The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

Basic information

  • Author(s):
    • Darren Walhof
  • Published: January 1, 2017
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Page count: 145
  • ISBN: 978-3319468631
  • eBook ISBN: 978-3319468648

The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

This book examines the distinctive contribution that the writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer make to democratic theory. Walhof argues that Gadamer’s hermeneutical philosophy enlarges our perspective by shifting our view away from individual citizens to what exists between citizens, thereby allowing us to envision political realities that are otherwise hard to see. These realities include the disclosure of truth in democratic politics; achieving common ground in democratic dialogue, even amidst significant disagreement and diversity; the public and political nature of the religious traditions that make claims on and shape citizens; and the solidarities that connect us to each other and enable democratic action.

The author argues that bringing these dimensions to awareness enriches our theories of democracy and is particularly crucial in an era of hyper-partisanship, accelerating inequality, and social conflicts involving racial, sexual, and religious identities.

Darren Walhof is a Professor of Political Science at Grand Valley State University, and a recent Senior Fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College.


  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: