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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 11, 2007

Contemporary Philosophy

Altaf Hossain
Pages 69-78
DOI: 10.5840/wcp2120071191

Gadamer's Hermeneutics
Some Critical Comments

Hermeneutics, in its phenomenological mode, has become one of the dominating issues in contemporary philosophical discours. Hans-Georg Gadamer, the leading exponent of phenomenological hermeneutics, develops his theory in his monumental work Truth and Method1, by regarding hermeneutics as an exploration of both the archaeology of human understanding and constitutive role of language in experience. In this paper, we have presented a brief exposition of Gadamer's views, giving an emphasis on how human understanding of objects inevitably mingles with its traditions or prejudices. Following Gadamer, we also have offered a systematic account of the role of language upon our overall understanding and building of an impersonal criterion of the truth and meaning of experiences. And finally we have critically examined Habermas* critique of Gadamer's failure to see language as a camouflage of domination of stronger experiences and the fact that the history of understanding is systematically distorted by this domination.

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