Dialogue and Community: The Ethical Claim of Tradition

In: Journal of the Philosophy of History
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of North Florida; Department of Philosophy, Alpen-Adria Universitat,
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


The essay reconstructs an ethical approach towards history. The hermeneutic insight into the requirement for a dialogical access to the meaning of history is shown to entail an ethical dimension. The central thesis is that tradition raises an existential claim towards the interpreter that requires a dialogical recognition of the other’s expressed perspectives. The essay develops this thesis via a concept of tradition as an intersubjective community based on dialogue, which is inspired by Hans-Georg Gadamer’s reflections on the intertwinement of dialogical interpretation, tradition, and the ethical recognition of the other. The Gadamerian concept of tradition will nevertheless be radically revised so as to be suitable for historical interpretation. Dialogical recognition will now reach beyond the textual claims of linguistically raised validity claims to include an existential openness towards the other’s fully situated life-projects and narratives. The argument culminates in the introduction of an existential claim that history entails, and from there establishes a thorough rejection and critique of interpretive objectivism as well as of interpretive presentism.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 201 39 2
Full Text Views 161 1 1
PDF Views & Downloads 35 4 2