Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity

Routledge (1997)
Strong Hermeneutics presents a compelling case for the importance of hermeneutics in understanding ethics today. It provides a critical comparison of the enlightenment view of ethics with the postmodern or "weak" view of ethics. The weak view, which Nicholas H. Smith traces back to Nietzsche and identifies in the recent work of Rorty and Lyotard, is skeptical of any universal principles in ethics. The enlightenment view, starting with Kant and taken up in the work of Habermas, casts identity as subject of universal but formal moral constraints. Smith argues that neither of these views can provide a proper framework for ethics. Drawing on the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur and Charles Taylor, he presents a fascinating reworking of key issues in ethics and continental philosophy.
Keywords Ethics  Hermeneutics  Identity (Philosophical concept  Contingency (Philosophy
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Call number BJ1031.S65 1997
ISBN(s) 0415164311   041516432X   9780415164313
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