horizons of understanding
[Conversation] is a process of two people understanding
each other. Thus it is a characteristic of every true conversation that each
opens himself to the other person, truly accepts his point of view as worthy
of consideration and gets inside the other to such an extent that he
understands not a particular individual, but what he says. The thing that
has to be grasped is the objective rightness or otherwise of his opinion, so
that they can agree with each other on a subject. (Gadamer 1979: 347)
In conversation we have, what he calls, our own 'horizon
of understanding'. This is 'the range of vision that includes everything
that can be see from a particular vantage point' (ibid: 143).
these pre-judgments and understandings we involve ourselves in what is being
said. In conversation we try to understand a horizon that is not our own in
relation to our own. We have to put our own prejudices (pre-judgments) and
understandings to the test.