Just Another Ant
Monday, 14. July 2003

Richard Wolin kritisiert vernichtend, wie Hans-Georg Gadamers Verhalten während des Nationalsozialmus in der Biographie von Jean Grondin dargestellt wird [Bookforum via Marxism list]:

Ironically, though, what Grondin's "sympathetic" method demonstrates is the moral bankruptcy of the hermeneutic approach.

[...]

Time and again, Gadamer's own ethical transgressions are compounded by Grondin's post hoc rationalizations.

The stated intention of Grondin's biography is to examine how hermeneutics, as personified by Gadamer, fares under real-world conditions. At the outset, Grondin admits that he was motivated to undertake this study by the damaging allegations concerning Heidegger's conduct under the Nazis. Surely, the tale of Gadamer's activities during the Nazi years must yield a more uplifting account.

Not really. At virtually every pivotal juncture, Gadamer caved in to the regime without a fight. To judge by these lights, hermeneutics is a philosophy of conformism. It turns conciliation with political evil into an art form. Apparently, in the hermeneutic lexicon, "civil courage" is an unknown virtue, a foreign phrase.

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