Our readers will be delighted to know that Ted George’s new book, The Responsibility to Understand: Contours of Ethical Life (Edinburgh University Press 2020) has now been published. Below is a brief description of the book from EUP’s website.
What is the significance of hermeneutics at the intersections of ethics, politics and the arts and humanities?
- Discusses how hermeneutics offers ways to develop an ethics
- Makes the case for the relevance of contemporary hermeneutics for current scholarly discussions of responsibility within continental European philosophy
- Contributes a new, ethically inflected approach to current debate within post-Gadamerian hermeneutics
- Extends his analysis to the practice of living and covers animals, art, literature and translation
Few topics have received broader attention within contemporary philosophy than that of responsibility. Theodore George makes a novel case for a distinctive sense of responsibility at stake in the hermeneutical experiences of understanding and interpretation.
He argues for the significance of this hermeneutical responsibility in the context of our relations with things, animals and others, as well as political solidarity and the formation of solidarities through the arts, literature and translation
This week’s book spotlight is, Inheriting Gadamer: New Directions in Philosophical Hermeneutics, edited by Georgia Warnke (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). The book has four parts: 1) Critique and Causality, 2) Hermeneutics and Openness, 3) Place, Play and the Body, and 4) Science, Medicine, and Biotechnology. Chapter contributors include Santiago Zabala, “The Anarchy of Hermeneutics: Interpretation as a Vital Practice,” Georgia Warnke, “Philosophical Hermeneutics and the Politics of Memory,” Jeff Malpas, “Place and Hermeneutics: Towards a Topology of Understanding,” and Lauren Swayne Barthold, “If Enhancement is the Answer, What is the Question?”
Description from the back book cover
Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics – one of the seminal philosophies of the 20th century – has had a profound influence on a wide array of fields, including classical philology, theology, the philosophy of the social sciences, literary theory, philosophy of law, critical social theory and the philosophy of art. This collection expands on some of these areas and takes his hermeneutics into yet new fields including narrative medicine, biotechnology, the politics of memory, the philosophy of place and the non-verbal language of the body. And, building on Gadamer’s well-known discussions with Heidegger, Habermas, and Derrida, Inheriting Gadamer sets him in dialogue with Mahatma Gandhi, Christine Korsgaard, Charles Mills and others. In these ways, the volume holds fast to a Gadamerian virtue: cultivating our important philosophical traditions while embracing the constant need to re-think their meaning in new circumstances and in relation to new knowledge.
This week’s Book Spotlight features Jerone Veith’s recent book, Gadamer and the Transmission of History. You can read Dr. Greg Lynch’s review of the book for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here.
Description from Book Cover
Observing that humans often deal with the past in problematic ways, Jerome Veith looks to philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer and his hermeneutics to clarify these conceptions of history and to present ways to come to terms with them. Veith fully engages Truth and Method as well as Gadamer’s entire work and relationships with other German philosophers, especially Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger in this endeavor. Veith considers questions about language, ethics, cosmopolitanism, patriotism, self-identity, and the status of the humanities in the academy in this very readable application of Gadamer’s philosophical practice.
One of Hermeneutical Movements’ aims is to promote the philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer and those who think with and beyond Gadamer. Our Book Spotlights, Article Spotlights, Mini-Reviews, and Online Book Symposia work toward that end. Book Spotlights are brief 100-200 word descriptions of a book. Article Spotlights are brief 100-200 word abstracts with links to the authors’ articles. Mini-Reviews are 500-1500 word engagements with a theme or book chapter. For Book Symposia, we will invite two scholars to write 1500-2000 word essays on an author’s work and will also include the author’s response. All three essays will then be posted and readers are invited to participate by offering constructive and critical comments.
Our first Book Spotlight is Lauren Swayne Barthold’s book, A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities (Palgrave, 2016)
Book Description (From Back Cover)
This book draws on the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer to inform a feminist perspective of social identities. Lauren Swayne Barthold moves beyond answers that either defend the objective nature of identities or dismiss their significance altogether. Building on the work of both hermeneutic and non-hermeneutic feminist theorists of identity, she asserts the relevance of concepts like horizon, coherence, dialogue, play, application, and festival for developing a theory of identity. This volume argues that as intersubjective interpretations, social identities are vital ways of fostering meaning and connection with others. Barthold also demonstrates how a hermeneutic approach to social identities can provide critiques of and resistance to identity-based oppression.
Lauren Swayne Barthold is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Gordon College, USA. She is also the Cofounder and Coadvisor of the Gender Studies Minor. She is the author of several works on Gadamer, including Gadamer’s Dialectical Hermeneutics.