Remarks on James Risser's "The Life of Understanding: A Contemporary Hermeneutics"

Philosophy Today 58 (1):107-116 (2014)
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Abstract

The purpose of this piece is to examine the contribution made to the philosophical study of hermeneutics by James Risser’s recently published book, The Life of Understanding: A Contemporary Hermeneutics. The author argues that Risser’s emphasis on the relation of understanding to factical life places him among contemporaries, such as Donatella di Cesare and Günter Figal, who seek to advance hermeneutics beyond the context of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s approach. The author argues that Risser’s hermeneutics is distinguished by his concern for the radical finitude at stake in the experience of tradition, language, and beauty. In view of this, the author broaches questions that bring into focus the proximity between Risser’s hermeneutics and Jacques Derrida’s project of deconstruction

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Theodore George
Texas A&M University

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