Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato

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Yale University Press, 1980 - Philosophy - 221 pages
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This book is a virtual case study in the application of hermeneutical principles to illuminate philosophical texts. The book contains translations of eight of Gadamer's best known essays on Plato...These studies, spanning a period of almost fifty years, are important not only for what they have to say concerning Plato, but also for what they reveal about the development and insightfulness of Gadamer's hermeneutical theory of interpretation... He] aims at dialogue with Plato and achieves it.-Jeremiah P. Conway, International Philosophical Quarterly A remarkable felicitous set of translations.-Martin Warner, Times Higher Education Supplement Gadamer is among the most eminent followers of Heidegger and rather more accessible that most. It is therefore a service to have these eight essays on Plato, dating from 1934 to 1974, translated competently into English.-Choice May be the best introduction to Gadamer yet published in this country.-W.G. Regier, Modern Language Notes
  

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

When a first-rate 20th century philosopher tackles the greek classics, it usually provides for interesting reading. This book is no exception, but it might be more difficult than most other encounters ... Read full review

Contents

Logos and Ergon in Platos Lysis
1
The Proofs of Immortality in Platos Phaedo
21
Plato and the Poets
39
Platos Educational State
73
Dialectic and Sophism in Platos Seventh Letter
93
Platos Unwritten Dialectic
124
Idea and Reality in Platos Timaeus
156
Amicus Plato Magis Arnica Veritas
194
Index
219
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About the author (1980)

Hans-Georg Gadamer is the father of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics. He was born and educated in Marburg, Germany, where he studied under Martin Heidegger. Shortly after World War II, he was appointed professor of philosophy at Heidelberg University, a position that he held for almost 20 years, until he retired in 1968. His work seeks a recovery of the Greek sense of a comprehensive and coherent worldview, which he believes has been lost in the fragmentation of modern industrial culture. Gadamer has written major studies of Plato, Aristotle, and Georg Hegel. He is known for opposing science as it is developed and valued in Enlightenment thought. Gadamer's major contribution has been his work in hermeneutics, an approach that seeks to liberate the humanistic interpretation of experience from the strictures of science and technology, challenging the doctrine that truth is correspondence between an external fact and an idea in the mind of a subject. In place of mechanistic perspectives that regard nature as nothing but raw material for human manipulation, philosophical hermeneutics aims to develop a broader interpretation of experience by showing that all experience is conditioned by history. Thus, various investigations of the same subject can lead to different conclusions. Only interpretation provides the means to understand how this can occur and also to open culture once again to the voices of art. As developed by Gadamer, hermeneutics engages tradition critically so that culture can become alert to its own moral horizons and thereby restore a continuity of thought and practice.

Smith is professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell

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