The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer
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The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

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Description

This book examines the distinctive contribution that the writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer make to democratic theory. Walhof argues that Gadamer's hermeneutical philosophy enlarges our perspective by shifting our view away from individual citizens to what exists between citizens, thereby allowing us to envision political realities that are otherwise hard to see. These realities include the disclosure of truth in democratic politics; achieving common ground in democratic dialogue, even amidst significant disagreement and diversity; the public and political nature of the religious traditions that make claims on and shape citizens; and the solidarities that connect us to each other and enable democratic action. The author argues that bringing these dimensions to awareness enriches our theories of democracy and is particularly crucial in an era of hyper-partisanship, accelerating inequality, and social conflicts involving racial, sexual, and religious identities.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 145 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 15.24mm | 3,191g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2017
  • XV, 145 p.
  • 3319468634
  • 9783319468631

Back cover copy

This book examines the distinctive contribution that the writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer make to democratic theory. Walhof argues that Gadamer's hermeneutical philosophy enlarges our perspective by shifting our view away from individual citizens to what exists between citizens, thereby allowing us to envision political realities that are otherwise hard to see. These realities include the disclosure of truth in democratic politics; achieving common ground in democratic dialogue, even amidst significant disagreement and diversity; the public and political nature of the religious traditions that make claims on and shape citizens; and the solidarities that connect us to each other and enable democratic action. The author argues that bringing these dimensions to awareness enriches our theories of democracy and is particularly crucial in an era of hyper-partisanship, accelerating inequality, and social conflicts involving racial, sexual, and religious identities.
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Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. Paying Attention to Reality1.1 Plato's Cave and the Critique of Modern Theory1.2 Democratic Theory in a Hermeneutical Register2. Disclosing Truth2.1 Knowing the Good2.2 The Sedimentation of Truth in Language2.3 Truth as Unconcealedness2.4 Truth and Democratic Politics3. Conversation and Understanding3.1 Gadamer's Phenomenology of Conversation3.2 Risking Prejudices3.3 12 Angry Men3.4 The Epistemic Demands of Deliberative Democracy3.5 The Rhetorical Turn3.6 Rhetoric, Truth, and Democratic Dialogue 4. Tradition, Religion, and Democratic Citizenship4.1 Religion and the Public Sphere4.2 Gadamer on Tradition4.3 Conceptualizing Religion as Tradition4.4 Religious Identity and the Ethics of Democratic Citizenship5. Solidarity, Friendship, and Democratic Hope5.1 Friendship5.2 Difference5.3 Solidarity5.4 Democratic Hope Epilogue: Between Citizens BibliographyIndex
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Review Text

"Darren Walhof's book is a lucid and timely addition to the literature, and will be of great interest to scholars and students of Gadamer and democratic theory. ... I can recommend this book to both scholars interested in Gadamerian hermeneutics and modern democratic theory. ... Walholf's book clears up common misapprehensions about Gadamer's work while contributing significantly to the literature." (Joshua Badge, Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 17 (3), August, 2018)
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Review quote

"Darren Walhof's book is a lucid and timely addition to the literature, and will be of great interest to scholars and students of Gadamer and democratic theory. ... I can recommend this book to both scholars interested in Gadamerian hermeneutics and modern democratic theory. ... Walholf's book clears up common misapprehensions about Gadamer's work while contributing significantly to the literature." (Joshua Badge, Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 17 (3), August, 2018)
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About Darren Walhof

Darren Walhof is Professor of Political Science at Grand Valley State University, USA. His research interests include democratic theory, philosophical hermeneutics, religion and politics, early modern political thought, and methods in the history of political thought. His articles have appeared in Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Philosophy & Social Criticism, and Contemporary Political Theory, among other places. With Derek Peterson, he is the co-editor of The Invention of Religion: Rethinking Belief in Politics and History (2002). In 2010, he was Visiting Research Professor at the Centre for Ethics in the University of Toronto, Canada.
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