The Dangers of "Pure Feeling": A Warning to Feminist Interpretations of Hans-Georg Gadamer

Sinéad Murphy

Abstract


By analyzing the feminist debates on Hans-Georg Gadamer, the author shows that feminist critics point to the need either to supplement or to replace Gadamer's philosophy with a greater sensitivity to the historical implications of women's experience. Thus, they are of the view either that Gadamer's philosophy has yet to come to terms with specific historical situations or that Gadamer's philosophy cannot come to terms with historical situatedness per se. The author contends that Gadamer's femi-nist critics do not locate the source of his residual transcendentalism where it should be located: in the account of aesthetic judgment as a "pure feeling" that underpins his entire philosophy. This has the effect, of appearing to preserve aesthetic judgment as "pure feeling" as an apparently innocent remedy, to which some of his feminist critics actually appeal in opposition to his transcendentalism. The author argues, to the contrary, that aesthetic judgment, as a "pure feeling," is at once too com-plicit in the tradition that feminists seek to engage with, traditionally too insubstantial to make a rich resource for a feminist critique of that tradition, and ultimately too traditionally male-centered to be easily coopted by a feminist philosopher.


Keywords


Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hermeneutics, Feelings, Transcendentalism, Aesthetic Judgement, History, Feminist Critique

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25180/lj.v16i1.32

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:101:1-201708025470

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Copyright (c) 2014 Sinéad Murphy

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PRINTED ISSN: 2410-4817

ONLINE ISSN: 1561-8927

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25180/lj

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