Volume 2, Issue 4, 2011
For A Post-Historicist Philosophy Of History. Beyond Hermeneutics
With the publication of Being and Time and Truth and Method philosophical hermeneutics seems to have become the official philosophy of history, with exclusive rights on the questions arising from the fact-of-having-a-past. From now on the epistemological approach of the German historical school, reaching a peak in Dilthey’s thought, is unanimously recognized as definitively overcome, aufheben, by the ontological interrogation of hermeneutics. But, with the same unanimity, it is also recognized that the reasons behind this overcoming and their validity are not readily apparent. For, as it has been shown in the literature, Heidegger’s critique of Dilthey proves to be partial and lacunar, whereas Gadamer’s is straightforwardly ambiguous. Our paper assumes as its first task a re-evaluation of these critiques and of the hypotheses proposed in the literature with regard to what could be the problem with Dilthey’s epistemology. In this sense the paper argues that the problem resides in that the fundamental concepts on which it is based are bound to miss the peculiarity of history by idealizing it and masking the power relations inhabiting it. As a second task, our paper proposes an investigation of whether philosophical hermeneutics itself manages to
rise to the expectations through which Dilthey’s thought is evaluated. As it will become manifest, the answer to this question is in the negative. That is why, in the end, we will defend the necessity of a post-historicist and post-hermeneutic philosophy of history.