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In previous papers I have brought philosophical hermeneutics in conversation with critical hermeneutics, in order to open the potential for Gadamer’s “moderate hermeneutics” to be re-considered as a potential democratic practice of discourse with the potential of transforming social situations that are unjust and inequitable (Magrini, 2015; 2014). Emerging from this conceptual/theoretical “textual” analysis of philosophical hermeneutics and critical hermeneutics, I offer a reading of the ancient Socratic practice of dialectic as a form of critical, inclusive, and constructive democratic dialogue, i.e., an expression of local normative hermeneutics grounded in a form of understanding that occurs through consensus and negotiation among, as Plato calls them in the Seventh Letter, “well-meaning” and “noncombative” participants.


Conference paper presented at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference, April 16, 2015.

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