Richard Rorty, in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, finds the culmination of "Philosophy Without Mirrors" to be in a shift from an epistemological to a hermeneutical orientation for philosophical endeavours. On this matter he cites Hans Gadamer. I want here to suggest an understanding of hermeneutics that utilizes the semiotics of C.S. Peirce to at once incorporate Gadamer's most salient points while precluding Rorty's use of them. In this I hope to show how both Peirce and Gadamer can maintain their anti-Cartesian stance without falling into the easy relativism of Rorty's position. This, in the end, gives a very different account of hermeneutics from the one presented by Rorty.


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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