More on Gadamer: Josh Cherniss has some thoughtful things to say about the question I posed below: was Gadamer a Nazi? Josh thinks that

one of Gadamer’s greatest personal virtues was also a part of his greatest moral failing, and that this same double-edged quality accounts for both an attractive strength, and a worrying weakness, in his work. Gadamer seems to have suffered from an excess of indulgence, of generosity, of tolerance; he was too charitable, at the time and afterwards, to colleagues who believed and did appalling things (though not towards certain fanatical out-and-out Nazis, whom Gadamer did distinguish from their milder colleagues and condemned). It wasn’t that Gadamer refused, or was even reluctant to, pass judgment; he did. But his judgments with regard to the behaviour of German academics under the Nazis strike me as too indulgent towards others – and towards himself. It was a tough situation, and we should indeed avoid passing hasty and arrogant judgment on those faced with a very hard decision . . . Gadamer’s thought, to the very limited extent I understand it, seems to me animated by his attractive and admirable commitment to dialogue and understanding, which Wolin notes at the beginning of his review. This is worth emulating and fostering. But, as Wolin also notes (and quotes Adorno to the effect of), we are also faced with a moral imperative to avoid repeating the horrors of Nazism – and to oppose those who would seek to repeat them. To the extent that Gadamer inspires us to greater humanity, humility, tolerance and understanding, he is a worthy ally in this project; but to the extent that adopting his philosophy and method may inhibit our ability to make tough judgments and take difficult stands, he may also be a sometimes unreliable and even dubious one.

Read the rest here.

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