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date: 25 April 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method offers a distinctive account of the human relationship to language and history. The book had a transformative effect on many fields, including political theory. It offers a persuasive hermeneutic theory of what the obstacles to and possibilities for textual interpretation actually are and thus forms an account of the proper practice of political theory that is superior to the rival claims of historicism, Straussianism, or post-modernism. Simultaneously, it offers an account of the relationship of individuals to language-communities that recognizes their significance for cultures and persons without reifying their moral or political value. Gadamer’s account of language points toward openness and democracy rather than identity politics or nationalism.

Keywords: Gadamer, hermeneutics, language, ontology, prejudice, horizon, life-world, dialogue, interpretation, communitarianism

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