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Hans-Georg Gadamer and African Hermeneutic Philosophy

With language at the center of interpretation and understanding, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics claims to provide a solution of the intercultural problem of language and hermeneutics. He moves us to a higher universality, especially with regard to literature or texts and inner meaning. If this is the case, his approach would be relevant to the problems […]

ISBN: 978-9975-3402-8-1

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978-9975-3402-8-1

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294

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With language at the center of interpretation and understanding, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics claims to provide a solution of the intercultural problem of language and hermeneutics. He moves us to a higher universality, especially with regard to literature or texts and inner meaning. If this is the case, his approach would be relevant to the problems present in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Hence the goal of this book is to apply this claim to universality to a hermeneutic or narrative text like Achebe’s. Achebe’s narrative text, like the Greek texts, is an excellent work for the application of universal hermeneutics. I am not questioning the validity of the universality of hermeneutics, but rather expressing how significant Gadamer’s approach is to understanding other people, cultural texts and worldviews if hermeneutics is universal. Gadamer provides the philosophical optimism and platform that most African scholars’ need in the interpretation and understanding of their own cultural texts and being understood by other non-African and European cultures and philosophical persuasions. Hermeneutics considers every text or people’s worldviews as interpretive or capable of communicating meaning despite being different, foreign or strange to us. The universality of hermeneutics at its best leads to a dialogic hermeneutics in a world of global understanding/peaceful co-existence.