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(2,210 words)

Author(s): Karl Lehmann
1. Introduction. Experience is one of the most enigmatic concepts of philosophy. It is ordinarily taken to be a source or special form of our knowledge, deriving from the immediate reception of the given or of the impression, in contrast to discursive thought, mere concepts, authoritatively accepted opinions or historical tradition. When experience presents itself, its presence means a special kind of supreme certitude of irrefutable evidence. Since the human spirit is primarily “in potency”, and…


(4,755 words)

Author(s): Karl Lehmann
A. The Horizon of the Classical Thinking on Transcendence The notion of transcendence derives from experience. Beings present themselves in their distinction from one another and in their definite contrast with nothingness as “what” they are, but they are still — in themselves — incomprehensible, strange and obscure. The fluid multiplicity and the constant mobility of beings make the question of their basic origin and purpose more insistent. The answer can clearly be derived only from some being which is…


(2,897 words)

Author(s): Karl Lehmann
A. The Notion and Problem of Understanding Hermeneutics is an aid to the understanding of something which is not — as in matters which are to be “explained” — indifferent and external to the mind, but which is pervaded by individual, collective, permanent and historically conditioned elements and thus belongs to the world of intersubjective agreement. This universal and primordial phenomenon of understanding as it occurs in general, scientific and inter-human experience should not be disguised by the much mo…


(2,304 words)

Author(s): Karl Lehmann
1. History of the concept. The terms “phenomenon” and “appearance” containa remarkable duality: something makes its appearance. We distinguish between what something is in and for itself (and for others) and the manner in which it shows itself to us. The phenomenon points back to a being (“in itself’) which is different from the appearance, while the identity and difference which dominate this combination constitute the very nature and the problem of the phenomenon. Must we look to that which is, in and of itself, more than appears or is displayed to us — or is that which appears the bein…