Review of Metaphysics 51 (2):453-454 (1997)

Has hermeneutics become so diffuse in its applications as to lose its relevance for contemporary philosophy? In Beyond Interpretation, Gianni Vattimo raises this provocative question. He argues that hermeneutics fosters skepticism, which promotes a “conflict of interpretations” and undermines the possibility of any agreement in the search for truth. By contrast, Vattimo seeks to recover the importance of hermeneutics for addressing specific areas of knowledge, while avoiding its dissolution into a poetic venture devoid of any determinate content. In place of an “irrationalism” of divergent interpretations, Vattimo calls for a new rationality, which upholds rigorous standards of philosophical knowledge. In order to recover its rich heritage, hermeneutics must evolve in a new direction and recover the rational thread of its mission.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1997512163
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