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15 - Hermeneutics in a Broader Horizon

Gadamer, Rorty, Davidson

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2021

Robert Dostal
Affiliation:
Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

This chapter explores how Gadamer’s hermeneutics has influenced important strands of contemporary philosophy and has converged with other philosophical school of thought. Mostly importantly, this chapter considers the relation of Gadamer’s thought to the thought of Rorty and Davidson. Rorty is influenced by Gadamer. Davidson shows no direct influence but is a case of overlap and convergence. Rorty aims to show the internal exhaustion of the twentieth–century epistemological–psychological tradition. He uses criticisms from within that tradition, including Gadamer. Philosophy is seen by Rorty, much like Gadamer, to a matter of joining a conversation. Rorty’s importation of Gadamer’s hermeneutic model is not without is difficulties. Rorty embraces incommensurability and Gadamer rejects it. Gadamer attempts an ontology and Rorty rejects ontology. Rorty cites Gadamer. Davidson never does and shows no signs of being influenced by Gadamer. Yet there some remarkable convergences. Davidson’s principle of charity and the communality of understanding and interpreting align very well with Gadamer.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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