Education and the Formative Power of Hermeneutic Practice


  • J.R. Nicholas Davey University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.



hermeneutics, interpretation, incommensurability, subject-matters, practice, education, social renewal


This paper seeks to clarify the educational role and effects of hermeneutic practice. The argument is that far from becoming irrelevant to the ever changing needs of the social economy, the humanities and especially the hermeneutic practices on which they depend, are vital to intensifying those processes of social and cultural renewal upon which the well-being of a community depends.

Author Biography

J.R. Nicholas Davey, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.

Professor Nicholas Davey, M.A. D.Phil, Former HOD and Dean, School of Humanities.

Nicholas Davey (b.1950) was educated at the Universities of York, Sussex and Tübingen. He has lectured at the City University London (I976-79), at the University of Manchester (I989-80), the University of Wales Institute Cardiff Institute (I981-I996) and is presently Professor of Philosophy having served as Dean of Humanities at the University of Dundee. His principal teaching and research interests are in aesthetics and hermeneutics. He has served as the President of the British Society for Phenomenology, advised the British Society for Aesthetics, has assisted Oxford and Cambridge University Presses and many others, and also works for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and for the Higher Education Research Evaluation Framework. He regularly teaches abroad running hermeneutics workshops in Canada, Brazil, the United States, Sweden and Finland.At the University of Wales and at the University of Dundee he established new graduate and post-graduate courses in art and philosophy as well as the research groups Theoros and Hermeneutica Scotia. He has published widely in the field ofContinental Philosophy, aesthetics and hermeneutic theory. His book, Unquiet Understanding, Gadamer and Philosophical Hermeneutics,(2006), is published with the State University Press of New York. His book Unfinished Worlds, Hermeneutucs,Aesthetics and Gadamer Hermeneutics appears with Edinburgh University Press. He is currently working on a monograph entitled Unsettled Subjects, a Hermeneutical Defense of the Humanities.


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