Gadamer's Rhetorical Conception of Hermeneutics as the Key to Developing a Critical Hermeneutics

24 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2008 Last revised: 30 Jan 2013

See all articles by Francis Joseph Mootz

Francis Joseph Mootz

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law

Date Written: December 14, 2008

Abstract

The rhetorical dimensions of Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics have not been fully developed by his commentators, resulting in an overly conservative rendering of his philosophy. Drawing out the rhetorical features of his work, we find that Gadamer regards textual interpretation as a rhetorical accomplishment. This characterization leads to a rich conception of critical hermeneutics. The article develops Gadamer's rhetorical hermeneutics by contrasting his approach with Paul Ricoeur's famous intervention in the Gadamer-Habermas debate, and looks to Gadamer's account of legal practice as a manifestation of critical hermeneutics in action.

Keywords: Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, Critical Theory, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Legal theory

Suggested Citation

Mootz, Francis Joseph, Gadamer's Rhetorical Conception of Hermeneutics as the Key to Developing a Critical Hermeneutics (December 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316033 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1316033

Francis Joseph Mootz (Contact Author)

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law ( email )

3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
United States

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