Hermeneutical contributions to the history of science: Gadamer on 'presentism'

Abstract
This article examines how Hans G. Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics can contribute to contemporary debates on the concept of ‘presentism’. In the field of the history of science, this term is usually employed in two ways. First, ‘presentism’ refers to the kind of historiography which judges the past to legitimate the present. Second, this concept designates the inevitable influence of the present in the interpretation of the past. In this paper, I argue that both dimensions of the relationship between the present and the past are explored by Hans G. Gadamer in Truth and Method and other texts. In the first place, Gadamer’s critique of historicism calls into question the anti-presentist ideal of studying the past for ‘its own sake’. In the second place, Gadamer’s thesis that all understanding inevitably involves some prejudice poses the question of the inherent “present-centredness” of historical interpretations. By examining Gadamer’s hermeneutics, I seek to provide historians with new arguments and perspectives on the question of ‘presentism’.Keywords: Presentism; Whig history; Philosophical hermeneutics; Gadamer
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,255
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
H. Gadamer (2009). What is Truth? Filozofia 64:252-261.
Hans-Georg Gadamer (1994). Truth in the Human Sciences. In Brice R. Wachterhauser (ed.), Hermeneutics and Truth. Northwestern University Press 25--32.
A. Hall (1969). Can the History of Science Be History? British Journal for the History of Science 4 (3):207-220.
Gary L. Hardcastle (1991). Presentism and the Indeterminacy of Translation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 22 (2):321-345.

View all 19 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Christian Wuthrich (2012). Demarcating Presentism. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer 441--450.
Charles B. Guignon (1982). Saving the Differences: Gadamer and Rorty. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:360 - 367.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-02-25

Total downloads

17 ( #147,710 of 1,700,240 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #362,609 of 1,700,240 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.