Bibliographical Advice:

How to Find Articles, Doctoral Theses,

and other Writings by and about Gadamer

While it is relatively easy to locate books nowadays with and, the finding of articles by and about Gadamer is a little more difficult. Here are some directions for finding articles and doctoral theses by and about Gadamer in English and other languages.

First, the definitive bibliographical reference work on Gadamer's writings is the Gadamer-Bibliographie (1922-1994), 349 pages, by Etsuro Makita. Published in German by Peter Lang (New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna) in 1995, it is an indispensible reference for every serious Gadamer scholar and library. Well-indexed, it lists in chronological order each book, article, book review, published letter, or interview by Gadamer-and all the available translations that Makita was able to unearth, and he found astonishingly many! Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print at the present time! Libraries and used bookstores are your resource in this case.

But Makita did not include books and articles about Gadamer (i.e. secondary sources). In chronological order Makita lists the original German publication of each book, article, review, or interview, then he attempts to list translations of it in all languages-Polish, Czeck, Italian, French, Spanish, Finnish, Japanese, etc., and of course English. For instance, twelve translations of Truth and Method are listed besides English. Makita's bibliography is helping Gadamer scholars all over the world. Although the explanatory and descriptive material is in German, the book can be used by non-German-speakers with the help of a small German dictionary. A little logic decodes the classifications-books are listed first in chronological order under B (Bücher) then articles under A (Aufsätze), then shorter writings and interviews under K (for kleine), then reviews under R. German words that are repeatedly used, like herausgegeben von (edited by) can be picked up quickly by the beginning user. Etsuro Makita, a professor of philosophy at Science University of Tokyo, has continued to update his Gadamer bibliography (also in German) both with earlier works he overlooked and with writings that have been published since 1994. He appreciates receiving copies of Gadamer writings he may have omitted.

For a shorter and more selective bibliography of the major articles and books by Gadamer published in German and English but not other languages, see "Hans-Georg Gadamer's Writings 1922-1996" in The Philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer, edited by Lewis E. Hahn, volume 24 in the "Library of Living Philosophers" series (Chicago and LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1997): 555-602. Compiled by the present author, this list is based on Makita's comprehensive bibliography, with the addition of two pages listing honors Gadamer has received, a page or two of secondary books about Gadamer, plus a list of over a hundred radio and television interviews, some of which were also in Makita's bibliography. The two pages of honors give ten memberships in scholarly "academies of arts and sciences" from all over the world (Boston, Rome, Athens, Budapest, London, Brussels, Leipzig, etc.), twelve major prizes he received, including the highest prize in any discipline that can be offered in Germany (the Reuchlin prize), and seven honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. To this list can be added another honorary doctorate-from the University of Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) in 1998. The list of radio and television interviews is unfortunately almost exclusively from Germany, with a couple from Italy, so of course the many from the U.S. and around the world were left out. Still, this list is the first publication of a list of these interviews in German, which is valuable because scholars can obtain recording tape copies of them from the archives listed in the bibliography.

A 27-page bibliography in English, "Gadamer and Hermeneutics," was compiled by Hélène Volat-Shapiro in the collection of articles, Gadamer and Hermeneutics, edited and introduced by Hugh J. Silverman (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 311-327. Unlike the list of books only offered here, this bibliography lists both books and articles on Gadamer in English on pp. 318-327. And in 1998 a 64-page bibliography was published by Joan Nordquist, Hans-Georg Gadamer: A Bibliography (Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1998).

It is also helpful to know that volume 10 of the Gesammelte Werke lists the tables of contents of all ten volumes (all articles and books important enough to be included) and offers alphabetical indices of translated writings that are available in English, in French, and in Italian translation (pp. 472-479). Of particular value for readers of Gadamer in English is a list of 110 of Gadamer's essays in English on pp. 472-476. Published in 1995, however, this information in volume 10 is already dated by the considerable number of translations that have recently appeared. (For these consult the Makita website address given above.)

Finally, articles and dissertations about Gadamer can be located on the internet and usually obtained at a reasonable price. In order to use the more specialized search engines-such as those available through OCLC (Online Cataloging Library Consortium)-a special library access code and password are needed. This means you probably will not be able to access it on your home computer. You will have to go to the local library or nearest university library. The next directions assume you have found the library-available access to academic search engines. To find the titles of books and masters and doctoral theses on Gadamer and hermeneutics in the on-line university card catalogues and in the Library of Congress, use First Search on the OCLC, if available, and the search engine called "World Cat" (World Catalog). For hundreds of articles by and about Gadamer, try "Wilson Select" search engine and other specialized search engines available on OCLC First Search. Also, new search engines, such as EBSCO, are available. Many articles can be printed out right there at the computer (sometimes for no charge); other entries give you only an abstract. Once you have the bibliographical data of a masters or doctoral dissertation on Gadamer or hermeneutics, you can often obtain it through interlibrary loan, or you can usually order a hardcopy at a reasonable price from University of Michigan Microfilms. So in your local library you can now access not only its own holdings but books and articles from all over the world, although access to articles in German is much more limited.

Welcome to the brave new world of internet specialized search engines! You may want to try Noesis:


Richard E. Palmer, 9 August 2000

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