Gadamer; political theory; solidarity; friendship; recognition; Arendt; Rorty
This article makes the political dimension of Gadamer’s thought more explicit by examining the interplay of three concepts in his work: solidarity, friendship, and the other. Focusing primarily on certain post–Truth and Method writings, I argue that Gadamer’s conception of solidarity has to do with historically contingent manifestations of bonds that reflect a civic life together of reciprocal co-perception. These bonds go beyond conscious recognition of observable similarities and differences and emerge from encounters among those who are, and remain, in important ways other to each other. I make this case through an analysis of Gadamer’s phenomenology of friendship and the crucial role of otherness in his accounts of both understanding and friendship. I suggest that Gadamer’s political thought gives us a way of conceptualizing solidarity and otherness without making the other same or leaving the other completely other.
Walhof, Darren R., "Friendship, Otherness, and Gadamer’s Politics of Solidarity" (2006). Peer Reviewed Articles. 7.