Gadamer and Ricoeur: Critical Horizons for Contemporary by Francis J. Mootz III, George H. Taylor

By Francis J. Mootz III, George H. Taylor

Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur have been of crucial hermeneutical philosophers of the 20th century. Gadamer single-handedly revived hermeneutics as a philosophical box along with his many essays and his masterpiece, fact and strategy. Ricoeur famously mediated the Gadamer-Habermas debate and complex his personal hermeneutical philosophy via a couple of books addressing social concept, faith, psychoanalysis and political philosophy.

This publication brings Gadamer and Ricoeur right into a hermeneutical dialog with one another via a few of their most vital commentators. Twelve top students convey modern tests of the background and promise of hermeneutical philosophy, offering concentrated dialogue at the paintings of those key hermeneutical thinkers. The booklet exhibits how the horizons in their proposal instantaneously aid and query one another and the way, in lots of methods, the paintings of those pioneering philosophers defines the problems and agendas for the recent century.

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It is Gadamer, then, and not Heidegger, who most successfully breaks with Cartesianism’s isolated ego: for him it is not cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am; instead it is loquimur ergo sum: we talk therefore I am. Gadamer on Heidegger For a final clarification of the differences between Gadamer and Heidegger, it is useful to turn to what Gadamer has to say about his relationship to the early Heidegger. On the occasion of the rediscovery and publication of Heidegger’s Destruktion-Konstruktion 29 1921 proposal of his Aristotle project to Paul Natorp, Gadamer composed an introductory essay, “Heidegger’s youthful ‘theological study,’ ” in which he outlines most sympathetically and incisively where Heidegger was headed at that time and makes clear how he diverged from Heidegger even as he took Heidegger as his inspiration.

Our fore-projections are “constantly revised,” and “every revision of the fore-projection is capable of projecting before itself a new projection of meaning[;] . . , pp. 267–68, emphasis added). Revise, revise, replace. The process is circular in the following sense. We can think of the movement from twelve o’clock to six o’clock as the process by which interpretations are guided by a priori projections of meaning, while the movement from six o’clock to twelve o’clock is the process by which those a priori projections, coming up against the alterity of the text, are revised or even replaced.

Surely there is something to be said for Gadamer’s shift in emphasis away from the anxiously existing individual to the community. After all, the language in which any understanding takes place was never mine, privately, but ours. I did not find it in myself by myself; I heard it and learned it from another. It is Gadamer, then, and not Heidegger, who most successfully breaks with Cartesianism’s isolated ego: for him it is not cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am; instead it is loquimur ergo sum: we talk therefore I am.

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