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(2001) The politics of postmodernity, Dordrecht, Springer.

Hermeneutical liberalism

Gary Brent Madison

pp. 186-200

Although he meant it as a criticism, Stanley Rosen was quite right when he as-serted: "Every hermeneutical program is at the same time a political manifesto or the corollary of a political manifesto."1When Gadamer characterized hermeneutics asscientia practica sive politicahe was indeed underscoring its political nature.2Hermeneutics is political to the degree that the general theory of human understanding it embodies privileges practical reason,phronesis, dialogue. In this chapter I wish to argue that the politics which is a "corollary" of the "hermeneutical program" is none other than classical liberalism—although it may be noted that a liberalism which is successful in incorporating basic hermeneutical notions must inevitably be what in the preceding chapter I referred to as a postmodern liberalism. In the first part of this chapter I shall attempt to outline in as succinct a manner as possible the ethical and political implications of basic hermeneutical theory. I shall then, in the second part of the chapter, attempt to extend these reflections to a domain that has largely been ignored by traditional hermeneutical theory: the rationality of economic activity.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-0750-4_8

Full citation:

Madison, G.B. (2001). Hermeneutical liberalism, in The politics of postmodernity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 186-200.

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