Is Philosophical Hermeneutics Self-Refuting?

Review of Metaphysics 75:751-777 (2022)
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Abstract
One of the fundamental theses of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is that all knowledge is historically conditioned. This thesis appears to be self-refuting. That is, it appears to contradict itself insofar as its assertion that every knowledge claim is historically conditioned seems to assert an absolute, unconditionally true knowledge claim. If the historicity thesis does, in fact, refute itself in this way, then that spells trouble for philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer was well aware of this, and so he attempts in several passages to respond to this charge of self-contradiction. Those passages, however, are brief and difficult to understand. They consequently have been either neglected or inadequately understood. This paper makes better sense of those passages in order to defend Gadamer’s historicity thesis as coherent.
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