The Recovery of the Fundamental Hermeneutic Problem: Application and Normativity

In Gregory Lynch & Cynthia R. Nielsen (eds.), Gadamer's Truth and Method: A Polyphonic Commentary. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 165-85 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper is an explication of Gadamer's idea of "application." I argue that the relation between the first and third persons in application contains a viable conception of the normativity of understanding. Application includes a measure for understanding. The thing that is to be understood must be allowed to address me, and such involvement responds to the text’s meaning. While this measure is not expressible in principled rules, application is normatively accountable both to the text’s third-person claim to meaning and to my first-person involvement with the text. The participation of the interpreter with the item of her understanding forms a normative standard.

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David Liakos
Houston Community College System

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