This book provides an introduction to Hans-Georg Gadamer's thinking and shows how it might inform our own thinking about education as a lifelong process of engaging with one another and with the wider world. He insisted on the supreme importance of prior learning, but also on the unpredictability of human understanding and on the possibility of new and unforeseeable beginnings. Having lived through the catastrophe of two world wars, he became an important voice in the debate on the future of a reunified Germany and the role of the university in shaping the values and outlook of the new Europe.
His work is of immense significance for all those involved in the education of future generations.
'In Gadamer: The Hermeutical Imagination, Jon Nixon has pulled off quite a feat. In his customary lucid, accessible and dialogical style, we are treated to a masterly tour that both opens the complex thinking of Hans-Georg Gadamer and draws out its implications for our understanding of education. In the process, a strong critique emerges of contemporary instrumental approaches to education. Many will assuredly gain much from this enjoyable text, both those interested in Gadamer as such and those working in the philosophy of education.'
Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education, UK
'This book simultaneously invites the reader to engage with the transformative potential of education and provokes the reader to imagine an educational landscape that values freedom, democracy and authenticity. Jon Nixon skilfully and eloquently draws the reader into the philosophies, life and legacy of Hans-Goerg Gadamer, a key thinker of the 20th century. Meticulously researched, this original study offers a biographical insight as well as critical commentary on Gadamer's contribution to wider educational debates. An impressive contribution to the field.'
Tanya Fitzgerald, Professor of History of Education, La Trobe University, Australia
'Gadamer: The Hermeneutical Imagination provides an excellent introduction to Gadamer's key ideas. Jon Nixon draws his readers into a conversation with Gadamer, inviting them to imagine the possibility of applying Gadamer's hermeneutical philosophy to their own educational practice. It is essential reading for all those who have an interest in - and commitment to - the future of education.'
Feng Su, Senior Lecturer in Education, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Jon Nixon has held chairs at four UK universities and is currently a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development, Honk Kong Institute of Education. His recently authored works include Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Friendship (Bloomsbury, 2015), Interpretive Pedagogies for Higher Education: Arendt, Berger, Said, Nussbaum and their Legacies (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Higher Education and the Public Good (Bloomsbury, 2011). He has also recently co-edited Academic Identities and Higher Education: the Changing European Landscape (with Evans, Bloomsbury, 2015) and The Reorientation of Higher Education: Challenging the East-West Dichotomy (with Adamson and Su, Springer/University of Hong Kong, 2012) He is currently working on an authored book entitled Rosa Luxemburg and the Struggle for Democratic Renewal (Pluto Press, forthcoming) and is a founding editor of the Bloomsbury Perspectives in Leadership in Higher Education series.
Preface.- Acknowledgements.- About the author.- 1. An examined life.- 2. The acknowledged self.- 3. Mutual understanding.- 4. Beyond method.- 5. Educational imaginaries.- References.- Index.