Hermeneutics and Politics

Room: 
Room J, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Tuesday 27th March 13:30 - 15:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Emilia Palonen (University of Helsinki)
Panel Discussant: 
  • Dr Sophia Hatzisavvidou (University of Bath)
Panel Members: 
  • Professor Terrell Carver (University of Bristol)
  • Professor James Martin (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Dimitrios Akrivoulis (University of Macedonia)

Drawing from disparate sources within the hermeneutic tradition from Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer to Marxist hermeneutics to Caputo's radical hermeneutics and Ricoeur's hermeneutics of naïveté, the panel seeks to investigate the powers and the limits of hermeneutics in the practice of interpretation, and explore possible ways to overcome its limitations. Central in this respect is the relation between language and reality as well as the extension of hermeneutics beyond the level of individual consciousness set by the phenomenological tradition to the intersubjective plain.

Often equated with Gadamer's 'conservative' version or what has been popularized as the 'hermeneutics of suspicion', hermeneutics has been often criticized as a foundationalist - albeit postpositivist - theory of politics and international relations. The research aim of this panel is to suggest that the difficult hermeneutic detour is never complete unless emphasis is redirected from the disclosure of a hidden deeper truth, from answers to already given questions, to the very questioning of those questions. This panel aims to stress the urgency of asking new and difficult questions most relevant to the contemporary predicament and to highlight the significance of a post-critical hermeneutics in this venture.