In Santiago Zabala (ed.), Phainomena. Mcgill-Queen's University Press. pp. 452-463 (2007)

Jean Grondin
Université de Montréal
We have many reasons to be grateful to Gianni Vattimo for his ongoing contribution to philosophy and public life. Undoubtedly, his most decisive philosophical impulses have come from the German philosophical tradition, and mostly from the Holy Trinity of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Gadamer, who was his teacher. Yet, he was not German, but a proud Italian, and, for some reason, more able than others to carry this tradition further. The issue I would like to discuss here is whether hermeneutics, and thus philosophy itself, must be seen as a form of nihilism. If nihilism only means a tolerance for the view of others to the extent that they do not violently limit the liberty of others, one can agree with Gianni Vattimo. But if one understands under “nihilism” the notion that there are no truths in the sense of adaequatio, one can challenge this view. Vattimo often faults Gadamer for not acknowledging fully the consequences of his own thought, i.e. the nihilistic consequences of his hermeneutic ontology. Yet one must ask: Why is it that Gadamer failed to proclaim a nihilistic hermeneutics? In other words, why did Gadamer resist the postmodernism of some of his followers?
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Editorial.Nicholas Davey - 2009 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (3):234-238.

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