International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Issue | Article

The awareness of human finitude and creativity

Hermeneutic phenomenology in response to the contemporary ethical and political challenges

Gašper Pirc

pp. 185-218

In the article, I argue that Gadamer's hermeneutic phenomenology could serve as a basis for the understanding of contemporary social challenges by providing us with pre-requirements for conducting responsible ethics and politics, particularly due to its exposition of awareness of our finiteness, the importance of conversation and the significance of practical wisdom (phronesis). I also claim that Gadamer's hermeneutics cannot be fully appropriated and that it should be supplemented with the philosophy that is attentive to the ever-present possibility of radical difference which eludes domestication and demands creative response to its challenge. I emphasize the role of imagination in responsible approaching to the true alterity and investigate Kant's, Castoriadis' and Ricoeur's insights into said faculty. I conclude that both the awareness of our historicity, which orients us in the world, and imagination, which assists us in reaching to the other, must be recognized as the pre-conditions of responsible ethical action in contemporary society.

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