NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 52, October 2016

Wing-Wah Chan
Pages 27-55

Rorty’s Recontextualization and Gadamer’s Fusion of Horizons

This essay first shows that the concept of recontextualization in Rorty and the fusion of horizons in Gadamer are ways of thinking through which knowledge is obtained. Then, I argue that recontexuationalization, as a way of thinking in Rorty, fails both in the achievement of knowledge about reality and in the establishment of Rorty’s philosophical ideal: edifying philosophy. The argument implies that the concept of recontextualization is not able to create a new paradigm by breaking the imprisonment of our present paradigm. Nevertheless, as Gadamer’s fusion of horizon avoids the theoretical difficulties existing in Rorty’s concept of recontextualization, it leads us to obtain the knowledge about reality by being able to create new knowledge. Therefore, in comparison with Rorty’s recontextualization, Gadamer’s fusion of horizons is a more satisfactory theory of thinking.