Dialogue and Deconstruction

The Gadamer-Derrida Encounter

Edited by Diane P. Michelfelder & Richard E. Palmer

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791400098, 368 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400081, 368 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents


I. The Gadamer-Derrida Encounter: Paris, 1981

1. Text and Interpretation
Hans-Georg Gadamer (translated by Dennis J. Schmidt and Richard Palmer)

2. Three Questions to Hans-Georg Gadamer
Jacques Derrida (translated by Diane Michaelfelder and Richard Palmer)
3. Reply to Jacques Derrida
Hans-Georg Gadamer (translated by Diane Michaelfelder and Richard Palmer)

4. Interpreting Signatures (Nietzsche/Heidegger): Two Questions
Jacques Derrida (translated by Diane Michaelfelder and Richard Palmer)

II. Gadamer Responds to the Encounter

Prelude: Hermeneutics and Deconstruction: Gadamer and Derrida in Dialogue
Fred Dallmayr
1. Letter to Dallmayr (1985)
Hans-Georg Gadamer (translated by Richard Palmer and Diane Michaelfelder)

2. Destruktion and Deconstruction
Hans-Georg Gadamer (translated by Geoff White and Richard Palmer)

3. Hermeneutics and Logocentrism (1987)
Hans-Georg Gadamer (translated by Richard Palmer and Diane Michaelfelder)

III. Commentaries

1. Argument(s)
Phillipe Forget (translated by Diane Michaelfelder)

2. Limits of the Human Control of Language: Dialogue as the Place of Difference between Neostructuralism and Hermeneutics
Manfred Frank (translated by Richard Palmer)

3. Good Will to Understand and the Will to Power: Remarks on an "Improbable Debate"
Josef Simon ((translated by Richard Palmer)

4. The Two Faces of Socrates: Gadamer/Derrida
James Risser

5. Imagine Understanding
Charles Shepardson

6. Gadamer/Derrida: The Hermeneutics of Irony and Power
G. B. Madison

7. All Ears: Derrida's Response to Gadamer
Herman Rapaport

8. Dialogue and Écriture
Donald C. Marshall

9. The Gadaner-Derrida Encounter: A Pragmatist Perspective
Richard Shusterman

10. "Ashes, ashes, we all fall. ..": Encountering Nietzsche
David Farrell Krell

11. Seeing Double: Destruktion and Deconstruction
Robert Bernasconi

12. Interruptions
John Sallis

13. Gadamer's Closet Essentialism: A Derridean Critique
John D. Caputo

14. The Man with Shoes of Wind: The Derrida-Gadamer Encounter
Neal Oxenhandler

15. The Privilege of Sharing: Dead Ends and the Life of Language
Gabe Eisenstein

List of Abbreviations
Contributors of Commentaries

Text of and reflection on the 1981 encounter between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jacques Derrida, which featured a dialogue between hermeneutics in Germany and post-structuralism in France.


Before the encounter in 1981 between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jacques Derrida, there had been virtually no confrontation or dialogue between hermeneutics in Germany and post-structuralism in France, nor has there been since then. Part I of this book makes available for the first time in English the complete texts of the encounter at the Goethe Institute in Paris. This exchange raised such issues as Gadamer's relation to psychoanalytic interpretation, the questionability of texts, Heidegger's reading of Nietzsche, and the dialogical aspect of language.

Part II offers further reflections by Gadamer on the encounter itself and its relation of hermeneutics to deconstruction. Among the issues covered are Derrida's interpretation of "Destruktion" in Heidegger, Derrida's attack on logocentrism in Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche, and the relation of Heidegger, hermeneutics, and deconstruction to dialectic.

Part III offers commentaries on the encounter from a variety of perspectives. The authors assess the original encounter as well as Gadamer's subsequent reflections on it.

Diane P. Michelfelder is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the California Polytechnic State University. Richard E. Palmer is Professor of Philosophy at MacMurray College.


"A showcase of Gadamer at his hermeneutical best … a vibrant volume which offers intriguing interpretations of such German authors as Goethe, Hölderlin, and Rilke. This will be a popular book with philosophers for some time to come. " — www. wordtrade. com

"It is important particularly for understanding some of the less obvious links and tensions between Derrida and contemporary German philosophy. It also reveals some fascinating subtleties in Gadamer's own thought. " — Rebecca Comay, University of Toronto