It’s Time to Change the World, So Interpret It!: On Vattimo and Zabala’s Hermeneutic Communism

  • Liu LiangjianEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Hermeneutics book series (CONT HERMEN, volume 6)


With its potential strength in superficial weakness, I maintain that weak thought functions in the way of water that Laozi, an ancient Chinese sage of Daoism, highly praises. However, we may be skeptical of the connection between the abstract wisdom of Laozi and the dialectical triumph of weak thought. Weak thought will still be literally weak if it cannot give a satisfying answer to the question as to whether interpreting is enough to engender alternatives, emergencies or events to the world. When Marx claims that “philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”, he is calling for stepping over the gap between theory and practice, or the gap between knowing (zhi) and acting (xing), a typical expression in traditional Chinese philosophy. In spite of the impression that this challenge has been ignored in Hermeneutic Communism, I argue that Vattimo and Zabala realize that it cannot be easily circumvented.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy/Institute of Modern Chinese Thought and CultureEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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