- Gadamer, Hans-Georg
born Feb. 11, 1900, Marburg, Ger.died March 13, 2002, HeidelbergGerman philosopher whose system of philosophical hermeneutics, derived in part from the ideas of Wilhelm Dilthey, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger, was influential in 20th-century Continental philosophy, aesthetics, theology, and literary criticism.The son of a chemistry professor, Gadamer studied the humanities at the universities of Breslau, Marburg, Freiburg, and Munich, earning a doctorate in philosophy under Heidegger at Freiburg in 1922. He later taught at the universities of Frankfurt am Main (1947–49) and Heidelberg (from 1949), where he became professor emeritus in 1968. In his most important work, Truth and Method (1960), Gadamer developed a general theory of understanding and interpretation modeled on the experience of art.
* * *▪ 2003German philosopher (b. Feb. 11, 1900, Marburg, Ger.—d. March 14, 2002, Heidelberg, Ger.), was a principal figure in 20th-century philosophical hermeneutics. His conception of language as a historical phenomenon had great influence in postmodernist and poststructuralist thought. Gadamer studied philosophy in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Pol.), Munich, and Marburg, where he completed a doctorate (1922) on Plato under the Neo-Kantian Paul Natorp. While recovering from polio in 1923, Gadamer came under the influence of Martin Heidegger, under whom he completed a second doctorate in 1929. He served as Privatdozent (private lecturer) in Marburg and taught at the University of Kiel (1934) before accepting professorships at Marburg (1937) and then Leipzig (1939). He attempted to remain politically neutral during the Nazi period, though he did attend a political reeducation camp near Danzig (now Gdansk, Pol.). After the war the Soviet authorities appointed him rector of the University of Leipzig, but after being briefly detained he left the eastern zone in 1947 for a professorship at the University of Frankfurt. In 1949 he moved to Heidelberg, where he remained until his retirement in 1968. In his major work, Wahrheit und Methode (1960; Truth and Method, 1975), Gadamer argued that historically conditioned human existence makes complete objectivity and the elimination of prejudice impossible.
* * *▪ German philosopherborn , February 11, 1900, Marburg, Germanydied March 13, 2002, HeidelbergGerman philosopher whose system of philosophical hermeneutics, derived in part from concepts of Wilhelm Dilthey (Dilthey, Wilhelm), Edmund Husserl (Husserl, Edmund), and Martin Heidegger (Heidegger, Martin), was influential in 20th-century philosophy, aesthetics, theology, and criticism.The son of a chemistry professor, Gadamer studied the humanities at the universities of Breslau, Marburg, Freiburg, and Munich, earning his doctorate in philosophy under Heidegger at Freiburg in 1922. He lectured in aesthetics and ethics at Marburg in 1933, at Kiel in 1934–35, and again at Marburg, where he was named extraordinary professor in 1937. In 1939 he was made full professor at the University of Leipzig. He later taught at the universities of Frankfurt am Main (1947–49) and Heidelberg (from 1949). He became professor emeritus in 1968.Gadamer's most important work, Wahrheit und Methode (1960; Truth and Method), is considered by some to be the major 20th-century philosophical statement on hermeneutical theory. His other works include Kleine Schriften, 4 vol. (1967–77; Philosophical Hermeneutics, selected essays from vol. 1–3); Dialogue and Dialectic (1980), comprising eight essays on Plato; and Reason in the Age of Science (1982), a translation of essays drawn from several German editions.
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