Gadamer, Hans-Georg (b. 1900) Contemporary German philosopher and hermeneutical theorist. Throughout his writings, Hans-Georg Gadamer elaborates and critically extends the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics set by Friedrich D.E. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) in biblical studies, Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) in historiography, and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) in fundamental ontology. Gadamer's hermeneutical theory, with its key concept of historically effected consciousness, involves a careful dialogue with the Western philosophical tradition, starting with Plato and Aristotle and focusing on the perennial question of the conditions of truth and knowledge, by tracing expressions of human understanding from Greek philosophy to Renaissance art (aesthetics) to contemporary critical theory. Gadamer's wide-ranging and uniquely interdisciplinary scholarship is important to scholars in biblical studies, critical theory, legal studies, literature, philosophy, and rhetoric.