In the paper the author analyzes elementary concepts which have been used to date by hermeneutics: the concepts „tradition“ and „understanding“. She lays stress on how the meaning of these concepts was changing during the development of hermeneutical philosophy and how it left marks on the character of the contemporary West German hermeneutics.
H. G. Gadamer, one of the chief representatives of contemporary hermeneutic philosophy, endeavours above all to clear the question how understanding is possible. The attempt to explain the concept „understanding“ is related with the possibility of understanding tradition. Gadamer’s lack of concern for a concrete and real course of tradition leads to the effect that his phi’osophlcal system looses contact with problems of social reality and his cognition of tradition finally ends in an illusion.