We next engage with the philosophy of Hans–Georg Gadamer, with a view to building on the conclusions arrived at through an internal critique of Habermas’s idealizing presuppositions. My aim here is to show that, although a concern with rationality has been less to the foreground in Gadamer’s writings, philosophical hermeneutics has a major contribution to make to the development of a revitalized dialogical conception of rationality adequate to postfoundationalist needs. In particular, engagement with Gadamer’s hermeneutics serves to underscore the intrinsically situated and contextual character of human understanding and hence of rational critique, thereby correcting for the shortcomings of Habermas’s ‘highly abstract concept of coercion–free discourse which totally loses sight of the real conditions of human praxis’. 1 In addition, it highlights both the inherently interrogative character of critical inquiry and its developmental orientation whereby the attainment of each new level of understanding opens up new horizons to be further investigated, as does each shift in historical perspective. In so doing, as we shall see, hermeneutic thinking does much to legitimize a conception of inquiry oriented more toward the transformative advancement of understanding than toward the attainment of consensus as such. But if philosophical hermeneutics thus has a significant contribution to make to the development of a viable postfoundationalist conception of rationality, it remains the case that the liberation of this potential requires making explicit themes which remain largely implicit in Gadamer’s own statement of his position and hence, as prefigured earlier, an element of ‘destructive retrieve’, informed by the debate with Habermas, is needed to advance this goal. We will also need to respond to critics who have expressed scepticism about the ability of hermeneutic inquiry to secure its own grounding.