Hans-Georg Gadamer is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His philosophical hermeneutics has had a major impact in a wide range of disciplines, including the social sciences, literary criticism, theology and jurisprudence. Truth and Method, his major work, is widely recognised to be one of the great classics of twentieth-century thought. In this book Georgia Warnke provides a clear and systematic exposition of Gadamer's work, as well as a balanced and thoughtful assessment of his views. Warnke (...) gives particular attention to the ways in which Gadamer's work has been taken up and criticised by literary critics, social theorists and philosophers, such as Hirsch, Habermas and Rorty. She thus provides an introduction to Gadamer which demonstrates the relevance of his work to current debates in a variety of disciplines. This book will be invaluable to students and specialists throughout the humanities and social sciences, as well as to anyone who is interested in the most important developments in contemporary thought. (shrink)
Jean Grondin’s starting point in his impressive book is what Hans-Georg Gadamer refers to as the universal claim of hermeneutics. Gadamer is better known for the limits his hermeneutics seems to place on universal claims. Against the reliance the Enlightenment placed on the insights of a reason common to humanity, Gadamer stresses the prejudiced and partial character of attempts to understand meaning. And against more contemporary attempts to ground Enlightenment conceptions in universal human competencies, he stresses the historicity and finitude (...) of human knowledge. Our attempts to understand the meaning of texts, conversations, historical events, and social actions and practices are conditioned by the horizon of our language, our own historical experiences, and our assumptions and expectations. Still, Gadamer ends his Truth and Method by stressing not only the linguistic character of understanding but the infinite capacity of all languages to find and express new dimensions of meaning. “Language,” he writes, “forestalls any objection to its jurisdiction. Its universality keeps pace with the universality of reason.”. (shrink)
This book offers a fresh analysis of the account of Peripatetic ethics in Cicero's On Ends 5, which goes back to the first-century BCE philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon. Georgia Tsouni challenges previous characterisations of Antiochus' philosophical project as 'eclectic' and shows how his reconstruction of the ethics of the 'Old Academy' demonstrates a careful attempt to update the ancient heritage, and predominantly the views of Aristotle and the Peripatos, in the light of contemporary Stoic-led debates. This results in both (...) a hermeneutically complex and a philosophically exciting reading of the old tradition. A case in point is the way Antiochus grounds the 'Old Academic' conception of the happy life in natural appropriation, thus offering a naturalistic version of Aristotelian ethics. (shrink)
_Legitimate Differences_ challenges the usual portrayal of current debates over thorny social issues including abortion, pornography, affirmative action, and surrogate mothering as _moral_ debates. How can it be said that our debates oppose principles of life to those of liberty, principles of liberty to those of equality, principles of equality to those of fairness, and principles of fairness to those of integrity, when we as Americans share all these principles? Debates over such issues are not, Georgia Warnke argues, moral (...) debates over which principles we should adopt. Rather, they are interpretive debates over the meanings of principles we already possess. Warnke traces the structure of these debates with reference to the work of Jane Austen, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, and Bernard Williams. In separate chapters on surrogate mothering, affirmative action, abortion, and pornography she articulates new understandings of the meanings of some of our principles and shows the equal legitimacy of some different interpretations of the meanings of others. Finally, she suggests that the orientation of American public policy ought to be directed less at finding single canonical interpretations of our principles than at accommodating different legitimate understandings of them. The perspective offered by _Legitimate Differences_ should have a significantly beneficial effect on public discussions. (shrink)
Commentators have compared Hans-Georg Gadamer’s focus on tradition in Truth and Method to his focus on solidarity in his later work in order to suggest that the latter signals a move away from ontological toward ethical and political concerns. This paper, however, is guided by Gadamer’s own view that his work, both early, late, and in Truth and Method, was always concerned with ethical and political issues. I therefore want to challenge the idea that his so-called politics of solidarity marks (...) a new direction in his work. His politics of solidarity does mark a new direction in discussions of solidarity insofar as he disconnects it from any necessary grounding in preexisting affinities such as religion and nationality. Gadamer’s later work may also be more explicitly concerned with the question of differences and the other than is Truth and Method. Nevertheless, I want to argue that rather than signaling a new direction for Gadamer, both his politics of solidarity and his concern with otherness highlight important features already present in his earlier account of tradition. Indeed, I think attention to this earlier account discloses a political dimension to Gadamer’s thought that is more sophisticated than his remarks on solidarity. Attention to this dimension of his earlier account allows us to challenge the now standard objection that it undermines possibilities for critical reflection. (shrink)
In this engaging, highly detailed and meticulously researched account of late twentieth century technological dreaming and development, W. Patrick McCray traces the links between United States advocates of space colonies in the 1970s, and promoters of nanotechnology in the 1980s and 1990s. McCray does a compelling job of elucidating the personal, scientific and ideological ties between the groups, the substantive roles played by many individuals and institutions in both movements, and the enduring importance of past space glory in the American (...) imaginary.To write this “contemporary history”, McCray has brought together an impressive collection of archival material, including many documents from what were previously disparate personal collections and records. He has conducted interviews with many of the key actors and drawn on contemporary media reports and popular publications, the academic and grey literature.McCray’s focus is on a select group of people he dubs “visioneers”—a neo .. (shrink)
In the past decade the work of Jurgen Habermas has sparked off a series of lively debates over modernity and post-modernity, the nature of language, the interplay of law and politics and the dilemmas of morality. Significantly, these debates unfold in the context of his particular reading of the modern philosophical tradition from the German enlightment to the present period. In this original interpretation, David Rasmussen provides both guide and critique to the later Habermas encountered in the context of the (...) best of the critical literature that has emerged in recent years. Reading Habermas argues that Habermas' concept of modernity provides the context for the theory of language as well as his approaches to law and ethics. This book, as its title implies, offers a reading. It explores philosophical options chosen in the light of other, rejected readings. It is a distinctive, readable contribution to the current controversy surrounding the most recent developments in critical theory. (shrink)
This article provides a detailed case study of F1 motor racing teams to better grasp the nature of contemporary elite formation. Drawing on an analysis of senior figures in F1 teams, and on a wider study of the industry, we argue that this affluent elite needs to be understood as part of a temporal ecology which deploys a technical habitus which has formed over a longue durée. In drawing out the significance of this approach, we extend analytical repertoires to focus (...) on processes of accumulation. Building on the thinking of Bourdieu, Piketty and Kluge and Negt, we explore how this approach might have wider resonance in the resurgence of current analysis of the formation of ‘elite constellations’. (shrink)
Lewisian Genuine Realism about possible worlds is often deemed unable to accommodate impossible worlds and reap the benefits that these bestow to rival theories. This thesis explores two alternative extensions of GR into the terrain of impossible worlds. It is divided in six chapters. Chapter I outlines Lewis’ theory, the motivations for impossible worlds, and the central problem that such worlds present for GR: How can GR even understand the notion of an impossible world, given Lewis’ reductive theoretical framework? Since (...) the desideratum is to incorporate impossible worlds into GR without compromising Lewis’ reductive analysis of modality, Chapter II defends that analysis against objections. The rest of the thesis is devoted to incorporating impossible worlds into GR. Chapter III explores GR-friendly impossible worlds in the form of set-theoretic constructions out of genuine possibilia. Then, Chapters IV-VI venture into concrete impossible worlds. Chapter IV addresses Lewis’ objection against such worlds, to the effect that contradictions true at impossible worlds amount to true contradictions tout court. I argue that even if so, the relevant contradictions are only ever about the non-actual, and that Lewis’ argument relies on a premise that cannot be nonquestion- beggingly upheld in the face of genuine impossible worlds in any case. Chapter V proposes that Lewis’ reductive analysis can be preserved, even in the face of genuine impossibilia, if we differentiate the impossible from the possible by means of accessibility relations, understood non-modally in terms of similarity. Finally, Chapter VI counters objections to the effect that there are certain impossibilities, formulated in Lewis’ theoretical language, which genuine impossibilia should, but cannot, represent. I conclude that Genuine Realism is still very much in the running when the discussion turns to impossible worlds. (shrink)
The objective of the paper is the methodological presentation of the basic principles towards a critical interdisciplinary approach for studying the history of monuments restoration, valid for different cultures. The proposed integrated framework offers the possibility to study and document monuments restoration in various spatial levels e.g. global, continental, international, national, regional, and local. The conceptual and methodological aspects are based on the following fundamental pillars a) the development of science and technology, including relevant history of education, b) the evolution (...) of the restoration philosophy, c) the incorporation of the above in restoration projects at a lower level, d) the infiltration of the above in restoration interventions at the lowest level. The author expects that the above successive and/or parallel levels of scientific branches can contribute effectively to the analysis, synthesis and comparative assessment of the aspects and criteria that influenced monuments restoration timeline. The challenge for the researcher of the monuments restoration history is the adjustment of the whole process to his own –under research- level in such a way as to take advantage of all theinterdisciplinary inputs creating, thus, inventive links and stimulating new information and knowledge. The above are briefly tested in the case study of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. Such an inductive approach will enable all disciplines to devote their finest efforts towards understanding, documenting and studying monuments restoration history and, thus, support effectively a sustainable future for the world’s cultural heritagel audience. (shrink)
Richard Rorty challenges the traditional use of hermeneutic understanding to defend the methodological autonomy of the social sciences, claiming that hermeneutics is part of both social and natural science and, moreover, that it exposes the limits of ?epistemologically centered philosophy?. Hermeneutics is interested in edification rather than truth, in finding new ways of speaking rather than adjudicating knowledge claims or securing the grounds of rational consensus. Although Rorty refers to Gadamer's ?philosophical hermeneutics? as support for this position, Gadamer's own analysis (...) points in a different direction. First, it distinguishes the social from the natural sciences as forms of practical, not theoretical, knowledge. As hermeneutic analyses, the social sciences participate in an on?going dialogue about values and forms of life. Second, the goal of this dialogue is cognitive and normative agreement. Indeed, hermeneutics is an act of integration which tries to expand consensus between different cultures and historical perspectives by mediating their claims to truth. (shrink)
This article reports the findings from a study that investigates the relationship between ethical climates and police whistle-blowing on five forms of misconduct in the State of Georgia. The results indicate that a friendship or team climate generally explains willingness to blow the whistle, but not the actual frequency of blowing the whistle. Instead, supervisory status, a control variable investigated in previous studies, is the most consistent predictor of both willingness to blow the whistle and frequency of blowing the (...) whistle. Contrary to popular belief, the results also generally indicate that police are more inclined than civilian employees to blow the whistle in Georgia - in other words, they are less inclined to maintain a code of silence. (shrink)
This paper is devoted to an exploration of the implications for the theory of pre-lexical syntax as developed by McCawley, and for syntactic theories in general, of an analysis of English emphatic conjunctions along the lines of Green . Among the conclusions are: The underlying representation of sentences must be much more abstract than has even been imagined previously, referring, in some as yet undiscovered way, to assumptions of the speaker about the real world, in order to account for the (...) grammatical occurrence of both terms of suppletive lexical items in otherwise identical surface strings with corresponding differences in meaning. A grammatical theory which purports to be capable of relating the sentences of a language to what they mean in a systematic way must be capable of referring directly to relevant assumptions made by the speaker of any given utterance at the time of utterance. So-called 'contrastive stress' is only one of the phenomena whose ultimate explanation depends on direct reference to such assumptions. Transformational grammars, which explicitly claim to be capable of relating in a systematic way the sentences of a language and what they mean, must be capable of referring to the sub-lexical, semantic structure of sentences, and furthermore, must be capable of doing so at an indefinite number of points in their derivation. This means that the semantic representation of a sentence must be available for reference at every stage in the derivation of the sentence. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy: Humor Has Its Reasons that Reason Cannot Ignore” by Edith K. Ackermann. Upshot: Ackermann tackles “humor” as an agentive participant in the process of knowledge construction. Performing her thesis in her writing, she give a reflective account of how oblique ways of knowing have always been present in debates concerning epistemology, albeit not given equal status as rational ones. As such, her endeavors in this text are geared towards lifting up (...) the position of “humor” to a much deserved higher level in educational and learning practices. Consequently, our endeavors in this commentary are targeted towards a little more in this direction by focusing on how “humor” becomes a way of accessing the process of knowledge construction and of unraveling its significance. (shrink)
Feminists often look to postmodern philosophy for a framework within which to treat difference. We might more productively look to a hermeneutic philosophy that emphasizes the interpretive dimensions of difference and allows us to acknowledge the partiality of our understanding. Hence, we might also recognize the importance of a hermeneutic conversation unconstrained by relations of power or ideology in which all nonexclusionary interpretive voices can be educated by one another.
Although no scholarly consensus exists on the issue, the claim that a substantive reconfiguration of the Internet has occurred in the beginning of the 2000s has settled firmly in public common sense. The label tentatively chosen for the new turn in the medium’s evolution is Web 2.0. The developments constituting this turn have been contemplated from different perspectives in technical and business publications (O’Reilly 2005), in treatises on convergence or participatory culture (Jenkins 2006; Jenkins et al. 2009), and could be (...) usefully interrogated by means of political economy concepts such as the social factory and free labor (Terranova 2004). Marked, or rather symbolically constructed, by these discursive pickets lies a field of practice that the members of the participatory culture, the produsers (Bruns 2008) of open journalism, blogs, social networking sites and other characteristic Web 2.0 applications inhabit and animate with their everyday thought, decision making and action. This paper undertakes a theoretical exploration of the user practices emerging and consolidating around the new technological and organizational models making up Web 2.0. It is informed by a qualitative study of bloggers and Facebook users conducted through focus group methodology, although the concrete empirical data are not presented here. Rather, the analysis employs the concept of technologies of the self by Foucault (1988) as a heuristic device in order to situate Web 2.0 use, first, in a long history of culturally evolved forms of self-constitution and, second, in a complex matrix of relationships with other types of technologies, namely, those of production, sign systems and power. This conceptual choice, we argue, furnishes a study of Web 2.0 use, which holds in balance its liberatory potential and its susceptibility to new forms of domination, rationalization and commodification. (shrink)
In Morals by Agreement, David Gauthier tries to provide a justification of morality from morally neutral premises within the constraints of an instrumental conception of reason. But his reliance on this narrow conception of reason creates problems, for it suggests that moral motivation is self-interested. However, Gauthier holds that to act morally is to act for the sake of morality and others, not oneself. An individual who so acts has what he calls an affective capacity for morality. He attempts to (...) reconcile the tension between the self-interested account of moral behaviour and the affective capacity for morality by showing that the latter could develop from the former without violating the constraints of instrumental rationality. I argue, first, that his account is incomplete and assumes what it has to demonstrate; and, second, that this cannot be remedied with any plausibility. Finally, I argue that Gauthier covertly relies on a substantive claim about human good that is inconsistent with the instrumental conception of reason. (shrink)
Operations on intersexuals indicate that the sex of a person is based on more than biology. Expectations about proper gender activities furnish the frameworks through which certain features and combinations of features are understood to be fundamental to bodies and to comprise their sex. Yet, we can ask whether this interpretation is either coherent or consistent with our fuller conceptions of ourselves. Is there a point to interpreting a person as a sex?
This article discusses the main trends of Georgian philosophy: its basic principles and perspectives, the importance of the Western, especially the European cultural heritage, and the Georgian contribution to the history of ideas in a global perspective. Metaphysical questions of cognition, truth, identity, virtue and value, wisdom and power, as well as issues of ethical, social, political and aesthetic values, phenomenological, philosophical-theological and linguistic research are central to Georgian philosophy and exemplify its continuing relevance vis-à-vis the Western tradition in its (...) broadest sense. Although philosophical ideas in Georgia rarely matured into a well-balanced, selfsufficient system, one may distinguish as original conceptions some ideas of Christian Neo-Platonism and Aletheological Realism. (shrink)
: Operations on intersexuals indicate that the sex of a person is based on more than biology. Expectations about proper gender activities furnish the frameworks through which certain features and combinations of features are understood to be fundamental to bodies and to comprise their sex. Yet, we can ask whether this interpretation is either coherent or consistent with our fuller conceptions of ourselves. Is there a point to interpreting a person as a sex?
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