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)
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)
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.