Hans-Georg Gadamer

Edited by Theodore George (Texas A&M University)
Assistant editor: David Liakos (Houston Community College System)
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Summary

Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) is arguably the figure most associated with hermeneutics in our times. Gadamer completed his doctoral studies in Marburg, where his teachers included Paul Natrop and Nicolai Hartman; the principal influence on Gadamer’s philosophical development, however, was Martin Heidegger, with whom Gadamer subsequently completed his Habilitation studies in Freiburg. Among Gadamer’s faculty appointments, perhaps the most notable are the positions he has held at the University of Leipzig from 1939–1947, where he also served in 1946 as Rector, and at the University of Heidelberg from 1949 until his official retirement in the late 1960s, as well as after this his long association with Boston College. Gadamer’s project, which is typically identified as philosophical hermeneutics, may be understood to build on Heidegger’s elucidation of hermeneutics in an ontological register. Hermeneutics, as the early Heidegger develops it, concerns not foremost the art of understanding or epistemological considerations of our cognitive capacity to understand and interpret, but, more fundamentally, the ontology of human beings insofar as human beings are characterized by their disclosedness, that is, their openness to the being of whatever beings they find themselves involved with. Gadamer, from this point of departure, stresses the finitude of such openness, arguing that hermeneutic experience is epitomized by dialogic interaction, or, conversation, and that human understanding remains always conditioned by prejudices, or, pre-judgments, passed down through tradition and language. Gadamer develops his project of philosophical hermeneutics in his major work, Truth and Method, as well as in a large body of other writings, and his work makes significant contributions in the philosophy of art and aesthetics, practical philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy, and a number of other areas. Influenced not only by Heidegger, but also several figures in the history of philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, and Hegel, Gadamer is furthermore noted for his important philosophical engagements with leading figures of the age, especially Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida. 

Key works

While Gadamer’s writings are largely gathered in the eleven volumes that comprise his collected works, Gesammelte Werke (Mohr Siebeck, 1990) plus Hermeneutische Entwurfe (Mohr Siebeck, 200), many of his important writings are available in English translation. His major work is Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method. Many of Gadamer’s important further contributions are represented in English translation in a number of collected volumes. Two collected volumes that address a broad range of central themes in Gadamer’s thought are Philosophical Hermeneutics and The Gadamer Reader: A Bouquet of the Later Writings. A volume that collects many of his important writings on the hermeneutical significance of beauty, as well as themes in the philosophy of art and aesthetics more broadly, is The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Writings; a volume that collects some of Gadamer’s most important contributions to the philosophical study of literature is Literature and Philosophy in Dialogue: Essays in German Literary Theory. A further notable collected volume is Hermeneutics, Religion and Ethics. Gadamer’s hermeneutical engagements with of some of his important philosophical influences may be found in Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato, The Beginning of Philosophy, Hegel’s Dialectic: Five Hermeneutical Studies and Heidegger's Ways. Gadamer discusses the arc of his own philosophical life in Philosophical Apprenticeships and “Reflections on my Philosophical Journey".

Introductions

Of the many good introductions to hermeneutics available in English, those highly recommended include, in alphabetical order by author: 

Di Cesare, Donatella, Gadamer. A Philosophical Portrait

Dostal, Robert, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Gadamer

Grondin, Jean, The Philosophy of Gadamer.  

Malpas, Jeff. "Hans-Georg Gadamer".  

Risser, James, Hermeneutics and the Voice of the Other.

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2446 found
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1 — 50 / 2446
  1. Text and Interpretation.Hans-Georg Gadamer - unknown - Phainomena 70.
    Originating from a confrontation with the contemporary French thought, especially with Jacques Derrida, the article discusses the question of the relation between text and interpretation. It receives the basic impulse for the deliberation on the theme from the tradition of hermeneutics and from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, from his considerations upon the subjects of the circle of understanding and the phenomenon of language. What is the relation of the text towards the language? What comes from the language forth into (...)
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  2. Resnica in metoda. Začetek prabesedila Truth and Method. The Coming About of the Original Text.Hans-Georg Gadamer - unknown - Phainomena 53.
    Ni le potreba po logični samorazjasnitvi tista, ki duhoslovne znanosti povezuje s filozofijo. Gre predvsem za to, da ti. duhoslovne znanosti same predstavljajo problem za filozofijo: kar je bilo povedano in kar se da povedati o njihovi logični, spoznavnoteoretski utemeljitvi in o razlogih za njihovo znanstveno samostojnost v razmerju do naravoslovnih znanosti, daleč zaostaja za tem, kar duhoslovne znanosti so in kar pomenijo filozofiji.The need for logical self-explication is not the only thing that relates human sciences to philosophy. The primary (...)
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  3. Philosophy of Gadamer.Jean Grondin & Kathryn Plant - unknown - Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
    The ideas of German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer have had considerable influence both in their own right, as the leading modern exposition of philosophical hermeneutics, and in interpreting the works of others, especially Heidegger, Hegel, and Plato. Jean Grondin provides an authoritative and clear presentation of Gadamer's thought. Centering his interpretation around the seminal Truth and Method, he lays out Gadamer's key themes of method, humanism, aesthetic judgement, truth, and the work of history.
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  4. The Conditions of Dialogue: Approaches to the Habermas-Gadamer Debate.Anne Hjort - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 4.
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  5. Gadamer and Hermeneutics.Nazile Kalaycı - unknown - Yeditepe'de Felsefe (Philosophy at Yeditepe) 2.
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  6. Gadamer, Aesthetics and Morality.Claude Piche - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 9.
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  7. Philosophical Hermeneutics And The Question Of Community.James Risser - unknown - Existentia 6 (1-4):89-100.
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  8. Optimizen in pesimizem v Gadamerjevi knjigi o Celanu Optimism and Pessimism in Gadamer’s Celanbook.Alon Segev - unknown - Phainomena 51.
    Pričujoči sestavek skuša ovrednotiti Gadamerjevo knjigo o Celanu glede njenega prispevka k fenomenologiji. Gadamer se zateče k poeziji kot fenomenološkemu orodju zaradi uvida, da fenomenologija ne more biti metoda in da lahko fenomen, bit, dosežemo le prek nenadnega prebliska, z »gnomično prezenco«. Pesnik s »pretresom« trdno uveljavljene kulturne ideje in pogleda na realnost omogoča uvid, da je »normativnost« samo ena omejena perspektiva realnosti in da so drugi vidiki potlačeni. Resnica, ki naj bi prišla na dan prek pesnika, je končna časovna (...)
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  9. Metafora fuziunii orizonturilor la Gadamer.Tania Bârsan - forthcoming - Hermeneia:95-99.
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  10. Education as the Normative Dimension of Philosophical Hermeneutics.David Blacker - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  11. Las Raíces Ilustradas de la Hermenéutica Filosófica.Leandro Catoggio - forthcoming - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte.
  12. The Philosophy of Hans‐Georg Gadamer: An Exemplar of the Complicated Relationship Between Philosophy and Nursing Practice.Lynn Corcoran & Karen Cook - forthcoming - Nursing Inquiry.
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  13. Brice R. Wachterhauser, Ed., Hermeneutics and Truth.G. D'Oro - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  14. Gadamer’s Hermeneutics, by Robert Dostal. [REVIEW]Carlo DaVia - forthcoming - Review of Metaphysics.
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  15. Interpretation: A Critical Primer.Nathan Eric Dickman - forthcoming - Sheffield, UK: Equinox.
    This volume examines the nature of interpretation, strategies within interpretation, and negotiations about the adequacy of an interpretation, with special attention paid to possible roles interpretation plays in the academic study of religions. While many people engage in interpretation, it is not clear what interpretation is. Throughout the book, a number of fundamental questions posed throughout the history of hermeneutics (theory of interpretation) are addressed. What is an “interpretation”? What or who determines the meaning of a text? What helps in (...)
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  16. Gadamer'in Felsefi Hermeneutiğinde 'Ön Yargı' Kavramı ve Düşündürdükleri.Ramazan ErtÜrk - forthcoming - Felsefe Dünyasi.
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  17. Wittgenstein and Gadamer on Private Language.Ghasem Fazli - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
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  18. The Position of Poetry in the System of Hegelian Aesthetics and the Question of the Character of the Past in Art+ the Hotho, Heinrich Edition Of'vorlesungen Uber Asthetik'by Hegel.Hg Gadamer - forthcoming - Hegel-Studien.
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  19. Lewis Edwin Hahn, Ed., The Philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer.A. Harrington - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  20. On the Several Senses of Forgetting in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics in Advance.John V. James - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
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  21. Phenomenological Interpretations of Ancient Philosophy.Jens Kristian Larsen & Pål Rykkja Gilbert - forthcoming - Brill.
    Phenomenology and ancient Greek philosophy. The title of this book, indicating these topics as its two main subjects, could give the impression that the subjects are held together by a circumstantial “and.” The title would then indicate a connection between phenomenology and a topic, ancient Greek philosophy, the way titles such as Art and Phenomenology, Phenomenology and Psychological Research, Phenomenology and Virtue Ethics do. This impression would be wrong. First, ancient Greek philosophers take pride of place in the dialogues initiated (...)
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  22. Making Good Sense: Pragmatism's Mastery of Meaning, Truth, and Workable Rule of Law.Harold Anthony Lloyd - forthcoming - Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy.
    The hermeneutic pragmatism explored in this article timely examines how “post-truth” claims over-estimate semantic freedoms while at the same time underestimating semantic and pre-semantic restraints. Such pragmatism also timely examines how formalists err by committing the reverse errors. Drawing on insights from James, Peirce, Putnam, Rorty, Gadamer, Derrida, and others, such hermeneutic pragmatism explores (1) the necessary role of both internal and objective experience in meaning, (2) the resulting instrumental nature of concepts required to deal with such experience, (3) the (...)
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  23. Book Review of 'Hermeneutic Rationality' by Maria Luisa Portocarrero, Luis António Umbelino, Andrezej Wiercinski. [REVIEW]María G. Navarro - forthcoming - LIT Verlag.
  24. Gadamer’s Hermeneutics and the Concept of Genre: The Case of the Utopian Genre in Plato.Antoine Pageau-St-Hilaire - forthcoming - Tandf: Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology:1-18.
  25. Musical Affordances and the Transformation Into Structure: How Gadamer Can Complement Enactivist Perspectives on Music.Mattias Solli - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    This paper investigates the phenomenological status of musical affordances through a Gadamerian focus on human communication. With an extra emphasis on Reybrouck’s much-cited affordance-driven theory, I locate fundamental premises in the affordance concept. By initiating a dialogue with Gadamer’s perspective, I suggest a slight yet important shift of perspective that allows us to see an autonomous, transformative, and intrinsically active ‘ideality’ potentially emerging in music. In the final section, I try to demonstrate how Gadamer’s perspective is supported by recent empirical (...)
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  26. What Are Hermeneutic Character Virtues and Vices? Four Ambiguous Tendencies in Gadamer’s Hermeneutic Retrieval of Phronēsis in Advance.Giancarlo Tarantino - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
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  27. Gadamer's Hermeneutical Aesthetics: Art as a Performative, Dynamic, Communal Event.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    This book offers a sustained scholarly analysis of Gadamer's reflections on art and our experience of art. It examines fundamental themes in Gadamer's hermeneutical aesthetics such as play, festival, symbol, contemporaneity, enactment, art's performative ontology, and hermeneutical identity. The first two chapters focus on Gadamer's critical appropriation and movement beyond Kantian and Hegelian aesthetics (and includes a coda on Heidegger's influence). The final three chapters argue for the continued relevance of Gadamer's hermeneutical aesthetics by bringing his claims into conversation with (...)
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  28. Gadamer, Fricker, and Honneth : Testimonial Injustice, Prejudice, and Social Esteem.Cynthia R. Nielsen & David Utsler - 2023 - In Paul Giladi & Nicola McMillan (eds.), Epistemic Injustice and the Philosophy of Recognition. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
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  29. Gadamer, Fricker, and Honneth : Testimonial Injustice, Prejudice, and Social Esteem.Cynthia R. Nielsen & David Utsler - 2023 - In Paul Giladi & Nicola McMillan (eds.), Epistemic injustice and the philosophy of recognition. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
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  30. Robert J. Dostal. "Gadamer’s Hermeneutics: Between Phenomenology and Dialectics.".Rafael Lima Barros - 2022 - Philosophy in Review 42 (2):10-15.
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  31. On Gadamer's Heteronomy Argument: The "Irruption" of Reality Vs. Its "Strategic Excision".Josep Maria Bech - 2022 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 24 (1):96-112.
    The aim of this paper is to find out whether Gadamer is entitled to hold together his finitist commitment to the heteronomy of art and thought, and his advocacy of an "endless conversation with itself" of humankind. We focus on three texts: Gadamer’s dismis­sal of Carl Schmitt’s outside-in account of the heteronomy implied by the "irrup­tion of reality" in the play Hamlet and, as Archimedean point, Shakespeare’s "excision of reality" according to Stephen Greenblatt, and its inside-out heteronomic consequences. The results: (...)
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  32. Belonging to and Distanciating From: Reflections on Gadamer's Hermeneutics, Critical Pedagogy, and the Concept of Tradition.Ali Vahdati Daneshmand - 2022 - Philosophical Investigations 16 (39):317-330.
    Discussions about the Gadamer-Habermas debate continue in philosophy. But in philosophy of education, Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics is usually accused of conservatism by the defenders of critical pedagogy, and there are few studies in defense of the critical power of Gadamer's hermeneutics. In Iran, official education reform documents emphasize both guarding and reconstructing tradition, but in practice, this balance seems ambiguous. Through re-reading Gadamer's hermeneutics, this paper analyzes the critical elements of tradition. In this way, it provides a defense of education (...)
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  33. Is Philosophical Hermeneutics Self-Refuting?Carlo Davia - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):751-777.
    One of the fundamental theses of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is that all knowledge is historically conditioned. This thesis appears to be self-refuting. That is, it appears to contradict itself insofar as its assertion that every knowledge claim is historically conditioned seems to assert an absolute, unconditionally true knowledge claim. If the historicity thesis does, in fact, refute itself in this way, then that spells trouble for philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer was well aware of this, and so he attempts in several passages (...)
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  34. Language as Medium of Hermeneutic Experience.Carlo DaVia - 2022 - In Gregory Lynch & Cynthia R. Nielsen (eds.), Gadamer's Truth and Method: A Polyphonic Commentary. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 209-226.
    This paper provides a commentary on Truth and Method III.1.
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  35. Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Between Phenomenology and Dialectic by Robert J. Dostal.Carlo DaVia - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):814-816.
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  36. Robert J. Dostal. "Gadamer’s Hermeneutics: Between Phenomenology and Dialectics.".Rafael Lima Barros de Oliveira - 2022 - Philosophy in Review 42 (2):10-15.
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  37. Philosophical Hermeneutics and the Priority of Questions in Religions: Bringing the Discourse of Gods and Buddhas Down to Earth.Nathan Eric Dickman - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Buddhas, gods, prophets and oracles are often depicted as asking questions. But what are we to understand when Jesus asks “Who do you say that I am?”, or Mazu, the Classical Zen master asks, “Why do you seek outside?" Is their questioning a power or weakness? Is it something human beings are only capable of due to our finitude? Is there any kind of question that is a power? -/- Focusing on three case studies of questions in divine discourse on (...)
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  38. Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Between Phenomenology and Dialectic.Robert J. Dostal - 2022
    Introduction -- Gadamer's Ambivalence toward the Enlightenment Project -- Humanism and Politics: Gadamer's Civic Humanism in the Face of Heidegger's Anti-Humanism -- Saving Plato from Platonism -- From Bildung to Bild: Gadamer's Aesthetics -- Language and Understanding -- Hermeneutics and Science -- Between Phenomenology and Dialectic -- Conclusion: The Conversation That We Are-Solidarity.
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  39. Małgorzata Hołda. On Beauty and Being: Hans-Georg Gadamer’s and Virginia Woolf’s Hermeneutics of the Beautiful. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2021. [REVIEW]Kamila Drapało - 2022 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 27 (1):111-117.
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  40. Natality and Tradition: Reading Arendt with Habermas and Gadamer.Magnus Ferguson - 2022 - Arendt Studies 6:119-138.
    This paper situates Hannah Arendt’s concept of natality between the rival concerns of Habermasian critical theory and Gadamerian hermeneutical philosophy. I argue that natality is simultaneously emancipatory and hermeneutically grounded. This is to say that Arendt affirms the possibility of reflectively disrupting precedents set by tradition, even as she refrains from overestimating the emancipatory powers of critical reflection. Through comparison with Habermas and Gadamer, it emerges that Arendt conceives of repetition and revolution as jointly constitutive of human natality. At bottom, (...)
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  41. Recovering Ontology in Anglo-American Interpretations of Hermeneutics: Chung-Ying Cheng and Hans-Georg Gadamer.Andrew Fuyarchuk - 2022 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 49 (3):281-293.
    Whereas a selective yet representative sample of Anglo-American scholarship undermines its own intentions to explain Gadamer’s language-ontology and theory of time by confusing the ground of beings with beings, Cheng and Gadamer explain how a transformation in human existence allows for a temporalization of Being in time that incorporates the subjectivity of the human subject. This argument draws on the dual structure of their cosmogenic worldview in the source and origins of their traditions and has implications for Cheng’s organistic model (...)
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  42. Ethics, Aesthetics and the Historical Dimension of Language.Hans-Georg Gadamer - 2022
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  43. Ritrarre è tradurre – Tradurre è ritrarre. Sulla traduzione come pratica ermeneutica tra Gadamer e Benjamin.Giovanni Gurisatti - 2022 - Studi di Estetica 22.
    Through an unedited comparison between Gadamer and Benjamin, a brief reflection on the hermeneutic practice of translation is proposed here, which assumes, as a driver, the affinity between the figurative act of portraying and the linguistic act of translating. Just as the portrait is representation, interpretation and translation of the expressive sense of a single face, from the side of reality to that of the image, so the translation is representation, interpretation and translation of the expressive sense of a single (...)
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  44. Gadamer's Gorgias: The Imperative of Self-Refutation.Benjamin Hutchens - 2022 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 24 (1):192-215.
    Gadamer has written several powerful studies of Platonic dialectic. His emphasis on shared understanding, the fusing of horizons and other hermeneutic notions are partially drawn from a study of Plato’s elenctic dialogues. However, Socrates in Gorgias makes a claim about the imperative of self-refutation that not only complicates our understanding of Socratic method, but Gadamer’s reading of it as well. This article is meant to explore just how the imperative of self-refutation causes difficulty for Gadamer’s understanding of dialectic, especially his (...)
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  45. On the Several Senses of Forgetting in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics.John V. James - 2022 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):411-428.
    Following Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer states that the primordial way we experience the past is through forgetting rather than memory. This essay seeks to explore the various senses of forgetting as it appears in Gadamer’s thought with a particular emphasis on how forgetting and memory structure the unique temporality of the work of art. This exploration reveals that the interplay between forgetting and remembering is more complicated than mere opposition; this interplay is specifically revealed in Gadamer’s analyses of the epochal (...)
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  46. Word as image: Gadamer on the unity of word and thing.David W. Johnson - 2022 - Continental Philosophy Review 55 (1):101-118.
    One of Gadamer's largest and most characteristic concerns has been to show that hermeneutics is a form of practical philosophy. The central task of hermeneutics as practical philosophy for Gadamer is to reflectively appropriate the moral resources of our tradition in order to respond to the skepticism—characteristic of our age—about our ability to reach the truth in our normative judgments. Practical philosophy in this sense depends upon Gadamer’s conception of language as disclosive of truth. The form of disclosure that is (...)
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  47. The temporality of artwork and festival and the temporality of the cosmos: gadamer’s reflections on time and eternity.Niall Keane - 2022 - Continental Philosophy Review 55 (3):335-351.
    The following examines the concept of time in Gadamer’s work, looking specifically at the role of artwork and festival as focal points of his temporal analysis. It is argued that the usual way of understanding Gadamer’s reflections on time as either “empty” or “fulfilled,” while accurate, need to be supplemented by a third species of time which is neither “full” nor “empty,” pointing instead to the underappreciated role of eternity in his thought. Eternity in this instance is not the other (...)
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  48. Academic Evaluation Without Fraud, in Online Education: Citing the Two Theories of Benjamin Bloom and the Philosophical Hermeneutics of Hans Georg Gadamer.Asadollah Khadivi, Masoud Khanjarkhani & Rasoul Rezaei - 2022 - Philosophical Investigations 16 (39):208-219.
    The purpose of this study is to design a model for academic evaluation without fraud and at the same time nurturing, based on the ideas of Hans Georg Gadamer and Benjamin Bloom. This research, which is a inferential analysis and a type of qualitative research, intends to provide a method that estimates the mission of education both in the days when education is online, based on Bloom's learning levels, and the occurrence of understanding in Gadamer's thought. Reduce the possibility of (...)
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  49. The Domination of Quasi-Questioning Instead of Questioning in Education Systems Citing the Thought of Hans Georg Gadamer.Masoud Khanjarkhani, Rasul Rezaei, Maryam Tayeri & Ruhullah Bagheri Majd - 2022 - Philosophical Investigations 16 (39):269-282.
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the contexts of quasi-questioning domination instead of questioning by quoting the philosophical hermeneutical thought of Hans Georg Gadamer. The method of inferential analytical research is qualitative research. The focus of Hans-Georg Gadamer's thought in The Truth and Method is the event of understanding In Gadamer's view, methodical and predictable understanding is an important challenge for questioning in its philosophical sense. Because understanding is constantly occurring in the endless process, and in the context (...)
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  50. Gadamer's Historically Effected and Effective Consciousness.Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra - 2022 - Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review/Revue canadienne de philosophie (2):1-24.
    Hans-Georg Gadamer argues that consciousness not only historically constrains experience but also allows strangeness to intelligibly speak to it. This historically effected and effective consciousness features in Gadamer’s idea that a common language is unearthed for the interpretive horizons of those involved in dialogue with each other through a logic of question and answer. I argue, however, that this reveals a conceptual uncertainty about evaluating progress in interpretive understanding. Gadamer’s failure to escape from this uncertainty risks the possibility of a (...)
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1 — 50 / 2446