chapter  7
11 Pages

Rereading Gadamer: A Response to James Risser

WithDeborah Cook

The work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, focused as it is on the dialogic form of textual understanding, is a reflection on that authentic conversation which allows one to approach the text as a speaker in a tradition in which both text and reader participate. The invitation to converse with James Risser's text, in which he compares Gadamer's ideas on reading with those found in poststructuralism, obliges the reader first, to renew a dialogue with Gadamer's text; second, to read a dialogue concerning Gadamer's views on dialogue and third, to dialogue with the latter dialogue. Risser confines his comparison of hermeneutics and post-structuralism to a discussion of the similarities between Gadamer's work and that of Roland Barthes. Much like the goal of hermeneutics itself, Gadamer's aim is to reappropriate the tradition in aesthetics, hermeneutics and the philosophy of language in order to allow it to speak to his own concern of reformulating hermeneutics.