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Being a child of one's time

Gadamer and Hegel on thought and historical context

Anders Odenstedt

pp. 191-216

This chapter compares Hegel's and Gadamer's accounts of context-dependence. Hegel asserts that the individual is a "child of his time." However, Hegel describes the relationship between thought and the historical context in different ways, and this chapter singles out four versions of the claim that the individual is a "child of his time" and of the historical context. Parallels to these claims can be found in Gadamer, and where such parallels are absent this can be explained by the difference between Hegel's and Gadamer's views of Bildung as third nature. Hegel is part of the reaction by the emerging science of history against the Enlightenment tendency to blame past historical epochs for contingently failing to live up to contemporary standards of rationality. Gadamer shares this reaction, although at the same time arguing that Hegel regrettably continues certain Enlightenment modes of thought.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-59558-0_7

Full citation:

Odenstedt, A. (2017). Being a child of one's time: Gadamer and Hegel on thought and historical context, in Gadamer on tradition - historical context and the limits of reflection, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 191-216.

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