A Critical View on Pol Vandevelde’s "A Critique of Gadamer's Critical Pluralism"

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 21:5-13 (2008)
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Abstract

Gadamer’s hermeneutics has met with criticism in the more than forty years since the original German publication of Wahrheit und Methode in 1960. A figure who has recently criticized Gadamer’s hermeneutics from the perspective of traditional hermeneutics is Pol Vandevelde. He published a book entitled: "The Task of the Interpreter: Text, Meaning, and Negotiation”. The first two chapters of this book, especially the second chapter, with the title “Interpretation as Event: A Critique of Gadamer’s Critical Pluralism,” is devoted to attacking some aspects of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics. He has called his critiques as 'Ambiguities'. In fact, he focuses on three ambiguities: the fusion of horizons, the active role of the interpreter, and the status of language. Vandevelde’s critiques, similar to the critical views of other critics, are directed to four subjects: the problem of author's intention, the problem of objectivity, the problem of validity of interpretation, and finally the problem of relativism. Although I have examined all his three ambiguities, but because of the limitations that you have mentionedin the ‘Submission Guidelines’, I have sent you only a part of my paper. It seems to me that Vandevelde’s critiques shows that he has not adequate consideration to the foundations of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics.

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