Georgia Warnke began her career by studying the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, the foremost contemporary proponent of hermeneutics, a philosophical approach that centers on interpretation as dialogue across times and cultures. In this book, she traces the myriad ways in which interpretive perspectives have come to prominence in modem political philosophy. Focusing on the work of John Rawls, Michael Walzer, Ronald Dworkin, Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Jurgen Habermas, Warnke finds an increasing concern with the grounding of political norms in communal values rather than on abstract, universal principles.
Warnke develops the implications of this hermeneutic turn in political philosophy, identifying and defining a range of unresolved problems and suggesting a new model of democracy that takes free and equal discussion and mutual education as its primary values.
Georgia Warnke is Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Riverside.