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This essay argues that HansGeorg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics J├╝rgen Habermas's communication theory and Jacques Derrida's deconstruction all fit together within one philosophical paradigm metamodernism Metamodernism as defined is opposed to both modernism and radical forms of postmodernism Within metamodernism a political conundrum provides the key clue for understanding the relations among Gadamer Habermas and Derrida as well as for elaborating the contours of the paradigm Specifically the political implications of the three philosophies are intransitive they seem to shift around rather than being in fixed relations to each other So for instance Gadamer sometimes seems to the political right of both Habermas and Derrida but then at different times he stands between them and then again at other times he seems to be to the left of both This political paradox suggests that the traditional modernist political categories of liberalism and conservatism do not suitably reflect the critical positions within metamodernism Gadamer Habermas and Derrida are far more concerned with explaining the possibility and techniques of interpretive and social critique while remaining true to the metamodernist paradigm rather than fitting themselves into the traditional liberal or conservative political camps

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