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Document Details :

Title: Gadamer, Lebensphilosophie, and Bringing a Text to Life
Author(s): VESSEY, David
Journal: Etudes phénoménologiques - Phenomenological Studies
Volume: 2    Date: 2018   
Pages: 159-177
DOI: 10.2143/EPH.2.0.3254117

Abstract :
Hans-Georg Gadamer credits Martin Heidegger for showing him how to interpret a text such that the text is brought to life. I consider the meaning of 'life' in this expression and trace the roots to the tradition of Lebensphilosophie that was culturally dominant during Gadamer’s youth. I argue that the greatest impact on Gadamer of the Philosophers of Life – such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Wilhelm Dilthey, and Georg Simmel – is that he considers the reanimation of a text as a criterion for a successful interpretation. For Gadamer, hermeneutics is in the service of life.

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