Hans-Georg Gadamer

A Biography

Jean Grondin; Translated by Joel Weinsheimer

View Inside Price: $47.00


August 15, 2011
528 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
30 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300180169
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

The first English-language biography of one of the leading intellectuals of the twentieth century

Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002) was one of the greatest philosophers of our era. He was also at the center of some of the century’s darkest, most complex historical events, for he chose to remain in his native Germany in the 1930s, neither supporting Hitler nor actively opposing him, but negotiating instead an “unpolitical” position that allowed him to continue his philosophical work. In this magisterial book, Jean Grondin appraises Gadamer’s life and achievement.

Drawing on countless interviews with Gadamer and his contemporaries, Gadamer’s personal correspondence, and extensive archival research, Grondin traces Gadamer’s life as an academician and the development of his ideas, placing them in the context of his times. He sheds light on the genesis and accomplishment of Gadamer’s major opus, Truth and Method, the bible of modern-day hermeneutics. And he addresses the question of Gadamer’s attitude and actions amid the catastrophe of Nazi Germany, painting a balanced portrait of a scholar who tried to preserve German culture and tradition in the face of an invasive menace.

Jean Grondin, professor of philosophy at the University of Montreal, is the author of Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics, published by Yale University Press. A close pupil of Gadamer, he has been one of the most important voices in the field of hermeneutics. Joel Weinsheimer is professor of English at the University of Minnesota and general editor of the Yale Studies in Hermeneutics.

“Grondin’s book is a welcome and gracious gift to those of us eager to understand as much as possible about one aspect of Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy, that is, the man himself who was its occasion.”—Francis J. Ambrosio, Georgetown University


“This book has no rival and is an extraordinary achievement. Thanks to exemplary research, the facts of Gadamer’s life can be understood fully in historical context.”—Donald G. Marshall, University of Illinois at Chicago

"The added perspective this book will provide to those studying 20th-century philosophy in general and the emergence of philosophical hermeneutics in relation to phenomenology and other orientations in Continental philosophy will be invaluable."—Choice

“[An] outstanding . . . biography of one of the greatest philosophers of our era, Hands-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002), who gave birth to hermeneutics.”—Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala, Books in Canada

“This extremely readable and very comprehensive biography of Gadamer is to be recommended as essential, not only for those who are interested in philosophical hermeneutics, but for anyone who wishes to understand something about the ways in which philosophical positions develop and are personified in the lives of those philosophers who propound them.”—Patrick Quinn, Philosophy in Review
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