Chapter

Father Adam and His Feuding Sons: An Interpretation of the Hermeneutical Turn in Continental Philosophy

Merold Westphal

in Overcoming Onto-Theology

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780823221301
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235483 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823221301.003.0008

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Father Adam and His Feuding Sons: An             Interpretation of the Hermeneutical Turn in Continental Philosophy

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This chapter suggests that the story of the hermeneutical turn in continental philosophy can be told in biblical terms. In the place of Father Adam (or Father Isaac) is Father Heidegger, and in the place of the feuding sons, Cain and Abel (or Jacob and Esau), are the reactionary son, Gadamer, and the radical son, Derrida. Against the claim that Gadamer is the reactionary and Derrida, the radical son of Heidegger, it argues that they are equally radical and that appearances to the contrary stem from the fact that while Gadamer emphasizes what one can have, Derrida stresses what one cannot. The chapter also describes the hermeneutical turn that separates Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida from Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Betti, and Hirsch.

Keywords: Adam; Heidegger; reactionary son; Gadamer; Derrida; hermeneutical turn; radical son

Chapter.  11041 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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