Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 July 2021
This chapter considers the criticisms of Gadamer’s hermeneutics that have recently been put forward by Michael Forster and Kristin Gjesdal. They find that Gadamer errs in rejecting the philosophy of interpretation that is put forward in the nineteenth century by Herder, Schleiermacher, and Dilthey. For these critics of Gadamer, the merit of these predecessors of Gadamer is their commitment to a methodical interpretive practice. Forster criticizes Gadamer for rejecting the attempt to recover distinct original meanings in the texts that one is considering. They find Gadamer’s hermeneutics to be relativistic. This chapter defends Gadamer against these charges.