Hermeneutics and libertarianism: An odd couple

Critical Review 12 (3):207-223 (1998)
Abstract Recent writers in the libertarian tradition have suggested a natural affinity between hermeneutics and libertarian politics. This case is not persuasive. We look at two different ways the link has been attempted. In one, markets themselves are seen as constituting a hermeneutic conversation of sorts. A second approach uses hermeneutics to underpin the traditional liberal confinement of the state to setting the rules of the game?to matters of the right as opposed to the good. But the conception of the self that emerges from hermeneutic thought leads to a communitarian rather than a liberal politics.
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