Hermeneutics and Prejudice: Heidegger and Gadamer in Their Historical Setting

Document Type



This is an inquiry into the paradoxes of ontological and phenomenological hermeneutics whose founders called for radical self-reflection but failed to recognize the intellectual debt their theories owed to the historical tradition within which they were articulated. My thesis is that (a) Heidegger's and Gadamer's early views fed off the affective-political currents of the Weimar and Hitler Germany, that (b) both authors systematically misinterpreted their Nazi era discursive-affective-performative corpus, and that (c) the hermeneutics of prejudice grounded on Heidegger's fundamental ontology lacks the theoretical tools for hermeneutic critique and self-reflection insofar as it privileges language as a medium of interpretation.


Continental Philosophy | Philosophy | Sociology | Theory, Knowledge and Science

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