Hans-Georg Gadamer is widely recognized as the leading exponent of philosophical hermeneutics. The essays in this collection examine Gadamer's biography, the core of hermeneutical theory, and the significance of his work for ethics, aesthetics, the social sciences, and theology. There is full consideration of Gadamer's appropriation of Hegel, Heidegger and the Greeks, as well as his relation to modernity, critical theory and poststructuralism.
WITHIN the current discussion of political theory one of the most prominent voices remains that of Hannah Arendt. Her principal work, The Human Condition, attempts to revive a classical Aristotelian view of human action and politics. Recently we have been posthumously provided with her provocative reconstruction of Kant's political philosophy. Her concern with Kant is none other than to urge Kant as the basis for a revival of an appropriate political theory. Because I am largely sympathetic with what Arendt would (...) have an adequate political theory provide, I contest the appropriateness of Kant for such a purpose. I do not reject Kant out of hand, as for example Alasdair MacIntyre recently did in After Virtue. Nor do I accept, as will be apparent below, his rather standard criticisms of Kant. Yet Arendt gives us the wrong reasons to turn to Kant. (shrink)
Against the background of Gadamer's hermeneutics of trust, for which the primary concern of the hermeneutical enterprise is the matter under discussion, the Sache, this essay raises the question of Gadamer's treatment of irony. Gadamer and Gadamerians have criticized the hermeneutics of suspicion—a hermeneutics that always looks under the surface of what is said to see what is hidden. This would seem to make irony a problematic aspect of texts and discourse for a Gadamerian hermeneutics. Nowhere in Gadamer's corpus can (...) we find an extensive discussion of irony, but Gadamer does raise the question of irony in a provocative way in several important junctures. This essay contrasts Gadamer's treatment of irony to that of Leo Strauss and Jacques Derrida. It explores why for Gadamer irony does not call for a hermeneutics of suspicion. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 337 - 348 Gadamer is prominent on the list of counter-enlightenment philosophers of the20th century. He is on this list for good reasons, reasons that I will briefly explore here. Gadamer borrows much from Heidegger’s critique of modernity and he adds to it. As we all know, Gadamer’s critique of the Enlightenment and modernity serves as an opening for a reappropriation of the Greeks, especially Plato and Aristotle. Gadamer is often taken, again with (...) good reason, to be one of the leading voices revivifying the battle of ancients and moderns and urging, at least in some regards, the superiority of the ancients. Kant is without question the leading figure of the Enlightenment—at least within the German tradition, if not for the European Enlightenment in general. As such we should expect Gadamer to be strongly critical of Kant. And yet we find Gadamer’s relation to Kant displaying a deep ambivalence. It is this ambivalence that this paper examines. (shrink)
With this book Hermann Cloeren presents to the English reader a historical treatment of a largely unknown alternative tradition in German philosophy which, though only an undercurrent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, becomes a "main current" in the twentieth century, that is, the sprachkritisch, or "language critical," current of thought. This tradition, which begins with thinkers like Hamann, Lichtenberg, and Herder in the eighteenth century and has representatives such as Runze and Mauthner at the end of the nineteenth, shadows (...) the dominant tradition of Kantian transcendental philosophy and German Idealism. With this historical study Cloeren wishes to correct two common and different theses about the historical background of twentieth-century analytical philosophy. The one thesis suggests that the linguistic turn of twentieth-century analytical philosophy had no precedent in previous philosophy. The other thesis finds models in Kantian transcendental philosophy which, unlike Kant, makes language a central theme. For Cloeren, there is a precedent and it is not Kant but rather the tradition that is discussed here. (shrink)
Sixty years after its first publication in 1931, Robert Wallace presents us with the first English translation of Hans-Georg Gadamer's habilitation, a work that has appeared in several German editions. In 1968 it was first republished "unaltered", under the same title, with four appended essays. This expanded edition was reprinted in 1982. The habilitation appears again in volume 5 of Gadamer's Gesammelte Werke: Griechische Philosophie I. Wallace's English translation follows this most recent published version, which differs from the earlier versions (...) only in a few additional footnotes or added remarks in the footnotes, most of which refer us to later work by Gadamer relevant to the material. It follows the Collected Works as well in providing the Preface to the first edition and excerpts from prefaces to the second edition and its reprinting. (shrink)
IN 1926 IN THE RELATIVE ISOLATION of his hut in the Black Forest Martin Heidegger completed writing the first portion of his influential Being and Time. In the same year at Kenyon College, Ohio, John Dewey delivered a public set of lectures that became The Public and Its Problems. Both were published the following year in 1927. These two books are obviously quite different in topic, style, occasion, and language. Being and Time is a systematic work of fundamental ontology, while (...) The Public and Its Problems is a topical set of lectures in political theory. If we are to look for the basis of a political theory in Heidegger's work, however, we must notice the central negative significance of the concept of "the public" in his account of our everyday life. While Heidegger attacks the dictatorship of the public in contemporary affairs, Dewey in his lectures seeks to revivify the public on behalf of democracy in response to Walter Lippman's decrying its eclipse. (shrink)
Husserl and Contemporary Thought contains twelve essays that address certain key themes in Husserl's thought, each in some way confronting issues critical to the Husserlian project. The essays first appeared in the 1982 volume of Research in Phenornenology. The "contemporary thought" in the title should be understood in a limited sense as refer- ring to certain strains of thinking pursued in the present decade, build- ing however on past research. The volume shows several directions in which contemporary thinkers are taking (...) Husserlian phenomenology. The most common direction is through an evaluative contrast between Husserl's vision and the ideas of other philosophers, some of whom listened to Husserl but went their own ways. The second direction taken is represented in a series of current works by active phenomenol- ogists. Some of these essays - and here we have the greatest concentra- tion on a single theme - expand upon Husserl's analyses concerning the temporality of human experience. Other essays take up the threads of long-standing debates among Husserl scholars. I will treat each group of essays - on other philosophers, on time, and on topics other than time in turn, although the essays do not follow this order in the volume. (shrink)