Critical Theory and the Hermeneutical Circle
This paper examines the debate between Gadamer and Habermas concerning the relationship between hermeneutics and critical theory. Formulating the hermeneutical circle in terms of relationship between understanding and interpretation, this paper examines three positions on the circle held by positivism, critical theory and hermeneutics, respectively. A commitment to method and procedure on the part of Habermas is offered as the basis for critical theory's limited acceptance of the hermeneutical circle. This is shown through an analysis of Knowledge and Human Interests as indicative of Habermas's implicit objectivism and his methodical, as opposed to hermeneutical, model of reasoning for social inquiry.
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Colburn, Kenneth, "Critical Theory and the Hermeneutical Circle" Sociological Inquiry / (1986): 367-380.
Available at http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/600