chapter  7
14 Pages

Gadamer and Practical Rationality

In accusing Heidegger of having absorbed practical philosophy into fundamental ontology and falsifi ed the peculiar nature of moral experience, I share Gadamer’s central conviction that one ought to respect the peculiarity of practical rationality and, at the same time, promote the autonomy of practical philosophy. But this common conviction should not blind anyone to the profound divergences between my phenomenological realism and Gadamer’s hermeneutical re-appropriation of Aristotle. Indeed, Gadamer falls prey to the same prejudices as Heidegger, since his hermeneutics fi nally fails to recognize the true core of moral experience, which consists of the universals manifested to phronêsis and the worldly character of prakta. Paradoxically, and yet signifi cantly, this double failure is refl ected in Gadamer’s main theoretical project, namely, in his attempt to dissociate practical philosophy from practical rationality.