Title

The crisis of a hermeneutic ethic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2014

Abstract

The central question of the essay is: How is a hermeneutic ethic possible, given that its conditions of possibility may seem in crisis if explicit criteria for normative evaluation are rejected and the interpreting subject seems fully integrated into a process of open-ended contextual understanding. The emerging possibility of a situated ethos of dialogue, however, is challenged by the administrative and instrumental destruction of tradition. In response, a careful reinterpretation of Hans-Georg Gadamer's claim that interpretation is per se ethical provides us with the normative ideal of dialogical openness. Yet Gadamer's broad-brushed rejection of social-scientific research is replaced by the subtle proposal for a reflective co-operation between dialogical understanding and sociological thought. Now the social sciences and social theory either reconstruct empirical sources of the ethos of dialogue, or they deconstruct (via empirical analysis) the forces of discursive and social power that undermine the realization of our ethical potential. © 2014 Philosophy Today.

Publication Title

Philosophy Today

Volume

58

Issue

1

First Page

9

Last Page

22

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.5840/philtoday20131256

ISSN

00318256

E-ISSN

23298596

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