A Hermeneutic Reading of “Haftvād” ’s Figure Based on the Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Art in Heidegger’s View

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. in Philosophy of Art at Department of Law, Theology and Political Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor at Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor at Department of Law, Theology and Political Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Phenomenology, as a philosophical movement, has a special significance and position in the twentieth century’s Western thought. Moreover, it has influenced different fields of humanities in diverse ways, which is counted as an approach to see and conceptualize the world and whatever exists in it, in a new and distinctive way, as though it is supposed to direct the human’s mind to the reality of things. This movement was strengthened with an independent concept by a thinker named Edmund Husserl and introduced as a method to discover the essence of the phenomena and recognize their missed reality. Husserl’s phenomenology is known as the classic (or transcendental) phenomenology. And it determines that after him, the phenomenologists, without any loyal reference to him, used this concept based on their philosophical goal and end in various paths. One of the deliberate subjects over the discussion of phenomenology is that no agreement is there on how things have emerged and what is their reality, and thinkers have different viewpoints about it. Though, we must mention that the ultimate goal of all phenomenologists can be ascribed to Husserl’s famous slogan, i.e., “Back to the Things in Themselves.” In the twentieth century A.D., the hermeneutic phenomenology was formed by Martin Heidegger’s efforts as one of the crucial processes of the post-Husserl phenomenology. Compared with classic phenomenology, hermeneutic phenomenology turned into an approach in the purpose of the openness of manifestations of the reality of existence. In the second period of his thought, he used the hermeneutic phenomenology approach on artworks, considering the effect of art further than beauty and feeling to discover the reality of existence. In this regard, in the Origin of the Work of Art, he provided a specific reading of the painting of “a pair of shoes” by Vincent van Gogh as a concrete case. This short text has great importance because, first, the approach of almost all the authors dealing with the movement of phenomenology is historical descriptive. Second, there are no many viewpoints and comprehensive explanations about how this approach has applied in concrete cases, which are artworks, or in other words, “the phenomenology of art in practice” in this discussion. In the present study, Heidegger’s approach has been regarded as a pattern to read the hermeneutic phenomenology of an Iranian figure called “Haftvād” derived from Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasb of Tabriz school in the Safavid era. To this end, with the comparative analysis method, this research emphasizes the analysis of the “Dasein place” as one of the quality criteria of the world’s openness to disclose the missed aspects from the countless existential world aspects. It aims to pave the way to put the hermeneutic phenomenology of painting works into practice, develop it into other artworks, far from the artist’s intention and the ground of creation; consider it in an independent form in the direct relation to the world and validate different interpretations of existence, which has been taken into account about Haftvād figure in two parts: narrative and painting components.


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