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Gadamer and the Limits of the Modern Techno-Scientific Civilization


Stefano Marino

This book is an attempt to provide a systematic interpretation of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics in light of one of the most important, interesting and debated questions of the present age: the question concerning the role played by science and technology in shaping our civilization. The author argues that this question lies at the heart of Gadamer’s thought, and that such an approach to his philosophy might help to overcome some inveterate interpretive prejudices, like, for example, the idea of Gadamer as an anti-scientific and politically authoritarian thinker. In order to clarify these points, the author closely examines not only Gadamer’s 1960 masterpiece, Wahrheit und Methode, or his main writings (later gathered in ten volumes of collected papers), but most of the works he published in his more than centenarian life, including many short essays, lectures and interviews. Gadamer’s hermeneutics is seen as offering both an intriguing description of the main «pathologies» of the Western modern civilization, and a challenging proposal for «healing» the uneasiness and malaise of modernity by revaluating all forms of unmethodical, i.e. non-scientific, experience and knowledge.


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Acknowledgements 9


9 Acknowledgements I would firstly like to thank my teacher, Professor Carlo Gentili, for having carefully followed my work during the last years, ever since the beginning of my doctoral studies at the University of Bologna in the academic year 2004-2005. Then, I would like to thank Professor Günter Figal: during the draft of the book I have greatly benefitted from conversations with him on philosophical hermeneutics. I am also indebted to Professor Figal for having invited me to the Philosophisches Seminar of the University of Freiburg, where I spent fruitful periods of study with the support of a postdoctoral fellowship provided by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. I thank Professors Beatrice Centi, Mariannina Failla, Gianluca Garelli and Giovanni Matteucci for their ongoing encouragement and valuable suggestions. The countless discussions on philosophical issues and the cooperation in research activities with my colleagues Dr. Francesco Cattaneo and Dr. Rosa Maria Marafioti, as well as the “everyday life philosophizing” with my friends of the SSIS (Institute of Teacher Training at the University of Bologna), have been an important source of inspiration. I would also like to thank everyone at and Leila Jennings for their precious help in the revision and correction of the whole manuscript. Most of all, however, my gratitude goes to my family (my parents Giuseppe and Karin, my brother Giulio), for their constant love and support, and to my beloved wife Valeria: like Joseph Arthur sings, “you teach me how most things have no measure”. I am particularly...

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