Smythe, L., Robinson, B. & Scrimgeour, F. (2007). Hermeneutic reflections from visiting a project in Dumaria, India. African and Asian Studies, 6(4), 495-509.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1929
When people from one culture visit the transformational development work in another country the question of 'understanding' is raised. This paper draws on the philosophical writings of Heidegger and Gadamer to show how interpretations are made in an experience of 'being there'. We argue that understanding is always on-the-way, influenced by past experience, interest, and mood. 'Being-there' affords an opportunity to move beyond taken-for-granted assumptions, to become more attuned to the hermeneutic 'as' that reveals the complex nature of 'meaning'. At the same time, we recognise that understanding always comes with the possibility of misunderstanding. Dialogue, where partners seeks to understand the experience of 'other, opens the way forward.
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