Art as Testimony of Tradition and Art as Testimony of Ordering Academic Article uri icon


  • Some critics charge that Gadamers approach to our experience of art remains mired in conservatism because he believes our experience of artworks depends on tradition. In this essay, I argue that this charge fails to address the full scope of Gadamers considerations of our experience of art. This becomes clear with an emendation that Gadamer appears to make to his Truth and Method account of artistic imitation, or, mimesis, in his later essay Art and Imitation. Whereas Gadamers approach to mimesis in Truth and Method provides testimony to the significance of tradition for our experience of artworks, his account in Art and Imitation make the supplementary proposal that our experience of artworks testify to a more fundamental and encompassing experience of what he shall simply refer to as order. Gadamer thereby suggests that our experience of artworks concerns not only foremost or exclusively our belonging to a tradition but, more originally, our possibilities for belonging as such.

published proceedings

  • International Journal for Hermeneutics

author list (cited authors)

  • George, T.

complete list of authors

  • George, Theodore

publication date

  • January 2017