Camille E. Atkinson

Is Gadamer's Hermeneutics Inherently Conservative?

Article
14/2 - Fall 2009, pages 285–306
Date of online publication: 15 novembre 2009
Date of publication: 01 novembre 2009

Abstract

According to two critics, Georgia Warnke and John Caputo, Gadamer's hermeneutics is inherently “conservative” insofar as he appeals to tradition as a constituent in understanding. They insist that he simply preserves the ideals, norms and values of the Western metaphysical tradition without critically examining them. I do not agree and will argue that views like this depend upon several false assumptions—for example, that Gadamer reifies the text as a “thing-in-itself” (Sache selbst) and remains trapped in subjectivism. I will begin by examining some of the ways in which these charges might be warranted before proceeding to defend him.

Keywords

Cite this article

Atkinson, Camille E. “Is Gadamer's Hermeneutics Inherently Conservative?Forum Philosophicum 14, no. 2 (2009): 285–306. doi: 10.5840/forphil20091427.

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