In this Book

The Life of Understanding
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In Gadamer's hermeneutics, interpretation is inseparable from the broader concern of making one's way in life. In this book, James Risser builds on this insight about the juxtaposition of human living and the act of understanding by tracing hermeneutics back to the basic experience of philosophy as defined by Plato. For Risser, Plato provides resources for new directions in hermeneutics and new possibilities for "the life of understanding" and "the understanding of life." Risser places Gadamer in dialogue with Plato, with the issue of memory as a conceptual focus. He develops themes pertaining to hermeneutics such as retrieval as a matter of convalescence, exile as a venture into the foreign, formation with respect to oneself and to life with others, the experience of language in hermeneutics, and the relationship between speaking and writing.

Table of Contents

  1. COVER
  2. pp. c-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction: Platonic Gestures
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. One: Memory and Life: Hermeneutics as Convalescence
  2. pp. 8-26
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  1. Two: Distressed Memory: Hermeneutics and the Venture of the Foreign
  2. pp. 27-44
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  1. Three: Beyond Distress: Toward a Community of Memory
  2. pp. 45-59
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  1. Four: The Fabric of Life: Dialectics, Discourse, and the Art of Weaving
  2. pp. 60-72
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  1. Five: Severed Threads: The Incapacity of Language
  2. pp. 73-85
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  1. Six: Reading beyond the Letter: On Memory and Writing
  2. pp. 86-98
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  1. Seven: The Flash of Beauty
  2. pp. 99-112
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 113-130
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 131-138
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 139-143
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