Born in 1900 and passed away in 2002, Hans-Georg Gadamer is a central figure, even in purely biographical terms, of 20th century philosophy. His main work, "Truth and Method", is considered a classic. But what are the key features of his philosophical viewpoint? And how did it develop and change over the years? This books tells the story of the Marburg philosopher and traces all the stages of his thought, including his years as a student in his home town, the Nazi and war era in Leipzig, the birth of hermeneutics, and his later success in the United States and the world. Art games, history and its effects, the issue of comprehension, a life-centred ethics, the role of language: these are the theoretical nodes around which there developed a set of ideas that over time distanced itself from Heidegger and opted for Platonic dialogue. Philosophical hermeneutics, rejecting any metaphysical foundation but embracing universality, accepts the concept of finiteness and yet, at the same time, undertakes an endless dialogue with the other main currents of philosophical thought: Habermas's critique of ideology, Rorty's pragmatism, Derrida's deconstructionism, and Vattimo's weak thought.
Donatella Di Cesare teaches Philosophy of Language at La Sapienza University in Rome.