Mendelson J.-The Habermas-Gadamer Debate

The full implications of the Habermas-Gadamer debate have yet to drawn. In 1967, in the context of a discussion of the methodology ofsoCIal science Habermas criticized Gadamer’s hermeneutics.

His criticisms precipi;ated a confrontation which included replies and counter-replies by the two main figures as well as contributions by Karl-Otto Apel, Albrect Wellmer, and Paul Ricoeur. 1But the discussions ofthis intellectual event m English thus far have been eitherlargely exegetical or have failed to put the issues in their proper context and to assess their broader Implicatlons. In particular, the meaning ofthe debate for Marxism and critical theory has to be made clear. It hinges most fundamentally on the relation of CrItical theory to the livin traditions which revail in the societies in which criti ue arises and which it see s to transform.