Paul Maslov Karlsson

Short presentation

Working on a doctoral thesis in aesthetics, on the notion of “mimetic truth” implicit in, yet fundamental to, the hermeneutical aesthetics of Hans-Georg Gadamer. Have given a course on Gadamer's Hermeneutical Aesthetics at the graduate level in aesthetics at UU, and a lecture on 'L'esthétique de Gadamer' at the Université de Montréal. I earn my living as a technical translator, and am working on the first translation of Québois poet Gaston Miron's main collection of poems into Swedish.


  • aristotle
  • critique of ideology
  • darstellungsästhetik
  • descartes
  • gadamer
  • hegel
  • hermeneutics
  • interpretation
  • mimesis
  • ontology
  • phenomenology
  • plato
  • poetics
  • presentation
  • translation
  • werkästhetik


Curriculum vitae

Studies in history, aesthetics, theoretical philosophy and latin at the universities in Stockholm and Uppsala.

Worked prior to doctoral studies for several years as personal assistant for a disabled man, in the social services for the elderly and as a technical translator from English, French and German into Swedish. Strong interest in nursing and translation.

Master paper in theoretical philosophy on ”Descartes’ Meditations as Spiritual Exercises” (in Swedish), applying Pierre Hadot’s interpretation of ancient philosophy as a way of life to Descartes’ ”Meditationes de Prima Philosophia”, thus reading ”the father of modern philosophy” as an heir to ancient philosophy.

Bachelor paper in aesthetics about the concept of play (Spiel) in Gadamer’s main work ”Wahrheit und Methode” (”Truth and Method”).

Currently working on a dissertation with the project title ”Critical Hermeneutical Mimesis”, starting out from the rehabilitation of the ancient concept of art as mimesis in the hermeneutic philosophies of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur with a view to develop, through a dialogical confrontation between Gadamer’s ontological hermeneutics of tradition and Ricoeur’s critical hermeneutics, a thematic concept of mimesis both hermeneutical and critical.

Research interests: mimesis, representation, hermeneutics, interpretation, translation, aesthetics, poetics, ontology, critique, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hadot.


This text is not available in English, therefore the Swedish version is shown.

Currently working on a dissertation with the project title ”Mimetic Truth – a Study in Hans-Georg Gadamer's Hermeneutical Aesthetics”, starting out from the rehabilitation of the ancient concept of mimesis as a fundamental determination of the nature of art in the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, and reading Gadamer's mimeticism as intimately linked to his rehabilitation of “the question concerning the truth of art”. My claim is that, althoug never explicitly spelled out, underlying Gadamer's hermenutical aesthetics is a fundamental notion of “mimetic truth”, that I propose to clarify, conceptually articulate, and then apply to some central problems formulated in the historical debates between the aesthetics of reception, the critique of ideology, and Gadamer's hermenutics of the artwork. The interpretation of Gadamer's conjoined notions of “mimesis” and “truth of art” is developed through a discussion of Gadamer in relation to Plato, Aristotle and Hegel, centered on Gadamer's notion of the “Wirkungseinheit”, the unitary effect or influence, of what he calls the “Platonico-Aristotelian philosophy of eidos [and logos]”, of which he sees Hegel as the modern inheritor, and in which Gadamer himself should be inscribed. Thus, Gadamer's hermeneutical aesthetics should on the one hand be historically and exegetically discussed in relation to Plato, Aristotle, and Hegel, and on the other hand thematically positioned in relation to, primarily, the aesthetics of reception of Hans-Robert Jauss, and the “negative aesthetics” of Adorno.

Paul Maslov Karlsson