Hermeneutics and Epistemology

A Conflicting Convergence

  • Pier Luigi Lecis Università degli studi di Cagliari


In a collection of essays published in the 1970s under the title Vernunft in die Zeitalter der Wissenschaft, Gadamer confronts developments in analytical epistemology, arguing about epistemology from a hermeneutical point of view. Relations between the two traditions remain difficult. Paolo Parrini was among the few who opened to a real dialogue, neither superficial nor formal. He considered the hermeneutical tradition from an epistemological point of view, finding many connections via a third view between metaphysical realism and strong relativism. This theoretically dense and challenging perspective was expressed in two essays – “Ermeneutica ed epistemologia” (1998) and “Ermeneutica ed epistemologia 2: Heidegger, Kant e la verità” (2011). Parrini focused on the concept of Offenheit der Erfahrung in Gadamer’s Wahrheit und Methode and, later, on Heidegger’s theory of truth as alètheia. In this paper the author argues that original results of Parrini’s research confirm the fruitfulness of the encounter between hermeneutics and epistemology. He tries at the same time to identify some friction points and theoretical constraints, for further comparative development, in theory of language and theory of history, on which Gadamer’s ontological hermeneutics lies. The first tends to eliminate any distance between experience and language; the second presents conflicting aspects about identity conditions of past events, as investigated in history. To become fully productive, the dialogue between epistemological and hermeneutical traditions will be able to face a deep revision about these topics.


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How to Cite
Lecis, P. (2024). Hermeneutics and Epistemology. Critical Hermeneutics, 8(special), 333-382. https://doi.org/10.13125/CH/6154

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