsa l . 3 2 3 1 H a r v e y S i e g e l , Educating Reason: Rationality, Cntical Thinking, and Education (New York : Rou t l edge , 1988) 59 -60 . 3 2 S i e g e l 74 -75 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 20 Here we are confronted by a fundamental phi losophical problem concern ing the nature of rationality. This problem forms the basis for hermeneut ical reservat ions regarding the privi leged status accorded to critical thinking. If rationality a lways functions under the influence of particular traditions, does not such influence limit the claim for objectivity in critical thinking? W e will cons ider this quest ion again, as well as the quest ion concern ing cultural reproduction, within the hermeneut ical context depicted in the following sect ion of this chapter. Cultural literacy and critical thinking are general ly understood as representing two differing approaches to learning, each determining how pedagogica l programs will be carr ied out. The two approaches appear to be in agreement concern ing the purpose of educat ion; that is, both aspire to prepare the learner to live in our modern, technological ly oriented world - they just d isagree about how to do it. With this as our point of departure, we will look at a further paradigm that incorporates both approaches. In "Intercultural Pedagogy : Foundat ions and Pr inciples," Michele Borrelli observes that traditional pedagogica l paradigms valuing the ideal of a "cultural literacy" were developing s ide by s ide with others promoting what he referred to as an "intercultural" paradigm of l i teracy. 3 3 Borrelli maintains that, because the convent ional "cultural literacy" approaches are "nationally-oriented pedagogies, " 3 3 M iche le Borrel l i , "Intercultural P e d a g o g y : Founda t ions and Pr inc ip les , " Mediating Languages and Cultures: Towards an Intercultural Theory of Foreign Language Education ( C l e v e d o n : Mult i l ingual Mat ters Ltd. , 1990) 273 -286 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 21 they are basical ly "racist-oriented and therefore not consistent with the mandate of all educat ion: Educat ion strives for humanity in two different ways, one being an individual act of liberation towards oneself, the other as a col lective act of liberation towards the societal whole. . . 3 5 Accord ing to Borrell i , what dist inguishes the cultural educat ional paradigm from the intercultural and makes the latter preferable, is its emancipatory function for all of humankind. The educat ional theorist S h a u n Ga l lagher agrees with Borrelli that the "ideal educat ional situation" is one which may be character ized as "productive of sel f-understanding and responsibil i ty and involving an ethical d imension defined in terms of f reedom or au tonomy. " 3 6 The viewpoints of Borrelli and Gal lagher are echoed by those of Manue la Gui lherme: "our multicultural societ ies are in great need of c i t izens prepared to interact ac ross cultures with the revitalization of the democrat ic society in m ind . " 3 7 To emphas ize such goals may be seen again as a reflection of the ever-increasing globalization of economic , socia l and political life. It can be attributed to the fact that most of the problems that concern humankind call for s o m e form of intercultural cooperat ion: the protection of the environment, the maintenance of human health, the development of a world economy and, of 3 4 Borrel l i 2 8 1 . 3 5 Borrel l i 2 8 2 . 3 6 S h a u n G a l l a g h e r 2 5 9 - 2 6 0 . 3 7 M a n u e l a G u i l h e r m e , Critical Citizens for an Intercultural World. Foreign Language Education as Cultural Politics ( C l e v e d o n : Mult i l ingual Mat ters Ltd, 2002) 167. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 22 course, the accessibi l i ty of educat ion. It is especia l ly true of the most fundamental problem the world faces, that of ensur ing peace : Increased contact with other cultures . . . makes it imperative for us to make a concerted effort to get along with and understand other people who are vastly different from ourselves. The ability, through increased awareness and understanding, to coexist peaceful ly with people who do not necessar i ly share our backgrounds, beliefs, va lues or life styles can not only benefit us in our own neighborhoods but can a lso be a decis ive factor in forestall ing nuclear annih i la t ions. 3 8 At t imes of threatening global cr ises on the one hand and shifting political boundar ies on the other, intercultural object ives of tolerance and understanding are becoming more important every day - all of which brings us back to language study and its role within this setting. How consistent are the objectives of language study with those of post-secondary educat ion? Accord ing to Cla i re K r a m s c h : "The new directions in the study of foreign languages . . . stem from a desire to recapture the essent ia l re levance of foreign languages and all aspec ts of foreign cultures to international peace and unders tand ing. " 3 9 Jorg Roche identifies tolerance, empathy and understanding as "the unchal lenged and gener ic goals of language instruct ion." 4 0 Th is is affirmed by George F. Peters , who c la ims that "the goals of racial and ethnic tolerance are inherent in what we do . " 4 1 The link of language pedagogy to the 3 8 Lar ry A . S a m o v a r and R i cha rd E . Porter , Intercultural Communication: A Reader (Belmont : W a d s w o r t h P u b . C o . , 1997) 1. 3 9 C la i re K r a m s c h , " N e w Direct ions in the S tudy of Fore ign L a n g u a g e s , " ADFL Bulletin, V o l . 2 1 , No.1 (Fal l 1989) 9. 4 0 J o r g R o c h e , Interkulturelle Sprachdidaktik. Eine Einfuhrung (Tub ingen: Narr , 2001) 114. 4 1 G e o r g e F. Pe te rs , " D i l e m m a s of Diversi ty," ADFL Bulletin, Vo l . 25 , N o . 2 (Winter 1994): 5 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 2 3 concept of a "global educat ion" is affirmed by A z a d e S e y h a n in her assert ion that "foreign language study is central to a globally conce ived international educa t ion . " 4 2 Gerhard Neuner is conv inced that language educators can do much to contribute to "a world free of power, suppress ion and v io lence where mutual understanding and living together in fr iendl iness and peace can be rea l i zed . " 4 3 Convent ional w isdom within the field holds that learning another language constitutes a form of emancipat ion, a freeing of learners from the conf ines of their customary ways of thinking and being. This idea was conf i rmed by A lan C . Frantz in a quest ionnaire on the value of language s tudy . 4 4 The quest ionnaire was initially compr ised of a list, in no particular order, of fifteen va lues taken from recent books and articles publ ished in the United States on language educat ion. Accord ing to the over three hundred scholars who responded to the quest ionnaire, the primary value of language study is that it " l iberal izes one 's exper ience (helps expand one 's view of the wor ld) . " 4 5 T h e s e results were more recently affirmed by Lothar Bredel la : "Such a concept of language implies that foreign language learning is an educat ional process: we acquire a new world v iew in learning a new language and become aware of the relativity of our own 4 2 A z a d e S e y h a n , " L a n g u a g e and Literary S tudy as Cul tura l Cr i t i c i sm, " ADFL Bulletin, Vo l . 26 , No .2 (Winter 1995) 9. 4 3 G e r h a r d Neuner , "Soc io-cu l tu ra l Interim W o r l d s in Fore ign l anguage T e a c h i n g and Learn ing . " Intercultural Competence, e d . M i c h a e l B y r a m (St rasbourg : C o u n c i l of Eu rope , 2003) 57 . 4 4 A l a n C . Fran tz , " S e v e n t e e n V a l u e s of Fore ign L a n g u a g e Study, " ADFL Bulletin, Vo l . 28 , No.1 (Fal l 1996) 44 -49 . 4 5 F ran tz 4 5 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 2 4 world v iew. " 4 b The field of language study thus affirms and endorses the educat ional a ims of an intercultural, g lobal approach to educat ion: the individual's personal development and emancipat ion extrapolated to the soc ia l whole. 1.3 Intercultural Approaches within Language Study The above points notwithstanding, neither intercultural paradigms of educat ion generally, nor those of language educat ion specif ical ly, constitute a uniform set of theories or goals. In the c a s e of language study, this contrasts with previous approaches which did have a general ly agreed-upon and well-def ined goal : native speaker proficiency. But if the ideal of the fluent speaker comfortable in most language situations has been c lear to language learners, a corresponding ideal is not so c lear to culture learners. A re learners culturally proficient, for instance, when they act, voluntarily or unconsciously , in a way that makes them indist inguishable from members of the communi ty? S u c h an ideal would be akin to that of native speaker proficiency, but does that make it either desirable or appropr iate? Certainly, learning to speak a language without thinking about grammatical descript ions or vocabulary lists is not the s a m e as learning about a culture and practicing that culture without thinking. The lack of clearly identified and general ly accepted goals dist inguishes intercultural approaches from previous ones . Th is , in turn, contributes to a continuing debate over appropriate forms of mediat ion. In regard to the Brede l l a 148. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 25 t ransmission of culture, for example , it had general ly been a s s u m e d that language learning would lead to some kind of cultural learning automatical ly or incidentally. A s w a s noted previously, however, cultural competence is not an automatic consequence of language ability, such that "the integration of culture and language teaching remains a cha l lenge . " 4 7 It is evidently possib le to acquire a language through simulat ion, to learn the forms and words and play at speak ing it, but the presence of a speech community can invalidate that kind of knowledge. The learning of a language will likely result in some form of culture learning, but such learning will not be inevitable, let a lone useful or relevant. Al l of this is not to claim that previous approaches have never undertaken the methodical t ransmission of the cultures of other languages. In the grammar-translation method, language learning was regarded as intimately connected to culture; however, the concept was understood very differently from today. The texts of the target language were selected in accordance with a definition of 'high culture' that a s s e s s e d their status as exemplary and valuable historical artifacts. There was also the notion that literature, though not the only manifestation of culture, was linguistically the most important one 4 8 The audio-l ingual method took a very different approach to culture. With the emphas is on grammar and pattern drills, the texts used for instruction were neither literary nor historical, but highly didactic and artificial. Cultural 4 7 A l i ce O m a g g i o Had ley , Teaching Language in Context. 3 r d E d . (Bos ton : He in le & He in le , 2 0 0 1 ) 3 4 6 . 4 8 T h e o H a r d e n , The Notion of Intercultural Understanding in the Context of German as a Foreign Language, T h e o H a r d e n and A rnd Wit te e d s . (Bern : Pe te r L a n g A G , 2000) 10. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 2 6 information was included, but derived implicitly from the context of highly contr ived, everyday speech acts. Communicat ive approaches extended the role of culture within language learning beyond mere contextual knowledge and explicitly integrate cultural information within communicat ively oriented textbooks. Within the G e r m a n context this form of inclusion occurs under the rubric of "Landeskunde" or "Kulturkunde". It is ana logous to the "4-F Approach" character ized by Gal loway: folk dances , festivals, fairs, and f o o d . 4 9 Th is approach consis ts primarily in the depict ion of straightforward historical or geographical information and the descript ion of typical events and activities. In the context of intercultural language teaching, however, s imply descr ib ing the var ious and sundry details of daily life in the unfamiliar culture is insufficient. S u c h a descript ion reduces the other culture to a compilat ion of facts. Moreover, the separate treatment of culture implies that language and culture exist independently. Even where the concept of "Landeskunde" has been expanded to include comparat ive studies between the target and native cultures, such an approach is insufficient. This is because such studies general ly involve the "benign" compar ison of apparently similar phenomena in the respect ive cultures. S u c h compar isons tend simply to affirm the status quo 4 9 V ick i G a l l o w a y , " A Des ign for the Improvement of the T e a c h i n g of Cu l ture in Fo re ign L a n g u a g e C l a s s r o o m s " A C T F L project p roposa l , 1985 ; c i ted in O m a g g i o Had ley , 348 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 27 in both cultures, reducing inquiry to what Todorov has denounced as : "the paralyzing banality of positive feel ings" (my t ranslat ion). 5 0 At this point we need to reconsider the role of critical thinking. For if intercultural approaches to pedagogy are character ized by their emancipatory purpose, then, according to Borrell i , structured comparat ive study between cultures must incorporate techniques that enhance critical reflection: "in order to minimal ize cultural affirmation . . . we need a crit ical, self-reflecting intercultural app roach . " 5 1 Thus , the intercultural approach to educat ion puts heavy emphas is on critical thinking. W e have already encountered some of the shortcomings of critical thinking within theories of educat ion general ly. How are these shor tcomings addressed within the specif ic context of an intercultural approach to language learning? Crit ical thinking as a model of reflection is usually al igned with the notion of getting a critical d istance from those things that are being interrogated. In order to v iew cultural forms objectively, for example , we must reflectively d istance ourselves from them in our analys is . A s was noted in the previous reference to hermeneut ical constraints, however, this distancing can never be absolute or complete. In the case of language study, it might s e e m that we actually have an aspect of the approach that is indeed implicit. Learners are implicitly endowed with the required distance by virtue of their position outside of an unfamiliar 5 0 " la bana l isa t ion para lysante d e s bons sent iments , " P ie r re Todo rov , " L e C r o i s e m e n t d e s cul tures," Communications, No . 4 3 , 1986 , 7. 5 1 Borrel l i 2 8 5 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 2 8 culture. Proponents of the approach caut ion, however, that this is not adequate. K r a m s c h , for example , insists that learners must be moved to a position from which they can view not only the other unfamiliar culture but their own familiar culture as well, from the outside, from a d i s tance . 5 2 In other words, learners should exper ience their own culture as something 'other' rather than an essent ia l center or norm. Anything less would condemn learners to remaining firmly centered in their own culture, judging the other culture by native standards, and exper iencing the unfamiliar culture from little more than a tourist's perspect ive. Ethnocentr ic v iews of what is natural and normal would be reinforced and nothing would hinder a retreat into the simplist ic "cultural affirmation" of which Borrelli warns. S u c h a decenter ing of learners from their own culture is certainly not someth ing that happens incidentally. Efforts must be directed at bringing the learner to this kind of exper ience. A general ly agreed-upon first step, one that s e e m s almost implicit to an approach call ing itself "/>7te/cultural," is to move the learner outside their own culture by moving them into the other culture, at least initially, in that culture's own terms. In other words, the learner must attain an understanding of the attitudes, behaviours, artifacts and institutions of the people in another culture, in terms of the culturally agreed-upon meanings which they embody for them. In this way, a learner is endowed with more than just a superf ic ial , or outsider 's familiarity with the people of another culture. Moreover, K r a m s c h , Context and Culture in Language Teaching, 210 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 29 it is only in this way that the nature of the intimate relationship between a language and the culture it embod ies can be apprec ia ted . 5 3 The process of regarding and quest ioning one 's own culture from without and participating in and exper iencing the unfamiliar culture from within character izes most contemporary approaches to intercultural language study. The prevalence of this p rocess has not, however, served to standardize the plethora of methods and techniques that represent themselves as "intercultural." For teachers of G e r m a n seek ing to legitimate their methods within an institutional setting, this select ion has not been helpful: There is no dearth of suggested approaches for the teaching of culture (e.g. Bernhardt and Berman ; D e C a p u a and Wintergerst; Gal loway; Heus inkve ld ; Lange and Pa ige ; Peters; Sav ignon and Sysoyev) . However, pedagogica l strategies are neither guided by common theoretical constraints, nor by common learning ob jec t i ves . . . 5 4 The quest ion of the theoretical basis upon which intercultural language study might be grounded at the institutional level is an important one. The al ignment with a "parent discipl ine" has significant bearing not only upon the m e a n s used to realize particular a ims, but a lso upon considerat ions of appropriate content and the mediat ion and presentation of that content. Language teaching, insofar as it has been regarded as the teaching of grammar, syntax, phonology, etc. has traditionally looked to l inguistics for its 5 3 K r a m s c h , Context and Culture in Language Teaching, 233 -234 . 5 4 S c h u l z , L a l a n d e , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , "In Pursui t of Cul tura l C o m p e t e n c e in the G e r m a n L a n g u a g e C l a s s r o o m , " Die Unterrichtspraxis N o . 38 .2 , (2005): 177. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 30 theoretical and methodological grounding. However, the interactions between teaching languages as a practical activity and the theoretical developments in the language sc iences were recognized as less s imple and straightforward than they had at first appeared. A number of scholars c a m e to the conclus ion that appl ied l inguistics as a mediat ing discipl ine between theoretical deve lopments in the language sc iences and the practice of language teaching might lead to a more effective interaction. A few influential writers exp ressed this viewpoint, as for example , Hal l iday, Mc in tosh, and St revens in The Linguistic Sciences and Language Teaching, 1964; W . F . Mackey , Language Teaching Analysis, 1965; and S . P . Corder , Introducing Applied Linguistics^973. At the s a m e time this group of scholars warned that the role of appl ied l inguistics, although important in some specif ic areas, was limited in others. For instance, Bourdieu argues that the linguist has only an abstract notion of linguistic competence that does not address real situations: "The linguist regards the condit ions for the establ ishment of communicat ion as already secured , whereas , in real situations, that is the essent ia l ques t ion . " 5 6 Bourdieu c la ims that the approach of the linguist is compromised by the failure to take such critical factors as the prevail ing polit ical, economic and other socia l realities into account. Increasing awareness of the socia l d imensions of language has cal led for forms of analys is able to account for social ly speci f ic uses of language, for language in action as communicat ion. Soc io - and psychol inguist ics have, Stern 247 -9 . Bourd ieu a n d P a s s e r o n 648 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 31 therefore, become an important extension of the linguistic discipl ines to which language pedagogy turns. In the literature on language pedagogy of the previous decade are references to Aust in , Sear le , Hymes and Hall iday. In Ge rmany it is the work of Jurgen Habermas that has been used as a theoretical bas is . W e will look at the contribution of Habermas in the following sect ion on hermeneut ics. In addition to the socia l mean ings carr ied by the functions of language, it has been argued above that language embod ies the va lues, artifacts and institutions of a culture. In order to understand these culturally speci f ic real izations of referential meaning, a form of analys is is required that al lows for a combinat ion of socio- l inguist ics with cultural and intercultural analys is . In other words, the expanded mandate of foreign language didact ics demands an expans ion of the field's hor izons. The epistemological ly-or iented socia l sc iences to which it has traditionally turned need to be supplemented by more interpretively-oriented discipl ines adept at the analys is and explication of culturally constituted m ean ings . 5 7 Here we have the entry of hermeneut ics as a relevant discipl ine and in this regard, it has been the hermeneut ical approach of Hans -Geo rg Gadamer , the contemporary "Father of Hermeneut ics," which has served as the primary theoretical f rame of reference. In his article "Identity or Alterity: Amer ican Germanist ik and Hermeneut ics," H . -J . Schu lz acknowledges the "positive theoretical impulses of G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ics for the practice and descript ion Stern 2 5 9 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 32 of intercultural hermeneut ics. Schu lz nevertheless c la ims that G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ics has " inf luenced the development of a theory of intercultural hermeneut ics primarily by negative examp le . " 5 9 A d iscuss ion of G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ical phi losophy, its role in the search for an intercultural hermeneut ics, and its appropr iateness as a point of departure for such a hermeneut ics, fol lows in the next sect ion of this chapter. That contemporary language study finds itself looking much further afield than previously, der ives primarily from its own efforts to redefine itself, but it is a lso a reflection in part of the ideological tenor of our t ime. The interest in critical theory, coup led with the intense attention of post-structuralist and post-modernist theories to language, supports efforts to link up language study to other fields of inquiry in the academic community. T h e s e efforts derive in turn from changes in the percept ions and attitudes toward all d iscipl ines or f ields of study. In particular, the exclusive validity of epistemological forms of knowledge is being quest ioned and alternative explanat ions for many phenomena are being sought. The present intellectual ethos, thus, encourages and supports the move on the part of language study to broaden its discipl inary base . The expanded mandate of language study, its attempts to redefine itself and its efforts to seek new al l iances within the intellectual community, bear wi tness to the vibrancy and dynamism of the field. Yet despite the interest and S 8 H . - J . S c h u l z , "Identity or Alterity: A m e r i c a n German is t i k and Hermeneu t i cs , " Challenges of Germanistik: Traditions and prospects of an academic discipline, e d . Eitel T i m m , ( M u n c h e n : lud ic ium, 1992) 9. S c h u l z 9. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 33 enthus iasm, despite the wide range of writings and scholar ly sophist icat ion of the research, despite the recognition of shared purposes and attempts at academic al l iance-bui lding, the innovative advances of the previous decades only rarely found their way into the c lass room. In 1993 Kramsch observed: G e r m a n language study today still reflects a concern with individual performance and formal mastery of grammar, syntax and vocabulary, and , despite rhetorical c la ims to the contrary, it ignores the dialogic, interactional and sociocultural d imens ions of l a n g u a g e . . . 6 0 There are a number of possib le reasons why progressive theories were not being implemented in practice. A first reason is that they appear so daunting. Advoca tes and theorists draw on a much wider range of scholar ly expert ise than those in which language teachers have exper ience, or to which they are usually exposed . Pract ical expert ise has to catch up with theoretical sophist icat ion. A second reason is that teaching and learning pract ices in the c lass room are at least in part a function of avai lable materials. T h e s e tend to lag behind theoretical advances . Finally, the practicalit ies of language learning cannot be understood apart from the institutional context of educat ion general ly. Institutional forms and prerogatives will determine pedagogic priorities and pragmatics. Accord ing to D iana Lauril lard this appl ies especia l ly to post-secondary institutions, where "the university operates a complex sys tem of departments, curr icula, teaching methods, support facilit ies, t imetables, assessmen t - all of which determine the possible ways in which students may 6 0 C la i re K r a m s c h , " L a n g u a g e G a m e s ; S o c i a l L inguist ic Pe rspec t i ves on G e r m a n S tud ies , " G S A C o n f e r e n c e , Seat t le , W a s h i n g t o n , 12 Oc tobe r 1997. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 34 l ea rn . " b l The gap between theoretical and practical expert ise, the availability of materials, and institutionally imposed constraints are all reasons why progressive theories emerging from research were not influencing actual practice in the c lass room. It is important to note, however, that the above-noted h indrances to implementation are not specif ic to intercultural pedagogica l approaches . S u c h impediments are general ly prevalent and shared to a greater or lesser degree by all approaches , past and present. In the case of intercultural approaches , however, the difficulties of implementation have proven particularly intractable. By the turn of the mil lennium these obstac les were engender ing c la ims such as that made by Wa lker and Noda : "in the study of language, nothing has been d i scussed more and with less effect than the relationship between language and cul ture." 6 2 Th is is consistent with Lange 's observat ion a year earl ier that despite a commitment of over forty years duration to include culture in the language curr iculum, "culture still remains a superf icial aspect of language learn ing. " 6 3 A n d in 2002 C la i re K ramsch observed: "Whether it is cal led international, c ross-6 1 Laur i l lard 2 . 6 2 G a l a l W a l k e r and Mar i N o d a , " R e m e m b e r i n g the Future : Comp i l i ng K n o w l e d g e of Ano the r Cu l tu re" Reflecting on the Past to Shape the Future (L inco ln , IL: Nat iona l Tex tbook C o m p a n y , 2000) ; c i ted in O m a g g i o Had ley , 346 . 6 3 Da le L. L a n g e , "P lann ing for and U s i n g the N e w Nat iona l Cu l ture S tanda rds , " Fo re ign l anguage S tanda rds : L ink ing R e s e a r c h , Theo r i es , and Prac t i ces (L inco ln , IL: Nat iona l Tex tbook C o m p a n y , 2000) ; c i ted in O m a g g i o Had ley , 346 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 35 cultural, or intercultural, communicat ion between people of different language and cultures has been an obsess ion of the last century . " 6 4 In November of 2004, the five members of a Culture Task Force, struck by the Amer ican Assoc ia t ion of Teache rs of G e r m a n , presented their f indings at the A C T F L / A A T G Annua l Confe rence in Ch icago . Their Report was subsequent ly publ ished in their professional journal "Die Unterrichtspraxis" with the title: "In Pursuit of Cultural Compe tence in the G e r m a n Language C l a s s r o o m : Recommendat ions of the A A T G Task Force on the Teach ing of Cu l tu re . " 6 5 T h e Report dec lared that the discipl ine was exper iencing cons iderab le difficulties in its attempt to integrate culture in language learning. In their account of those difficulties, explicit reference was made to all of the impediments noted above . It w a s conf i rmed, for instance, that teachers are anxious that their skil ls and training are not adequate to the requirements of the approach : "there is no ev idence of a theory-based practical preparation of teachers. . . . " 6 6 The Report a lso cited concerns regarding the appropr iateness of cultural content and the accessibi l i ty of suitable materials: "there is little commonal i ty in which cultural topics are addressed in instructional materials and in how textbooks present cu l ture." 6 7 Finally, it was conf i rmed that teachers are 6 4 C la i re K r a m s c h , "In s e a r c h of the intercultural," Journal of Sociolinguistics 6/2 (2002) 2 7 5 . 6 5 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , „ ln Pursui t of Cul tura l C o m p e t e n c e in the G e r m a n L a n g u a g e C l a s s r o o m , " Die Unterrichtspraxis N o . 38 .2 , (2005): 172 -181 . 6 6 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 174. 6 7 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , a n d J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 173 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 36 hampered in their efforts by the demands of an already overcrowded curr iculum: "there certainly is not enough time. . . . " 6 8 The following citation taken from a survey of students and included in the Report sums it up succinct ly: (1) teaching culture takes away time from the real object of language instruction, i.e., grammar; (2) teaching culture in a foreign language c lass devo lves into dilettantism, either because of time constraints or because teachers lack expert ise; (3) teaching culture is a political i ssue , . . . autocratically imposed on c lassroom teachers and s tudents . 6 9 It is interesting to note that, after decades of research and effort directed at developing a basic framework of theory and practice, the Task Force found this bas is still miss ing: "The profession needs to identify some conc ise , foundational and , of course , realistic object ives as well as principled approaches for the teaching of cultural compe tence . " 7 0 By the beginning of the twenty-first century, var ious attempts had been made within the G e r m a n context to address all of these issues . To begin, numerous attempts going back a number of years had been made to fundamental ly define the meaning of intercultural learning within language study: Bausch /Chr is t /K rumm (1994), De F lor io-Hansen (1994), Knapp , Rottger (1996), Thurmann, (1995). Other i ssues belonging to this context had also been researched and d i scussed , for instance, the concret izat ion of learning object ives, Knapp-Potthoff, (1997); a new concept ion for teaching materials, Liedtke, (1999); suggest ions to aid in the practical realization of objectives, 6 8 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 176. 6 9 S c h u l z , L a l a n d e , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 176. 7 0 Die Unterrichtspraxis, 174. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 37 Bundeszentrale fur Politische Bildung, (1998); and the question of understanding foreign cultures (Fremdverstehen): Bredel la/Chr is t /Legutke, (1997), Hu, (1997). 7 1 Attempts have a lso been made within the North Amer ican context to address these issues. Frameworks for designing a cultural curr iculum have been proposed by Nostrand and Nostrand (1970, 1971), See lye (1984, 1993) and Lafayette (1988); a framework for building cultural understanding has been proposed by Ga l loway (1984), Ortuho (1991) and Harden and Witte (2000); Wa lke r and N o d a (2000) have proposed an innovative approach to the teaching of language and culture in an interrelated f ash ion . 7 2 Despi te these many initiatives, the Task Force insists that intercultural approaches to language learning have yet to establ ish some of their most bas ic concepts . There is a further impediment to implementation that the Report del ineates and that has spec ia l re levance for my dissertat ion: student attitudes to the inclusion of culture within language study. The Report ci tes research showing that learners do not share the discipl ine's perspect ive on the importance of cu l tu re . 7 3 Consequent ly , the Task Force 's second recommendat ion for the A A T G is a comprehens ive account of the "mismatch of 7 1 Ade lhe id H u , "Intercultural Learn ing and its Difficult A s p e c t s - A n A n a l y s i s of the Cr i t i c ism in Re la t ion to a Con t rovers ia l C o n c e p t , " The Notion of Intercultural Understanding in the Context of German as a Foreign Language, T h e o H a r d e n and A rnd Wit te e d s . (Bern : Pe te r L a n g A G , 2000) 80 . 7 2 O m a g g i o H a d l e y 3 4 9 - 3 5 8 . 7 3 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , a n d J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 176. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 38 student and teacher percept ions regarding the p lace of culture. Th is is noteworthy because student disinterest and even hostility has been explicitly identified by Hadley as one of the three basic problems in the teaching of cu l ture . 7 5 Both sources make reference to the general ly narrow view of culture taken by students. Student attitude to language and culture learning plays an important role within my project. I will offer an explanat ion for the tendency of students to resist the integration of culture and offer an approach that draws on this resistance as a source of pedagogical benefit. By way of summar iz ing the Report, the members of the committee identify five speci f ic i ssues in need of professional consensus : Definit ions, Contents , Ob jec t i ves /Assessments , Approaches/Mater ia ls , Teache r Deve lopmen t . 7 6 For each of these issues, the T a s k Force has posed a number of speci f ic quest ions that need to be addressed . In Chapter Four and Chapter Five I will return to each of these issues and quest ions, del ineate them in detail, and offer the pedagogica l implications of a different perspect ive. I am undertaking this initiative because , despite all the difficulties, the Culture Task Force has not abandoned intercultural understanding as a worthwhile objective of the discipl ine: "It s e e m s that especial ly during war t imes or t imes of 7 4 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 176. 7 5 Co r i nne Man t le -B romley , "P repar ing S tuden ts for Mean ing fu l Cu l ture Learn ing , " Foreign Language Annals, 1992); c i ted in O m a g g i o Had ley , 3 4 7 7 6 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 176-178 . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 39 international cr isis we are reminded that F L teachers make, or should make an important contribution in developing cross-cultural unders tand ing. " 7 7 I bel ieve that this commitment is shared by most members of the discipl ine; however, it must be acknowledged that not all language educators share this attitude. For instance, by 1998 the preoccupat ion with the intercultural had become so obsess ive that the linguists Wil l is Edmondson and Ju l iane House quest ioned its practical usefu lness and deemed it a superf luous concept . In a much cited and highly debated article entitled "Intercultural Learn ing: A superf luous Concept " they argue that language learning is inherently intercultural and this new emphas is on the implicit educat ional goals of tolerance and empathy, deflect our attention from the explicit linguistic goals proper to the discipl ine. Accord ing to Edmondson and House , the discipl ine should return to the concept of communicat ive competence a s a workable objective for language s tudy . 7 8 I d isagree strongly with the view of Edmondson and House that the goals of an intercultural approach are already inherent in the discipl ine, and have already shown how much ev idence there is to the contrary; still, I can appreciate their frustration. The concept of culture is a highly complex and contested issue both in the real world and as a theoretical construct. It remains to be s e e n , for instance, if the notion of culture can serve as a positive transformative principle 7 7 S c h u l z , La l ande , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis, 172. 7 8 Wi l l is E d m o n d s o n and Ju l i ane H o u s e , "Interkulturel les Le rnen : e in i iber f luss iger Begriff," Zeitschrift fur Fremdsprachenforschung 9/2 (1998): 161 - 1 8 1 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 40 within our political and national world order. It a lso remains to be seen how well culture can serve as a new conceptual value within mode ls of pedagogy and educat ion. Within the discipl ine of language study, the cha l lenges are not limited to the content iousness around culture. A s we have s e e n , the concept of culture within language study is inherently l inked with that of understanding, itself a concept as highly complex as culture and almost as highly contested. In 1993, in Context and Culture in Language Teaching, Cla i re K ramsch put forth the claim that the new cultural goals and va lues in language pedagogy required a new approach to the role of understanding. S h e expla ined that language teaching had a lways been predicated upon the idea that we can understand one another if only we share the s a m e linguistic code . It was a greater awareness of the role of culture particularly that had made us aware of the difficulties and limitations to achieving understanding. But even at the optimistic outset of the interest in culture, K ramsch did not take understanding for granted. Instead, she regards understanding as "a smal l miracle, brought about by a leap of fa i th." 7 9 In this she is supported by Friedrich Sch le iermacher , who over 200 years ago sa id something similar about understanding: The more lax practice in the art (of interpretation) proceeds from the standpoint that understanding ar ises of itself... the more rigourous practice proceeds from the standpoint, that misunderstanding ar ises of itself and that understanding must be desired and sought at every point, (my t ranslat ion) 8 0 7 9 K r a m s c h , Context and Culture in Language Teaching, 2 . 80 „Die laxere P rax i s in der Kuns t geht d a v o n a u s , d a B s ich d a s V e r s t e h e n von se lbs t e r g i b t . . . D ie s t rengere Prax is geht d a v o n a u s , daf3 s i ch d a s M iBve rs tehen von se lbs t ergibt und d a s V e r s t e h e n auf j edem Punkt m u B gewollt und gesuch t werden . " Fr iedr ich S c h l e i e r m a c h e r , Hermeneutik und Kritik (Frankfur t /Main : S u h r k a m p , 1993) 92 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 41 In addition to the support of Sch le iermacher , K ramsch has s o m e contemporary support for her claim that the field's quest for new goals and approaches needs to be addressed from the perspect ive of a phi losophy of understanding. In his article "Toward a Cultural Hermeneut ics of the Foreign language C l a s s r o o m : Notes for a Crit ical and Polit ical Pedagogy , " Jeff Peck observes that language and literature departments have failed to utilize the productive critical potential of the language c lass room, a potential which P e c k c la ims der ives from a reciprocal relation between the activity of learning a another language and the activity of understanding: "Learning a foreign language becomes a paradigm for reflecting on the condit ions of understanding, in short, on how one understands at a l l . " 8 1 Cons ide red from within the larger educat ional context a third confirmation of the importance of understanding in the relation between learning and language c o m e s from Marion Crowhurst who argues in Language and Learning Across the Curriculum for the place of understanding over knowledge as the contemporary currency of learning: For most of the century, educat ion has been dominated by an inadequate v iew of teaching and learning. Accord ing to this traditional view, learning is a matter of knowledge and skill acquis i t ion. . . Deve lopments in cognit ive psychology have led to a different view of teaching and learning, one that emphas i zes understanding. . . 8 2 8 1 Jef f rey P e c k , "Toward a Cul tura l He rmeneu t i cs of the Fore ign L a n g u a g e C l a s s r o o m : No tes for a Cr i t ical and Pol i t ical P e d a g o g y , " ADFL Bulletin, Vo l . 23 , N o . 3 (Spr ing 1992), 13. 9 2 Mar ion Crowhurs t , Language and Learning Across the Curriculum, (Sca rbo rough : A l l yn & B a c o n , 1994) 4. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 42 E a c h in their own way, K ramsch , Peck and Crowhurst , advance the notion of an explicit and reciprocal relation between language learning, culture and understanding. Understanding other cultures is certainly a highly desirable objective in language learning and in the world, particularly when the world appears on the verge of becoming the 'global vi l lage' that Marsha l M c L u h a n prophec ized (1962). It appears more recently, however, that humankind has not made any substantial advances in the understanding of anything that is perceived as other or unfamiliar. A long with the positive expectat ions for an enl ightened world society as regards the environment, peace policy and international understanding, we must a lso acknowledge that the tendencies towards global izat ion are producing an increased awareness of the existing dif ferences and potential for misunderstanding and abuse of power. In Orientalism (1978) Edward Sa id emphatical ly asser ted that we cannot understand others. It is Sa id ' s c la im that the actual motive behind our desire to understand other cultures is to dominate t h e m . 8 3 In the same vein, ten years later in a work entitled The Differend. Phrases in Dispute, Jean -F ranco i s Lyotard portrays mediat ion between cultures as an act of v io lence. Accord ing to Lyotard, any compar ison between two incommensurable cultures will inflict injustice on one of them and will be exper ienced as an act of v i o lence . 8 4 There is doubt, too, within language educat ion that the discipl ine can actually promote the 8 3 E d w a r d S a i d , Orientalism (New York : P a n t h e o n , 1978) . 8 4 J e a n - F r a n g o i s Lyotard , The Differend. Phrases in Dispute. (Manches te r : M a n c h e s t e r Univers i ty P r e s s , 1988). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 4 3 development of cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding. Educators like Deborah C a m e r o n have expressed their lack of conf idence in the ability of the current communicat ion culture to truly bring about understanding across cultural faul t l ines. 8 5 A n d indeed, it has been acknowledged, that there is little if any empir ical ev idence to support the c l a i m . 8 6 Despi te the difficulties and chal lenges, however, members of the discipl ine express commitment. Educators like Ami ta S e n Gup ta expresses her commitment as an obligation: "it s e e m s as if the intercultural encounter is an inevitable part of the G loba l Vi l lage, and therefore our duty as educators is to strive towards developing a suitable pedagogy for this exper ience . " 8 7 In "The Limits of Understanding" Theo Harden poses an important quest ion: The quest ion is: is it truly possib le to widen our understanding by elevating it to a higher level of consc iousness , by creating an 'intercultural awareness ' , or are we conf ined to our relative narrowness by the specif ic features which determine our spec ies? This makes it necessary to critically examine - once again - some of the key concepts of 'intercultural communicat ion ' , 'intercultural awareness ' , and 'intercultural unders tand ing ' . 8 8 W e have, of course , encountered the concept of understanding at var ious points of our survey of language learning, but conf ined thus far to playing an 8 5 D e b o r a h C a m e r o n , Good to Talk? Living and Working in a Communication Culture ( London : S a g e , 2000) . 8 6 S c h u l z , L a l a n d e , Dyks t ra -P ru im , Z i m m e r - L o e w , and J a m e s , Die Unterrichtspraxis 173 . 8 7 A m i t a S e n G u p t a , " C h a n g i n g the F o c u s : A D i s c u s s i o n of the D y n a m i c s of the Intercultural Expe r i ence , " Intercultural Experience and Education, G e o f A i red , M ike B y r a m and M ike F lem ing , e d s . ( C l e v e d o n : Mult i l ingual Mat ters Ltd. , 2003) 171 . 8 8 T h e o H a r d e n , "The Limi ts of Unders tand ing , " The Notion of Intercultural Understanding in the Context of German as a Foreign Language, T h e o H a r d e n and A rnd Wit te e d s . (Bern : Pe te r L a n g A G , 2000) 104. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 44 implicit role. Clear ly, the role of culture in language learning demands a concomitant shift in our attention to understanding, the acknowledged domain of hermeneut ics. 1.4 Hermeneutics: A Historical Overview It is not yet a familiar term in the standard vocabulary of pedagogy, but hermeneut ics already forms the theoretical basis in numerous academic contexts including phi losophy, theology, law, literature, history, and the socia l sc iences . In my view, its connect ion to pedagogy general ly is in its mandate to examine human understanding. Its link to language pedagogy specif ical ly is in the proposit ion that human understanding is linguistic. But hermeneut ics is not l inguistics. Hermeneut ics has been alternately def ined as an art, a sc ience , a methodology and a phi losophy. Th is ambiguity in regard to its designat ion captures a tension that has animated the hermeneut ical enterprise s ince its inception in ancient Greek thought. The formulation of this tension begins in the etymological connect ion between the term hermeneut ics and the figure of Hermes , the divine messenger of the gods and inventor of language and speech . The symbol ism of this mythological origin al igns hermeneut ics with speech and story, activities of humankind which are universal and distinguish us from other forms of life on the planet. But it is appropriate as well because an important connect ion may immediately be drawn between the ambiguity of the term and the ambiguous nature of this particular Greek god, who, as well as I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 4 5 being a translator and interpreter, was a lso a thief (he stole Apol lo 's entire herd of cattle), a trickster (he made them walk backwards to d isguise their tracks) and a liar (he denied the theft to Zeus , until browbeaten into confess ing by Apol lo) . Most historical accounts do not begin with the mythological figure of Hermes and do not address the ambiguity of the mythological account. They most frequently begin with Aristotle, proceed through the sacred hermeneut ics of Martin Luther and Math ias F lac ius, and then go to the humanist hermeneut ics of J o h a n n e s Cler icus and the legal hermeneut ics of Johannes von Fe lde. Enl ightenment thinkers such as Christ ian Wolff and Johann Ch laden ius relegated hermeneut ics to the domain of logic and are frequently omitted; however, no historical account will fail to include the contribution of Friedrich Sch le ie rmacher in the early nineteenth century as constituting a watershed in the development of hermeneut i cs . 8 9 Sch le ie rmacher marks the emergence of hermeneut ics as a scholar ly discipl ine promoting an epistemology of "understanding." It w a s he who first def ined hermeneut ics a s "the art of unders tand ing" 9 0 in his canonica l book Hermeneutics and Criticism. Up until the time of Sch le iermacher , hermeneut ic practice had concerned itself primarily with the interpretation of religious, judicial and ancient literary texts. Sch le ie rmacher cont inued this tradition by systemat iz ing those methods of textual interpretation which had previously been in use, but he complemented these with a form of psychological interpretation " K u r t Mue l le r -Vo l lmer , The Hermeneutics Reader, (New Yo rk : C o n t i n u u m , 1992) 1 - 5 . 9 0 „Die Kuns t d e s V e r s t e h e n s " S c h l e i e r m a c h e r 75 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 46 which he cal led "divinatory" or "divinatorisch" (93). Sch le ie rmacher real ized that understanding a text means more than just understanding the words. It is a writer's unique insight that is the reason a text exists in the first p lace and that renders each of its constituent parts into a meaningful and unified whole. What most dist inguishes Sch le ie rmacher 's hermeneut ics from the past and becomes a recurrent theme in the future, in his emphas is on the linguistic d imension of understanding. Sch le ie rmacher c la imed that "understanding" or " V e r s t e h e n " w a s ana logous to speak ing, s ince both derive from the human "capacity for s p e e c h " or "Sprachfahigkeit ." In a move that anticipates Saussu re ' s distinction between langue and parole, Sch le ie rmacher descr ibes understanding as the coa lescence of the two levels that for him constitute human "Sprachfahigkeit": "Sprache" as the system of " language" in its totality; and " R e d e " as the individual utterance or " speech" of a speaker (77). Accordingly, Sch le ie rmacher 's interpretative methodology cor responds to this concept ion of understanding by its division into two parts: grammat ical and psychologica l . Indeed, Sch le ie rmacher 's s igni f icance within the hermeneut ic tradition is usually attributed to his move of complement ing grammatical exeges is with psychological interpretation, with the understanding of an "other" (i.e. the author). Deriving from this focus upon the author, and upon " R e d e " as the author's unique and distinctive use of the totality of "Sprache, " the relationship between individuality and totality, the part and the whole, become central in Sch le ie rmacher 's hermeneut ics. Al though a translator or reader can only ever begin with a part, it is a lways this whole that one is after. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y Sch le ie rmacher thus descr ibed the p rocess of coming to understanding as an apparent part-whole-part movement that has come to be known as the hermeneut ic circle: Comple te knowledge a lways involves an apparent circle, such that each speci f ic part can be understood only out of the general whole to which it be longs, and the reverse, (my translat ion) 9 1 Sch le ie rmacher 's emphas is on the crucial connect ion between thinking and language - "we cannot think without l anguage" 9 2 anticipates the "linguistic turn" of the twentieth century. Sch le ie rmacher 's legacy endures, however, at least as much for the ambiguit ies with which he has left us, as for his efforts to ach ieve correct understanding through the systematizat ion of formal principles. For instance, Sch le ie rmacher does not distinguish in his work between the concept of "understanding" ("Verstehen") and that of "interpretation" ("Auslegung"), using the terms interchangeably. Th is has resulted in a fundamental ambiguity which is still with us today. More significantly, although it was Sch le ie rmacher who real ized that understanding a text means more than understanding the words, he failed to establ ish a phi losophical-theoretical foundation to support his "divinatory" moment in understanding. He refers to it as "eine unmittelbare Auf fassung" or "an immediate comprehens ion" of what is unique or individual in an author by "transforming oneself" ("in den andern verwandeln") into the author (169). He acknowledges the differences in thinking that must inhere in two distinct 91 „Uberal l ist d a s vo l l kommene W i s s e n in d i e s e m sche inba ren K re i se , daB j e d e s B e s o n d e r e nur a u s d e m A l l g e m e i n e n , d e s s e n Te i l es ist, ve rs tanden werden kann und umgekehr t . " (95) 92 „wir konnen nicht d e n k e n ohne die S p r a c h e " ( 2 3 5 ) . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 48 subjectivit ies, residing in two distinct historical per iods; still, he c la ims that "in each desire to understand the other is the assumpt ion that the difference between them is resolvable" (my translat ion). 9 3 Sch le ie rmacher admits to presuming "that each individual person carr ies a minimum of all other people in them" (my translat ion), 9 4 but does not elaborate on just how he conce ives of this. In this regard Sch le ie rmacher dist inguishes himself from his later admirer and biographer, the philologist and phi losopher Wi lhe lm Dilthey. Dilthey def ined understanding as "ein Wiederf inden des ich im Du" or "a re-finding of the self in the other" and devoted his academic life to developing an epistemology of understanding that would provide the methodological underpinnings for those discipl ines concerned with humankind: the humanit ies (die Ge is tesw issenscha f ten ) . 9 5 Dilthey's research was beginning just as posit ivism was emerging as a single methodology of knowledge. For his part, Dilthey accepted the Kant ian analys is of val id knowledge for the natural sc iences but maintained that the human sc iences , those deal ing with historical and cultural phenomena , constituted an independent totality of their own, requiring their own methodology. A s a non-human sys tem, the natural world could be interpreted 9 3 "in j e d e m Ve rs tehenwo l l en e ines A n d e r n liegt s c h o n die V o r a u s s e t z u n g , da(3 die Di f ferenz au f losbar ist." (178) 9 4 " daB jeder von j e d e m ein M i n i m u m in s i ch tragt" (170). 9 5 W i l he lm Di l they, Kritik der historischen Vernunft, Gesammelte SchriftenVW, (1921 ; Stuttgart: B . G Teubne r , 1958) 191 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 49 and expla ined in subject-object terms, but cultural objects must be respected as having a "fur uns" or "for us" kind of character, as existing in a distinctly human as opposed to non-human s y s t e m . 9 6 Throughout his working life, Dilthey returned again and again to a project that would remain unf inished, and that he cal led his Critique of Historical Reason (my t ranslat ion). 9 7 This critique was to form the theoretical foundation of his approach and was grounded upon two main presupposi t ions. The first is usually referred to as the "Vico-pr inciple" because it received its c lass ica l formulation by Giambatt is ta V ico in his New Science of 1725. Th is principle supposes that whatever the human mind has created, the human mind can understand. Anything created by the human is, in principle at least, access ib le to successfu l interpretation s ince "the subject of knowledge is here at one with its object" (my t ranslat ion). 9 8 The second of the two presupposi t ions is represented by the much-quoted statement I cited above: "Understanding is a re-finding of the self in the other" ("Das Vers tehen ist ein Wiederf inden des ich im Du.") Th is does not mean that we understand another person by discover ing how they are exactly like us. The presupposit ion here, rather, is that there are some basic human features we all have in common and that these common features make any and all forms of human express ion, aga in , in principle comprehens ib le : "For everything in which 9 6 W i l he lm Dilthey, Fragmente zur Poetik, Gesammelte Schriften VI, (1921; Stuttgart: B . G . Teubne r , 1958) 313 . 9 7 Kritik der historischen Vernunft. 98 "das Subjek t d e s W i s s e n s ist hier e ins mit s e i n e m G e g e n s t a n d " (191). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 50 the mind has objectified itself there is contained something held in common by the I and the Thou. " (my t ranslat ion) 9 9 Dilthey was interested in all the var ious forms that human socia l and cultural express ion take, and referred to them in their totality as "objective mind" or "der objektive Geis t " (155). A s an instance of the objectivization of mind, however, one form of human express ion is preeminent: linguistic express ion. For Dilthey, it is most notably in language that "objective mind" manifests itself externally. Moreover, linguistic express ions combine the individual with the communa l , they pre-suppose the involvement of other subjectivit ies: B e c a u s e our mental life f inds its fullest and most complete express ion only through language, explication finds complet ion and ful lness only in the interpretation of the written test imonies of human life, (my t rans la t ion) 1 0 0 Dilthey appears to be following faithfully in the footsteps of Sch le ie rmacher when he singles out " language" ("Sprache") as the preeminent form of human express ion in which the totality of cultural phenomena, or "objective mind" could be supposed to reside. Dilthey's perspect ive does , however, represent a radical shift of emphas is . W h e r e a s "understanding" was for Sch le ie rmacher a process ana logous to "speaking," for Dilthey it is a p rocess ana logous to "breathing" and has its origin in the p rocess of human living or "Leben . " Ac ts of understanding are "l ived" by us, they constitute our "l ived 9 9 "a l les , wor in s i ch der Ge i s t objektiviert hat, enthalt e in d e m ich und d e m Du G e m e i n s a m e s in s i ch . " (208) 1 0 0 " D a nun das geis t ige L e b e n nur in der S p r a c h e s e i n e n vo l ls tand igen e r schop fenden und da rum e ine objekt ive Au f f assung e rmog l i chenden A u s d r u c k findet, s o vol lendet s i ch die A u s l e g u n g in der Interpretation der in der Schri f t entha l tenen R e s t e m e n s c h l i c h e n D a s e i n s . " (217) I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 51 exper ience" or "Er lebnis." By inference to this p rocess of living, Dilthey c la imed that all "higher" ("hohere") or more complex manifestat ions of understanding -including those demanded by the humanit ies - derived from the "elementary" ("elementaren") or common acts of comprehens ion that enable human beings to function in the world and to interact with one another everyday (210). Th is difference in the perspect ive of the two scholars is reflected in their methodological approaches. Sch le ie rmacher 's methodology emphas izes formal and technical strategies directed towards decipher ing grammatical construct ions. Lex ica l a ids such as dict ionaries, grammars and reference books compr ise further tools for understanding. With respect to the author, Sch le ie rmacher 's "divinatory" pract ices consist of consider ing the biographical c i rcumstances of the author at the time of writing, the relationship between form and content, and the disentangl ing of "primary and secondary thoughts" ("Haupt-and Nebengedanken" (186-192). By contrast, the primary strategies that Dilthey ass igns his reader are those of "empathy, re-creating and re-living" ("hineinversetzen, nachbi lden, und nacher leben" (213-214). From this perspect ive, the primary role of the reader is to re-exper ience the purposive and imaginative impulse of the author - in other words, to undergo the purely experiential act of d iscover ing "das ich im Du" or "the self in the other". A s a result of this approach, and in ironical contradiction to his intentions, Dilthey is seen as having shifted the reception of cultural phenomena in general , and the literary work of art in particular, into the highly subjective realms of empathy and intuition. The distinction between understanding and I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 52 interpretation, objectivity and subjectivity, which had been merely ambiguous in Sch le ie rmacher 's "linguistic" hermeneut ics, is all but e rased in Dilthey's "intuitive" he rmeneu t i cs . 1 0 1 In his later years , Dilthey c a m e to appreciate the importance of avoiding psychologist ic reasoning in his ana lyses and pursuing rigorous methodological procedure instead. A long with a number of other phi losophers, Dilthey benefi ted from the new "phenomenolog ica l " approach to thinking introduced by Edmund Husser l . Husser l was occupied primarily by providing a secure phi losophical grounding for mathemat ics and logic. He was aware of the critical epistemological function which notions like understanding and interpretation must fulfill in the actual work of the human scientist and humanist. His first major work, entitled Logical Investigations, was publ ished in 1900-1901 and marked a new beginning for hermeneut ic theory. The Investigations compr ise much more than an exploration of logic or even the logical syntax of language. They are a lso concerned with the ontological condit ions of meaningful d iscourse and the structure of those acts of consc iousness which make it possib le for our words "to point beyond themselves to things in the w o r l d . " 1 0 2 The signi f icance of Husser l 's approach is that it is a imed at d isclosing the common ground for the possibil ity of meaning and understanding in both the verbal and non-verbal realms, the world of act ions as well as language. Husser l 1 0 1 Mue l le r - Vo l lmer 27 . 1 0 2 E d m u n d H u s s e r l , Logical Investigations I, t rans. J . N . F ind lay (New York : T h e Human i t i es P r e s s , 1976) 3. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 53 is concerned with the descript ion of intentional acts, in other words, acts whose meaning presents itself only in their actual pe r fo rmance . 1 0 3 It is by virtue of these acts in performance that there ar ises a world for us together with other humans with whom we can communicate. A phenomenolog ica l study and descript ion of these per formances necessar i ly involve the interpretation and explication of their implicit meaning - a meaning which is a lso access ib le to other subjects. In the first of the Logical Investigations Husser l offers a probing descript ion of meaning-consti tut ing acts as they occur in us, and presents an outline of a theory of meaning and understanding. Th is theory is deve loped from the structures of the subjective phenomenolog ica l exper ience, but it is directed, at the s a m e time, toward establ ishing the grounds for an intersubjective validity of meaning. Hence there is in Husser l 's phenomenolog ica l procedure itself a hermeneut ic quality of a paradigmatic nature. Indeed, hermeneut ic phi losophy following Husser l prided itself on establ ishing the pre-scientif ic, ontological bas is for the human sc iences , although it would not have succeeded in this without the contribution of Husser l 's most famous student, Martin Heidegger. A quarter century after Husser l publ ished his canonica l Logical Investigations, Martin Heidegger publ ished his ground-breaking work entitled Mue l le r -Vo l lmer 29 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 54 Sein und Zeit (1927), translated as Being and Time ( 1962) . 1 0 4 In Sect ion 7 of Being and Time He idegger d i scusses his notion of phenomenon and of phenomenology. He charges phenomenology with the job of uncover ing what is not immediately apparent, "something that lies h idden" (BT59). Within the parameters of the work, this means the methodical uncover ing of the concea led structures of human exis tence in the world. In other words, the phenomenolog ica l task set forth in Being and Time is fundamental ly a hermeneut ic one. S ince my dissertation specif ical ly concerns Heidegger 's ontological hermeneut ics, I shal l explain here only those concepts necessary to indicate the line of development between Heidegger 's p redecessors Dilthey and Husser l and his successo r Hans -Geo rg Gadamer . L ike Dilthey, Heidegger engaged in a metacrit ique of Kant 's t ranscendental crit iques. Unlike Dilthey, Heidegger went on to scrutinize the underlying body of assumpt ions which the crit iques shared and which formed the foundation for the whole of the Western phi losophical tradition. In Being and Time, He idegger no longer grounds his concept of understanding in the autonomous, thinking subject, the foundational category from which phi losophy had been operating s ince Descar tes. Instead, he grounds his concept of understanding in the fundamental fact of our "In-der-Welt-sein," our "Being- in-the-world." Accord ing to Heidegger, there is a certain primary, existential 1 0 4 Mart in He idegger , Being and Time, t rans. J o h n Macqua r r i e and E d w a r d R o b i n s o n (New York : Harpe r & R o w , 1962); quoted a s B T . I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 55 understanding that is constitutive of our very existence in the world and which forms the bas is for the concept of understanding as a methodological category. For Heidegger, therefore, the subject and concern of hermeneut ics become the d isc losure of the basic existential structures of human existence. Th is approach takes Heidegger far beyond Dilthey and builds on Husser l . Dilthey interpreted the hermeneut ic operat ions of humanist scholars as derivative from certain elementary acts of understanding found in everyday life. Heidegger, in contrast, v iews all acts of understanding, from the elementary to the most complex kind, as springing from a primordial mode of understanding that is part of our very being in the world. At this point, therefore, Heidegger has hermeneut ics taking up that p lace in traditional phi losophy which had thus far been occup ied by the Kant ian crit iques. A s far as speech and language are concerned, Heidegger maintains a distinction between the two and c la ims that the structures of understanding and interpreting are intimately connected with "Sprache" and especia l ly " R e d e , language and speech . W e shall see in Chapter Three that, for Heidegger, " R e d e " p o s s e s s e s a foundational quality all its own. " R e d e " is the ordering and structuring power that dwel ls in our understanding. Indeed, as did his hermeneut ical p redecessors , He idegger argues that understanding itself is of a linguistic nature, though not as l inguistics, but as language and its interpretation. Stil l, the so-ca l led early Heidegger of Being and Time does not provide anything resembl ing a detai led account of the linguisticality of understanding. Having establ ished the relationship between "understanding" and "speech , " "Vers tehen" I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 56 and "Rede , " Heidegger p roceeds to expose our tendency to resist an authentic understanding of our ex is tence by hiding within "fallen speech " or "Gerede . " Only many years later, after his so-cal led "ontological turn" did Heidegger return to the positive aspec ts of linguisticality, but then he no longer ventured to speak on this topic with the kind of r igourous attention to detail that character izes his writing in Being and Time. It was up to Heidegger 's student, Hans -Geo rg Gadamer , to develop more fully the notion of the linguisticality of understanding which Heidegger had suggested . From among the many eminent and dist inguished students of Heidegger, H a n s - G e o r g G a d a m e r is arguably the most illustrious. W h e n G a d a m e r ' s Wahrheit und Methode (1960) translated as Truth and Method ( 1993 ) 1 0 5 was publ ished, however, he set the hermeneut ic enterprise on a very different course from that of his teacher. W h e r e a s Heidegger in Being and Time had fashioned hermeneut ics into a phi losophical tool for uncovering the ontological structure of human ex is tence, G a d a m e r directed his phi losophical hermeneut ics towards the more traditional ground of the human sc iences and the issues which they faced. To appreciate his approach, and to dist inguish it from Heidegger 's , it may be helpful first to character ize his relationship to that tradition. Like his hermeneut ical p redecessors , G a d a m e r ascr ibes primary importance to the concept of understanding. But in contrast to Sch le ie rmacher and Dilthey, whose approaches were directed primarily at overcoming the historical d istance between an author and reader, G a d a m e r insists on the 1 0 5 H a n s - G e o r g G a d a m e r , Truth and Method, t rans. J o e l W e i n s h e i m e r and Dona ld G . Marsha l l (New York : Con t i nuum Pub l i sh ing C o , 1993) ; quoted a s T M . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 57 historically determined nature of understanding itself. In this he is very much the student of the phi losopher of Being - and Time\ Accord ing to Gadamer , any interpretations of the past are as much a creation of the interpreter's own time and p lace as the object to be interpreted was of its own period in history. The interpreter, G a d a m e r c la ims, is a lways guided in his understanding of the past by his own particular set of "Vorurteile" or "prejudices." Moreover, "prejudices" are not something negative which should and could be overcome in the search for objective truths. O n the contrary, G a d a m e r maintains that prejudice is a necessary condit ion of all understanding (TM265-300). For Gadamer , the process of understanding involves two different aspects : the overcoming of the s t rangeness of the object or phenomenon to be understood, and its transformation into something familiar. Th is happens when the historical "hor izon" of the object and that of the interpreter become united or fused. Moreover, understanding is only possib le, accord ing to Gadamer , because that which is to be understood and the person involved in the act of understanding are not two alien entities that are isolated from each other by a gulf of historical t ime. They are both part of an overarching historical and cultural cont inuum which G a d a m e r cal ls "Wirkungsgeschichte," translated as "effective history." Accord ing to Gadamer , it is this historical-cultural cont inuum that is the ultimate producer of the prejudices that guide our understanding and because this is so , it is these prejudices that should be made the object of hermeneut ic reflection. To engage in such reflection, and to thus establ ish our own hermeneut ic situation, is what G a d a m e r refers to as the development of our I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 58 "wirkungsgeschicht l iches BewufBtsein," our "effective-historical consc iousness . " Th is is an explicit consc iousness of the effective historical cont inuum of which we are a part (TM300-307) . For Gadamer , therefore, the very first task of understanding is that of self-crit ique: working out one 's own prejudices so that the subject matter to be understood can affirm its own validity in regard to them. What role does G a d a m e r give language in this dynamic of hermeneut ical self-reflection and fus ion? To the reader of G a d a m e r ' s Truth and Method and many of his other studies, it is quite obvious that his concept of the linguistic nature of understanding deviates from that of his p redecessors in some basic ways . For instance, G a d a m e r does not clearly dist inguish, as did these others, between " S p r a c h e " a n d "Rede , " " speech" and " language." Instead, he appl ies the term " S p r a c h e " t o cover a variety of meanings. Yet for G a d a m e r as much as for his p redecessors , the possibil ity for all understanding rests ultimately in human linguisticality. Accord ing to Gadamer , it is the particular function of language to facilitate the fusion of the horizons of the interpreter and of the historical object or event, which character izes the act of understanding: "The linguisticality of understanding is the concretion of historically effected consciousness." (author's emphas is , TM389) . How is language able to fulfill this hermeneut ic function? "The essent ia l relation between language and understanding is seen primarily in the fact that the e s s e n c e of tradition is to exist in the medium of language. . . " (TM389). Understanding and interpretation for G a d a m e r constitute the mode of being of all our cultural traditions. T h e s e traditions are necessar i ly embedded in I Hermeneutics and Pedagogy 59 language. It fol lows, therefore, that understanding and interpretation are events in an historical and cultural cont inuum that is basical ly linguistic. In other words, G a d a m e r conce ives of language and understanding as an historical-l inguistic event which fuses the interpreter with his object. With regard to the concrete procedures able to facilitate this fusion, G a d a m e r depicts these in terms of a dialogue, a p rocess of question and answer that formulates understanding as participation - participation in meaning, a tradition, and ultimately a conversat ion. G a d a m e r resists the approach of the human sc iences that relies upon method and privi leges proposit ional logic: "Language is most itself not in proposit ions but in d i a l ogue . " 1 0 6 Th is insight represents the epitomy of G a d a m e r ' s dialogic conceptual izat ion of understanding. More recently, the hermeneut ical tradition is character ized by a tripartite division, which Roy J . Howard has descr ibed as its "three f a c e s . " 1 0 7 For such contemporary hermeneut ical scholars as E.D. Hi rsch, hermeneut ics is primarily a theory of textual interpretation employed by the human and socia l sc iences to guarantee the objectivity of their c o n c l u s i o n s . 1 0 8 With his emphas is on methodological validity and rules of procedure, Hirsch 's concept ion of hermeneut ics can be seen as aligning most c losely with the empir ical discipl ine 1 0 6 Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Grenzen der Sprache (1985)," Gadamer Lesebuch (Tubingen: J .C .B . Mohr, 1992) 98. 1 0 7 Roy J . Howard, The Three Faces of Hermeneutics. An Introduction to Current Theories of Understanding (Berkeley: University of California Press, Ltd., 1982). 1 0 8 Howard 26-53. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 60 of l inguistics and its attention to the formal and technical aspec ts of language learning and use. It is precisely this focus on objectivity through methodology which G a d a m e r disputes in Truth and Method. Accord ing to Howard, G a d a m e r represents a second , bas ic orientation within hermeneut ics which rejects its appl icat ion as an empir ical methodology. Instead, hermeneut ics is regarded as a l inguist ic-phi losophical approach directed towards achieving an understanding between individuals regarding our shared world. Howard depicts G a d a m e r a s employing hermeneut ics to promote our understanding of cultural ways of knowing, and the production of knowledge as an exchange of wo r ldv iews . 1 0 9 A s I ment ioned, it is the phi losophical hermeneut ics of G a d a m e r especial ly , which have been useful for intercultural approaches to language learning. A third orientation within hermeneut ics al igns with the critical d imension of foreign language learning and is represented by Jurgen Habermas . Habermas ' so-ca l led "critical" approach to hermeneut ics cha l lenges the idealistic assumpt ions underlying both hermeneut ics as a method of textual crit icism and hermeneut ics as a more fundamental , phi losophical concern . Gu ided by the demand for unrestricted communicat ion and self-determination, Habermas has defined hermeneut ics as : "the art of understanding the meaning of linguistic communicat ion and , in the case of disrupted communicat ion, of making it unders tandab le . " 1 1 0 1 U M Howard 121-134 . 1 1 0 H o w a r d 91 -103 . I Hermeneutics and Pedagogy 61 Before looking at some of the theoretical disputes and quest ions that these hermeneut ical orientations have engendered, I would like first to verify the essent ia l relations between hermeneut ics and language pedagogy and identify the nature of their connect ion. Certainly, the variety that Howard depicts bears wi tness to the amorphousness of the hermeneut ical tradition; nevertheless, all of these orientations identify understanding and interpretation, in their relationship to language and text, as the subject matter of hermeneut ics. A s we have s e e n , textual interpretation constitutes the foundation of hermeneut ical studies and is paradigmatic for understanding within hermeneut ical thought. Even the move to a more phi losophical hermeneut ics has not rel inquished the pr imacy of language for human understanding. Hermeneut ics is the tradition of the 'word' in understanding and as such may be cons idered intrinsically related to language study. O n e of the most comprehens ive and susta ined arguments for the "essent ia l connect ions" between hermeneut ics and pedagogy is that of S h a u n Gal lagher in his work Hermeneutics and Education.^ Ga l lagher depicts the nature of these connect ions as fol lows: If educat ion involves understanding and interpretation; if formal educat ional practice is guided by the use of texts and commentary, reading and writing; if linguistic understanding and communicat ion are essent ia l to educat ional institutions; if educat ional exper ience is a temporal p rocess involving fixed express ions of life and the t ransmission or critique of traditions; if, in effect, educat ion is a human enterprise, then hermeneut ics, which c la ims all of these as its subject matter, holds out "' Shaun Gallagher, Hermeneutics and Education (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 62 the promise of providing a deeper understanding of the educat ional p r o c e s s . 1 1 2 T h e s e numerous affinities serve to establ ish a connect ion between hermeneut ics and pedagogy. For Gal lagher , however, it is not primarily their shared affinities that will yield deeper insights, but rather the phi losophical and theoretical impasses that hermeneut ics and pedagogy share. T h e s e impasses , or "apor ia" as Gal lagher refers to them, coincide with the three faces of hermeneut ics that Howard descr ibes. They merit our attention because Gal lagher depicts all three of them as deriving from disputes with G a d a m e r ' s phi losophical hermeneut ics. A s was noted previously, Gadamer ian hermeneut ics serve as the dominant theoretical f rame of reference in the development of an intercultural hermeneut ics. A n d indeed, these s a m e three apor ia will emerge again within the context of an intercultural hermeneut ics. Ga l lagher descr ibes the first apor ia as deriving from the phi losophical encounter of Hans -Georg G a d a m e r with E .D. Hi rsch. A s we recall from Howard 's depict ion, Hirsch conceptua l izes hermeneut ics as a methodology by means of which the human sc iences can attain objectively valid conc lus ions. G iven the prejudicial nature of understanding as G a d a m e r depicts it, it may be possib le to ach ieve a form of intersubjective agreement regarding the interpretation of some object or event, but the quest ion remains whether that agreement makes the interpretation correct? For hermeneut ical theorists such as Hi rsch, reproducing the original meaning of an object of interpretation 1 1 2 G a l l a g h e r 24 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 6 3 correctly, constitutes the legitimate goal of understanding. To the extent that G a d a m e r d isregards this quest ion of the objectivity and validity of an interpretation, he has precluded the possibil ity of correct understanding. Hirsch is not a lone in his posit ion. Indeed, this debate over objectivity and methodology is cons idered by many to constitute the primary impasse within he rmeneu t i cs . 1 1 3 W e have already seen how this impasse plays out within the context of educat ional theory, for Hirsch argues that educat ion must be based on a similar reproductive activity. Later in this chapter, we shal l see how the general terms of this debate are repeated within the context of an intercultural hermeneut ics. For now we will cont inue with Gal lagher 's second apor ia which, as in the c a s e of the first, we have already encountered within pedagogy and which takes G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ical phi losophy as its point of departure. Th is second impasse der ives from the dispute between G a d a m e r and Jurgen Habermas . Accord ing to Habermas , G a d a m e r ' s phi losophical hermeneut ics remains limited insofar as it fails to take into account extralinguistic factors that distort language and therefore distort conversat ion and understanding. For Habermas , a valid theoretical f rame of reference must cons ider not only language but a lso such factors as economic e lements of labour and c lass , scienti f ic-technical progress and modes of production, and 1 1 3 P a u l R icouer , Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences (Cambr idge : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1981) 47 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 64 socia l and political p rocesses of domina t ion . 1 1 4 Habermas proposes, therefore, that G a d a m e r ' s process of hermeneut ical reflection should be supplemented with a kind of supra-hermeneut ical critique of ideology able to expose the extra-linguistic, built-in distortions operative in understanding. For his part, G a d a m e r objects to any concept ion of critical reflection that c la ims a privi leged ideological neutrality. In response to his critics, (Habermas especial ly) , who a c c u s e G a d a m e r of failing to recognize the power of reflection, G a d a m e r states: My objection is that the critique of ideology overest imates the competence of reflection and reason. Inasmuch as it seeks to penetrate the masked interests which infect public opinion, it implies its own f reedom from any ideology; and that means in turn that it enthrones its own norms and ideals as self-evident and a b s o l u t e . 1 1 5 A s in the case of the first apor ia, we have seen this particular impasse reflected within the educat ional context. It concerns the quest ion about the capaci ty of reflection to reveal and counter structures of power and authority within educat ional p rocesses and institutions. Within the hermeneut ical context, it is a quest ion of the extent to which var ious authority or power structures are necessar i ly reproduced within traditions of understanding, and the extent to which these traditions can be transformed through the hermeneut ical exper ience. If Habermas is right, then the Gadamer ian p rocess of 1 1 4 J u r g e n H a b e r m a s , "A R e v i e w of G a d a m e r ' s 'Truth a n d Me thod ' , " Understanding and Social Inquiry, e d . F r e d R. Da lmay r and T h o m a s A . M c C a r t h y (Notre D a m e : Univers i ty of Notre D a m e P r e s s , 1977) 3 6 0 - 3 6 1 ; c i ted in Ga l l aghe r , p. 17. 1 1 5 H a n s - G e o r g G a d a m e r , " R e p l y to m y Cr i t ics , " t rans. G e o r g e H . Le iner , c i ted in G a l l a g h e r p.18. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 6 5 hermeneut ical reflection has run into one of its limitations, a limitation that will be encountered again in the search for an intercultural hermeneut ics. W h e r e a s Ga l lagher depicts the first apor ia as the debate of Hirsch with G a d a m e r over objective reproduction, and the second apor ia as the debate of Habe rmas with G a d a m e r over transformation and limitation, the third impasse or apor ia involves the debate of G a d a m e r with the French deconstructionist phi losopher J a c q u e s Derr ida. The way Derr ida s e e s it, Gadamer ' s concept ion of hermeneut ics a s the sea rch for s o m e s e n s e of truth, mean ing or c o n s e n s u s based on a model of conversat ion or dialogue, reflects a trust in communicat ion that is i l l-founded. Indeed, Derr ida starts out resembl ing Habermas in his c la im that G a d a m e r is too trusting in dia logue and that distorted communicat ion demands susp ic ion. But whereas Habermas still posits the possibil ity of expos ing distortive forces, and thus of attaining to s o m e s e n s e of truth, Derr ida insists that there is no e s c a p e from these forces, and that the whole metaphysical concept of truth requires deconstruct ion. Ironically enough, this latter claim der ives originally from the se l f -same thinker who inspired G a d a m e r ' s approach: Martin Heidegger. David C o u z e n s Hoy points out this ironic dichotomy in his article entitled "Heidegger and the hermeneut ic turn": Two thinkers in the second half of the twentieth century whose work would not have been possib le without Heidegger 's account of understanding in Being and Time are Hans -Geo rg G a d a m e r and J a c q u e s Derr ida. Yet the hermeneut ic theory deve loped by G a d a m e r and the deconstruct ive movement fathered by Derr ida take the Heidegger ian account in different and apparently opposed d i rec t ions . 1 1 6 1 1 6 Dav id C o u z e n s Hoy , " H e i d e g g e r and the hermeneut ic turn," The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, C h a r l e s G u i g n o n , e d . (Cambr idge : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1993) 188. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 66 In contrast to the Gadamer ian move to recover and reconstruct meaning through consensus based on dialogue, Derr idean deconstruct ion proceeds by quest ioning this faith in the unity of meaning and the pr imacy of conversat ion. In light of this debate, we face the question as to whether understanding should be reconstructive or deconstruct ive in intent. Ga l lagher poses this quest ion in terms of R icoeur 's distinction between a "hermeneut ics of trust" and a "hermeneut ics of susp ic ion" and depicts this third apor ia as that of conversat ion being caught between trust (Gadamer) and suspic ion (Der r ida) . 1 1 7 A s could be expected, the hermeneut ical apor ia of conversat ion is reiterated within the context of educat ion. If it is in the nature of educat ion to involve more than the reproduction of knowledge; that is, if educat ion must a lways involve some form of transformative activity, as K ramsch , Lauri l lard and the critical educat ional theorists would insist, must that transformation necessar i ly involve a suspic ion of all conversat ion? Ga l lagher is especia l ly concerned with the pedagogica l implications of this apor ia, because the conceptual izat ion of educat ion as the "conversat ion of mankind" serves as a w idespread ideal and model for p e d a g o g y . 1 1 8 It certainly quali f ies as the prevail ing concept and model within an intercultural approach to pedagogy, making the apor ia of conversat ion a particularly relevant and compel l ing concern within an intercultural approach to hermeneut ics. A n aspect of this apor ia which 1 1 7 G a l l a g h e r 2 1 . 1 1 8 G a l l a g h e r 2 2 . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 67 language pedagogy reveals as particularly significant is the role of the word in the world. If we character ize hermeneut ics as the study of human understanding, and this understanding is seen as essential ly language-based, then an accompany ing cla im must be that our understanding of the word consti tutes our understanding of the world. A n d indeed nothing less than this has been c la imed by J a c q u e s Derr ida in his pronouncement "il n'y a pas de hors-texte" or "There is nothing outside the text . " 1 1 9 There are only texts, and one text can refer only to another text. For his part, G a d a m e r a lso c la ims "Se in , dal3 verstanden werden kann, ist Sp rache" or "Be ing that can be understood is language" (TM474). If this hermeneut ical s tance does not say that "there are only texts," it does s e e m to imply that everything, not excluding "being" itself, is textual, that is, in language and avai lable to be read. Insofar as the world has signi f icance for the human being, the world is a text which cal ls for interpretation. The quest ion ar ises, of course, whether this model of the word as ana logous to our understanding of the world is a lways appropriate. By basing its model of understanding upon language, hermeneut ics reduces all forms of understanding to one - linguistic. F rom this perspect ive understanding, whether it is understanding a person or an event, the natural world or the cultural one, is a lways an exerc ise in language. In hermeneut ics as a methodology for textual interpretation, language is properly the subject matter. Even in its manifestation as a phi losophy of understanding general ly, language justifiably plays a central 1 1 9 J a c q u e s Der r ida , Of Grammatology, t rans. Gaya t r i Chak ravo r t y S p i v a k (Bal t imore: J o h n s Hopk ins Univers i ty P r e s s , 1976) 158. I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 68 role; however, I bel ieve it ser iously d iminishes the potency of the tradition if it remains the exclus ive focus of phi losophical hermeneut ics. After all - and here we have a first indication of the nature of their reciprocal relation - have the new directions in language study not deve loped specif ical ly out of the realization that linguistic proficiency is not enough to ensure understanding? That understanding the 'other' involves more than understanding his or her linguistic c o d e ? Language study has shown us that it is insufficient to turn to language to solve all hermeneut ical problems, all problems of understanding. S o where does that leave the relationship between hermeneut ics and pedagogy and the stated purpose of my dissertat ion? 1.5 Understanding in Learning: From Theory to Practice A s stated at the outset, my purpose in this dissertation is to promote the role of language study within a general educat ion for the twenty-first century. My intention is to engage phi losophical hermeneut ics in the serv ice of this effort. With this relation as my point of departure, I will p roceed on the bas is of the two proposit ions that follow. First, it will be my guiding focus in this effort to regard the learning of languages as an educat ional value. By this I mean that my approach to the discipl ine will have little in common with utilitarian approaches that confine language study to the acquisit ion of a skil l. W h e n language learning is cons idered part of a general educat ion, there is much more to it than the mere acquisit ion of ski l ls. Language learners fulfilling program requirements in an I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 69 institutional setting may rarely or even never require an addit ional language, either for career or travel purposes. Moreover, if their learning exper ience consis ts of nothing more than the technical formalit ies of a language, what will they be left with after they've forgotten how to decl ine an adjective or conjugate a verb? Linguistic proficiency should remain an immediate and concrete goal of language pedagogy, but it is for broader, more enduring competenc ies that the discipl ine must ultimately educate. Of course, we cannot hope for unequivocal agreement as to what these might be. The new directions in language study are consistent, however, with what I establ ished previously as two of the fundamental va lues and objectives of educat ion today: sel f-understanding and an explicit awareness of one 's own identity as a culturally and social ly-def ined individual. Th is is the mandate for contemporary language study from which I will p roceed. S e c o n d , al igning the objectives of language learning with those of educat ion general ly means bringing these objectives to realization within an institutional context. S u c h a context necessar i ly implies theoretical and methodological considerat ions. Contributing to these is my designated role for hermeneut ics. A s we have s e e n , attempts to establ ish a theoretical base for language study have already been far-reaching, conf ined neither to the traditional linguistic sc iences nor to the traditionally epistemological ones . A s we have also s e e n , the new approaches in language study involve a new conceptual izat ion of understanding, and in this regard, theoretical inquiry can rightly turn to the closely all ied and wel l -establ ished discipl ine of hermeneut ics. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 70 But what of the vexed quest ions and seemingly incommensurab le theoretical impasses with which the tradition grapp les? It is beyond the parameters of my dissertation to attempt to resolve these disputes; rather, it is my intention to pursue other possibi l i t ies and directions within the tradition that I bel ieve remain u n d e r d e v e l o p e d . In the manner of an introduction to these possibi l i t ies, however, I will respond to the question of the appropr iateness of the textual paradigm within hermeneut ics. I will then t ranspose Gal lagher 's three hermeneut ical apor ia into the terms of an intercultural hermeneut ics and conc lude the chapter by identifying the other possib le directions that the tradition offers. 1.6 The Aporia of an Intercultural Hermeneutics Beginning with the hermeneut ic emphas is upon language within understanding, I would argue that this emphas is is a distortion of the tradition. It obscures what has a lways dist inguished hermeneut ics from other forms of phi losophy: its foundation and grounding in the actual activity of human living. For example , Sch le ie rmacher is known for having systemat ized the methods of grammat ical interpretation that had been the mainstay of hermeneut ical practice, but his real s igni f icance resides in his having complemented this traditional grammatical exeges is with psychological interpretation, with the understanding of another human being, the writer. Sch le ie rmacher real ized that understanding a text m e a n s more than just understanding the words. His hermeneut ics v iewed a text as the express ion of a writer's individual exper ience and insight. Th is I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 71 combinat ion of insight and exper ience is the reason why a text exists in the first p lace and it is this which renders a text into a meaningful , comprehens ib le unit. Dilthey bel ieved that it is in language that the human spirit f inds its most complete and objectively comprehens ib le express ion , but language does not make sense , is literally meaning less , apart from the all-important factor of "Er lebnis," of actual "l ived exper ience." Moreover, understanding w a s for him a process that had its origin in the daily activities of human living. By inference to this p rocess of living, Dilthey c la imed that all complex manifestat ions of understanding derived from the common acts of comprehens ion that enable human beings to function in the world and to interact with one another every day. Heidegger referred to language as "das Haus des Se ins " or "the house of B e i n g , " 1 2 0 but if exper ience is not really meaningful until it has found a home in language, exper ience is a lso the reason for the ex is tence of language. St. John procla imed that when all things began, the word already was , but Heidegger would counter that for all things to begin, there had to be ex is tence already. Heidegger 's hermeneut ics in Being and Time are firmly grounded in the existential world of everyday human exper ience. He pays careful attention to the modes in which human beings exist and the manner in which things are actually encountered in the world. 1 2 0 Mart in He idegger , "Brief uber den H u m a n i s m u s , " Wegmarken (1947; Frank fur t /Ma in : Vittorio K los te rmann V e r l a g , 1967) 145. I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 72 A s we have s e e n , G a d a m e r relies heavily on the work of Heidegger, or, more properly, his particular interpretation of He idegger 's work. A s G a d a m e r s e e s it, it was Heidegger 's radical breakthrough to reveal the connect ion between language and world. Accord ing to Gadamer , language is the way in which we, as humans, exper ience what we call reality. It is the way in which reality exists for us. But if our encounter with the reality of the world is a lways through language, G a d a m e r nevertheless insists that it is "something that the thing itself does and which thought 'suffers'. Th is activity of the thing itself is the real speculat ive movement that takes hold of the speaker" (TM474). Moreover, clarifying the relation between understanding and practice is an important task in G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ics, and his idea that application is implicit in all understanding plays a central role. I would argue that a textual paradigm of understanding constitutes a distortion of the hermeneut ical tradition. Al l of this notwithstanding, more attention is presently being paid to the epistemological and linguistic d imension of hermeneut ics, than to the ontological and existential. I agree with Heidegger that human understanding is expressed first and foremost in average, everyday pract ices; in what people do, not just in what they say. Moreover, I wish to expand upon this with a specif ic proposit ion: namely, that hermeneut ical practice does not follow Heidegger sufficiently in focusing upon ontology rather than epistemology; that is, in viewing understanding primarily as a mode of being rather than a mode of knowing. Therefore, a direction within hermeneut ics I intend to pursue is a hermeneut ics that reasserts the re levance of Heidegger I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 73 and his emphas is on the connect ion between self-understanding and daily human ex is tence. Of course, Heidegger is only one in a long line of thinkers who founded his phi losophy directly on our living as we exper ience it; however, among those phi losophers who may be designated as hermeneut ical , Heidegger is different. I ment ioned that historical accounts of hermeneut ical phi losophers and phi losophy almost a lways begin with Friedrich Sch le iermacher . He was the one to provide a systemat ic theory of understanding and attempted to work out a general discipl ine to embrace the var ious spec ia l ized branches of hermeneut ics existing at his time. It was , therefore, both easy and legitimate for almost everyone - Heidegger is the except ion - to take Sch le ie rmacher as a bench mark of hermeneut ical theory. Sch le ie rmacher 's textual hermeneut ics became the measure of all hermeneut ical theory and the text itself became the paradigm of hermeneut ics. What Heidegger understood and others didn't is that Sch le ie rmacher 's move from specif ic to general theory within a textual hermeneut ics is radically different from the later move to a more universal , phi losophical hermeneut ics where not all understanding is reduced to textual understanding. Of course, insofar as the p rocess of learning is concerned, we cannot fail to acknowledge that textual interpretation does take p lace in learning. Sti l l , it is equal ly obvious that this is not how all learning takes p lace. Indeed, s ince one must learn how to read and understand written texts, a certain priority must be given to a kind of learning other than learning by textual understanding. To my I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 74 mind, both the learning p rocess generally, and the learning of another language specif ical ly, can benefit by retrieving the existential d imension of understanding which Heidegger put forth and which has been obscured by textual ism. A s we have s e e n , however, it is not the hermeneut ics of Martin Heidegger but those of this student Hans -Georg G a d a m e r that have served as the primary point of departure in the search for an intercultural hermeneut ics. A s we have a lso s e e n , his has not a lways been deemed the most fruitful or productive approach. The claim by the Amer ican Germanis t H . -J . Schu lz that G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ics may not be the most appropriate, was prefigured by the G e r m a n Germanis t A lo is Wier lacher in an article entitled "With Foreign E y e s or: Fore ignness as Fermentat ion. Thoughts on the Foundat ion of an Intercultural Hermeneut ics of G e r m a n Literature" (my t ranslat ion) . 1 2 1 Pub l ished in 1990, this work has s ince a s s u m e d almost canonica l status within the field. Within the frame of reference of an intercultural hermeneut ics, it is primarily G a d a m e r ' s concept of a "fusion" which is troubling to Wier lacher . Wier lacher c la ims that in G a d a m e r ' s descript ion of the unity of the one and the other which c o m e s about in the hermeneutic "fusion of hor izons," the dissolut ion of the one in the other is suggested : But the s u c c e s s of historical understanding resides in the unity of the one and the other produced through a fusion of hor izons that c o m e s dubiously c lose to the dissolut ion of the one in the other, (my t rans la t ion) 1 2 2 1 2 1 A lo i s Wie r lacher , "Mit f remden A u g e n oder : F remdhe i t a ls Ferment . U b e r l e g u n g e n zur B e g r u n d u n g e iner interkulturel len Hermeneut ik deu tscher Literatur." Hermeneutik der Fremde, Dietr ich K r u s c h e & A lo is Wie r lacher , e d s . ( M u n c h e n : lud ic ium 1990). 122 "Abe r d a s G e l i n g e n gesch ich t l i chen V e r s t e h e n s besteht letztl ich in der Hers te l lung e iner ho r i zon tve rschme lzenden "Einhei t " d e s E inen und A n d e r e n , d ie der Au f l osung d e s A n d e r e n im E inen bedenk l i ch nahe kommt. " (58) I He rmeneu t i cs a n d P e d a g o g y 75 Accord ing to Wier lacher, this hermeneut ic merging of subject and object is a form of appropriat ion, one of the other, and therefore should not be the model for intercultural teaching or the descript ion of intercultural reception. Instead, it resembles the despot ic attitude of the nineteenth century "that imperially l iquidates cultural fore ignness" (my t rans lat ion) . 1 2 3 It is Wier lacher 's content ion, in any c a s e , that the possibil i ty of successfu l ly attaining such a fusion has been overest imated and he cites such respected Ge rman thinkers as Goe the and Less ing to support his argument. A n abiding theme for Wier lacher in this article is the relationship between an understanding of "the foreign" and sel f-understanding. He speaks of the " interdependent development of self and o ther " 1 2 4 and regards "understanding "the foreign" as a mode of understanding the self (my t rans lat ions) . " 1 2 5 In terms we have already encountered during our look at language study, he speaks of the power of "the foreign" to help us see our native culture differently, to get "a new view of what is one 's own (my t ranslat ion) . " 1 2 6 He even suppl ies us with something of a model for how this might happen, when he c la ims that in the encounter with the foreign "the willing reader c o m e s up against their own "die kulturell F r e m d e s imper ia l is t isch liquidiert" (58). " In te rdependenz von Se lbs t - und Fremdent fa l tung" (65). "F remdve rs tehen a ls M o d u s d e s Se lbs t ve rs tehen " (66). "e ine neue S icht auf d a s E i g e n e " (66). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 76 concepts , habits, and behaviour patterns" (my t rans la t ion) . 1 2 7 In this, however, he appears to be reverting to a Gadamer ian dynamic s ince these "concepts, habits and behaviour patterns" may be understood as the implicit pre-judgments that shape understanding and which, according to Gadamer , it is the function of hermeneut ic reflection to make explicit. Moreover, Wier lacher recommends the notion of "Sp ie l " or "play" as it is deve loped by G a d a m e r in Truth and Method (TM101-110) as an appropriate means of facilitating this sight "with foreign eyes " or "mit f remden A u g e n " (68). Finally, although Wier lacher s ingles out the approach of Helmuth P lessner and his notion of "becoming c lose from a d i s t a n c e " 1 2 8 as appropriate for intercultural understanding, Wier lacher 's depict ion of such understanding is again characterist ical ly Gadamer ian : "Where this way of see ing can penetrate through to its own historical condit ions, and can work out an appropriate methodology, a community of shared understanding will be poss ib le . . . " (my t rans la t ions) . 1 2 9 Whether or not Wier lacher 's references to a "Sehwe ise " or "way of see ing" and to "geschicht l ichen Bed ingungen" or "historical condit ions" could be cons idered characterist ical ly Gadamer ian is debatable; however, his image of understanding as a "Verstandigungsgemeinschaf t " or a "community of shared understanding" p laces understanding under the obligation of consensus and that 1 2 7 "sto(3t der s i ch e i n l a s s e n d e L e s e r auf se ine e i genen K o n z e p t e , G e w o h n h e i t e n und Ve rha l t ensmode l l e " (67). 1 2 8 "Ver t rautwerden in der D is tanz" (68). 1 2 9 "Fa l l s d i ese S e h w e i s e zu den gesch ich t l i chen B e d i n g u n g e n ihrer se lbs t durchdr ingt und e ine en t sp rechende Methodo log ie erarbeitet we rden kann , wird e ine Ve rs tand igungsgeme inscha f t mog l i ch . . . " (68). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 77 makes his image distinctly Gadamer ian . Despite Wier lacher 's explicit rejection of Gadamer ian hermeneut ics, they provide the implicit f rame of reference for his account. A n d yet, if the above quotation verif ies the connect ions between the two thinkers, it a lso attests to what divides them and, indeed, to what al igns Wier lacher with Hirsch and the quest ion of objectivity in hermeneut ics. In the above quote, and throughout the article, Wier lacher is concerned to find a methodology able to give express ion to the "way of see ing" that he cons iders appropriate for intercultural understanding. Wier lacher 's search for a methodology is consistent with his rejection of G a d a m e r ' s concept of understanding as a p rocess of fusion. I see this as consistent because it is a characterist ic feature of methods to strive to preserve the autonomy of the entities they have isolated, and Wier lacher is very concerned to have the autonomy of the foreign subject matter preserved. It is, of course, an open quest ion as to whether such an isolated and atomic condit ion can be ach ieved; nevertheless, Wier lacher 's formulation of the intercultural exchange in terms of a subject-object encounter, and his turn to method to bridge the gap that inheres in such a formulation, al igns Wier lacher with Howard 's methodological " face" of hermeneut ics and Gal lagher 's impasse involving the legit imacy of an interpretation in terms of correct reproduction. A n aspect of Wier lacher 's formulation that remains operative within the field is his claim that the encounter with "the foreign" facil itates a greater understanding of self. I agree with Wier lacher; indeed, I am proceeding from the proposit ion that sel f-understanding is a value and goal of educat ion and that the I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 78 study of another language has a unique capacity to enhance self-understanding because of the experiential role of what is "foreign" or unfamiliar to the learner. H. -J . Schu lz cites Wier lacher 's article and acknowledges Wier lacher 's critique of Gadamer ian hermeneut ics in his own critique of Gadamer . With regard to that critique, Schu lz s e e m s to show a greater awareness of the implicit p resence of G a d a m e r ' s model of hermeneut ics in the development of an intercultural model of reception and a greater appreciat ion of its positive implications. Schu lz recognizes, for instance, that regardless of its historical context, G a d a m e r ' s emphas is on "application" within understanding foregrounds current concerns with respect to a particular subject matter, makes that subject matter relevant, and works against the establ ishment of a f ixed or c losed interpretation. Stil l, Schu l z recognizes the negative implications as well . Accord ing to Schu lz , one shortcoming of Gadamer ian hermeneut ics for the development of a theory of intercultural hermeneut ics, is that G a d a m e r ' s analys is of the hermeneut ic p rocess unfolds within one living tradition, rather than between traditions: "Gadamer ' s sys tem of hermeneut ics is 'mono-l ingual ' in nature and therefore understanding is fundamental ly not at risk" (10). Al though showing obvious disregard of Sch le iermacher 's warning about the ubiquity of misunderstanding, Schu lz nevertheless has a valid point. He goes on to make the c la im that this constitutes a limitation of Gadamer ' s hermeneut ic model . To support his argument, Schu l z turns to a figure we have already encountered in regard to the limitations of Gadamer ian hermeneut ics, Jurgen Habermas . I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 79 In our previous encounter with Habermas , he was depicted as representing the social-crit ical " face" of hermeneut ics. In other words, it is not so much understanding as the impairment of understanding which is crucial for Habermas . Schu lz affirms this representation when he depicts Habermas as focusing primarily on those instances where understanding is "b locked" (10). A s support, Schu l z ci tes Habermas ' response to G a d a m e r ' s c la im of the universality of hermeneut ical consc iousness : "The hermeneut ic consc iousness is incomplete as long as it has not incorporated the limits of hermeneutic understanding" (10). For Habermas , the issue of limits revolves around a problem we have already encountered in its pedagogica l gu ise: the capaci ty of hermeneut ical reflection to free individuals from the consensua l iz ing pressures of a tradition and enable them to change that tradition. Habermas cri t icizes G a d a m e r ' s privileging of an authoritative historical consensus as a given c o n s e n s u s and insists that it takes the exper ience of the limits of hermeneut ical understanding to confront tradition critically. For Schu lz the limits of hermeneut ical reflection are crucial for an intercultural hermeneut ics because it is precisely those limits which constitute the point of departure for "recipients" of an unfamiliar culture: Here . . . the recipient does not ach ieve the limits of hermeneut ic understanding as the result of extensive reflection but begins [author's emphasis ] with an exper ience of these limits and works "backwards" from it. S h e stands outside the tradition whose concret izat ion the text is, she s tands within her own hermeneut ic universe, one alien to the text. (11) By way of an elaboration Schu lz descr ibes how "on the one hand" the intercultural recipient s tands over against the object of understanding as one I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 80 with neither history nor authority, s ince the recipient does not share in the "effective-historical consc iousness " that authorizes the text. In this c a s e , the object simply d isappears into "non-negotiable cultural difference" (11). "On the other hand," Schu lz cont inues his depict ion, the recipient does have a c c e s s to pre-structures of understanding to appropriate the text, it is just that these are the pre-structures of another cultural tradition. In this instance, the object is "author ized" in a manner that deprives it of its otherness. Schu lz conc ludes that for an intercultural hermeneut ics to take place under the authority of any notion of consensus would reduce otherness to the status of a "removable impediment" (12). But what then, he asks , "is the nature of authority in the l imit-experience with which an intercultural hermeneut ics may begin?" (12). Accord ing to Schu lz , the p rocess of understanding within the context of an intercultural hermeneut ics may well be descr ibed in what he refers to as "Gadamer ' s Heidegger ian terminology"; specif ical ly: "the unresolved simultaneity of epistemological and ontological hermeneut ics" (11). Unfortunately he does not expand on this conclus ion and indeed admits: "I know of no comprehens ive and theoretically wel l - founded mode of explaining and descr ib ing such p rocesses . . . " (12). In other words, Schu lz is not very optimistic that this p rocess can be expressed methodological ly. What he does give us is the formulation of the p rocess in terms of a dialogue: "Obviously, the intercultural hermeneut ic p rocess , if it is a susta ined one, is a complex dialog between ontological and epistemological responses" (12). I He rmeneu t i cs and P e d a g o g y 81 W e have, of course, encountered such a formulation before. It co inc ides with Gal lagher 's third apor ia of "conversat ion" and the quest ion of whether we should pursue a "hermeneut ics of trust" or a "hermeneut ics of susp ic ion" where dialogue is concerned. This is not a quest ion that Schu lz explores. W h e n he refers, however, to G a d a m e r ' s terminology of ontological and epistemological hermeneut ics as being "Heidegger ian," we end up with one and the s a m e figure at the nexus of the impasse, Martin Heidegger. It is t ime to take a c loser look at this figure whose thinking has so diversely inspired hermeneut ical thought and with whom, I bel ieve, the contribution of the hermeneut ical tradition for language learning resides. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 82 Chapter II Heidegger, Hermeneutics, Education This dissertation brings together two intellectual discipl ines whose relation was once thought obvious by the ancients, but whose connect ion is more tenuous today: pedagogy and hermeneut ics. It is my thesis that language study, al igned with phi losophical hermeneut ics, has a constructive role to play in educat ing for critical sel f-understanding in the twenty-first century. Th is dissertat ion will examine and develop one form this al ignment might take and the implications for language study within post-secondary educat ion. W e saw in Chapter O n e that the project of combin ing language pedagogy and phi losophical hermeneut ics is but one example of many efforts to relate language study to other fields of inquiry in the academic curr iculum. Moreover , it is c lear from the overview of these two discipl ines that mine is only one of many attempts to connect hermeneut ics and language pedagogy. What makes my effort distinctive is my speci f ic attention to the phi losophical hermeneut ics of Martin Heidegger . That such an al ignment should be distinctive cal ls for some explanat ion on my part. W h y has Martin Heidegger not f igured in such a discuss ion before? Indeed, why has the reception of his work only recently included educat ion? From among the greatest thinkers within the hermeneut ic tradition, Martin Heidegger is arguably the most prominent. Re fe rences to his work are regularly prefaced with acco lades . Yet Heidegger receives no more than pass ing mention in the scholar ly research on hermeneut ics and pedagogy. W h y is the work of as great a thinker as Heidegger only beginning to attract II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 83 attention within educat ion? My intention in this chapter is to account for the select ion of Martin Heidegger as an appropriate thinker for this undertaking. 2.1 Heidegger as Philosopher and Teacher The work of Martin Heidegger has been attributed by David C o u z e n s Hoy with creating "a revolution in the history of thought." 1 In his early writings and in his major work Being and Time, He idegger deve loped a unique and conceptual ly rich approach to understanding that intersected all a reas of phi losophy and had an enormous influence on contemporary thought. J e a n - P a u l Sartre, S imone de Beauvoir , Maur ice Mer leau-Ponty, and Emmanue l Lev inas were among many French thinkers who derived concepts and arguments from Heidegger. Sartre is the most wel l -known of this group and is usually attributed with developing Heidegger 's ideas into the body of thought known as Existent ia l ism. Sartre and existentialist thinking dominated French intellectual life. A s he grew older, Sartre grew more politically act ive, whereas Heidegger emphas i zed the pr imacy of language. From early in his career, J a c q u e s Derr ida doubted that he could write anything that had not already been thought by He idegger . 2 From the 1960's until his death in 2004, Derr ida consistent ly worked c losely with concepts from Heidegger. It might even be fruitful to cons ider Derr ida's Monolingualism, or the 1 Dav id C o u z e n s Hoy , "He idegge r and the hermeneut i c turn," The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, C h a r l e s G u i g n o n , e d . (Cambr idge : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1993) 170. 2 Huber t L. Drey fus , Being-in-the-World. A Commentary on Heidegger's 'Being and Time', Division I (Cambr i dge : MIT P r e s s , 1991) 9. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 84 Prosthesis of the Origin, for its use of arguments from Heidegger to material useful for language pedagogy . 3 Pierre Bourdieu wrote that in phi losophy Heidegger was his "first love" and he acknowledged a debt to Heidegger for his own important concept of the socia l f ie ld. 4 Jurgen Habermas a lso began his work under Heidegger 's inf luence and although he later d is tanced himself, Habe rmas judged Being and Time to be "probably the most profound turning point in G e r m a n phi losophy s ince Hege l . " 5 Many commentators credit Heidegger with influencing numerous discipl ines in addit ion to phi losophy. Hubert L. Dreyfus, Pro fessor of Ph i losophy at the University of Cal i fornia, Berkeley, and author of a definitive commentary on Division I of Being and Time, emphas i zes the everyday, practical implications of Heidegger 's work: "Wherever people understand themselves and their work in an atomistic, formal, subjective, or objective way, Heidegger 's thought has enab led them to recognize appropriate alternative pract ices and ways of understanding. . . . " 6 In his account of the at tendance at an international conference held at Berkeley in honour of Heidegger, Dreyfus observed that not only phi losophers but a lso "doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, theologians, management consultants, lawyers, and computer scientists took part in a 3 J a c q u e s Der r ida , Monolingualism, or the Prosthesis of the Origin, t rans. Patr ick M e n s a h (Stanford: S tanford Univers i ty P r e s s , 1998) . Drey fus 9. 5 J i i r g e n H a b e r m a s , "Work and W e l t a n s c h a u u n g : T h e H e i d e g g e r Con t rove rsy f rom a G e r m a n Perspec t i ve , " in The New Conservatism: Cultural Criticism and the Historians Debate (Cambr i dge : MIT P r e s s , 1990); c i ted in Drey fus , 9. 6 Drey fus 8. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 85 discuss ion of the way Heidegger 's thought had affected their work." 7 In addition to the broad application of his work general ly, Heidegger 's phi losophy has become increasingly recognized and appl ied within educat ion specif ical ly. For instance, he was included in the 2001 edition of Fifty Modern Thinkers of Education. Michae l Bonnett, Sen io r Lecturer in Phi losophy of Educat ion at Homerton Co l lege , Cambr idge , contributed the chapter on Heidegger and wrote: " . . . because of the profundity of his insights into the human condit ion and into the nature of learning, thinking and understanding, the field of educat ion is one in which his ideas have the potential to make a huge impact . . . " 8 Yet this impact is really just beginning to be felt. Just one example of this impact is an anthology on Heidegger and educat ion publ ished in 2001 and entitled Heidegger, Education and Modernity.9 In this anthology edited by Michael Peters, twelve international scholars explain the signi f icance of Heidegger 's work for educat ional thought. It is still one of only a very few works in educat ion devoted to Heidegger. In addit ion to the broad application of his work general ly, and his re levance for educat ion specif ical ly, there is one more reason why Heidegger be longs in a considerat ion of hermeneut ics and pedagogy: he was by all accounts an outstanding teacher. In his book entitled The Young Heidegger. 7 Drey fus 9. 9 J o y A . P a l m e r , e d . Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education. From Piaget to the Present (New York : Rou t l edge , 2001) 24 . 9 M i c h a e l Pe te rs , e d . , Heidegger, Education, and Modernity ( L a n h a m : R o w m a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc., 2002) 4 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 86 Rumor of the Hidden King, John van Buren descr ibes Heidegger as nothing less than a teaching phenomenon: Through his teaching, the commerce in transcripts of his courses , and the indirect d isseminat ion of his ideas, Heidegger helped to shape a whole generat ion of scholars who went on to dominate the G e r m a n intellectual s cene for decades . . . G a d a m e r ' s hermeneut ics, Arendt 's practical phi losophy, Becker ' s mathematical theory, Rudolf Bul tmann's existential theology, Habermas ' critical theory, and more recently John Caputo 's "radical hermeneut ics . " 1 0 V a n Buren 's depict ion of Heidegger is supported by Hannah Arendt who wrote that Martin Heidegger 's reputation as a teacher during the early 1920's traveled throughout Ge rmany "like the rumor of the hidden k ing . " 1 1 The hermeneut ical phi losopher Hans -Geo rg Gadamer , perhaps Heidegger 's most wel l -known student in academic phi losophy, had the following to say about his famous teacher: It was remarkable: the personal attention to and awareness of the student which we saw particularly in Heidegger . . . Heidegger , during his early years prior to Being and Time, the years of the growth of his thought, was truly amaz ing , even fantastic, in his interaction with s tuden ts . 1 2 Heidegger was not only famous as an outstanding teacher. Many commentators on his work c la im that his teaching was absolutely central to his thinking in genera l . In his introduction to Martin Heidegger. Basic Writings the editor, David Farrel l Krel l , c la imed that Heidegger 's teaching was "at the very 1 0 J o h n van B u r e n , The Young Heidegger. Rumor of the Hidden King (B loomington & Indianapol is : Indiana Univers i ty P r e s s , 1994) 4 . 1 1 H a n n a h Arendt , "Mart in H e i d e g g e r at Eighty," in Heidegger and Modern Philosophy, M i c h a e l Mur ray , e d . (New H a v e n : Y a l e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1978) 293 . 1 2 Dieter M i sge ld a n d G r a e m e N i cho l son , eds . , Hans-Georg Gadamer on Education, Poetry, and History. Applied Hermeneutics, t rans, by L a w r e n c e Schmid t and M o n i c a R e u s s (A lbany: Sta te Univers i ty of N e w Y o r k P r e s s , 1992) 5-6. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 87 center of his intellectual l i fe." 1 3 J . G len Gray , the translator of Heidegger 's What is Called Thinking? observed that: "Heidegger is above all e lse a teacher. It is no accident that nearly all his publications s ince Being and Time (1927) were first lectures or seminar d iscuss ions. For him the spoken word is greatly superior to the written, as it was for Plato. In this book he names Socra tes , a teacher not an author, 'the purest thinker of the W e s t ' . " 1 4 Though Heidegger does not often devote entire texts to the d iscuss ion of teaching, it is c lear that lecturing and teaching, the exchange of ideas with others, were crucial for Heidegger 's thinking. T h e s e commentators are supported by the personal exper ience of Hans -Geo rg Gadamer : Actual ly, the character of academic teaching was changed fundamental ly by Husser l and Heidegger . . . I saw the very evident contrast by compar ing a figure like Nicolai Hartmann who, after all, had also taught in Marburg, with the teaching style of Heidegger. Hartmann was a person who devoted the full force of his interest to his publications and saw teaching as a secondary form of activity. Now with Heidegger, it was the exact opposi te. In fact, we can see today that after Being and Time he didn't even write any more books actually. Those were all more or less university lectures or seminars - the Nietzsche lectures and so o n . 1 5 It is a matter of historical record that Heidegger was intensely involved in teaching for much of his life. Most of his publ ished work was first del ivered in lectures. Indeed, given Heidegger 's preference for the lecture and seminar it could be argued that his thought has an essent ial ly pedagogica l form. Over 1 3 Dav id Farre l l Kre l l , Martin Heidegger. Basic Writings (San F r a n c i s c o : Ha rpe r Co l l i ns , 1992) 5. 1 4 M a r t i n He idegger , What is Called Thinking? t rans. J . G l e n G r a y (New York : Harpe r & R o w Pub l i she rs , 1968) 5. 1 5 G a d a m e r , Applied Hermeneutics, 5. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 88 many years, Heidegger 's thought consistently takes p lace in settings and is del ivered in forms that encourage d iscuss ion , exchange, debate. W e have these three reasons to apply the work of Martin Heidegger to language pedagogy: his stature within phi losophy and phi losophical hermeneut ics specif ical ly; the re levance of his themes for educat ional work general ly; and Heidegger 's practical re levance in providing a model of an outstanding teacher. Sti l l , Heidegger 's work has been neglected within educat ion. W h y ? 2.2 Heidegger: The Controversy I might turn to any number of commentators for a response to this quest ion, but Michae l Bonnett expressed it as well as anyone. In his contribution on Heidegger to the Fifty Thinkers edit ion, Michael Bonnett began his contribution as fol lows: "It would be difficult to overstate the signi f icance of Martin Heidegger for the thinking of the twentieth century. He was without doubt one of the most influential - and controversial - phi losophers of his t ime.. . 1 6 The editorial commentary for the Michael Peters anthology begins with the line: "Martin Heidegger is, perhaps, the most controversial phi losopher of the twentieth century . " 1 7 The italicization of the term "controversial" is in both instances mine. 1 6 Pa lmer , Fifty Modern Thinkers, 23 . 1 7 Pe te rs , Heidegger, Education and Modernity, 2 0 0 2 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 89 What makes Heidegger such a controversial f igure? Michae l Peters offers three reasons in his introduction to Heidegger, Education, and Modernity. ...first, his work is deemed to be too complex, and Engl ish-speak ing phi losophers of educat ion, accordingly, have been d iscouraged from reading his notoriously neologized texts; second , ever s ince Carnap ' s attack upon Heidegger 's metaphys ics, analytic phi losophers have been "taught" or condit ioned to desp ise him for his "opacity" and "nonsense, " ... and third, Heidegger 's associat ion with and support for the Naz is ' c a u s e during the year of his rectorship at Freiburg, and after, have rightly offended many scholars and had the consequence of making Heidegger both a risky and unappeal ing figure in which to intellectually invest, until very recent ly . 1 8 Regard ing Peters ' first point, proponents and critics alike would agree that Heidegger 's style of language is highly individualistic, extremely complex , and more than occasional ly obscure. Nouns become verbs, and verbs become nouns; new words are co ined and old ones are used in unfamiliar s e n s e s . Pe rhaps most vexing of all is the f requency of such hyphenated assemb lages as "ahead-of-i tself-Being-already-in-(the-world) as Being-a longside (entities encountered within-the-world)" (BT237) and such tautological express ions as "the wor ldhood of the world" (BT92). In Heidegger 's earl ier writings, readers must endure the frequently ponderous vocabulary of phenomenology, while s o m e of his later work will s e e m more akin to the incantat ions of a mystic poet. It might s e e m , then, that aligning Heidegger and language pedagogy is incongruous at best and absurd at worst. It is my opinion that within the Engl ish language, it is in part the poor quality of the translat ions that make Heidegger 's thinking such a chal lenge to understand. In this I am supported by Mi les Groth, author of Translating 1 8 Pe te rs 3. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i c s , Educa t ion 90 Heidegger. Groth c la ims that Heidegger has not been fully appreciated by mainstream academia due to "the near inaccessibi l i ty of his thought in even the best of the avai lable Engl ish translations of his works . " 1 9 In any c a s e , I bel ieve that the penetrating insight of Heidegger 's early thinking on our everyday life and the esoter ic beauty of his mature thought are well worth the investment of effort to read him. Moreover, he compe ls us to think about language and to take it ser iously as an issue in our l ives. Regard ing Peters ' second point, there is no doubt that during the 1930's and '40s, Heidegger was a favourite target of the Logical Posit ivists, with the most damaging attack coming from Rudolf Carnap . The influence of Ca rnap ' s critique on the phi losophical community is in ev idence to this very day in academic departments or iented towards analytic phi losophy. In an effort to "protect" their students from Heidegger 's thinking, he is either miss ing entirely from their curr iculum, or appears only in pass ing in a course on existential ism that suff ices for obligatory coverage of continental phi losophy. B e c a u s e of the significant inf luence of Ca rnap ' s critique, it f igures prominently in the reception of Heidegger 's work that compr ises the following sect ion of this chapter. But it is probably Peters ' third point that is of the most w idespread spec ia l interest, the matter of Heidegger 's involvement with Nat ional Soc ia l i sm during the nineteen thirties. A s has been noted, Heidegger wrote on a large and very diverse range of topics, many with a direct bearing on educat ional i ssues. O n e example of such writing constitutes a particularly regrettable instance. Upon his 1 9 M i les Gro th , Translating Heidegger (New Yo rk : Humani ty , 2004) 17. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 91 appointment in 1933 as the Rector of the University of Freiburg, Heidegger wrote the now infamous inaugural speech entitled "The Self-Affirmation of the G e r m a n University" ("Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitat').20 By the time of this speech , Heidegger had become a member of the Naz i party and the speech is interpreted as reflecting Naz i attitudes and sent iments. W o r s e yet, the speech deve lops a disturbing picture of the potential role for university educat ion within the Naz i framework. Need less to say, Heidegger 's involvement in Nat ional Soc ia l i sm has troubled scholars of his work from the outset. D iscuss ion began shortly after the war with defenders and detractors debating the degree to which Heidegger had been involved with N a z i s m . The parameters of the debate a s s u m e d new intensity in 1987 with the publication of a work by Victor Far ias entitled Heidegger et le nazisme (Heidegger and Nazism).2^ Th is was fol lowed by numerous other publications document ing not only the considerable extent of Heidegger 's involvement with the movement, but a lso his reluctance to speak of his support for the Naz i cause , his attempt to minimize his involvement with Naz i ideology, and his s i lence on the Holocaust . It is beyond the scope of my account to engage in a prolonged examinat ion of this controversial issue. Many excel lent works on the subject are Mart in He idegger , Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitat (Frankfurt: Vittorio K los te rmann , 1933) . 2 1 V ic tor Fa r i as , Heidegger and Nazism, t rans. P a u l Burrel l and Gab r i e l R i cc i (Ph i lade lph ia : T e m p l e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1 9 8 9 ) . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 92 widely avai lable for that purpose. At the s a m e time, Heidegger 's politics are the point at which his phi losophy most directly intersects with his v iews on educat ion, lain Thomson has written widely on Heidegger and especial ly on the topic of Heidegger and educat ion. In Heidegger on Ontotheology: Technology and the Politics of Education, Thomson offers a susta ined treatment of the controversy from the explicit perspect ive of its relation to educat ion. Moreover, T h o m s o n is one of the very few writers, including Otto Pogge ler and J a c q u e s Derr ida, who ask a critical pedagogica l quest ion: Did Heidegger learn anything phi losophical ly from (what he called) his terrible "political m i s t a k e " ? 2 3 It is due to this explicit connect ion that I will briefly summar ize Thomson ' s argument here. Thomson succinct ly exp resses the d i lemma exper ienced by scho lars in his quest ion: "How do we come to terms with the fact that the man who was probably the greatest phi losopher of the twentieth century threw the cons iderab le weight of his thought behind what was certainly its most execrable political m o v e m e n t ? " 2 4 It is a complex question and Thomson is not a lone among commentators in his crit icism of the fact ional ism that character izes the d iscuss ion . By confining the parameters of the debate within a simplistic "accuse or excuse" dichotomy, scholars feel compel led to take s ides. A n d it is useful to remember s o m e of the many other great artists or thinkers who lived immoral or unseemly l ives, from Plato to E z r a Pound . In order to deflect 2 2 V ic tor Fa r i as , Heidegger and Nazism, t rans. P a u l Burrel l and Gabr ie l R i cc i (Ph i lade lph ia : T e m p l e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1 9 8 9 ) . 2 3 lain D. T h o m s o n , Heidegger on Ontotheology. Technology and the Politics of Education (New York : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 2005) 80 . 2 4 T h o m s o n 78 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 93 attempts to use Heidegger 's politics to d ismiss his thought outright, his defenders have taken the posit ion of strictly separat ing Heidegger 's phi losophy from his politics. His detractors meanwhi le argue that Heidegger 's phi losophy is inherently political and that his politics emerge organical ly from his phi losophy. For his part, T h o m s o n c la ims that there is a direct relationship between Heidegger 's phi losophy and his politics, and it turns on his long-developed phi losophical vision for a radical reformation of the university: . . .when one cuts through the haze of hermeneut ical distortions surrounding the "Heidegger controversy" and critically examines Heidegger 's concrete political interventions c i rca 1933, it becomes c lear that these consist almost entirely in attempts to transform the G e r m a n university and , through it, Ge rmany itself. T h o m s o n depicts a line of development in Heidegger 's critique of higher educat ion that begins in 1911 when Heidegger was still a student at Freiburg University and ends with his assuming the Rectorship of that University in 1933. Heidegger 's disi l lusionment a s a student with a discipl ine content to do no more than solve logical puzz les instead of seek ing "fulfilled, fulfilling answers to the ultimate quest ions of b e i n g . . . " 2 6 intersected in 1919 with the disi l lusionment of the nation fol lowing their defeat in Wor ld W a r I. A l ready in the grip of an intense political and historical cr is is, the loss of the war was regarded by many intellectuals as a profound spiritual crisis that demanded their response. Inspired by the thought of O s w a l d Spengler , who w a s himself greatly inf luenced by Nie tzsche, Max Weber , Ernst Junger and above all his teacher, Edmund T h o m s o n 87. T h o m s o n 88 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 94 Husser l , He idegger began to see himself as the leader who could bring about a spiritual and cultural renewal of the nation through the revitalization of the G e r m a n university. His attitude at that time might be compared with that of Plato in the Republic, for there, as in the Ge rmany that Heidegger anticipated, it is not only that the greatest servants of the State are phi losophers, but the State owes much of its glory to being a fit p lace for phi losophy to flourish within. In Thomson ' s opinion, Heidegger 's project fai led so abysmal ly because he attempted to put it into action before he had sufficiently deve loped and clarified the phi losophical position upon which his plans were founded. Heidegger 's posit ion involves his concept ion of sc ience , the historical development of the university as an institution, and the contemporary relation of this institution to the nation a s a whole. I will articulate He idegger 's approach to these issues more fully in the course of this chapter. In any c a s e , the opt imism of the Rectoral Address , in which Heidegger hoped for a renewal of the nation through a new movement, National Soc ia l i sm, under the gu idance of universit ies that had rediscovered their phi losophical roots, faded quickly. Heidegger resigned the Rectorship ten months later, possibly having learned from his mistake. T h o m s o n insists that Heidegger did learn from his mistake, and in this he has the support of both Pogge ler and Derr ida. Fairly or not, judgment of Heidegger the thinker has come to be dictated by judgment of Heidegger the man, and even people who are not familiar with his thought feel entitled to weigh in with their opinion. Padra ig Hogan is fully conversant with Heidegger 's writing and thinking and addressed the quest ion of II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 95 Heidegger 's connect ion with Naz i sm in his considerat ion of Heidegger 's re levance for educat ion. Hogan has the following response: If Heidegger 's prose were unparal leled in its difficulty, or if he ranked among the most notorious of political reactionaries, neither of these points would change the fact that his work, like that of Hume or Kant, confronts phi losophy with arguments of except ional inc is iveness and insights of remarkable original i ty. 2 7 I agree with Hogan 's position and will develop its implications. Martin Heidegger is a phi losopher of singular originality and discerning insight. His thought cha l lenges ways of thinking and acting that have become entrenched within the thought of Western civi l ization. In my opinion, we should not turn our backs on the potentially constructive contributions that his thought offers. Certainly, a thinker of his stature deserves the hermeneut ic humility of trying first to understand his position before judging it. A n d this returns us to a primary theme in my argument: understanding. A s was previously noted, much of Heidegger 's writing dea ls with topics of direct educat ional s igni f icance, such as the nature of thinking and understanding, and thus by implication, learning. He a lso presents v iews on language that have considerable implications for educat ion general ly, and , in my opinion, for language study in particular. Much of this writing der ives from lectures during the decade or so after Being and Time (1927), although Heidegger cont inues to address the subject in the relatively late ser ies of lectures entitled What Is Called Thinking? (1954). In my examinat ion of Heidegger 's implications for language pedagogy, I will limit my analys is to those 2 7 Pad ra ig H o g a n , "Learn ing a s Leave tak ing and H o m e c o m i n g , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, e d . M ichae l Pe te r s ( L a n h a m : R o w m a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc. 2002) 2 1 2 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 96 texts that constitute Heidegger 's most specif ic educat ional writing and are the most directly relevant for my purposes. However, the full force and depth of Heidegger 's s igni f icance for language study can only emerge when the texts relevant for my analys is are set within the context of his wider phi losophy and its reception. The following account gathers the relevant critical response to Heidegger 's work through which we can gain an understanding of his thinking general ly. The survey will focus on language as a specif ic topic within the context of that research. A n account of Heidegger 's reception within educat ion specif ical ly will follow. 2.3 Heidegger: The Critical Reception My overview of Heidegger 's phi losophical approach can give little indication of the breadth and intensity of his phi losophical work, nor of its impact on the intellectual scene within Europe. The publication of Being and Time in 1927 transformed Heidegger from a wel l-known char ismat ic lecturer within G e r m a n academic life into a figure of international s igni f icance. I am not emphas iz ing this to glorify Heidegger, but to point out the scope of his reputation and the range of his potential contributions. A steady stream of lectures, seminars and publications during the decades that fol lowed, broadened and intensified his influence. A s has been ment ioned, the phi losophical hermeneut ics and practice of Hans -Georg Gadamer , and the deconstruct ive movement of J a c q u e s Derr ida both grew from the matrix of Heidegger 's thought. His thought a lso inspired the comprehens ive responses of Logical Posi t iv ism, II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 97 Sartrean Existent ial ism, and the Frankfurt Schoo l of Crit ical Theory. For some , Heidegger 's phi losophical preoccupat ions, and more importantly, the manner in which he thought and wrote about them, signified only pretension, mystif ication and charlatanry. For many others, however, the tortured intensity of his prose, its breadth of reference within phi losophy, and the excit ing implication that nothing less than authentic human life was at stake in his thought, signif ied that phi losophy had finally returned to its true concerns in a manner that justified its traditional c la im to be the queen of the human sc iences . My point here is of spec ia l s igni f icance for educat ional theorists: there is a great deal in Heidegger 's thought that can be helpful for educat ion. In addition to the seminal quality of Heidegger 's writing, there is its sheer vo lume. The most comprehens ive bibl iography of the early period of research on Heidegger, which dea ls with those works written before his death in 1976, was compi led by Hans-Mart in S a s s and contains more than 3,700 ent r ies . 2 8 For an overview of the main l ines of early research into Heidegger 's work, there is the groundbreaking work by Otto Poggeler , which was completed in 1 9 6 9 . 2 9 What does not yet exist is a clear, comprehens ive and informed survey of the main l ines of Heidegger research to the present day. This could certainly be a project that would follow from my current one. 2 8 Hans -Mar t i n S a s s , Martin Heidegger: Bibliography and Glossary (Bowl ing G r e e n , O h i o : Bowl ing G r e e n Sta te Univers i ty , Ph i l osophy Documenta t ion Cen te r , 1982). 2 9 Otto Pogge le r , e d . , Heidegger. Perspektiven zur Deutung seines Werkes (Ko ln : K i e p e n h e u e r & W i t s c h , 1969). II He idegger , He rmeneu t i c s , Educa t ion 98 It goes without saying that the intensity of response to Heidegger 's writing and thought is a compl icat ing factor. Quite as ide from the fact ional ism that character izes the political controversy, commentators general ly tend to be either vehement ly opposed to or vehement ly in favour of Heidegger and his thinking; moderate posit ions are not so common . Fortunately, the confl icted nature of the response has been for the most part productive, leading to new insights into Heidegger 's phi losophical thought in particular, as well as phi losophical thinking in general . There is, I bel ieve, a general consensus that the commentary on Heidegger can be divided into two phases . The first phase begins from the publication of Heidegger 's opus magnum Being and Time in 1927 and lasts until his death in 1976. The second phase fol lows upon his death and extends to the present day. The first phase is character ized by a general scarcity of definitive textual edit ions and the second by a remarkable proliferation of new and more definitive publ icat ions. Despi te the relative scarcity of texts from the first or early phase of Heidegger reception, four more or less distinctive perspect ives arose that can be dist inguished in relation to Heidegger 's work and to each other. The first is the approach of Logical Posi t iv ism. Th is includes the "V ienna Ci rc le" around Moritz Schl ick in the 1920's and is most notably represented by Rudolf Carnap 's e s s a y of 1932, "The El imination of Metaphys ics through Logical Ana lys is of II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 99 Language . A second critical approach to Heidegger 's thought comes from the phi losophical movement known as Existent ial ism and includes such thinkers as J e a n - P a u l Sartre, S imone de Beauvoir , Albert C a m u s and Hannah Arendt. Fol lowing c lose upon Existent ial ism is the response of the so-ca l led "Frankfurt Schoo l of Crit ical Theory" that deve loped around Max Horkheimer in the 1920's in Frankfurt and is most often represented by T .W. Adorno 's 1964 book The Jargon of Authenticity.31 Finally, there is the approach of contemporary phi losophical hermeneut ics represented primarily by H a n s - G e o r g G a d a m e r and his Truth and Method from I 9 6 0 . 3 2 In the past few decades a number of events have brought about a wider reception in North Amer i ca . The writings of such influential f igures as Char les Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity (1991), Richard Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991), and H. L. Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World (1991) have helped us to see Heidegger as the seminal figure in what David Hoy cal ls a "hermeneut ic turn," a new orientation with profound repercuss ions for such issues as the nature of the human sc iences , the possibil ity of artificial intel l igence, and the prospects for a post-foundationalist cu l ture . 3 3 3 0 Rudol f C a r n a p , "D ie Uberw indung der Me taphys i k durch log ische A n a l y s e der S p r a c h e , " ("The El iminat ion of M e t a p h y s i c s through Log ica l A n a l y s i s of Language" ) first pub l i shed in Erkenntn is , II, 1932 . 3 1 T h e o d o r W . A d o r n o , The Jargon of Authenticity, t rans. Kurt T a r n o w s k i and Freder ic Wi l l (Evans ton : Nor thwestern Univers i ty P r e s s , 1973). 3 2 H a n s - G e o r g G a d a m e r , Truth and Method, t rans. J o e l W e i n s h e i m e r and D o n a l d G . Marsha l l (New York : Con t i nuum Pub l i sh ing C o , 1993); Wahrheit und Methode (Tub ingen: J . C . B . Mohr , 1960). 3 3 Hoy , "He idegge r a n d the hermeneut ic turn," 170-194. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 1 B e c a u s e of the signi f icance of Ca rnap ' s response to Heidegger, and its more direct re levance, I will present Ca rnap ' s argument in detail here. 2.3.1 Logical Positivism: Heidegger and Rudolf Carnap The term "logical posit ivism" arose in the late 1920's to descr ibe the perspect ive of a group of phi losophers, scientists and mathemat ic ians who referred to themselves a s the "V ienna Circ le." The "V ienna Circ le" c a m e to life in the early 1920's when Moritz Schl ick left Kiel to become professor of phi losophy at the University of V i e n n a . 3 4 In addition to Schl ick, a number of leading phi losophers, scient ists, and mathemat ic ians gathered in V ienna for regular meet ings. T h e s e included the phi losophers Rudolf Ca rnap and Otto Neurath, and the mathemat ic ians Kurt Gode l and Hans Hahn . A m o n g its contemporar ies the group itself drew on or highlighted Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russe l l , and Ludwig Wittgenstein for their fundamental contributions. The group's approach was character ized by a commitment to logical procedure, empir ical ev idence, and rational analys is as the means to val id knowledge; metaphys ics and myst ic ism were rejected outright. Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was c la imed as a central text for the arguments of the Ci rc le . 3 4 A . J . Aye r , e d . Logical Positivism, Edi tor 's Introduction (New York : Macmi l l an Pub l i sh ing C o . , 1959) 3. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 101 The central text for looking at logical posit ivism in relation to Heidegger and language pedagogy, however, is the essay of 1932 by Rudolf C a r n a p . 3 5 Carnap ' s essay is the clearest and perhaps most influential attack on metaphys ics to have ar isen from the group. Certainly, it is the most direct attack on Heidegger from the V ienna Circ le . In it Ca rnap valiantly defends the virtues of logical analys is. A brief d iscuss ion of the essay will reveal its proximity to the topic of language and Heidegger 's thought. Ca rnap begins with the central thesis of his argument: In the domain of metaphysics, including all phi losophy of va lue and normative theory, logical analys is yields the negative result that the alleged statements in this domain are entirely meaningless. Therewith a radical el imination of metaphysics is attained. (60-61; his emphas is) From Carnap 's perspect ive, asser t ions are meaning less if they do "not, within a speci f ied language, constitute a statement" (61). Ca rnap cal ls words in a sequence that resemble a statement but which are in fact mean ing less "a pseudo-statement" (61). S u c h a line of argumentat ion could find resonance in any number of approaches to language study; however, Ca rnap has a very different objective in pursuing it. His purpose is to show that "metaphysics in its entirety cons is ts of such pseudo-statements" (61). For Ca rnap , metaphysics is empty of meaning, and Heidegger is essent ial ly a metaphysic ian. The argument h inges on how Carnap arrives at "meaning," and here he makes a fundamental move: "the meaning of a word is determined by its 3 5 Rudol f C a r n a p , "The El iminat ion of M e t a p h y s i c s through Log ica l A n a l y s i s of L a n g u a g e , " t rans. Ar thur P a p , Logical Positivism, e d . A . J . A y e r (New York : M a c m i l l a n , 1959) 6 0 - 8 1 . (first pub l i shed in Erkenntn is , II (1932). II He idegger , He rmeneu t i c s , Educa t ion 102 criterion of appl icat ion" (63). Ca rnap appea ls here to the necessary and sufficient condit ions for meaningful words and sentences . For h im, these condit ions lie in logical criteria which can be stipulated and appl ied to statements. S o meaningful words and sentences, for Ca rnap , actually depend on pre-existing logical criteria. In order to determine meaning, all that one must do is to inquire into the logical criteria appl ied. In accordance with Carnap 's argument, a language user would actually have relatively little f reedom to decide what they mean by a word; the "criterion of appl icat ion" will have dec ided it in advance . It is not the context which determines meaning, but the logical criteria embedded in the statement. Converse ly : "if no criterion of appl icat ion for the statement is st ipulated, then nothing is asser ted by the sen tences in which it occurs , they are but pseudo-statements" (64). A "pseudo-statement" for Ca rnap resembles mere no ise, and should be either reduced or el iminated from d iscourse. Accord ing to these requirements, not only is all of metaphys ics meaning less , but Heidegger 's writing is as well . Ca rnap takes specia l offense at a few p a s s a g e s from a paper Heidegger del ivered in 1929 entitled "What is M e t a p h y s i c s ? " 3 6 Ca rnap appears especial ly perturbed by the passage : "What about this Nothing? - The Nothing itself nothings." (69) Ca rnap finds "gross logical errors" (71) in this passage and, in a sequence of explanatory moves resonant with grammar instruction, he c la ims that in these sen tences the word 3 6 M a r t i n He idegger , W h a t is M e t a p h y s i c s ? in Martin Heidegger. Basic Writings, e d . Dav id Farre l l Krel l ( S a n F r a n c i s c o : Ha rpe r Co l l i ns , 1992) 89 -110 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 103 "nothing" can be understood neither as a noun nor as a verb. It is not a noun, because it cannot be introduced as a name or descript ion of an entity, nor even an emotional state. It is not a verb, because it descr ibes neither a state of being nor an activity. It does not, in fact, refer to anything, and hence can neither be verif ied as to its ex is tence, nor conf irmed as to its reference. Heidegger 's sen tences , therefore, "would be contradictory, hence absurd , if they were not a l ready meaning less. " (71) For Carnap , Heidegger 's sen tences cannot be verif ied, and thus they cannot be understood: "no information has been communicated to us, but mere verbal sounds devoid of meaning though possib ly assoc ia ted with images." (73) Carnap is about to reject Heidegger outright as a bad poet. O n c e he has completed his denunciat ion of Heidegger, Ca rnap goes on to reproach the entire metaphysical tradition, including "Fichte, Schel l ing, Hege l , and Bergson . " (80) Metaphys ics in general should be rejected as an unreliable form because : "through the form of its works it pretends to be something that it is not." (79) It resembles a theory, because it s e e m s to make c la ims about truth and falsity, yet it is not a theory, because it does not make use of premises and conc lus ions, as a theory should. There is only the "fiction of theoretical content." (79). Instead of a theory, it s imply serves as "the express ion of the general attitude of a person towards life" (78). The metaphysic ian expresses something similar to what an artist does , nothing more. Indeed, artists are preferable, because at least they do not suffer from the delusion that they have a real theory. Ca rnap ' s example of someone who knows the real dif ferences between II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 104 metaphys ics , poetry, and theory is, of all people, Friedrich Nie tzsche: "...in Thus Spake Zarathustra, he does not choose the misleading theoretical form, but openly the form of art, of poetry." (80) For Ca rnap , metaphys ics should be left to poets. It is not the domain of phi losophers. To the best of my knowledge, Heidegger never responded to Ca rnap directly, so it would be largely speculat ion to imagine what he would have sa id . Never the less, a few points can be made to clarify the relations between the two approaches . It is evident from his writing and his participation in the "V ienna Ci rc le" that Ca rnap relies on such epistemological dev ices a s logic, analys is and scientif ic verification to attain to reliable knowledge. A s I have already ment ioned, Heidegger 's approach de-structures logic, delimits sc ience and promotes understanding. Though Heidegger 's work may at first s e e m difficult to understand, I will show how it can be understood. Where Ca rnap would have a theory b a s e d on premises and conc lus ions, or at least a method, Heidegger resists the distinction between theory and practice altogether. Where Ca rnap tries to pin down meaning accord ing to the "criterion of appl icat ion," He idegger insists that only dwell ing in our linguistic pract ices reveals their sense . Indeed, this source of meaning is just what is inaccess ib le to detached phi losophical reflection. Heidegger would reject Ca rnap ' s "logical criteria" as irrelevant for meaning in language, and insist instead on the pr imacy of context. There are, nevertheless, points at which the two thinkers intersect. No one would d isagree with Ca rnap that Heidegger has neither a theory nor a method to recommend. Instead Heidegger promotes something more akin to a II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 105 sensibil i ty, a particular attitude towards living and learning that serves to bring both to their fullest potential of express ion. Likely no one would d isagree with Ca rnap that Heidegger 's thinking unfolds like, and as part of a susta ined reflection on, poetry. He idegger clearly recommends understanding over logic, and a more holistic approach towards thinking that includes, but does not restrict, thinking to a strictly scientif ic form. What are w e a k n e s s e s to Ca rnap , however, are strengths to the proponents of the Heidegger ian approach. Rather than a strictly logico-scientif ic approach to educat ion, his proponents would recommend a more dynamic and flexible attitude or assemb lage of attitudes. A hyperscientif ic v iew s e e m s too committed to Platonic, ahistorical assumpt ions about language and meaning. In short, by restricting himself so rigidly to logic, Ca rnap is insufficiently responsive to the vagar ies of history and chance and to the faculty of understanding as socia l practice in historical situations. W e shal l s e e how important this faculty is for Heidegger in the following sect ion. 2.3.2 Heidegger, Understanding and Philosophical Hermeneutics The traditional phi losophical s tance towards understanding tends to assoc ia te it with the pursuit and acquisit ion of something at the heart of pedagogy: knowledge. Heidegger 's starting point, however, is ex is tence or "Be ing" rather than "knowledge." Though not all commentators do, I will follow the practice of capital izing "Be ing" accord ing to Heidegger. His aim in Being and Time is "to work out the quest ion of the meaning of Being and to do so concretely" (BT1). By making "Be ing" rather than "knowledge" his point of II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 106 departure, Heidegger cal ls into quest ion some of the longest held and most pervasive assumpt ions of traditional phi losophy. In his commentary on Division I of Heidegger 's Being and Time, Hubert Dreyfus depicts five of t h e m . 3 7 Not only do these five assumpt ions include the three apor ia we have identified as plaguing phi losophical hermeneut ics, Dreyfus depicts the disruption of these assumpt ions in terms of a dialectic between epistemology and ontology: Heidegger breaks with... tradition by substituting epistemological quest ions concern ing the relation of the knower and the known for ontological quest ions concern ing what sort of beings we are and how our being is bound up with the intelligibility of the wor ld . 3 8 Accord ing to Dreyfus, Heidegger accompl i shes this substitution by disputing two fundamental phi losophical presupposi t ions: the Platonic presupposi t ion that human exper ience can be expla ined in terms of theory, and the Car tes ian presupposit ion that it can be expla ined in terms of a relation between autonomous subjects and isolable objects. Accord ing to Heidegger, the Platon ic-Car tes ian approach takes for granted the background of everyday language, roles and pract ices into which every human being is soc ia l ized, but which we do not represent in our minds. Heidegger argues that these functions and pract ices operate in every aspect of our l ives, from doing the laundry to doing sc ience , but that they cannot be understood as a representation in the mind that cor responds to the world. 3 7 Huber t L. Drey fus , Being-in-the-World. A Commentary on Heidegger's 'Being and Time' Division I (Cambr idge : MIT P r e s s , 1991) 4 -8 . 38 Drey fus 3. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 107 The notion that our socia l functions and pract ices amount to an ontology is an unfamiliar idea. A descript ion of how Heidegger envis ions this p rocess and how it relates to language study will follow in the next chapter. In order to focus this analys is on the matter at hand, however, I will first draw the paral lels that I s e e existing between the assumpt ions that Dreyfus depicts as deriving from Heidegger 's epistemological /ontological representat ion, and the three apor ia of phi losophical hermeneut ics. The first hermeneut ical impasse , the one that R i c o u e r 3 9 dec lared as constituting the central impasse within hermeneut ics, and the one which emerges in Wier lacher 's concern that we maintain the autonomy of the other, is an impasse that Dreyfus c la ims we have inherited from the Greeks . Deriving from the Platonic presupposit ion that we can obtain theoretical knowledge of every domain , it is a s s u m e d that the detached theoretical viewpoint is superior to the involved practical viewpoint. Accord ing to the epistemological ly-or iented phi losophical tradition, it is only by means of detached, and therefore objective, contemplat ion that we can discover "the truth" about reality. Th is s a m e assumpt ion underl ies the quest within theoretical hermeneut ics for correct interpretations attained through the application of formal models and methodologies. If we recall , this is the approach of such hermeneut ical thinkers as E.D.Hi rsch, who attempts to identify context-free e lements, attributes, and factors, and relate them through rules, methods or principles. By contrast, Heidegger 's emphas is on the socia l context as the ultimate foundation of 3 9 P a u l R i coue r , Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences (Cambr idge : C a m b r i d g e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1981). II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 108 intelligibility, implies that the organizat ion and everyday socia l pract ices of a culture must be taken as the basic condit ion for the pursuit of knowledge. From the c lass ic assumpt ion that principles and theories underl ie and explain external phenomena c o m e s a further assumpt ion of Western thought that begins with Socra tes and extends all the way to our representative of critical hermeneut ics, Jurgen Habermas . Proceed ing from the standpoint that we know and act by applying principles and theories, critical thinkers claim that we should get c lear about these principles so that we can gain enl ightened control of our l ives. Accord ing to Heidegger, however, we can never get complete clarification about these beliefs because , for the most part, these functions and pract ices do not ar ise from rules or principles, but are embodied in our behaviour and embedded in our language. I take Heidegger to mean that we dwell in our understanding like a fish in water. Indeed, Heidegger c la ims that our understanding functions successfu l ly precisely because the shared language and pract ices into which we are soc ia l ized remain in the background. Crit ical reflection is necessary in some situations where our ordinary way of functioning is insufficient; however, because our language is constitutive of our understanding, attempting to articulate that understanding by way of our language would be like trying to s e e sight itself, or hear hearing. What is most bas ic in our l ives can never be completely articulated and can , therefore, never be fully access ib le to critical reflection. Th is recognition brings us to the third apor ia within phi losophical hermeneut ics. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 109 It is the everyday, smooth functioning of the language and pract ices into which we have been soc ia l ized that enable us to dwell in our understanding like fish in water. Indeed, these capaci t ies are so fundamental and operate so transparently, that we misunderstand them as representing our essent ia l human nature, or the basic structure of human rationality, or s o m e other ultimate ground upon which to base our being. In other words, they provide us with a source of stable meanings that make us feel secure and "Zuhause" in belonging to a certain culture, nation or race. Accord ing to Heidegger, however, we plunge into making ourselves feel "at home" (233) in order to avoid or mask the painful truth that we are not. In Being and Time Heidegger gives us an account of the human condit ion as devoid of any absolute or ultimate ground. He refers to this condit ion as "unheimlich," a Ge rman term which links the idea of "not-being-at-home" with a s e n s e of the "uncanny." (BT233) It is this concept ion of the "unheiml ich" that links Heidegger ian hermeneut ics with the third apor ia of phi losophical hermeneut ics, the impasse over a hermeneut ics of "trust" or of "suspic ion." In Heidegger 's terms, one must a lways practice hermeneut ics from within a hermeneut ic circle, and Being and Time is a c a s e in point. It is Heidegger 's objective in Being and Time to lay out the basic existential structure of human beings. He does this by showing how human beings are constituted through meaningful socia l pract ices, and by explaining the way in which these pract ices give rise to intelligibility. But Heidegger goes further and does not take even these fundamental structures at face value. B e c a u s e our understanding of our II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 110 being is not only pervasive but distorted, (serving to d isguise our existential condition), Heidegger does not attempt to a c c e s s that understanding directly by way of our pract ices. In order to force into view what we wish to avoid or concea l , he points out those aspec ts of our everyday activities that those activities themse lves make it difficult for us to see . Thus , as introduced by Heidegger, the existential hermeneut ical methodology comb ines the "trustful" d imension of the more traditional hermeneut ic circle with a new rigor deriving from the "suspic ion" of concealment and distortion. The convent ional hermeneutic circle refers to a p rocess whereby one moves back and forth between an overal l , general interpretation of a written text and the speci f ic details that a given reading reveals as important. Th is circular p rocess will yield a fuller if not "correct" understanding of the text insofar as any new significant details will modify the overall interpretation, which will in its turn reveal yet other speci f ic detai ls a s val id or important. A s we shal l see , Heidegger extends this traditional hermeneut ical dynamic, between a written text and its reading, down to the most primordial level of human ex is tence. In addit ion, he augments this dynamic in three ways. First, because Heidegger proceeds from the standpoint that we must begin any analys is from within the functions and pract ices we are seek ing to understand, he insists that our cho ice of a particular entity or phenomenon to interpret will a lways already be determined by that understanding. S e c o n d , because that understanding consis ts of what is difficult to notice, we cannot take any interpretation at face value. Indeed, our convent ional understanding will in all l ikelihood have passed II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 111 over what is crucial . Therefore, three, we must be prepared to revise radically the fundamental understanding we have of subjects, objects, space , t ime, truth, language, reality and so on, on the basis of the phenomena revealed by our interpretation. In pursuing such a rigorous hermeneut ical dynamic, Heidegger provides an alternative to the tradition of critical reflection. He does not presume some privi leged or detached position outside the circle of understanding, but seeks to point out and descr ibe our understanding of Be ing from within that understanding. There are three ways in which Heidegger 's hermeneut ics provide an appropriate approach within language study. First, Heidegger 's ontological hermeneut ics is an interpretation of human beings as being themselves essent ial ly self-interpreting. Accord ing to Dreyfus, Heidegger regards human beings as "interpretation all the way d o w n . " 4 0 Moreover, He idegger acknowledges that this claim is itself an interpretation: "We shall proceed towards the concept of Be ing by way of an Interpretation..." (63) Th is implies that interpretation, rather than objective or critical contemplat ion, should be our first approach in the study of human beings. Current practice in language study reflects the reverse, in the sense that grammar is often presented first as objective, as if it were the fact of the language, and cultural contexts are presented second , as if they were illustrations or ornaments of the grammar. Dreyfus 2 5 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 112 A second reason why Heidegger 's existential account is appropriate for language study, is because he does not d iscuss what it means to be a human being in one specif ic culture or historical period. It is Heidegger 's objective in Being and Time to lay out the general , cross-cultural and multiple historical structures of our self-interpreting way and to explain how these structures account for all modes of intelligibility. Th is makes his approach appl icable for the study of var ious languages and cultures and provides a bas is for compar ison ac ross languages and cultures. Accord ing to Dreyfus, the Heidegger ian approach to understanding has become the approach of cho ice in many different discip l ines involving an investigation of culture. Dreyfus c la ims that Harold Garf inkel in sociology, Char les Taylor in political sc ience , and Clifford Geer tz in anthropology, "each in their own way pursue Heidegger 's form of hermeneut ic conce rn . " 4 1 Finally, it is my contention that Heidegger 's phi losophical goals in Being and Time are consistent with the objectives I previously identified as being pedagogica l . Accord ing to this phi losophy, it is only in what Heidegger cal ls our authentic condit ion, when we are sufficiently transparent to ourse lves, that the structure of our existence is most fully transparent to us. Accord ing to Heidegger, authentic understanding does justice to the nature of ex is tence because it carr ies us beyond an implicit or merely theoretical understanding of these structural features and al lows us to grasp them explicitly in the clarity of their authentic mode. A n d this grasp reveals to us Be ing - not only our own, but 4 1 Drey fus 34. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 113 also that of the entities which are d isc losed to us on the bas is of our own. Th is is the posit ive possibil ity that Heidegger des ignates to phi losophy and that I will link to my pedagogica l enterprise in Chapter Three. 2.4 Heidegger and Education In compar ison with other fields of study, relatively little has been written on the signi f icance of Heidegger 's work for educat ional thought and pract ice. My analys is of this writing indicates that the scholars who have publ ished on Heidegger and educat ion have done so from within the context of three approaches . The most prevalent of these is to view Heidegger 's contribution as a response to an historical cr isis within educat ion. The nature of the crisis is somet imes derived from current crit iques of educat ion that are examined within a Heidegger ian framework of analys is . More usually writers proceed from the crisis Heidegger himself saw as plaguing the university and higher educat ion. The crisis of the university, for Heidegger, involved the fragmentation into many different specia l izat ions, the overwhelming importance of sc ience or theory, and the lack of any methodological clarity ac ross discipl ines. Writers claim for Heidegger a prescient insight into what ails the university today, and go on to use Heidegger 's thought to propose solut ions. A second approach to Heidegger and educat ion includes those writers who address some specif ic issue, problem or quest ion within educat ion. The issue of technology is a frequent theme, the problem of performativity in educat ion is another, the ethical task of educat ion still another. Somet imes the II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 114 topic being addressed originates outside the university, but is one in which educat ion is cons idered to have an important role. The quest ion of the environment is a c a s e in point. Finally, there is the approach of utilizing Heidegger 's thought to offer new concept ions of educat ion. My thesis belongs to this group. My project a lso proceeds from the point of departure most often adopted within this approach: Heidegger 's concept of authenticity and authentic understanding. S o m e other examp les from this approach include conceiv ing of educat ion as a work of art, especia l ly literary art and most frequently, poetry. Still other examples offer new conceptual izat ions of the teacher, or the learner, or the teacher- learner relationship. Another example within this approach is to conceptual ize thinking as a form of pedagogica l act ion. I have structured my reception of Heidegger within educat ion accord ing to the three approaches above. T h e s e approaches are in their turn connected to one another within what is referred to a s Heidegger 's "history of being." lain T h o m s o n explicitly states that in order to understand Heidegger 's "profound" critique of educat ion, we need to see it as a substructure of his "history of being." Accord ing to Thomson , this is because , from Heidegger 's view: "the history of being makes possib le the historical development of our educat ional insti tut ions." 4 2 More importantly, perhaps, Thomson argues that it is because of this "history" that Heidegger 's critique is superior to other current crit iques of educat ion. In contrast to other more contemporary crit ics, He idegger provides a 4 2 T h o m s o n 144. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 11 theoretical grounding for his critique, as well as a phi losophical vision for revitalizing higher educat ion and the universi ty. 4 3 What I will show is how an argument that may at first s e e m somewhat out of date can be updated to show us not only where we are, but potentially where we may be going in educat ion. In order to better expl icate the re levance of Heidegger 's thought for a critique of educat ion, and give a fuller context to my arguments, I will contextual ize his reception within the "history of being" that Heidegger deve loped. Th is will have the added benefit of providing a phi losophical framework, sufficient to explain why s o m e writers have turned to Heidegger to address speci f ic problems. Heidegger 's re levance for such issues as technology and the environment cannot be adequately recognized without reference to his "history of being." But even a specif ic educat ional problem like performativity can be more fully understood within this framework. Finally, familiarity with Heidegger 's "history of being" will help to make my approach more easi ly understood. It brings up a number of i ssues that I will refer to because they bring with them a fuller understanding of my thesis. 2.4.1 Historical Crises within Education What forms does this historical crisis within educat ion take? In the nineteen thirties, both during and after his rectorship of the University of Freiburg, most of Heidegger 's remarks on educat ion were directed at university educat ion. During that t ime, Heidegger expressed a number of concerns that T h o m s o n 153. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 116 educators today are likely to find uncanni ly prescient. The first of these is Heidegger 's d ismay at the hyperspecial izat ion and consequent fragmentation of the modern university. W h e r e a s some today may have grown accus tomed to such condit ions, there are many who crit icize the situation and point to Heidegger 's concerns . A s we have s e e n , Thomson depicts Heidegger as having become disi l lusioned with higher educat ion while he was still a student in Freiburg in 1911. But it was in 1929, in his inaugural lecture as a professor at that s a m e university, that he made some of his most explicit observat ions: The scientific f ields are quite diverse. The ways they treat their objects of inquiry differ fundamental ly. Today only the technical organizat ion of universit ies and facult ies consol idates this burgeoning multiplicity of discipl ines; the practical establ ishment of goals by each discipl ine provides the only meaningful source of unity. Nonethe less , the rootedness of the sc iences in their essent ia l ground has a t roph ied . 4 4 It is important to note at the outset that, like Ge rman speakers general ly, Heidegger 's use of the term "sc ience" ("Wissenschaft") appl ies to any discipl ined search for knowledge, to history and psychology, as much as to phys ics or biology. In another respect, however, he normally appl ies it more narrowly than our understanding of "sc ience" today. By cal l ing history a sc ience , he means to bring out that historians model their search for knowledge on the approach of the natural sc iences . For Heidegger this is a disturbing development. The dispersal and encapsulat ion of "knowledge" into spec ia l facult ies is a trend of the modern university, that a number of contemporary critics have 4 4 Mart in He idegger , "What is M e t a p h y s i c s ? " in Dav id Farre l l Kre l l , Martin Heidegger. Basic Writings (San F r a n c i s c o : Ha rpe r Co l l i ns , 1992) 94. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 117 opposed such as Clark Kerr (1982), Bill Read ings (1996), and Pockl ington and Tupper (2002). O n the model of the medieval university, the task of higher educat ion was to transmit what was thought to be a relatively f ixed body of knowledge. There arose the idea of the university as constituting a unity, its var ious members held together by the shared perception of a common ground of inquiry. Of course there are problems with this model , if it is taken for example as exclusively European , male, and heterosexual . But the very idea of the un/versity s e e m s to suggest at least an attempt to imagine a shared project. The attempt to maintain this unity of community and purpose, thought to be definitive of the unA/ersity as such , soon proved to be a major problem for the modern university, however. G e r m a n thinkers committed to the unifying ideal, for example , Fichte and Schel l ing, bel ieved that unity would follow organical ly from the interconnected totality of the system of knowledge. A s it deve loped historically, this faith in the sys tem proved to be less influential than the "humanist" ideals of Sch le ie rmacher and Humboldt. Accord ing to this concept ion, the university's unity would come from a shared commitment to the educat ional formation of character. In historical actuality, however, neither model succeeded in unifying the university community cohesive ly enough to prevent its fragmentation into increasingly spec ia l ized discipl ines. A s the modern university began to lose sight of the shared goals which originally justified the endeavours of the academic community as a whole, its members began to look outside the university for some purpose to give meaning to lives of research. A second lament of Heidegger 's was that the traditional II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 118 scholar was d isappear ing, to be "succeeded by the research man," a man of a "different stamp," committed to a rigid methodology and increasingly at the beck and call of publ ishers and outside bodies eager for "useful resul ts . " 4 5 Heidegger 's critique of " research man" is one of his most scathing and potentially still relevant commentar ies. Even today we can see that only those discipl ines able to produce "useful results" regularly find external support. Consequent ly , scholar ly discipl ines increasingly try to present themselves in terms of their use-value. Accord ing to a number of writers (Thomson, Lambeir , Standish) without a counter- ideal, students, too, will adopt this instrumental mentality, coming to see educat ion merely as a means to an increased salary down the road. In this way fragmentation leads to the professional izat ion of the university and , eventually, its deterioration into vocat ional ism. Of course there are other value sys tems visible in the contemporary university, for example , the system which promotes contributions to society, but the " research-program" model still dominates. Th is in turn brings us to a third concern that Heidegger exp ressed in his request for reinstatement in 1945, that universit ies were increasingly perceived as answerab le to the needs of the professions - law, medic ine, polit ics, and so on. Accord ing to Heidegger, this was a perversion of the proper relationship, for "knowledge does not stand in the service of the professions, but the reverse." Mart in He idegger , "The Rec to ra te 1933/34 : F a c t s and Though ts , " t rans. K. Har r ies , Review of Metaphysics, 1985 , 483 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 119 The university should be "providing society with a measure , " and not, therefore, be measured by its contribution to transient and extraneous g o a l s . 4 6 Heidegger predicts that universit ies will become "merely operat ional institutions," si tes for scientif ic research and teaching, which will retain the traditional humanit ies for a while at least, but only as "cultural d e c o r a t i o n s . 4 7 Many educators would agree, that things have indeed gone as Heidegger saw them going. A l ready in 1929 he accurately descr ibed what fifty years later Clark Kerr would satirically label the "Multi-versify": "an internally f ragmented Uni -versi ty- in-name-only, where the sole communa l unity s tems from a common gr ievance about parking s p a c e s , " 4 8 or about budget cuts, as the current case may be. Lack ing any s e n s e of a shared purpose or common subject matter, the different discipl ines tend to develop standards and goals that are appropriate to their particular domain of study. A s these domains become increasingly spec ia l i zed , the standards become ever more disparate. In this way, discipl inary fragmentation leaves the university without common standards or goals , except perhaps for the generic goal of excellence. Accord ing to critics such as Bill Read ings , however, the empt iness of the ideal of exce l lence m e a n s that our contemporary "university of exce l lence" is becoming nothing more than an Mart in He idegger , "Letter to the Rec to r of Fre iburg Univers i ty," in R i cha rd W o l i n , The Heidegger Controversy (Cambr i dge : MIT P r e s s Edi t ion, 1993) 6 2 . 4 7 Mart in He idegger , Contributions to Philosophy, t rans. P. E m a d and K. Ma l y (B loomington: Indiana Univers i ty P r e s s , 1999) 108. 4 8 C la rk Kerr , The Uses of the University (Cambr idge : Harva rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 1982) 47 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 120 "excellent bureaucrat ic corporat ion. " 4 9 Aga in , I am not saying that there is no interest in knowledge in the contemporary university, but there does s e e m to be the strong tendency to make knowledge subservient to professional expectat ions. If the critique of Read ings and Kerr are any indication, things have indeed gone as Heidegger saw them going, but it is not in the presc ience of his remarks that Heidegger 's spec ia l contribution to educat ional thinking resides. To identify what is truly distinctive in Heidegger 's re levance for educat ion, we need to broaden the context in the manner that Thomson suggested and examine Heidegger 's reflections on educat ion as part of his phi losophy of Be ing . A s we do, we will s e e how these crit iques emerge from within this context, and the broader implications of these reflections will appear more specif ical ly. 2.4.2 The Crisis of Education within a History of Being It is time now to look at other writers who have written on the relevance of Heidegger for educat ion, and in doing so, we will begin to formulate the history of Be ing that is necessary as a sufficient context to understand their accounts . I will begin with a writer who has publ ished extensively on Martin Heidegger and was among the first in Engl ish to examine his re levance for educat ion. David C o o p e r is a prolific contributor to Heidegger research, a professor of phi losophy at the University of Durham and Director of the Durham Institute of Comparat ive Eth ics. M u c h of his work has focused on a Heidegger ian reading 4 9 Bil l R e a d i n g s , The University in Ruins (Cambr idge : Harvard Univers i ty P r e s s , 1996) 152. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 121 of the notion of authenticity (1983); more recently, however, he wrote an article entitled "Truth, Sc i ence , Thinking, and Distress" (2001). In this article, C o o p e r examines Heidegger 's s e n s e of a university in cr isis, within the context of his reflection on such other topics as the nature of sc ience , the nature of phi losophy, and the "distress" of the modern human cond i t ion . 5 0 Accord ing to Cooper , it is within a "constel lat ion" of sc ience , phi losophy and distress that the importance of Heidegger for educat ion emerges , but only by virtue of a fourth theme that constitutes the center of their orbit. That fourth theme is truth: "the central theme in the constel lat ion, the one around which the others revolve as it were, is that of truth."5'1 C o o p e r sums it up as fol lows: It is, as Heidegger s e e s it, a momentous shift in our understanding of truth that has brought in its wake the dominance of sc ience , the atrophy of phi losophy/thinking, our contemporary distress, and a stunted concept ion of educat ion. And it is here, in this v is ion, if anywhere, that the depth and originality of his remarks res ide . 5 2 Accord ing to Cooper ' s understanding of Heidegger, it is a shift in the understanding of truth that has brought about a change in the concept of educat ion. In order to understand the nature of this shift, and its re levance for Coope r ' s d iscuss ion of sc ience , phi losophy and distress, we need to encounter it as Heidegger depicts it as part of his history of Be ing . Accord ing to Heidegger, phi losophy was born with the Greeks ' wonder at the world and their consequent attempt to investigate all beings, themselves 5 0 Dav id E . C o o p e r , "Truth, S c i e n c e , Th ink ing , and D is t ress , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, ed . M i chae l A . Pe te rs ( L a n h a m : R o w a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc, 2002) 50 . 5 1 C o o p e r 52 . 5 2 C o o p e r 58 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 122 inc luded. Al though we cannot repeat the early Greek exper ience of the world, He idegger c la ims that there was a truth to that exper ience which has become increasingly obscured and which we must endeavor to recollect. The early G reeks , on Heidegger 's account , exper ienced Be ing in an authentic way, as physis, a process of arising, of emerging from the h i dden . 5 3 The Greeks ' exper ience of Be ing was inseparable from a certain understanding of truth and the place of human beings. A s the Greek word for truth, aletheia (unhiddenness, uncoveredness) suggests , they understood truth as "the unconcea ledness of beings," that is, a being is true when it emerges as it is, unconcea led . The task of human beings, concomitantly, is to "guard the truth," to remove the obstac les in the way of things emerging unconcea led , so that they "might appear . . . as the beings they are." Human beings are "cal led" precisely to serve as the "clearing" in which things may emerge unve i l ed . 5 4 Heidegger c la ims, however, that once the Greeks , inspired by their wonder at the world about them, began to investigate, it was not the p rocess of emergence , Be ing , which they investigated, but the things which had emerged, beings. Th is , the "decis ive moment" in history, the true beginning of metaphys ics , occurs with Plato, and therewith the great phi losophy of the G r e e k s c o m e s to an end . Though Plato, Aristotle and their successo rs will talk of Be ing , this is not Be ing as originally exper ienced: rather, it changes to the Mart in He idegger , An Introduction to Metaphysics, t rans. R a l p h M a n n h e i m ( M a s s a c h u s e t t s : Y a l e Univers i ty P r e s s , 1959) 14 -15 . 5 4 Mart in He idegger , "The Or ig in of the W o r k of Art," in Poetry, Language, Thought, t rans. Albert Hofs tadter (New York : Harpe r & R o w , 1971) 3 5 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 123 general properties or c a u s e s of beings. True Be ing for Plato is the world of the forms or ideas. W h e n Plato exper iences things in the world as appearance, this is no longer emergence ; rather, the actual horse or f lower is a pale copy of its supersens ib le , prototypical f o rm. 5 5 At this decis ive moment for Heidegger, the crucial difference between Be ing and beings is forgotten. Such a point is characterist ic of Heidegger, for whom history is less an account of what people have thought and done, as of what they have ignored or forgotten. In this instance Being was no longer appreciated as the ineffable source of beings, and becomes something to arrive at by abstraction or inference from beings. It becomes just one more kind of Be ing . At best, it becomes the condit ions necessary for us to perceive or otherwise encounter things, not the source of those very condit ions. W h e n that happens , the notions of truth and human Be ing undergo concomitant shifts. Truth is no longer g rasped as the coming into unconcealment of things: instead, Plato understands it as getting a right v iew of the forms. The task of human beings is no longer to guard things in their unconcea ledness but to develop the intellectual p rowess adequately to grasp their e s s e n c e . Both changes are apparent in Aristotle: the concept ion of truth as aletheia has passed on to a determination of truth as the correctness of an asse r t i on . 5 6 Human beings are defined as rational animals, one creature among others, dist inguished only by a capaci ty to exerc ise reason in getting assert ions correct. 5 5 Mart in He idegger , Basic Questions of Philosophy, t rans. R. R o j c e w i c a and A . S c h u w e r (B loomington: Indiana Univers i ty P r e s s , 1994) 120. 5 6 He idegger , Basic Questions of Philosophy, 98 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 124 What are the implications of Heidegger 's account, according to Coope r? Ph i losophy as thinking, as a meditative attention to the source and occurrence of the unh iddenness of things, gives way to sc ience as the primary form of inquiry, for sc ience is precisely the discipl ined endeavor to provide a uniquely correct and certain account of the world, one that cor responds to the way that reality independently is. Al though sc ience understands itself in this way, it is forgetting that, however correct its representat ions, it is only one way in which reality presents itself to us. In particular, sc ience fails to recognize that it only admits as real those entities which lend themselves to exact measurement , express ion in terms of regularities and laws, and empir ical investigation. Moreover , it is blind to its presupposit ion to regard the world simply as a network of such measurab le ent i t ies. 5 7 For their part, phi losophers have been guilty of insufficiently probing the condit ions of exper ience: they have taken beings for granted, failing to explore the Be ing on the bas is of which beings are at all. Even less have they paid attention to the myster ious source of these condit ions. Hence phi losophy, at least s ince its earliest t imes, has involved a forgetting of the truth of Be ing . It is to this long forgetting that Heidegger g ives the name "metaphysics," henceforth a pejorative term in his vocabulary. If phi losophy has decayed into "metaphysics," this is because it has fallen prey to the understanding which prevai ls in the s c i e n c e s . 5 8 C o o p e r 56 . C o o p e r 56 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 125 The early G reeks ' combinat ion of wonder at the opening up of a world for them and a s e n s e of being at home in a world where they are, so to speak, the "shepherds" of this event and the "shelterers" of what c o m e s into the open, a t roph ies . 5 9 It is eventually replaced by the sense of "distress" of modern men and women who exper ience the world as an alien array of objects set over against themselves as the rational subjects who represent these objects. Regarded as being there for objective measurement , they no longer invite wonder: With truth conce ived of as a f ixed relation between entities, assert ions, and their objects, human beings lose all sense of themselves as being essent ial ly engaged in the emergence of truth, in a process , that cal ls for "deep awe," whereby things emerge out of h iddenness into the l ight. 6 0 C o o p e r goes on to explain that people may not be aware of their distress because they are without recollection of what has been lost, they have forgotten. However, indications of distress are everywhere: in a frantic pursuit of expens ive divers ions, in the adulation of movie stars and sports heroes, in blind devotion to technological progress, and so o n . 6 1 S u c h lives are obviously bereft of the deep awe and wonder that obtain when there is mindfulness of truth - of a world arising from concealment into unconcealment , or truth as aletheia. In regard to educat ion, instead of being a p rocess whereby people are brought to an exper ience and understanding of things in their unh iddenness, educat ion has become "the calculated, swift mass ive distribution of 5 9 C o o p e r 5 3 . 6 0 C o o p e r 57 . 6 1 He idegger , " A n Introduction to Me taphys i cs , " 36-7 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 126 ununderstood information to as many as possib le in the shortest possib le t ime. " 6 2 The educated person pi les up information, but it is "ununderstood" s ince they are without appreciat ion either of the status of the information - as belonging to just this or that particular way in which things are revealed - or of the possibil i ty of, and the condit ions for, a c c e s s to the types of information they gather. A s previously noted, the dominance of sc ience , which has been made central to modern sys tems of educat ion, serves to marginal ize other forms of inquiry within educat ional institutions. Converse ly , the concept ion of educat ion as serving the accumulat ion of information reinforces the idea that it is only the sc iences that are genuinely educat ive. The humanit ies, to the degree that they survive in the modern university, are relegated to ornamental status, and even the study of educat ion itself gets treated as superf luous. Th is , in turn, serves to cement , among modern educated people, that sense of distress which is part of the scientif ic concept ion of reality. In what way can Heidegger 's approach to educat ion inform educat ional pract ice? The possibi l i t ies that C o o p e r s e e s are ones that I would a lso emphas ize as constituting the re levance of Heidegger for educat ion. If He idegger is correct, then the culture of educat ion is crucial ly f lawed. A n outstanding feature of that culture is the dominance of one form of inquiry, the natural sc iences , over others. Th is dominance is attested to not only by the inequitable amount of university resources devoted to the sc iences but a lso by a deeply ingrained perception that it is the sc iences a lone that are the proper and 6 2 He idegger , Contributions to Philosophy, 85 . II Heidegger, Hermeneutics, Education 127 final authorities on knowledge and understanding, and for solving problems. Accord ing to Heidegger, the sc iences are no more the way of truly revealing or d isc los ing how reality is, than other modes of thinking and activity, in part precisely because they are the products of a determination to restrict what is to count as know ledge . 6 3 A s a possib le response to this situation, C o o p e r ci tes Heidegger 's admonit ion to "keep reflection vigilant." Heidegger made this appeal in an article entitled "Sc ience and Ref lect ion" and addressed it to "every researcher and teacher . " 6 4 C o o p e r does not speculate as to the qualit ies of an educat ional enterprise in which Heidegger 's entreaty to teachers is given due weight and considerat ion. C o o p e r does , however, commit himself to such an enterprise when he cites Heidegger again in terms of the "hope" Heidegger exp ressed in "Sc ience and Reflect ion"; namely, that "that which is worthy of quest ioning will someday again open the door to ref lect ion. . . " 6 5 In the conclus ion of his article, C o o p e r al igns himself and all teachers and researchers with Heidegger 's vision when he suggests that "we all play our smal l part in trying to pry open that door . " 6 6 My thesis should be seen as a development of Coope r ' s efforts to enlist He idegger for a rethinking of educat ional pract ices. b d Cooper 60. 6 4 Heidegger, "Science and Reflection," in The Question Concerning Technology, trans. William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) 62. 6 5 Heidegger, "Science and Reflection," 60. 6 6 Cooper 61. II Heidegger, Hermeneutics, Education 128 2.4.3 The Crisis in Education as Enframing Like Cooper , the Heidegger scholar Patrick F i tzs imons proceeds from the idea of a crisis in educat ion, but he shifts the emphas is of this danger to our current technological understanding of the world as enframing. The quest ion of the problem for educat ion of what Heidegger terms enframing is best add ressed by returning once more to Heidegger 's history of Be ing. Heidegger 's critique of technology has been enthusiast ical ly received by many eco-phi losophers, eco-feminists and environmental ists, but few of them appreciate the p lace that technology has in Heidegger 's history of Be ing . He idegger made it very c lear at the outset of his work entitled "The Quest ion Concern ing Technology" that his is no convent ional understanding of technology: "the e s s e n c e of technology is by no means anything techno log ica l . " 6 7 Heidegger approaches technology as a manner of revealing or rendering things manifest quite different from any previous way, and one that governs the whole of modern life, including the natural world, the cultural world, and the bus iness world. A s a way of reveal ing, technology is akin to the techne of the early G reeks , but whereas the Greek craftsman saw himself as "bringing forth" the intrinsic properties of the materials with which he was working, today's technologist "chal lenges forth" these materials, "sets upon" them and imposes a "use-value" on them (12-15). Thus the "earth now reveals itself as a coal mining district, the soil as a mineral deposit," and the Rhine river as a ". . .water power suppl ier - that is when it's not put on call "for inspect ion. . . by the vacat ion 6 7 Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, 4. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 129 industry" (16). Peop le no longer honour and cooperate with the earth: rather everything is put on "standing-reserve," as so much equipment to order, tap and use. To this sett ing-upon, chal lenging, ordering way of revealing the world, He idegger g ives the name "enframing" ("Ge-stell ') (19). Enframing, therefore, is the e s s e n c e of modern technology. What does Heidegger find so dangerous about the technological way of reveal ing? It constitutes a quintessential irony: while technology is the logical outcome of humanity 's desire for self-preservation by rendering the earth and everything on it submiss ive to our needs, technology has come to dominate humans. A n d this is not simply an express ion of the view that technology has consequences that no one can control. More crucially, human beings become helplessly caught up in the total mobil ization that technology requires if it is to press ahead . At the s a m e time that humans exalt themselves to the "posture of the lord of the earth," He idegger c la ims that we ourselves are "taken as standing-reserve" ("Bestand"), as a resource valued only for our potential contribution to the technological p rocess (27). There is another aspect to technology which invites Heidegger 's cri t icism. Technology, he writes, "drives out every other possibil ity of reveal ing" (27). In previous epochs , a prevail ing way of revealing things could not entirely exc lude other ways of exper iencing them. Technology is different: every potentially rival way of revealing becomes subsumed within it. Th is means , for a start, that everything in modern life gets leveled and made monotonous. In part, this is due to technological ingenuity: d istance is e rased through the television and II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 130 computer so that events as far away as the moon are brought into our homes . Moreover, whether that home is in Ar i zona or A laska , with central heating and air-condit ioning, we need never exper ience the natural dif ferences of cl imate and the seasons . More disturbingly, the va lues and standards by which people live become homogen ized ac ross the globe, all of them derived from the imperatives of techno logy . 6 8 S o effectively d o e s technology drive out other possibi l i t ies of reveal ing that its most fundamental characterist ic - namely that it is merely one way of revealing - is itself over looked. Exper ienc ing things instrumentally becomes so entrenched that the very possibil ity of exper iencing them in any other way is exc luded from the modern imagination. Herein resides "the supreme danger," the total "oblivion of Be ing" (27) Not only is every other way of reveal ing exc luded, so is any s e n s e of what it might be to exper ience things differently, for any perception that the present way is just a way has gone. With this, we are at a max imum distance from the early G r e e k s ' concept ion of Be ing a s physis, from their holding themse lves open to the "emergence" of things in all their potential fu l lness and variety. Patrick F i tzs imons agrees that the "intolerance to other v iews is the defining characterist ic of En f raming . " 6 9 He cons iders this within the specif ic context of educat ion and identifies a danger: technology renders educat ion an instrument of capital ism through the dynamic of global izat ion. F i tzs imons 6 8 Dav id E . C o o p e r , Thinkers of our Time ( London : T h e C la r i dge P r e s s , 1996) 66 -67 . 6 9 Patr ick F i t zs imons , "En f raming Educa t ion , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, e d . M ichae l A . Pe te rs ( L a n h a m : R o w a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc, 2002) 179. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 131 argues that educat ion has been appropriated as the key technology for global izat ion conceptual ized as a "new integrated world economic order . " 7 0 The literature of global izat ion as an integrated world economic order has it that educat ion is vital to the production of a correspondingly appropriate cit izenry. F i tzs imons cites reports by the O E C D (Organization for Economic Co-operat ion and Development) and the Wor ld Bank that indicate that the focus on educat ion a s a cultural and economic instrument of capital ism is to be intensi f ied. 7 1 Fi tzs imons warns that when we take educat ion primarily as a technology for national economic development, it c o m e s with goals al ready predetermined as being of value. Educat ion so conf igured does not inquire as to educat ion 's purpose, it is structured to produce the predetermined ends , and the human is part of that structure: "The student (as consumer) suppl ies the consumpt ion, the government suppl ies the capital , and the teacher suppl ies the product . " 7 2 E a c h part of the framework depends on the regulation of all the other parts, and it is the framework itself and not the individual that reveals. F i tzs imons suggests that under the condit ion of modern technology the agency of reveal ing resides within the framework as a whole, not with the individual. A s such , the enframing of educat ion concea ls the state of beings from themselves. What appears instead is an educat ional framework for constituting and instituting order. S u c h educat ion has all the features of enframing, it demands a constant supply of F i t zs imons 179. F i t zs imons 184. F i t zs imons 184. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 132 resources, whether that be knowledge, people, or f inancial capital asse ts . A b o v e al l , and this is its most dangerous feature, it does not tolerate any other mode of reveal ing. If F i tzs imons ' understanding s e e m s too narrowly delimited by imposing a Heidegger ian interpretation on educat ion, I would like to cons ider two further relevant v iews on this issue. The first is the view of two Canad ian professors, T o m Pockl ington and Al lan Tupper, in their book on Canad ian universit ies entitled No Place to Learn (2006). Without so much as a pass ing reference to Heidegger, the chapter on technology is remarkably consistent with F i tzs imons ' Heidegger ian interpretation of an enframed educat ion: A d v a n c e d educat ion is a commodi ty that can be conveyed from producer to consumer in a variety of ways - the point is to find the most efficient way, which, as it happens, is computer-dr iven. . . In an era of globalization and revolutionary transformation of wealthy countr ies into information-based economies , the obvious task of universit ies is to produce "human resources" (the label is revealing in its technological reduction of persons into factors of production) who can adeptly use the latest means for process ing informat ion. 7 3 A s we have s e e n , in enframed educat ion there must be a continual supply or, in Heidegger 's language, "standing-reserve," of product and constant improvement in value. Pockl ington and Tupper have explicitly depicted human beings as " resources," and educat ion as the means of adding value to those " resources" in the most "efficient" ways . F i tzs imons argues that we have construed a world in which human beings have " learned to willingly adopt the T o m Pock l ing ton and A l l an Tupper , No Place to Learn (Vancouver : U B C P r e s s , 2002) 160. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 133 ethos of eff iciency as a personal moral responsibil ity. The result is an avai lable, consumab le , and above all "mute" stockpi le of human resources. "Mute" because there is no p lace from which to view the framework: "all is c o n c e a l e d . " 7 5 From the perspect ive of a traditionally l iberal, humanist viewpoint, this interpretation of educat ion would qualify as inhuman because it does not theorize agency as inherent in the individual. This is the viewpoint from which Tupper and Pockl ington proceed. Fol lowing Heidegger, however, this type of educat ion is simply enframed, reducing the human to "the status of a c lever animal with no insight into its own authentic possibil ity and obligation: to d isc lose things and to shelter their be i ng . " 7 6 And if we recall lain Thomson ' s argument, Heidegger 's interpretation is the more powerful one, because it is embedded in a theoretical and phi losophical conceptual izat ion that provides a way out. The second view that I would like to present is that of David Block in his article entitled: " 'McCommunica t ion ' A problem in the frame for S L A . " 7 7 B lock argues that there has been a tendency in recent t imes to "frame" interpersonal communicat ion as a set of technical skil ls that can be def ined, made more efficient, quantif ied and ultimately control led. He notes that Fairc lough (1992, F i t zs imons 186. F i t zs imons 186. F i t zs imons 181 . Dav id B l o c k , " ' M c C o m m u n i c a t i o n ' A P r o b l e m in the f rame for S L A , " in Globalization and Language Teaching, e d s . Dav id B lock and D e b o r a h C a m e r o n (New York : Rou t l edge , 2002) 117-133 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 134 1995) has referred to this p rocess as the "technologizat ion of d iscourse. Block, however, co ined the term "McCommunica t ion , " as an extrapolation of the term "McDonald izat ion" formulated by Ritzer (1996). For Block, both these terms emphas ize not only that the "technologization of d iscourse" relies on a frame which over-rat ional izes communicat ion, but a lso that this frame is commodi f ied and spread around the world. What specif ical ly troubles Block is that this particular "frame" has become pervasive within " S e c o n d Language Acquis i t ion" (SLA) research: ... the tendency to frame communicat ion in this way [McCommunicat ion] has spi l led over into S L A research, where communicat ion is seen as referential in nature and f ramed as efficient, ca lcu lable, predictable, control lable and standardized negotiation for meaning. The problem with this frame is not that it is incorrect or inaccurate, but that it is partial and fails to capture the complexi t ies of communicat ion as a site of S L A . 7 9 In this article, B lock 's concerns resonate strongly with those of Heidegger . Th is occurs not only in terms of B lock 's alarm that one way of v iewing linguistic phenomena is shutting out others, but a lso in the very language he uses , namely, his reference to "framing." Moreover , B lock shares Heidegger 's concern that the "technical-rational f rame" that is currently appl ied so pervasively within second language acquisit ion research ultimately " . . .dehuman izes the socia l /psychological phenomenon . . . " that is human Block 120 . B lock 131 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 135 language and commun ica t ion . 8 0 In other words, for both Heidegger and Block, our humanity is at stake in the ubiquity of this frame. F i tzs imons points out, however, that despite "the extreme danger" identified by Heidegger, he never suggested we attempt to destroy or el iminate technology as a way out of enframing. O n the contrary, Heidegger recognized the many advantages of technological dev ices, including the ways they chal lenge us to greater advances . What we need to do instead, he suggested, is to find ways of employing technology that avoids the technological understanding of Be ing. How can we do that? Accord ing to F i tzs imons: "To alert us to at least the idea of other possibi l i t ies, He idegger advances poiesis -another mode of revealing - that inherently contains the idea that there are infinite possibi l i t ies for be ing . " 8 1 Fi tzs imons does not define poeisis, nor does he elaborate on how Heidegger understands the term. Moreover, Heidegger himself never specif ical ly def ined poiesis in any one work. Rather, his sense of the concept emerges over many works and from his writings on the Ge rman poet Friedrich Holderl in. I will give an account of how Heidegger understands and deve lops the concept in Chapter Three. For now, I will put forward a provisional definition by following Heidegger 's own approach and turning first to the Greek understanding of poiesis and then to Holderl in. Block 132. F i t z s i m o n s 1 8 7 . II Heidegger, Hermeneutics, Education 136 Accord ing to The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, the Greek meaning of poiesis is "production" in a manner that is "characterist ic of craf ts . " 8 2 By way of an example , The Dictionary specif ical ly ci tes "building" which, as we shal l s e e in Chapter Three, is a particularly important activity for Heidegger, too. Holderl in 's contribution to Heidegger 's concept is to insist that poetic language does not depend upon the pre-establ ished meanings of everyday language nor even an "existent reality" for its force; rather, poiesis resists and t ranscends the efforts of our everyday language to establ ish one definite, univocal mean ing (TM 470). Therefore, whereas enframing does not permit other v iews or understandings of the world, poiesis does . B e c a u s e of this it is a conceptual ly more powerful mode of understanding. But that is not the only reason that Heidegger recommends poiesis- and this is where, it might be argued, his more literary or, for some , his more mystical leanings emerge. A further problem with modern technology's enframed eff iciency is that it theor izes a world where there is no mystery, nothing sac red , and therefore human beings cannot "dwell" there. "Dwel l ing" is another important concept in Heidegger 's later writing that is related to "building" and that I will examine in Chapter Three. Accord ing to F i tzs imons, Heidegger 's concept of "dwell ing" requires the susta ined integration of human beings with nature and this will diminish to the extent that resources are depleted through an enframing of the world. By contrast, a poetic understanding of the world "makes that world Robert Audi, General Editor, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 716. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 137 sac red , never able to be mastered, and therefore an object of reverence . " 8 3 It is the sense of the sacred that is required, not the destruction wrought under modern technology. But again , we do not s e e this, because enframing b locks poiesis as an alternative understanding of Be ing . F i tzs imons appl ies Heidegger 's history of Be ing and understanding of technology to identify the threats to educat ion. H e conc ludes by acknowledging another aspect of enframing that we encountered in Heidegger 's history of being: "a technological ly determined world depends on theorizing technology a s a rational universal that would push societ ies toward an identical m o d e l . " 8 4 Fi tzs imons argues that an extension of the process of technological progress under global izat ion is homogeneity, the end of culture, and therefore the end of difference. For F i tzs imons, if we value diversity and cultural difference, we must expose enframing. S ince enframing depends on concealment , a potent way to expose it is to speak of it: "... if we accept that words 'speak us into ex is tence' -and we wish to live - in the face of Enframing, we cannot remain s i lent . " 8 5 Above all, F i tzs imons turns to educat ion. Just as C o o p e r committed himself to a Heidegger ian objective with educat ional implications, F i tzs imons does the same . He conc ludes his article with the following statement: "To speak we need a language community within which to 'stand still,' and within which a 'c learing' might reveal Be ing itself to us poetically. The promotion of suitable 8 3 F i t zs imons 187. 8 4 F i t zs imons 188. 8 5 F i t zs imons 188. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 138 educat ional language communi t ies in many cultural worlds is the purpose of this chapter . " 8 6 This latter hope speaks directly to language study; however, while F i tzs imons introduces the crucial role of language as an appropriate response to the cr is is, he does not develop it. Other scholars have deve loped this aspect of Heidegger 's thought and its implications for educat ion. Many of them do so in order to address a speci f ic question or problem within educat ion. 2.4.4 Problems and Questions within Education B a s e d on this d iscuss ion of the historical crisis within educat ion, we can already identify the themes that have been derived from Heidegger, namely, the emphas is on quest ioning, an attention to different possibi l i t ies, and the signi f icance of wonder. The central role is attributed to language. A s we shal l s e e , these themes and the crucial role of language also figure prominently among writers who turn to Heidegger 's thought to address specif ic issues and concerns within educat ion. Bert Lambei r has written extensively on the implication of new technologies within the educat ional sc iences . In his article entitled "Comfortably Numb in the Digital E ra , " he does not proceed from the standpoint of a crisis within educat ion, but does apply the Heidegger ian quest ioning of technology to the role of information and communicat ion technology within educa t ion . 8 7 8 6 F i t z s imons 188. 8 7 Bert Lambe i r , "Comfor tab ly N u m b in the Digital E r a , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, e d . M i c h a e l A . Pe te rs ( L a n h a m : R o w a n & Litt lefield Pub l i she rs , Inc, 2002) 1 0 3 - 1 2 1 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 139 Although Heidegger never encountered the computer as such , Lambeir c la ims that Heidegger 's analys is astutely depicts our current situation, and that his phi losophy sets the stage for an alternative understanding of the computer phenomenon . Th is , in turn, provides a space for altering practice within pedagogy, where the computer is enjoying a rapidly-growing inf luence. A s is the c a s e with many other writers, Lambeir attests to the omnipresence of technology general ly, and within educat ion specif ical ly, and acknowledges the dangers that we have come to recognize as deriving from a Heidegger ian perspect ive. First and foremost, the recognition that technology is not a mere tool for learning, but "the omnipresent, dominant way in which the world b e c o m e s meaningful to us."(108) Second ly , the emphas is on eff iciency as an overall s tandard of the educat ional sys tem that " reduces the subject content, as well as both teacher and student, to Bestand." (113) Thirdly, the way in which the computer is making large-scale bus inesses and global economies "an indispensable partner of educat ion." (113) The danger that Lambeir focuses on, however, has to do with language and how it, too, is becoming "Bestand. " For instance, electronic text is fast on the way to becoming a "dominant language form." (115) A predominant part of our communicat ion today is mediated by electronic forms of speech , by way of e-mai l , podcasts , "chats" and other forms of computer ized social-networking. Most of this electronic conversat ion is in the form of written language, which modern information and communicat ion technology approaches as a mere instrument, a fast and efficient means to an end. (116) Th is mentality is obvious II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 140 in the instance of computer programming languages, a blatant form of instrumental ization, but it is in ev idence a s well in the manner in which communicat ion between people is constructed. Open ing salutat ions, grammatical ly correct sen tences and coherent texts, are sacr i f iced for the sake of speed . Instead, computer ized m e s s a g e s incorporate many acronyms, abbreviat ions, unfinished sentences , and incomplete texts. The s a m e appl ies to reading. It is no longer studying a complete text, but b e c o m e s a hasty scrol l ing and cl icking, looking for the most useful parts of a text on the sc reen . But if technology is taking control over the mode and world of language, Lambei r points out that it is a lso taking over our thinking, s ince language and thinking are irrevocably connected with one other. Speak ing and writing are the material izing of thoughts and when our language is changing, our thoughts are changing in their turn. Th is is to say that our thinking is in danger of losing its s e n s e , because " language becomes Bestandand speech , when posed in this fashion, becomes information." (116) A W e b - b a s e d educat ion, of the kind encouraged by bus iness and government, becomes "information process ing in the first p lace." (116) S u c h a concept of educat ion fits very well in the contemporary performativity d iscourse in educat ion, but what becomes of the poiesis, which F i tzs imons saw as sav ing us from enframing? Lambeir asks a similar quest ion: I wish to cons ider if there is some space left for Dichtung in this techno-centric universe. What can it mean to dwell in a world overrun by the computer , and what is in it for educat ion? Is it indeed the c a s e that Being does not have to be understood in a purely technological manner, even in this digital e ra? (117) II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 141 Lambei r c la ims that there is no going back to a time before the computer: "education unplugged is no option." (117) However, there are ways to incorporate poiesis within the interface. Fol lowing Heidegger, this would involve pract ices that escape the paradigm of speed , the criterion of eff icacy, and the concept of language as word process ing. A s one example of how to ach ieve this, Lambei r suggests that teachers and learners simply "dwell in cybe rspace . . . without search ing for something in particular." (118) He proposes that teachers and learners surf the W e b together and see what shows up. Accord ing to Lambei r this would have the effect of teaching learners to deal with all kinds of content, including unexpected or unpleasant content that would require applying s o m e critical judgment. Lambei r concedes that such a practice would involve risks, "but at least not the risk that one would not be educat ing." (118) Convent iona l internet use mainly involves putting as ide contemplat ive attention, whereas the approach Lambei r suggests provides the time "to be enraptured, to be troubled and touched by a particular subject." (119) There is a further advantage to such a practice: In letting the uncertainty of content slip into the c lass room, the teacher cannot but show her co lors . . . . S h e cannot pretend as if she herself does not hold particular things valuable, prior to the "choice" of the learner. Whatever the teacher offers as educat ion content, she will have to legitimate and thus speak as the person she is . . . (118) Within the context of language pedagogy, Rick Kern has argued for a similar role for instructors in the use of internet-mediated learning materials, especia l ly those that involve communicat ion across linguistic and cultural boundar ies. Accord ing to Kern : "The teacher 's crucial task is to lead follow-up II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 142 d iscuss ions , so that the chains of texts that students produce can be examined, interpreted, and possibly re-interpreted in the light of c lass d iscuss ion or subsequent responses from native s p e a k e r s . " 8 8 For Kern , as for Lambeir , the teacher plays a key role in facilitating critical reflection and cultural awareness after the activity. I will examine the implications of Heidegger 's thought for the teacher- learner relationship in language pedagogy in Chapter Five. Heidegger 's analys is of technology alerts us to the way in which computer izat ion alters our understanding of reality and of human being as such . The natural world and humanity with it are in danger of becoming merely standing-reserve, and educat ional content is in danger of becoming bare information. Lambei r argues that if we follow Heidegger in what he tells us about language, and try to combine this with an altered use of information and communicat ion technology, a concept of educat ion as a "personal and chal lenging undertaking" (120) emerges as an alternative. I agree with Lambei r and will descr ibe my concept ion of what constitutes a "personal and chal lenging" exper ience of language learning in Chapter Four. At this point, I will cons ider one more writer who looks to Heidegger to resolve some larger problem outside of educat ion proper. In her article entitled "Heidegger and Nie tzsche: Nihi l ism and the Quest ion of Va lue in Relat ion to Educa t ion , " 8 9 Ruth Irwin draws on Heidegger to R . G . K e r n , Literacy and Language Teaching (Oxford: Ox fo rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 2000) 2 5 2 . 8 9 F. Ruth Irwin, "He idegge r and N i e t z s c h e : Nih i l ism and the Ques t i on of V a l u e in Re la t ion to Educa t i on , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, e d . M i c h a e l A . Pe te r s ( L a n h a m : R o w a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc, 2002) 191 -210 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 143 evaluate the very ser ious threat to our world of environmental devastat ion. A s I noted previously, environmental ists of all str ipes turn to Heidegger for his critique of technology s o that Irwin's turn to Heidegger is not unusual : however, Irwin has a different purpose for drawing on his phi losophy. A s the situation s tands now within the world general ly, and within educat ion specif ical ly, there is a tendency to look for a technological solution to what is perceived as a technical environmental problem. Irwin insists, however, that in the face of such a ser ious threat, technological quick "f ixes" are not the appropriate response (192). Instead she looks to educat ion in its role as a source of va lues: The role of educat ion in the exploration of va lues is important. Consc ious ly opening up the interpretation of existing va lues about the relationship between people and the planet reposit ions the educat ional project as the means to reimagining human society. (192) The role that Irwin s e e s for educat ion is to reconfigure or "reimagine" the relationship between human society and the environment in which we live. S h e reminds us that the institutions of educat ion are - in theory if not in practice -protected from exposure to the dynamics of consumer ism and commodif icat ion in ways that other realms of society are not. Moreover , the traditional role of universit ies as the "critic and consc ience of society" (192) gives us the unique opportunity and responsibil i ty to imagine alternative ways of living. Accord ing to Irwin: It is through the generat ion of new knowledges, and the nurturing of character that society reformulates itself in relation to the earth. The ethical evaluat ion of these new forms of knowledge is crucial to the creative and caring regeneration of the human environment, as opposed to the corrosive adoption of consumer ism and usury. (193) II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 144 W e are already familiar with Heidegger 's understanding of the development of Western civil ization and its relation to the world. Irwin represents it as fol lows: ...there was a historical shift in ancient Greek thought in the concept of Being. . . th is shift is a decl ine in the originary force of human awareness and ability to make Be ing manifest. . . Plato began that dec l ine. . . Aristotle redressed it to s o m e extent but his rel iance on categorical statements of the logos. . . produced a stale representation rather than a poetic, forceful "wresting" of Be ing from concealment . Th is corruption has resulted in a degenerat ion and complacency of society and history. (193) Accord ing to Irwin, Heidegger regards the signi f icance of humanity as lying in the reciprocal relation between human beings and Being and this cons is ts primarily in a "pass ion for quest ioning" which "wrests" Be ing from concealment (193). For Irwin, Heidegger 's depict ion of human beings as a quest ioner is crucial for her argument, because it des ignates humanity 's most important role as being open to Being rather than developing new ways of utilizing the world as a resource. For Irwin, the role of inquiry constitutes the heart of educat ional concerns, but Heidegger 's ideas about the function of language and logic a lso have important consequences , especial ly for the relative emphas is p laced on different f ields of human inquiry. In contrast to our faith in the sc iences which promote scientif ic technology and economics , Irwin reminds us that Heidegger relegates sc ience to "busyness" and c la ims that works of art constitute the best way of opening up original aspec ts of Be ing and reconfiguring culture (193). Above all, Irwin presents Heidegger as endowing language and especia l ly poetry with the II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 145 power to render Be ing as something "strange" thereby enabl ing "a discerning and fresh revealing of the Being of beings." (195) Irwin agrees with Heidegger 's analys is that technology is not merely a neutral tool with which we affect the environment. The technological f rame within which we find ourselves has "no field of vision outside of itself" (207). Every attitude we have is a response to the technological world. Accord ing to Irwin, however, Heidegger 's analys is can help us to avoid technological , site-speci f ic "fixits" to problems such as pollution and human caused extinction. By attributing the signi f icance of the relationship between human beings and Be ing to quest ioning, and through an awareness of the creative possibi l i t ies of language, Heidegger presents us with a vital indication of the potential role and motivation for educat ion. Irwin states it explicitly: "Accord ing to a Heidegger ian reading, the ethical task of educat ion is to inspire a psychology of awe. To care about Being as such . Clear ly , it is here that the role of educat ion is most vital." (207) W e have already encountered references to "awe" but this is the first that we have to "care." The concept of "care" is central to Heidegger 's phi losophy as he presents it in Being and Time. Heidegger dist inguishes human beings from all other beings in ex is tence, by c laiming that we are that being, among all other beings in the world, whose existence is an issue for itself. Our ex is tence matters to us. W e are the beings who care about Be ing . Irwin makes references to Heidegger 's book in her article, however, it does not play a pivotal role in her argument. Th is is characterist ic of the writers within the first two II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 146 groups. By contrast, Being and Time is a seminal text for writers in the third group. Before moving to this group, I want to summar ize the themes of the first two groups. W e have just been consider ing those writers who look to Heidegger to address particular problems or quest ions related to educat ion. T h e s e emerge from within educat ion itself, such as Lambei r and the use of information and computer technology. O r they are larger quest ions that educat ion is cal led upon to resolve, such as the threat of environmental devastat ion that Irwin cons iders . The writers in this group look primarily to Heidegger 's history of Be ing for inspiration and ideas to resolve the quest ions and issues that face educat ion. In this way they are similar to the first group of writers that proceed from the convict ion of a crisis within educat ion. They are similar, too, in the themes they have chosen as relevant for educat ion: the portrayal of human beings as the quest ioners of Be ing , the danger of restricting ourselves to one way of understanding our world, instead of being open to many possibi l i t ies, and the roles of wonder and awe as crucial exper iences in our relationship to our world. Aga in , all of these themes share fundamental ly a profound attention to language. 2.4.5 Conceptions of Education The final grouping of writers who has written on Heidegger and educat ion has in common their development of a new concept ion of educat ion. A s ment ioned above, this group draws its primary inspiration from a different text, II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 147 Heidegger 's opus magnum, Being and Time. My project belongs to this group and I will be descr ib ing Heidegger 's thinking in Being and Time in the following chapter. By way of introduction, however, I will look at one writer briefly. Th is is primarily in order to complete an analys is of the three groups and to announce the themes that I will take into the third chapter. The writer is Padra ig Hogan and his article "Learning as Leavetak ing and H o m e c o m i n g . " 9 0 In this article Hogan examines how the phi losophy that Heidegger deve loped over the course of his life could be understood as a ser ies of learning confrontations. Accord ing to Hogan , Heidegger confronts three ways of thinking that have prevai led within the history of Western civil ization down to our t ime but that do not adequately or appropriately express the dist inct iveness of being human. T h e s e ways of thinking have informed concept ions of educat ion that are a lso in their turn inadequate. W e have already encountered s o m e of the ways in which Heidegger has depicted our humanness that differ from our dominant modes of conceptual iz ing the human, hopefully they do not require detai led explanat ion. The first of Heidegger 's confrontations is with c lass ica l and modern forms of metaphys ics . B e c a u s e these draw on Heidegger 's examinat ion of truth within the history of Be ing , we are familiar with this thinking. The second is his confrontation with epistemology, whether in rationalist, empiricist, positivist, or other forms. Aga in , we are familiar with this confrontation through my previous analys is of Ca rnap ' s critique and of Heidegger 's ontological hermeneut ics. Padra ig H o g a n , "Lea rn ing a s Leave tak ing and H o m e c o m i n g , " in Heidegger, Education, and Modernity, e d . M i c h a e l A . Pe te rs ( L a n h a m : R o w a n & Littlefield Pub l i she rs , Inc, 2002) 2 1 1 - 2 2 8 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 148 Heidegger 's final confrontation, as Hogan depicts it, is with Nie tzsche and a way of thinking that has s ince come to inform most postmodern thought in contemporary educat ional and cultural debates. Hogan descr ibes Heidegger 's encounter with Nie tzsche as a profound one. He argues that this encounter takes the form of a confrontation that "resulted in a dramatic turning to new pathways in Heidegger 's later phi losophy." (222) Hogan is not a lone in this argument. Most commentators on Heidegger refer to a "turn" or "Kehre" in his thought that c a m e about after his extensive work with Nie tzsche. Hogan 's exposit ion will give us an opportunity to explore this shift. Hogan f rames the above-noted confrontations in the form of " leavetakings." The reason we are familiar with them is because they derive from Heidegger 's confrontations with the quest ion of "truth." W e have already seen what Hogan points out, namely, that truth for Heidegger: ... was immeasurably beyond the capabil i ty of metaphys ics to discern with concepts , and also beyond the capacity of epistemology to ground rationally. Whi le remaining supremely important for Heidegger, truth c a m e to be understood in his thinking as that, to which the best of human efforts might hope to draw near, but a lso as that which was in itself unfathomably different from what the fruits of calculat ive thinking might yield. (216) For Heidegger, the prominence of metaphys ics in Western phi losophy led to a forgetfulness of the quest ion of Be ing , a forgetfulness that was rendered more intractable by the rise of epistemology with its confident aspirat ions of achieving a rationally grounded certainty and comprehens ive conceptual mastery. Accord ing to Heidegger, these ways of thinking predispose the thinking not just of individuals, but of whole cultures of learning and of belief, to a II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 149 forgetfulness of what is most worthy of human attent iveness and reverence: "to think ever anew that which was worthy of thinking's best efforts." (220) But if Heidegger 's confrontations with metaphysics and epistemology were decis ive for his thought, no less decis ive were his susta ined encounters during the nineteen thirties and forties with the work of Friedrich Nie tzsche. If anyone could be seen to put an end to the search for objective certainty it is N ie tzsche. A s Hogan presents him, Nietzsche marks the final phase of metaphys ics, that of the absolute subjectivity of the will to power. How the world is, is now simply what we have dec ided or wil led. The terms and concepts with which we descr ibe it are merely those we have constructed as most conduc ive to obtaining control over the world and our l ives. W h e r e a s Heidegger depicts Be ing as a myster ious source that cal ls to humanity whose task is to protect it, this is now entirely withdrawn and denied. Being is nothing other than the express ion of our will (219-222). Accord ing to Hogan , one of the most important conc lus ions Heidegger draws from his repeated explorat ions of N ie tzsche 's thinking, is that: "N ie tzsche 's phi losophy is not the overcoming of nihil ism that it purports to be, but rather the 'fulfillment' of nihi l ism." (221) Just as an as ide, in my view this is an exaggerated reading of N ie tzsche, who wrote vehement ly against nihil ism on many occas ions . But Hogan is keen to make a larger point with Heidegger. From Heidegger 's view, if nihil ism is the denial of Be ing , then with N ie tzsche, despite his c la im to overcome nihil ism we have nihil ism proper. On Heidegger 's account , N ie tzsche 's nihil ism loses sight from the start of all that is II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 150 most worthy of thinking in the relationship between being human and Be ing . The two remain c lose in regard to the primacy of interpretation in human understanding, but N ie tzsche 's preoccupat ion with human being in the context of will to power, marks a decis ive rift. In Heidegger 's v iew the nihil, or no-th ingness, is precisely that which cal ls for thinking. Henceforth, in his efforts to understand better the relationship between human being and Be ing , Heidegger turns the focus of his phi losophical attention from human being to the relationship itself as an interplay. Accord ing to Hogan : In keeping with this shift in emphas is {die Kehre), Heidegger 's language begins to show less of the phi losophical formality and precis ion of Being and Time, and becomes increasingly imbued with imagery and metaphor. (222) The path Heidegger 's thought now takes, for Hogan , can be designated with the term "homecoming." A s a kind of homecoming, thinking, as Heidegger elucidates it, l ies among the first of humankind's responsibi l i t ies, but this responsibil i ty is not a matter of a "theoretical representation of Be ing and of man," rather, it is an endeavor that is properly cal led action (224). Hogan explains that, as act ion, thinking is neither theoretical nor practical because it occurs before such a distinction can be made. He goes on to draw on some of the later themes in Heidegger 's writing when he descr ibes this as : "a finding of the way, a losing and refinding of the way, to one 's human dwell ing in the nearness of Be ing . . . with a v iew to a safeguarding, a sheltering." (224) In this act ion, Hogan c la ims, is something "reverential" or even "sacred. " Moreover, it is something that can "properly, or worthily, be cal led educat ional ." (224) II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 151 Hogan conc ludes his depiction with the assert ion that the work of teaching is, first and foremost, "a form of action that answers the call of thinking." (224) To regard teaching in this way is to view teachers, but a lso learners, very differently than do those models that portray teaching as a technology, or as a serv ice industry to some economic or political agenda . It is to conceptual ize teachers as , in the first p lace, "active thinkers," whose work is to promote enduring and flourishing relationships to what is most worthy of the efforts of their learners (224). In terms of the curr iculum, Hogan v isual izes every subject - and not just the humanit ies! - as the exper ience of a "bringing-to-language which opens up a world of inquiry." (225) S u c h exper ience should involve "attending to" what is most worthy of thought in a particular field, al though Hogan purports that we are more likely to "busily bypass" s u c h thought. Sti l l , such action does not appear to d ismay Hogan and I would conjecture that this is attributable at least in part to how he understands Heidegger and his work: Heidegger 's later writings can roughly be seen as a success ion of explorat ions of the truth of Be ing , and of how human being is c la imed by it, evades it, responds to it, ignores it, remains in at tendance on it, rushes past it, belongs to it, or misunderstands it. Al l of these, it should be remembered, are forms of learning or consequences of learning." (223) Of course, Hogan 's representation of Heidegger 's thought ra ises a number of quest ions for educat ion about pedagogical object ives, methodological approaches and curr iculum design. S o m e of these are new, but most would be recognizable to educators as quest ions that have been around for a long t ime. Aga in , the nature of the relationship between teacher and learner is an important II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 152 example . Like C o o p e r before him, Hogan admits to the need for more development of the v is ion, but does not attempt this in his article. This is in contrast to scholars such as Thomson and Bonnet, who have deve loped speci f ic pedagogica l approaches and concept ions. I will be building on the work of these two scho lars in the serv ice of language study. 2.5 Education Otherwise I have reviewed the relevance of Heidegger 's thought for educat ion from within the context of three approaches: as a response to a crisis within educat ion, as a response to some specif ic problem or quest ion within educat ion, and as a means to reconceptual iz ing educat ion. It is time now to summar ize the themes that have been identified within and across these approaches and to examine how they relate to language pedagogy. This examinat ion will be a genera l one but will set the parameters for my further examinat ion and analys is in the following chapter. First, Heidegger 's lifelong ruminations on the quest ion of Be ing are a source of insight into cr ises involving both our actual, contemporary world and the world of educat ion (Cooper) . Cruc ia l in this regard is a way of understanding and relating to the world that Heidegger c la ims has reached its zenith in our modern age: the technological thinking of enframing (Fi tzsimons). For Heidegger, the e s s e n c e of this technological way of see ing things - or in Heidegger ian language this "mode of reveal ing" - is that everything is understood in terms of its use-va lue, as a resource to be exploited. Th is way of II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 153 revealing e n c o m p a s s e s all entities in the world, including ourse lves, for we too a s s u m e the position and value al located to us in the instrumental world picture. In regard to educat ion, Heidegger 's insight alerts us to the ways in which our educat ional institutions have already fallen under the sway of technology and enframing. Within post-secondary educat ion, this instrumentalist technological understanding is involved in the increasing fragmentation, vocat ional izat ion, and technologizat ion of the university. The consequences of this understanding are further exempli f ied by the market and manager ia l models of learning that increasingly set the tone for so much that has come to be regarded as educat ion. A s part of the so-cal led knowledge economy, where human beings are regarded as "human resources," universit ies are directed to turn out flexible, multi-skilled knowledge-workers for the twenty-first century. By all accounts , however, the most ser ious consequence of the technological way of encounter ing entities is that it has become internal to our consc iousness . W e have become increasingly immersed in accordance with the instrumentalist f rame of mind it provides, to the exc lus ion of any other way of understanding our world and relating to the entities in it. Accord ing to all the writers I reviewed, Heidegger regarded this s ingle-minded focus on utilitarian ends as a sinister phenomenon of modern life. It is an attitude that al ienates us from the entities in our world, for they cannot show themselves as they are in their many-s idedness . In addit ion, we are denied the sense of enrichment afforded by encounter ing things differently, af resh, and in their inherent un iqueness, which is a v iew advocated by Ruth Irwin. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 154 I bel ieve that Heidegger 's work is to be valued in educat ion for its power to reveal the totalizing effects of technology in our world and how this accounts for many of our pract ices in educat ion. But by all accounts , his thought is not limited to insightful negative critique alone. Clear ly , the value of Heidegger 's negative critique is augmented by the r ichness of his posit ive contribution, in his account of language and especial ly poetic language or the language of poetry. A c r o s s the approaches , Heidegger scholars appear agreed that Heidegger 's concept ion of the poetic serves as a means of disrupting the totalizing thought of enframing. If our language is in danger of reification as "standing-reserve," our thinking, too, will remain reified and static, c losing off alternate possibi l i t ies for understanding and express ing our world (Lambeir). In contrast, our poetic language, or, better, our language to the extent that it is poetic, provides the possibil i ty of finding new ways of express ing the way things are for us (Fi tzsimons). Th is involves a reverence for things that is poetic in kind, a reminder of a different way of relating to the world, a way that makes that world sac red , something we must approach with wonder and awe (Irwin). In summary, most of the implications of Heidegger 's thought for educat ion derive from the juxtaposit ion of two trajectories within his thinking, one negative and the other posit ive. I am referring to a distinction that Heidegger himself made in his work entitled Discourse on Thinking between "calculat ive" thinking and "meditative" or "poetic" thinking. A s an historical "mode of reveal ing" in which entities increasingly show up only as resources to be opt imized, "calculative thinking" quantif ies all qualitative relations and sets everything up as II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 155 a resource to be exploited. By contrast, "meditative" or "poetic" thinking "contemplates the meaning which reigns in everything," free from any partial, pragmatic perspect ive . 9 1 By all accounts the s takes in the game are certainly high. For Heidegger, our very humanity s tands threatened. The danger, as Heidegger observes in Discourse on Thinking, is that "there might go hand in hand with the greatest ingenuity in calculat ive planning and inventing indifference toward meditative thinking, total thought lessness. A n d then? Then man would have denied and thrown away his own spec ia l nature - that he is a meditative be ing . " 9 2 What are the s takes for language study in this situation? The relation of language study to the themes assoc ia ted with calculat ive thinking is in most instances explicit and direct. For example , one means by which the totalizing dominance of calculat ive thinking might be mitigated, is to learn more than one language. S ince the eighteenth century G e r m a n scholars like Johann Gottfried Herder and Wi lhelm von Humboldt have put forward the idea that different people speak differently because they think differently, and that they think differently because their language offers them different ways of express ing the world around them. This notion was picked up in the United States by the anthropologist Franz B o a s and subsequent ly by Edward Sap i r and his pupil Benjamin Lee Whorf. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis makes the express c la im that the structure of the language one uses inf luences the manner in which Mart in He idegger , Discourse on Thinking, t rans. J . A n d e r s o n and E. F reund (New York : Harpe r & R o w , 1966) 46 . 9 2 H e i d e g g e r 56 . II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 156 one thinks and behaves . Th is hypothesis has encountered legitimate crit icism, however, there is nowadays a recognition that language both f rames and reflects the way people think. Th is does not exclude the likelihood that calculat ive thinking occurs in many different languages; nevertheless, by bringing in the possibil i t ies of thought that other languages offer, language study is at least al igned with the forces of resistance rather than submiss ion to the totalizing dominance of calculat ive thinking. There is another way in which language study relates to the negative critique of calculat ive thinking. F i tzs imons stated his purpose for writing on Heidegger and educat ion as "the promotion of suitable educat ional language communi t ies in many cultural wor lds . " 9 4 In other words, one way to resist the ills assoc ia ted with calculat ive thinking is to make sure that the linguistic repertoire of humankind remains as rich and diversif ied as possib le. I bel ieve that the repeated use of the words we inherit through our own language can compe l us towards a certain conventionali ty or conformity in our language use. In turn, our thinking can become static, c losing off new directions and possibi l i t ies. By contrast, learning another language offers the possibil ity of finding new ways of express ing the way things are for us. For educators this is, in my opinion, more than a possibil ity: it is our responsibil i ty and this above all in language educat ion. Cla i re K r a m s c h , Language and Culture (Oxford: Ox fo rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 1998) 12. F i t zs imons 188. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 157 A s far as my thesis is concerned , a fuller account needs yet to be made of Heidegger 's concept of the "poetic" and how it offers the resistance to "calculat ive" thinking that he cons iders so crucial . I do this in Chapter Three. In the meant ime, however, it is possib le to draw s o m e general conc lus ions in regard to the relation of language educat ion and the positive theme of "meditative" thinking. To begin, Heidegger 's profound engagement with the creative forces within language al igns his approach with language study, at least potentially. To the extent that language learning does not restrict itself to a "ski l ls" approach, and incorporates the "poetic" d imension of language, it can contribute positively to the development of a sensi t ized and receptive language awareness in learners, consistent with a "meditative" disposit ion. S u c h language study sensi t izes us to the way that language conveys va lues. It can serve to make us more aware of the immensely powerful way that language condit ions our relationship to the world and to each other. Th is awareness is especia l ly relevant to the c la im made for "poetic" thinking that it reveals a different way of relating to the world, a way that makes familiar things unfamiliar. Language study specif ical ly involves an encounter with the unfamiliar and the strange. Currently, this exposure to the strange and unfamiliar in a language c lass does not evoke the exper ience of awe or wonder characterist ic of "poetic" thinking. Indeed, a more customary response appears to be rejection or resistance. To ach ieve a response more akin to wonder would entail a different concept of ourselves and our relation to the world. W e will s e e in Chapter Three that Heidegger offers such a concept in authentic understanding. II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 158 Heidegger 's concepts of authenticity and authentic understanding are important for educat ion because authenticity provides a concept of personhood and therefore a view of the qualit ies that must be deve loped through educat ion. B e c a u s e of its connect ion to the nature of human understanding, authentic understanding also offers a perspect ive on the nature of personal ly significant learning and the condit ions that are necessary for it to occur. Moreover, it is through authentic ex is tence that a truly critical pedagogy may be possib le. Authentic understanding is the third theme of Heidegger and educat ion and the major focus of my project. I have offered only a brief introduction to this theme so far, and will develop it in Chapter Three. A s part of that development, the three features that have been repeatedly identified as characterist ic of Heidegger 's posit ion will emerge again. T h e s e are the focus on quest ioning, an openness to new possibi l i t ies, and the exper ience of wonder. Before concluding this chapter and beginning my account of authentic understanding in Chapter Three, I want to begin looking at the reciprocity that I a m claiming for the two fields of language pedagogy and phi losophical hermeneut ics. I have shown how language educat ion is responsive to the quest ions and concerns that are the focus of Heidegger 's thought both in its critical and affirmative express ions. But can Heidegger 's thinking be as receptive to the needs of an intercultural approach to language learning, an approach that al igns with the stated vision of higher educat ion to produce ci t izens for a global world? By "global" I am not support ing a "global ized" concept of educat ion II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t i on 159 support ive of multinational corporat ions, but simply a broader awareness of different languages and cultures round the world. My thesis does not proceed from the approach of a crisis within educat ion, but it does a s s u m e a crisis within intercultural approaches to language study. In the way of an affirmative response, Heidegger 's approach can assure - and reassure members of the discipl ine - that it is not a bad thing for a discipl ine to be in crisis. O n the contrary, accord ing to Heidegger, the defining trait of a scholar ly discipl ine is the self-questioning in which it engages : . . .real progress c o m e s not so much from collecting results and storing them away in "manuals" a s from inquiring into the ways in which each particular a rea is basical ly constituted [Grundverfassungen] - an inquiry to which we have been driven mostly by reacting against just such an increase in information. The real "movement" of the sc iences takes place when their bas ic concepts undergo a more or less radical revision which is transparent to itself. The level which a sc ience has reached is determined by how far it is capable of a cr isis in its bas ic concepts . (BT29) Accord ing to Heidegger, such cr ises occur in per iods in which a discipl ine's bas ic concepts are undergoing revision, and this is a positive phenomenon. His vision of a crisis is akin to the sense of "paradigm shift" that T h o m a s Kuhn captures in his important work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1969). At such t imes it is particularly c lear that the research accompl ished by a discipl ine takes place on the ground of a particular way in which the objects of that discipl ine have been understood and represented beforehand. At other t imes, this ground is apt to be over looked. By all accounts , no previous approach to language study has so quest ioned its conceptual premises as have the intercultural approaches . Sti l l , II He idegger , He rmeneu t i cs , Educa t ion 160 the discipl ine is in need of more than approving reassurance. C a n Heidegger 's approach to understanding provide s o m e new insight, s o m e new direct ions in which to proceed for language study? If nothing e lse, Heidegger 's thought has shown us that the kind of language we use will be crucial for the kind of educat ion we have. W h y do we lack an appropriately sensit ive but rich or differentiated language to talk about language educat ion? W h y don't educators ask this quest ion more? In my opinion, Heidegger 's development of the nature of authentic understanding in his canonica l work Being and Time has the potential to be appl ied in ways that have significant implications for the language of educat ion and for educat ional pract ices. My purpose will be to identify the best implications of that thought, not so much in its exposure (negatively) of calculat ive thinking, but in its affirmation (positively) of meditative thinking. Together with Heidegger 's account of authentic understanding, this approach has the potential to reveal the nature of s o m e of the current frustrations within language pedagogy and s o m e poss ib le ways beyond them. Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 161 Chapter III Authentic Understanding and Poetic Thinking O n e goal of my dissertat ion, identified in Chapter O n e , reflects both the a ims of contemporary educat ion general ly and new directions in the discipl ine of language educat ion specif ical ly: language study should aim to enhance the self-understanding of learners by increasing their awareness of their own identity a s culturally and social ly-def ined individuals. Heidegger 's advocacy of authentic understanding involves a concept ion of sel fhood that emphas i zes the role of socio-cultural forces in shaping identity; moreover, it links greater self-understanding to an awareness of these forces, and implies the importance of a more sensit ive response to the sel f -understandings of others. In Chapter Two, my examinat ion of the reception of Heidegger 's work within educat ion revealed two lines of thought which constitute a semina l distinction in his thinking, the distinction between "calculative" and "meditative" thinking. The character and signif icance of the "calculat ive" have been descr ibed in the foregoing chapter. I will explore the "meditative" in this chapter because , in my opinion, the concepts of authentic understanding and poetic thinking represent the most constructive impulses in Heidegger 's thought for language educat ion. I bel ieve that they will not only relate constructively together, but a lso augment and enhance one another in a manner that has potentially posit ive implications. My objective in this chapter is to examine both concepts , relate them to one another, and outline the implicat ions for language educat ion. Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poe t i c Th ink ing 162 This chapter will have three main sect ions. The first sect ion will depict Heidegger 's concept of authentic understanding as he del ineated it in his opus magnum Being and Time . 1 The second sect ion will explore Heidegger 's concept of "poetic" thinking as it is expressed in the col lection of works entitled Poetry, Language, Thought.2 In the third sect ion I will bring the two together and extrapolate the implications for language pedagogy. 3.1 Heidegger's Philosophy of Authentic Understanding It has been suggested by contemporary Heidegger scho lars , that much of the fascinat ion with his work is attributable to his blending of major phi losophical i ssues with cultural crit ique. Admirers like Hannah Arendt and detractors like Theodor Adorno are both agreed that Heidegger 's impact upon young people in the nineteen twenties and thirties was largely due to their s e n s e that here, especia l ly in the notion of authenticity, was a phi losophy that directly addressed the conduct of their l ives and their generat ion in the decades between the two Wor ld W a r s . 3 For his part, Heidegger c la imed that his phi losophy in Being and Time was an attempt to "work out" nothing less than "the quest ion of the meaning of Be ing , " by identifying the essent ia l , ontological structures of human 1 Mart in He idegger , Being and Time, t rans. J o h n Macquar r i e and E d w a r d R o b i n s o n (New York : Harpe r & R o w , 1962) quo ted as B T . 2 Mar t in He idegge r , Poetry, Language, Thought, t rans. Alber t Hots tadter ( N e w Y o r k : Ha rpe r & R o w Pub l i she rs , 1971) quo ted a s P L T . 3 Dav id E . C o o p e r , Thinkers of our Time ( London : T h e C la r i dge P r e s s , 1996) 37 . Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 163 existence (BT19). T h e s e structures constitute the framework within which each of us understands our own Be ing and the Being of other beings. Accord ing to this ontological framework, each of us understands ourse lves first and foremost in our own Be ing , which Heidegger refers to as "Dase in . " "Dase in " is translated as "being there" and is Heidegger 's term for the type of being we are, the entity which traditional phi losophy refers to as a subject. In addition to "Dase in , " Heidegger dist inguishes two more forms or modes of Be ing : "Zuhandense in" and "Vorhandensein . " Translated as "ready-to-hand" and "present-at-hand" respectively, these are Heidegger 's terms for those entities we are accus tomed to regarding as objects. Beginning with "Dase in , " Heidegger 's term for the type of being we are, this designat ion captures a bas ic aspect of our ex is tence; namely, that there is no exist ing, no "being" without a "there," some place in which to exist. W e exist in the world and that is why Heidegger c la ims that our existential structure is "Being-in-the-world." The hyphens indicate the profound degree of interrelationship that we, "Dase in , " have with our world. Th is relationship might be l ikened to how we understand some other express ions with this construct ion, such as being in love or being in trouble. Being-in-the-world is a unitary phenomenon, so we must resist the Car tes ian temptation to think we are deal ing here with independent entities. In Heidegger 's account , the "world" is not a thing, nor does it consist of things. Moreover, "being-in" should not be conceptual ized as a spatial relationship. W e are a lways in-the-world by way of our interest and involvement in it, our car ing Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing a n d Poet i c Th ink ing 164 for and about that world. S o much so , in fact, that according to Heidegger, the meaning of Being for "Dase in " is "Sorge" or "care." He idegger descr ibes care as "a single primordially unitary phenomenon which is al ready in this whole in such a way that it provides the ontological foundation for each structural item in its structural possibil ity" (BT226). Heidegger 's concept of care has been taken up and deve loped in a number of other f ields. Pe rhaps one of the best known is Caro l Gi l l igan's book entitled In a Different Voice in which she descr ibed an alternative approach to moral problems through an ethic of ca re . 4 The approach was identified in the vo ices of women , although Gil l igan did not claim that the approach is exclusively female. A wel l-known work in the area of educat ion is The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education by Nel Noddings. In this work, Noddings s ums up Heidegger 's approach succinct ly: "For Heidegger care is inevitable; all aware human beings care. It is the mark of being human. " 5 S h e goes on to c la im, however, that not all educators develop the capaci ty to care in the manner she deve lops as part of the teacher- learner relationship. Al though the concept of care will a lso play a role in my considerat ion of understanding within language pedagogy, Heidegger 's concept of care does not resemble most of the qualit ies we assoc ia te with the term. C a r e may express itself as a love for humans or nature, but that is not all care is. Within the 4 C a r o l G i l l i gan , In a different voice (Cambr i dge : Harva rd Univers i ty P r e s s , 1982). 5 Ne l N o d d i n g s , The Challenge to Care in Schools. An Alternative Approach to Education (New York : T e a c h e r s C o l l e g e P r e s s ) 18. Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 165 Christ ian framework, care is often taken to mean "empathy," "compass ion , " or "pity," but these are not what Heidegger means with the term. B e c a u s e care permeates human being, modes of human being that are neither loving, nor necessar i ly authentic, are a lso aspec ts of care. For the time being, it is sufficient to remember that "Dase in " is that entity which has care as its manner of Be ing : "Dase in 's Be ing reveals itself as care" (BT227). B e c a u s e "Sorge, " or care as it has been translated, is such a rich and complex term, Heidegger does not define it until the end of his depict ion of Being-in-the-world. He idegger does , however, introduce the element of "Besorgen" very early (BT83). Th is early introduction, as well as the term's etymological connect ion to "Sorge" - lost in the Engl ish translation of "concern, " - are indications of its crucial s igni f icance for "Dase in . " A s I will show, concern a lso plays a crucial role in the efforts of language learners. Al though "Sorge" constitutes the unity of "Dase in 's " way of being, Heidegger says that we actually have many possib le ways or modes of being in our world, and he eventually introduces and descr ibes most of these modes . To make an appropriate beginning, however, he focuses on that mode of Being in which we live most of the time through most of our l ives and which he refers to as "durchschnitt l iche Alltaglichkeit," or "average everydayness" : At the outset of our analys is it is particularly important that Dase in should not be interpreted with the differentiated character [Differenz] of some definite way of exist ing, but that it should be uncovered [aufgedeckt] in the undifferentiated character which it has proximally and for the most part. This undifferentiated character of Dase in 's everydayness is not nothing, but a positive phenomenal characterist ic of this entity. Out of this kind of Be ing - and back into it again - is all exist ing, such as it is. Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 166 W e call this everyday undifferentiated character of Dase in "averageness" (BT69) Th is "average" and "everyday" mode of Be ing is presented by Heidegger a s the mode in which human beings initially find themselves and in which they primarily remain. A s we shal l see , it is ana logous to what language pedagogy identifies as our exper ience of the familiar. Indeed, in an article entitled "The Famil iar and the Strange: O n the Limits of Praxis in the Early Heidegger," J o s e p h P. Fel l explicitly links the two. 6 Emerg ing from quite a different context, S o n y a S i kka compares Tauler and Heidegger and their descr ipt ions of the " immediate condit ion of the self" as that condit ion which finds itself "in the first instance and for the most part, as a being at home. " 7 Th is is because Heidegger himself refers to this condit ion of everyday familiarity as that of "Being-at -home" (BT233). Whatever the terminology, Heidegger has worked out this mode of "everydayness" in such a thorough and detai led manner that it can be effectively utilized by the discipl ine as a definitive depiction of the phenomenon of the familiar. Of course, if average "everydayness" is an exper ience of the familiar, it must be contrasted to a characterizat ion of the unfamiliar or the strange. Th is could be readily extrapolated from Heidegger 's comprehens ive treatment of everyday familiarity. The extrapolation could be integrated with the 6 J o s e p h P. Fe l l , "The Fami l ia r and the S t range : O n the Limits of P rax is in the Ear ly He idegger , " in Heidegger: A Critical Reader, H. L. Drey fus and Har r i son Hal l e d s . (Cambr i dge : B lackwe l l Pub l i she rs , 1992) 68 . 7 S o n y a S i k k a , Forms of Transcendence: Heidegger and medieval mystical theology (A lbany: S U N Y P r e s s , 1997) 2 0 6 . Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poe t i c Th ink ing 167 imaginatively dramatic character izat ion of the unfamiliar or strange which Heidegger himself has deve loped in his formulation of "das Un-zuhause , " or "Unheimlichkeit ." The translations of "not-at-homeness" and "uncanniness" (BT233) are first indications of the appropr iateness of these character izat ions for language study. I will return to them later in this chapter to account for student resistance to cultural learning. For now, we will return to Heidegger 's account of authentic understanding. Having establ ished that the constitutive structures of Being-in-the-world are most access ib le through the mode of "everydayness," Heidegger says that what determines an entity as "ready-to-hand" within our everyday mode of understanding, is that "Dase in " has adopted a certain relationship or attitude to it. It is the attitude which Heidegger has already identified as "Besorgen" or "concern." W e shall see shortly that this "concernful" relation to the "ready-to-hand" s tands in contrast to the theoretical relation to an object in a manner which a language c lassroom can make especial ly evident. For his part, He idegger depicts the contrast as fol lows: The ready-to-hand is not g rasped theoretically at al l , nor is it itself the sort of thing that c i rcumspect ion takes proximally as a c i rcumspect ive theme. The peculiarity of what is proximally ready-to-hand is that, in its readiness- to-hand, it must, as it were, withdraw [zuruckziehen] in order to be ready-to-hand authentically. That with which our everyday deal ings proximally dwell is not the tools themselves [die Werkzeuge selbst]. O n the contrary, that with which we concern ourselves primarily is the work -that which is to be produced at the time; and this is accordingly ready-to-hand too. (BT99) A s Heidegger descr ibes it, what character izes "Dase in 's " "concernful" encounter with the entities in its world is that these entities "withdraw" as objects Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 168 in their own right and are focused upon the activities and purposes we hope to carry out through them. S o it is that the carpenter interacts with a hammer, as an appropriate entity for a particular task of hammer ing (BT98). The carpenter 's attention does not dwell on the hammer as an object in its own right but p a s s e s through it to the work at hand. In the s a m e way, the attention of a teacher normally "withdraws" from the chalk in her hand or the board upon which she is writing, to the matter of the task at hand. Of course, the "ready-to-hand" relationship to entities is not the only way we can encounter entities in our world. Proceed ing from the s a m e general features used to character ize entities as "ready-to-hand," entities encountered as "present-at-hand" are those explicit and decontextual ized entities of the sort the scientist encounters. That is to say, an entity is treated as "present-at-hand" when it is v iewed by us as explicit and decontextual izable in this way. For it is important to bear in mind a distinction made by Heidegger and concret ized in the exper ience of the language c lass room, that what we would ordinarily cons ider the s a m e entity may nevertheless fall into both categor ies; that is, it may be either "ready-to-hand," or "present-at-hand" depending upon the mode in which it is encountered. A piece of chalk in use, implicit in the movement of the teacher 's hand ac ross a b lackboard, is "ready-to-hand." That s a m e chalk in the product-tester's laboratory, being probed and scrut inized for f laws, is "present-at-hand." There is another way in which the language c lassroom shows us that we should not think of entities as belonging exclusively to one or another category. Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 169 W h e r e a s chalk in a c lassroom is usually a "ready-to-hand" entity, chalk in a language c lass room can be either "ready-to-hand" or "present-at-hand." The process of identifying this entity by way of a nonsens ica l noise (or written marks) that must be explicitly ass igned meaning, compe ls the chalk to forfeit its "everyday" qualit ies and renders this usual ly "ready-to-hand" entity into a "present-at-hand" one. That s a m e piece of chalk which is essential ly invisible within the "concernful" encounter ing of the native language, will acquire a different kind of p resence in the unfamiliar language. It is precisely this potential for newly emergent meanings, or in Heidegger 's language new "presencing," when it is connected to Heidegger 's concept of authentic understanding, that is directly relevant for language pedagogy. I will explain this later in this chapter, when we have a fuller picture of authentic understanding. It is t ime now to look at a second crucial feature of "Dase in" : "being-with-others." Heidegger 's account of our world and our everyday understanding by no m e a n s holds that all the entities encountered there are inanimate. Other "Dase in " are a lso encountered, and such encounter ing depends upon their similar structure of Being-in-the-world. W e view others as "being in" more or less the s a m e world as ourse lves, insofar as these others pursue largely the s a m e ends, through basical ly similar means . Heidegger cal ls this shared pursuit which grounds our encounter ing of others, our "Mitsein": "the world is a lways the one I share with Others. The world of Dase in is a with-world [Mitwelf\. Being- in is Being-with Others. Their Being- in- themselves within-the-world is Dasein-with [Mitdasein]" (BT155). Humans , which Heidegger renames "Dase in , " Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 170 are a lways fundamental ly involved with others, this togetherness is a constituent element of human exper ience. The main point to be made is that Heidegger depicts "Dase in 's " Be ing as essential ly socia l in nature. S o far as "Dase in " is at al l , it has "Being-with-one-another" as its kind of Be ing . A key term here, though difficult to define, is "das Man . " Usual ly rendered as "the they," this is a very dissatisfying translation. The use of the plural suggests a col lection of individuals while the use of the third person suggests that this is a col lection of others. But Heidegger says : T h e s e Others, are not definite Others. O n the contrary, any Other can represent them... O n e belongs to the Others oneself and enhances their power. The 'Others' whom one thus designates in order to cover up the fact of one 's belonging to them essential ly oneself... is not this one, not that one, not oneself [man selbst], not some people [einige], and not the sum of them all. (BT164) A n "other" by this understanding does not mean everyone e lse but me -those against whom the "I" s tands out. Rather, they are those from whom for the most part an "I" does not dist inguish itself - those among whom one is, too. Heidegger g ives someth ing resembl ing a definition when he descr ibes "das M a n " as "nothing definite, and which all are, though not as the sum" (BT164). Pe rhaps one of the more important points here is simply to note that the individual is only rarely singly there, for Heidegger. Instead, one could say that identity a lways includes alterity. O n e is a lways other to oneself and to others. It is to the " inconsp icuousness" of "das M a n " that Heidegger attributes its power to determine the possibi l i t ies avai lable for "Dase in " (BT164). He idegger c la ims that "das M a n " determines the way an individual "Dase in " interprets its world and "Being-in-the-world." Th is is of considerable importance because Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poe t i c Th ink ing 171 these possibil i t ies constitute nothing less than the source of our understanding of what we are and what we can be: W e take p leasure and enjoy ourselves as they [man] take p leasure; we read, see , and judge about literature and art as they see and judge; l ikewise we shrink back from the 'great mass ' as they shrink back; we find 'shocking' what they find shock ing. (BT164) Heidegger c la ims that "das M a n " dictates the way an individual "Dase in " interprets its world and "Being-in-the-world." Th is domination of "Dase in " by "das M a n " has a central role to play in Heidegger 's account , and again I see its implications as being just as pivotal for pedagogy. What I mean by this will become clear as soon as we look at the last of the constitutive structures of humans, on Heidegger 's account. T h e s e are: "Befindlichkeit," "Vers tehen" and "Rede . " Macquarr ie and Rob inson translate "Befindlichkeit" as "state-of-mind"; however, it is difficult to define precisely and has been translated alternatively as "mood" or "attunement," "affect" and "feeling." In a particularly s t renuous effort at accuracy I have even seen it translated as "so- foundness . " 8 For Heidegger 's part, his sense of the term der ives from the many al lusions and nuances of the meaning in Ge rman which the Engl ish translation cannot capture. Moreover, his use of the term is not conf ined to an individual "Dase in . " Michae l Haar shows that as Heidegger uses the term, it can refer to the "sensibil ity" of an age (e.g. romantic), the "culture" of a corporation (e.g. aggressive) , the "temper" of the t imes (e.g. apathetic), as well as the "mood" in a current situation, such as the s J o h n H a u g e l a n d , " D a s e i n ' s D i s c l o s e d n e s s , " in Heidegger: A Critical Reader, H . L. Drey fus and Har r i son Ha l l , e d s . (Cambr idge : B lackwe l l Pub l i she rs , 1992) 36 . Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 172 "mood" in the c lassroom (e.g. eager, tense, apathet ic). 9 Heidegger conf i rms this in Being and Time: Pub l i cness . . . not only has in general its own way of having a mood, but needs moods and 'makes ' them for itself. It is into such a mood and out of such a mood that the orator speaks . He must understand the possibi l i t ies of moods in order to rouse them and guide them aright. (BT178/SZ139) To al ign "Befindlichkeit" with the a im of "guiding" others "aright" is to al ign it with the a ims of pedagogy, although for Heidegger there is another far more crucial s ide to "Befindlichkeit" that we must consider. Heidegger refers to this as "Geworfenheit ," translated as "thrownness": Dase in can , should, and must, through knowledge and will, become master of its moods; in certain possib le ways of exist ing, this may signify a priority of volition and cognit ion. Only we must not be misled by this into denying that ontologically mood is a primordial kind of Be ing for Dase in , in which Dase in is d isc losed to itself prior to all cognit ion and volit ion, and beyond their range of d isc losure. A n d furthermore, when we master a mood, we do so by way of a counter-mood; we are never free of moods . Ontological ly, we thus obtain as the first essent ia l characterist ic of states-of-mind that they disclose Dasein in its thrownness . . . (BT175) Accord ing to Heidegger, we are "thrown" into our world, insofar as our "state-of-mind" or "mood" is someth ing we find ourse lves a lways already in, with no possibil ity of originally producing it. At any given moment we find ourse lves a lways already in the midst of a certain form of "concern" or involvement in our world. In this way, " thrownness" can be v iewed as a kind of " rootedness" in our past. A s we shall presently see , this " rootedness" of "Dase in " as it is revealed through "Befindlichkeit" may be v iewed as a sort of countervail ing tendency to 9 M i c h a e l Haar , "At tunement and Th ink ing , " in Heidegger: A Critical Reader, H . L. Dreyfus and Har r i son Ha l l , e d s . (Cambr idge : B lackwe l l Pub l i she rs , 1992) 159-172 . Ill Authent ic Unders tand ing and Poet i c Th ink ing 173 the press ing ahead of "Dase in " into its future that is revealed through the structure of "Vers tehen" or "understanding." "Understanding" is not a form of cognit ion or type of intellectual comprehens ion , nor is it a specif ic ability or competency to perform s o m e particular task. "Understanding" as Heidegger depicts it is a competence for the whole system of involvements that constitute our world: "In understanding, as an existentiale, that which we have competence over is not a 'what', but Be ing as exist ing" (BT183). A s an existential characterist ic of human existence, involved in all of human behavior, "understanding" can find express ion in any number of ways . Its primary activity is, however, the projection of possibi l i t ies: "Why does the understanding. . . a lways press forward into possibi l i t ies? It is because the understanding has in itself the