Witnessing, Truth, and Realism

A Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Approach

  • Gert-Jan van der Heiden


Departing from the opening lines of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, this essay provides a hermeneutic phenomenological contribution to the recent turn to realism. In particular, it offers an account of the notions of truth and reality are thought in hermeneutic phenomenology by exploring the meaning of notions such as res, substance, and causa; it provides a contemporary reinterpretation of theōria that does not fall prey to either the modern version of the scientific-theoretical point of view or the onto-theological fallacies of metaphysics. By developing the model of witnessing as a guideline for a rethinking of theōria, this essay discusses, first, two realist critiques of hermeneutic phenomenology concerning correlationism and relativism; second, two ways of understanding the real and the true in hermeneutic phenomenology; and third, develops how language can be the locus of truth. In the course of these explorations, it is shown how truth, realism, theōria are understood in hermeneutic phenomenology.


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How to Cite
van der Heiden, G.-J. (2023). Witnessing, Truth, and Realism. Critical Hermeneutics, 6(2), 161-189. https://doi.org/10.13125/CH/5435