"There would be no speaker and no art of speaking," writes Gadamer, "if understanding and consent were not in question, were not underlying elements; there would be no hermeneutical task if there were no mutual understanding that has been disturbed and that those involved in a conversation must search for and find again together." It is this interpenetration of the two arts — speaking and interpretation — which I will address in this paper. My aim is to point to areas in which hermeneutic phenomenology, as conceptualized by Heidegger in Being and Time, and developed as a basis for philosophical hermeneutics by Gadamer in Truth and Method and later writings, is making its mark in the field of speech communication. My primary purpose for doing so is to offer a report of the impact of philosophical hermeneutics upon one field. But I admit a second purpose: the three areas discussed are each represented by scholars of speech communication, many of whom see their relation to the other areas as primarily an institutionally-contrived one. Implicit in the paper is the argument that these areas have more to talk about with one another than they often suppose.


Presented at the 11th Annual Philosophy Colloquium of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Dayton, held in March 1982.



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