Philosophizing by Listening to the Past

Date(s) - 11/12/19
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Wheaton College Blanchard Hall

Hosted by
Wheaton College

Philosophizing by Listening to the Past

Wheaton College

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:30 – 9pm

The Department of Philosophy at Wheaton College presents the third lecture in our 2019-20 Philosophy Speaker Series, “Philosophizing by Listening to the Past.” The lecture will be given by Dr. David Vessey on Tuesday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Vessey writes: “Hans-Georg Gadamer argues that it is impossible to do work in the history of philosophy without philosophizing. Others too hold the view that there is no sharp distinction to be made between doing the history of philosophy and doing philosophy; what makes Gadamer unique is his view applies not just to philosophical texts, but to philosophically relevant works of literature or of non-philosophical disciplines. That is because according to Gadamer what matters is the specific way we engage in dialogue with the texts and listen to what they have to tell us. I will use historical debates in homiletics—in the theory of preaching—to illustrate Gadamer’s point and to raise a concern about Gadamer’s own emphasis on listening as the model for engaging philosophically with the past.”

David Vessey is Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University. He has been a visiting scholar in the philosophy departments at the University of Minnesota, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Oregon. He has published more than 20 articles on hermeneutics and focuses on the intersection between philosophical hermeneutics and other twentieth-century philosophical traditions, and on the history of hermeneutics.



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