Gadamer's Repercussions: Reconsidering Philosophical Hermeneutics

By Bruce Krajewski | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 2
Being That Can Be
Understood Is Language

In a book called Reason in the Age of Science, Hans-Georg Gadamer asked the question: Can “philosophy” refer to anything nowadays except the theory of science? 1 His own answer to this question is affirmative. It may seem that the so-called “analytic” tradition in philosophy—the tradition that goes back to Frege and Russell and whose most prominent living representatives are Quine, Davidson, Dummett, and Putnam—must return a negative answer. For that tradition is often thought of as a sort of public relations agency for the natural sciences.

Those who think of analytic philosophy in this way often describe Gadamer's own work as a sort of apologia for the humanities. In this view of the matter, each of what C. P. Snow called “the two cultures” has its own philosophical claque. Those who accept Snow's picture of the intellectual scene think of the quarrel over science versus religion that divided the intellectuals of the nineteenth century as having evolved into the contemporary quarrel between the kinds of people whom we Californians call the “techies” and the “fuzzies.

This crude and oversimplified picture of the tension within contemporary philosophy is not altogether wrong. But a more detailed account of the history of philosophy in the twentieth century would distinguish between a first, scientistic phase of analytic philosophy and a second, anti-scientistic phase. Between 1900 and 1960 most admirers of Frege would have agreed with Quine's dictum that “philosophy of science is philosophy enough. But a change came over analytic philosophy around the time that philosophers began reading Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations side by side with Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Since then, more and more analytic philosophers have come to agree with Putnam that part of the problem with present-day philosophy is a scientism inherited from the nineteenth century.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gadamer's Repercussions: Reconsidering Philosophical Hermeneutics


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 316

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?