South African Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):258-273 (2002)

Gadamer's project in Truth and Method is as much about truth in the human sciences as it is about human subjectivity, for, following Heidegger, he claims that truth is reducible to method (technical rationality) only if one is misled by old Enlightenment subject/object dualisms. Posing the question of the possibility and nature of truth in scientific thinking, where a strict division between subjective and objective has fallen away, Gadamer belongs, as one of its inaugural figures, to an alternative tradition of philosophical complexity, which implicates environmental systems (culture, ideology, institutions), embedded in language, in the constitution of human subjectivity.With these theoretical shifts in mind, what caught my attention in a press report concerning the trial of (subsequently convicted) serial killer, Stewart Wilken (“Boetie Boer”), was the strangely anachronistic question that dominated the front page of a Port Elizabeth newspaper: “Boetie: Is he Sick or Evil?” This question, in my view, harks back to a questionable framework of Enlightenment autonomy, which depends upon the easy technical rationality of clear-cut dichotomies. In what follows I hope to show that in acknowledging the role of complex interrelations between cultural and other systems, a tradition of philosophical complexity justifiably claims a more adequate framework for understanding self- formation than that underpinning the discourses at work in Wilken's trial. I shall draw on Gadamer's hermeneutic model of an “embedded”subject, which is based on his speculative model of “play” out lined in Truth and Method, and supplement this with Lacan's psychoanalytic account of subject formation. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.21(4) 2002: 258-273.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v21i4.31351
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,091
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Theology as a Human Science: Reflections on Gadamer's Truth and Method.Gerald J. Pillay - 2002 - South African Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):345-358.
Gadamer and Political Authority.George Duke - 2014 - European Journal of Political Theory 13 (1):25-40.
Truth, Method, and Objectivity Husserl and Gadamer on Scientific Method.A. T. Nuyen - 1990 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (4):437-452.
Habermas, Narcissism, and Status.Jeff Livesay - 1985 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1985 (64):75-90.
Gadamer, Rorty, Hermeneutics, and Truth: A Response to Warnke.Donald Rothberg - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):355-361.
Interpretation and Understanding in Hermeneutics and Deconstruction.A. T. Nuyen - 1994 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (4):426-438.
Gadamer, Heidegger, Play, Art and the Appropriation of Tradition.Bert Olivier - 2002 - South African Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):242-257.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #368,463 of 2,506,349 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,997 of 2,506,349 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes