Analecta Hermeneutica 13 (1):158-180 (2021)

David Liakos
Houston Community College System
This article critically investigates the landscape of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics, especially Gadamerian hermeneutics. This investigation reveals that one of the central trends in recent decades has been to construe hermeneutics as, instead of an ongoing and substantive philosophical research project, rather an amorphous current or nebulous spirit of intellectual life and culture—what this article refers to as the sense of hermeneutics as an attitude. The “effective history” of this characterization of hermeneutics is traced to polemical references to hermeneutics by Alain Badiou and Richard Rorty, which have negatively contributed to the reception of the hermeneutical movement. The article suggests that hermeneutics should aim to be neither a vague sensibility nor, in what ultimately amounts to a reaction against the idea of hermeneutics as an attitude, a rigorous “method” of interpretation, but rather an ongoing philosophical research program. To unpack this suggestion, the article concludes by providing “foundations for a contemporary hermeneutics” with reference to six contributions from promising recent work in hermeneutics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Hermeneutics in Post-War Continental European Philosophy.David Liakos & Theodore George - 2019 - In Kelly Becker & Iain Thomson (eds.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1945-2015. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 399-415.
Understanding in Human Science.Charles Taylor - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):25 - 38.
A Reply to Dreyfus and Taylor.Richard Rorty - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):39 - 46.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Unfinished Worlds: Hermeneutics, Aesthetics and Gadamer. [REVIEW]Cynthia Nielsen - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4):421-424.
Hermeneutics, Legal.Tina Botts - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hermeneutics and the Conservatism of Listening.David Liakos - 2020 - Cosmos and History 16 (2):495-519.
Defending Hermeneutics.Emily P. Williams, Catherine M. Laing & Isabel Brun - 2018 - Journal of Applied Hermeneutics 2018 (1).
Practical Hermeneutics: The Legal Text and Beyond.George H. Taylor - 2017 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 48 (3):257-274.
Ecological Hermeneutics.David R. Keller - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 22:27-34.


Added to PP index

Total views
62 ( #187,807 of 2,533,484 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #39,255 of 2,533,484 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes