Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is especially relevant for law, which is grounded in the interpretation of authoritative texts from the past to resolve present-day disputes. In this collection, leading scholars consider the importance of Gadamer’s philosophy for ongoing disputes in legal theory. The work of prominent philosophers, including Fred Dallmayr, P. Christopher Smith and David Hoy, is joined with the work of leading legal theorists, such as William Eskridge, Lawrence Solum and Dennis Patterson, to provide an overview of the connections between law and Gadamer’s hermeneutical philosophy. Part I considers the relevance of Gadamer’s philosophy to longstanding disputes in legal theory such as the debate over originalism, the rule of law and proper modes of statutory and constitutional exegesis. Part II demonstrates Gadamer’s significance for legal theory by comparing his approach to the work of Nietzsche, Habermas and Dworkin.
Contents: Series preface; Introduction; Part I Philosophical Hermeneutics and Legal Theory: Gadamer on the Exemplary Significance of Law for Hermeneutical Philosophy: The recovery of the fundamental hermeneutic problem, Hans-Georg Gadamer; Philosophical Hermeneutics and Jurisprudence: Hermeneutics and the rule of law, Fred Dallmayr; The politics of postmodern jurisprudence, Stephen M. Feldman; Authorial intent and hermeneutics, Dennis Patterson; Originalism as transformative politics, Lawrence B. Solum Law, hermeneutics and public debate, Georgia Warnke; Modes of Legal Interpretation: Statutory and Constitutional: Gadamer/statutory interpretation, William Eskridge; Reading the race power: a hermeneutic analysis, Alexander Reilly; Interpretation, critique, and adjudication: the search for constitutional hermeneutics, John T. Valauri. Part II Gadamer in Conversation with Other Leading Hermeneutic Philosophers on Law and Legal Theory: Gadamer and the Continental Tradition: On a general theory of interpretation: the Betti-Gadamer dispute in legal hermeneutics, George Wright; Gadamer and Nietzsche: From strife to understanding: pathological argument in Nietzsche and Gadamer, P. Christopher Smith; Responding to Nietzsche: the constructive power of destruktion, Francis J. Mootz III; Gadamer and Habermas: Determinacy, indeterminacy and rhetoric in a pluralist world, Mark Burton; Traces of violence: Gadamer, Habermas, and the hate speech problem, R. George Wright; Gadamer and Dworkin: Protestant hermeneutics and the rule of law: Gadamer and Dworkin, Kenneth Henley; Legal hermeneutics: recent debates, David Couzens Hoy; Dworkin's hermeneutics, Gregory Leyh. Index.