This volume brings together some of the leading scholars in philosophical hermeneutics, as well as a few outsiders. Many of the contributors agreed to participate in this collection on the basis of their admiration for the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, certainly one of the key German philosophers of the twentieth century, whose work has influenced not only philosophy but also the study of literature, art, music, sacred and legal texts, and medicine. The occasion for this collection was Gadamer's centenary in 2000. However, from the beginning, this collection was not intended as a festschrift, despite natural associations some have made when hearing about the catalyst for its production, nor did I set out to be disrespectful of Gadamer.
Some anticipated a celebratory volume, with the accompanying festive atmosphere. Others feared something like a replay of what has taken place with Ezra Pound, E. M. Cioran, Paul de Man, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Blanchot, 1 and others regarding those individuals' activities during the National Socialist period. This anxiety surfaced prior to Richard Wolin's “Untruth and Method: Nazism and the Complicities of Hans-Georg Gadamer, ” 2 a triumphant piece of oddness (as noted by, among others, Richard Palmer) that, in part, tries to translate Gadamer's own statements about his political life into shocking discoveries. This is not to say that res ipsa loquitur, or that Gadamer revealed all that might seem relevant about that matter. As a former student of Heidegger, Gadamer might have anticipated that the interrogation lamp on Heidegger would be directed eventually at Heidegger's family, friends, acquaintances, and students as well. We cannot distance ourselves in our study of Heidegger from the judgment that condemns Heidegger for his political action and inaction. Substitute “Gadamer” for every instance of “Heidegger” in that last sentence, and one begins to sense a problem with Wolin's position, one that wants to come to grips with an in-