Hermeneutics and Human Finitude: Toward a Theory of Ethical Understanding

By P. Christopher Smith | Go to book overview

3
The Ethical Implications of Gadamer's Theory of Interpretation

All single individuals who are raising themselves from their physical nature find in the language, customs, and institutions of their people a pre-given substance, which, as in learning language, it is their task to make their own. Thus single individuals are always already under way in shaping themselves and becoming cultured, always already in the process of canceling their physical aspect insofar as the world into which they are growing is a human world shaped by language and custom [ WM 11].

IN THIS QUOTATION FROM Truth and Method we find two key words for any ethical theory we might hope to develop from Gadamer's hermeneutics: language and custom. The latter, in German, Sitten, returns us to our earlier considerations of Sittlichkeit and to the idea of an ethics grounded in Sitten or, for want of a better English word, in what is customary. Such an ethics will again be our concern in this chapter. It should be noted right at the start, however, that the German word Sitte has many implications and connotations that the English "custom" does not. Above all, its semantic field more obviously extends into the ethical realm. Gesittet, for example, means cultured, well-mannered, gracious, to be sure, but behind these aspects of the word is its fundamental sense of having Sitten (Latin: mores) or temperate, reasonable ways of behaving. Similarly, unsittlich

-179-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hermeneutics and Human Finitude: Toward a Theory of Ethical Understanding
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxvii
  • 1 - Macintyre and the Disarray of Analytical Moral Philosophy 1
  • Notes 94
  • 2 - Language as the Medium of Understanding) 105
  • Notes 171
  • 3 - The Ethical Implications of Gadamer's Theory of Interpretation 179
  • Notes 257
  • Conclusion: Gadamerian Conservatism 267
  • Note 281
  • Bibliography 283
  • Index 287
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 291

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.