Strangers and natives: Gadamer, colonial discourse and the politics of understanding

Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (8):921-933 (2009)
Abstract
I claim that the hermeneutic circle both describes and undermines the colonialist impulse, by mapping how our prejudices are projected out into reality but thus make themselves vulnerable to critical scrutiny. Gadamer’s attention to the way in which our prejudices should be challenged, his emphasis on the construction of the tradition that has such an influence on our understanding (and our tendency to ignore that malleability), and his resistance to the Enlightenment ideal of transcending the historical and natural given give us resources by which to critique the discourse of self and other that develops within colonialism
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