Document Type

Honors Project


Questions about the way language functions, how language relates to the world, and how we use it, are prior to political questions. By investigating Hans-Georg Gadamer's model of interpretation and understanding, this thesis seeks to draw out and clarify the inner workings of language, in an effort to determine a basis for consensus formation and critique of political ideologies. This thesis also considers whether a dialogic model proscribes a limited view of the self, which may preclude political action on the part of the unknown "Other." By surveying the debates between Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas and Ludwig Wittgenstein, this paper reveals the contours of Gadamer's hermeneutic model in an effort to evaluate its suitability as a foundation for politics.



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