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3 - Getting It Right

Relativism, Realism, and Truth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2021

Robert Dostal
Affiliation:
Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

This chapter addresses whether Gadamerߣs hermeneutics should be considered a kind of relativism or a sort of realism. In this consideration Gadamerߣs treatment of the concept of truth is also presented. This chapter argues that Gadamerߣs hermeneutics is on one side of the hermeneutical fork–the side of realism, as opposed to relativism. Gadamerߣs hermeneutics is considered in relation to the work of John McDowell. For Gadamer, our freedom and our knowledge are always situated and limited, but that does not undo Gadamerߣs commitment to realism and truth.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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