Attitude Isn't Everything: Hermeneutics as an Unfinished Project

Analecta Hermeneutica 13 (1):158-180 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article critically investigates the landscape of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics, especially Gadamerian hermeneutics. This investigation reveals that one of the central trends in recent decades has been to construe hermeneutics as, instead of an ongoing and substantive philosophical research project, rather an amorphous current or nebulous spirit of intellectual life and culture—what this article refers to as the sense of hermeneutics as an attitude. The “effective history” of this characterization of hermeneutics is traced to polemical references to hermeneutics by Alain Badiou and Richard Rorty, which have negatively contributed to the reception of the hermeneutical movement. The article suggests that hermeneutics should aim to be neither a vague sensibility nor, in what ultimately amounts to a reaction against the idea of hermeneutics as an attitude, a rigorous “method” of interpretation, but rather an ongoing philosophical research program. To unpack this suggestion, the article concludes by providing “foundations for a contemporary hermeneutics” with reference to six contributions from promising recent work in hermeneutics.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Unfinished Worlds: Hermeneutics, Aesthetics and Gadamer. [REVIEW]Cynthia Nielsen - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4):421-424.
Hermeneutics, Legal.Tina Botts - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hermeneutics and the Conservatism of Listening.David Liakos - 2020 - Cosmos and History 16 (2):495-519.
Defending Hermeneutics.Emily P. Williams, Catherine M. Laing & Isabel Brun - 2018 - Journal of Applied Hermeneutics 2018 (1).
Practical Hermeneutics: the Legal Text and Beyond.George H. Taylor - 2017 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 48 (3):257-274.
Ecological Hermeneutics.David R. Keller - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 22:27-34.


Added to PP

116 (#113,059)

6 months
54 (#31,607)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Liakos
Houston Community College System

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Understanding in Human Science.Charles Taylor - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):25 - 38.
Hermeneutics in Post-War Continental European Philosophy.David Liakos & Theodore George - 2019 - In Kelly Becker & Iain Thomson (eds.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1945-2015. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 399-415.
A Reply to Dreyfus and Taylor.Richard Rorty - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):39 - 46.

View all 8 references / Add more references