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Wirkungsgeschicte or Ideologiekritik: The Gadamer-Habermas Debate Fifty Years On (Seminar)
April 27, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The publication of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Wahrheit und Methode in 1960 gave rise to the most rigorous and significant intellectual debate in Germany since the 1929 Heidegger-Cassirer disputation in Davos. In tracing the boundaries separating hermeneutic and social-science models of inquiry, the Gadamer-Habermas debate touched on major problems confronting humanistic knowledge today no less than half a century ago. What legitimates such knowledge? What are the underlying commitments and responsibilities of humanistic inquiry? What, if any, are the limits to method-based cognition within the humanities? In raising such “big-picture” questions, the Gadamer-Habermas debate also offers a salutary corrective to the hyper-specialized and detached professionalism characterizing much work in the humanities and social sciences as it is performed in the United States today.
Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English at Duke University. His main research interests are in 18th and 19th century literature, philosophy, and theology. His most recent is Minding the Modern: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2013.