Dilthey: The hermeneutics of life and the universal aspirations of pedagogy

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de Camargo Pacheco Amaral, Maria Nazare (2012)

Dilthey claimed that first psychology and then hermeneutics played the foundational role for his philosophy of life, whose main practical goal is to develop a pedagogy or theory of education. Pedagogy needs help from h ethics to establish its ends, and from psychology to indicate it means. This paper intends to show the relationship between Dilthey's hermeneutics of life and his pedagogy. Dilthey's philosophy of life, in so far it adopts the hermeneutical procedure, engages in the understanding of or the search for the meaning of human socio-historical creations, by adopting a special type of relationship between parts and whole. It is exactly within this hermeneutical balance that we propose to extinguish any indication of a rupture, breach, or contradiction between the quest for universal principles of human behavior and :Dilthey's defense of the impossibility of constructing human moral tasks by means of universal principles. Dilthey began his ethics lectures at the University of Berlin in 1890. These lectures, published in 1958 by Herman Nohl in volume X of Dilthey's collected works, indicate the direction of the trajectory by which formative or social ethics are consolidated as a historical solution for reaching universal principles that can guide human purposes. This trajectory is a result of the distinctively human exercise of self-reflection, by means of which we can fulfill our destiny of manifesting and exteriorizing in time the immanent energy of the absolute spirit. We wish to show that it is possible that such a pedagogy can respect its universal task of orienting the historical development of the younger generation without directing this process by means of fixed and rigid aims.
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