A Philosophical Portrait
Donatella Di Cesare, translated by Niall Keane and Donatella Di Cesare
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/20/2013
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00763-6
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Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), one of the towering figures of contemporary Continental philosophy, is best known for Truth and Method, where he elaborated the concept of "philosophical hermeneutics," a programmatic way to get to what we do when we engage in interpretation. Donatella Di Cesare highlights the central place of Greek philosophy, particularly Plato, in Gadamer's work, brings out differences between his thought and that of Heidegger, and connects him with discussions and debates in pragmatism. This is a sensitive and thoroughly readable philosophical portrait of one of the 20th century’s most powerful thinkers.

Author Bio

Donatella Di Cesare is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." She is author of Grammatica dei tempi messianici and Ermeneutica della finitezza.

Niall Keane is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Limerick.


“A very readable book with great scholarly qualities. I have read it with sustained passion, and have learned a number of things in the process.”
 — Rodolphe Gasché, SUNY Buffalo

“The book is a pleasure to read because the writing is clean and efficient without ever being simplistic or trite. This is a testament to Di Cesare, but it also reflects the excellent work of the translator, Niall Keane.”
 — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“'Gadamer: A Philosophical Portrait' by Donatella DiCesare . . . offers a finely written (not to mention well-translated) and concise overview of Gadamer's work from beginning to end.54.4 Dec. 2014”
 — International Philosophical Quarterly

“The book truly works as a portrait, beginning with a succinct bibliographic chapter that unites Gadamer’s life and his philosophy. . . It is a starting point for hermeneutical thought, rather than an encyclopedic account or a tin-eared critical intervention.”
 — Francis J. Mootz III

“The author's portrait of her mentor, Hans-Georg Gadamer, offers English readers a masterful but intimate tour through the sprawling museum of Gadamer's work with a guide who is an artist in her own right. Di Cesare treats the full gamut of Gadamer's thinking, including his later works and directions. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Living Through a Century
2. The Event of Truth
3. Lingering in Art
4. On the Way to a Philosophical Hermeneutics
5. The Constellation of Understanding
6. An Ethics Close to Life
7. The Hiddenness of Socrates: Philosophical Hermeneutics and Greek Philosophy
8. The Horizon of Dialogue
9. Hermeneutics as Philosophy
10. Keeping the Dialogue Going

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