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Hermeneutics

Edited by Theodore George (Texas A&M University)
Assistant editor: Jennifer Gaffney (Texas A&M University)
About this topic
Summary

Hermeneutics concerns the study of understanding and interpretation. While this study includes consideration of the art, techniques, methods, and foundations of interpretative research in the humanities and related disciplines, philosophical inquiry into hermeneutics characteristically focuses on questions raised by the phenomena of understanding and interpretation in epistemology, the theory of meaning, the ontology of human beings, and the philosophy of language and history. Philosophical interest in hermeneutics may be traced back to ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian sources but the philosophical tradition of modern hermeneutics originates in the early nineteenth century. The principal figures associated with this modern tradition of hermeneutics are Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Paul Ricoeur. The philosophical study of hermeneutics both draws from and is of consequence for several related areas of research, perhaps especially biblical hermeneutics, legal hermeneutics, the philosophy of medicine, and the philosophy of education.

Key works

Although philosophical study of hermeneutics has a history that reaches back to ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian sources, the major figures and works associated with modern hermeneutics date from the turn of the nineteenth century. Of nineteenth century sources, an introduction to the contributions of Friedrich Schleiermacher, often characterized as the principal proponent of Romantic hermeneutics, may be found in Hermeneutics and Criticism.  Main lines of Wilhelm Dilthey’s thought may be discerned from his first important theoretical work, Introduction to the Human Sciences. Heidegger’s radicalization of hermeneutics in the first part of the century is developed in an important 1923 lecture course, published as Ontology—the Hermeneutics of Facticity as well as in his masterwork Being and Time. The major work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, the name perhaps most associated with hermeneutics in our time, is Truth and Method. Indications of the some of the most important developments in Gadamer’s later thought may be found in The Gadamer Reader: A Bouquet of The Later Writings. Many of the main lines of Paul Ricoeur’s contributions to hermeneutics may be found in The Conflict of Interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics. For a broader overview of figures and works associated with modern hermeneutics, see, for example, Kurt Mueller-Vollmer, ed., The Hermeneutics Reader: Texts from the German Tradition from the Enlightenment to the Present and Gayle L. Ormiston and Alan Schrift, eds., The Hermeneutic Tradition from Ast to Ricoeur. Finally, Jean Grondin's notable Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics includes an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources in ancient and modern hermeneutics.

Introductions Of the many good introductions to hermeneutics available in English, those highly recommended include, in alphabetical order by author:

Bruns, Gerald, Hermeneutics Ancient and Modern

Grondin, Jean, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics

Ramberg, Bjorn and Gjesdal, Kristin, “Hermeneutics”.  

Palmer, Richard, Hermeneutics: Interpretive Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer

Schmidt, Lawrence, Understanding Hermeneutics.

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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Hermeneutics
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  1. Scott William Abbott (1999). When There's No Place Like Home: Heidegger, Hermeneutics, and the Narratives of Adopted Adolescents. Dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology - Berkeley/Alameda
    Numerous studies have demonstrated that adopted persons, and in particular adolescents, are over-represented in psychotherapeutic treatment settings. Traditionally, clinical approaches to the treatment of distressed adopted persons have focused on largely decontextualized intrapsychic or familial concerns such as attachment issues, the formation of a self-concept and identity, or failures in navigating developmental stages. ;From the point of view of ontological hermeneutics, psychological categories fall short of addressing broader cultural and philosophical dimensions, such as the experience of not "being-at-home-in-the-world," a sense (...)
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  2. Romualdo Abulad (2007). What is Hermeneutics? Journal of Human Values 1 (2):11-23.
    ermeneutics is the art of interpretation – we shall not forget that and we will return to it again and again, for that is what hermeneutics is – the art of interpretation. We might do well, however, to stare at the word ‘hermeneutics’ just by way of a starting point. Hermeneutics – the word goes back to a name, Hermes. Who is Hermes? Among the earliest references to him is made by no less than Plato in the dialogue, Cratylus.1 The (...)
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  3. Kathryn Porter Aichele & Paul Klee (2002). Paul Klee's Pictorial Writing. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
  4. Roberto Alejandro (1993). Hermeneutics, Citizenship, and the Public Sphere. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  5. Edwin Alexander (1981). Hermeneutical Violence. Philosophy Today 25 (4):286-306.
  6. Juan José Alfaro (1980). Escatología, hermeneútica y lenguaje. Salmanticensis 27 (2):233-246.
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  7. Charles Altieri (1982). Act & Quality: A Theory of Literary Meaning and Humanistic Understanding. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41 (2):227-229.
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  8. Marcos Alexandre Alves (2012). Interpretação e compreensão: da hermenêutica metodológica à experiência hermenêutica como crítica e fundamento do saber filosófico. Princípios 18 (30):181-198.
    Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 O presente artigo analisa a passagem da hermenêutica metodológica à experiência hermenêutica como crítica e fundamento do saber filosófico. Inicialmente, apresenta a crítica da hermenêutica à absolutizaçáo da lógica matemática como estrutura da pesquisa e produçáo de sentido na filosofia. A lógica matemática sedimenta a dinâmica da vida do homem por náo estar aberta às contingências da existência, porém a vida do homem náo se compreende sob a forma da lógica matemática. Posteriormente, demonstra (...)
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  9. Maria Nazaré de Camargo Pacheco Amaral (2012). Dilthey: The Hermeneutics of Life and the Universal Aspirations of Pedagogy. Trans/Form/Ação 35 (1):89-114.
    Dilthey claimed that first psychology and then hermeneutics played the foundational role for his philosophy of life, whose main practical goal is to develop a pedagogy or theory of education. Pedagogy needs help from ethics to establish its ends, and from psychology to indicate its means. This paper intends to show the relationship between Dilthey's hermeneutics of life and his pedagogy. Dilthey's philosophy of life, in so far it adopts the hermeneutical procedure, engages in the understanding of, or the search (...)
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  10. Ciro Schmidt Andrade (2011). La Hermenéutica analógica. Analogía Filosófica: Revista de Filosofía, Investigación y Difusión 28 (28):55-70.
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  11. Emil Angehrn & Bernard Baertschi (1998). Interpretation Und Wahrheit.
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  12. Jaime Rubio Angulo (1985). Perspectiva Hermeneutica. El Trabajo Del Símbolo. Universitas Philosophica 5:37-56.
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  13. Keith Ansell-Pearson (1992). My Sister and I; Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue; Nietzsche and the Question of Interpretation. Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction; Within Nietzsche’s Labyrinth. [REVIEW] Radical Philosophy 60.
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  14. Karl-Otto Apel (1979). The Common Presuppositions of Hermeneutics and Ethics: Types of Rationality Beyond Science and Technology. Research in Phenomenology 9 (1):35-53.
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  15. Karl-Otto Apel (1971). Theorie-Diskussion Hermeneutik Und Ideologiekritik. Suhrkamp.
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  16. Roberto E. Aras (2004). Miseria y esplendor de la interpretación. En torno a los límites de la hermenéutica en Pieper y en Ortega / The Misery and Splendor of Interpretation: About the Limits of Hermeneutics in Pieper and Ortega. Sapientia 59 (216):297-305.
  17. Francisco Arenas-Dolz (2005). Hermeneutics, analogy and rhetoric. Interview with Mauricio Bechot. Endoxa 20:677-718.
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  18. Vilhjalmur Arnason (1982). The Context of Morality and the Question of Ethics: From Naive Existentialism to Suspicious Hermeneutics. Dissertation, Purdue University
    This study attempts to situate ethical discourse within descriptions of a moral context which do justice both to concrete individual moral experiences and to the socio-historical framework within which they are lived. In light of these descriptions it is argued that an adequate theory of morality must focus on the essential continuity between the individual moral life and the communal practices and institutions which constitute our ethical substance. ;In Chapter One it is shown how the existentialist liberation of the moral (...)
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  19. Jorge Nicolás Vicente Arregui (1988). Metafísica Del Yo y Hermenéutica Diltheyana de la Vida. Anuario Filosófico 21 (1):97-122.
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  20. Samuel Arriarán & Elizabeth Hernández Alvídrez (eds.) (2006). Ensayos Sobre Hermenéutica Analógico-Barroca. Editorial Torres Asociados.
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  21. Jose Arrizabalaga (2005). Hermeneutics of language and symbolism. Endoxa 20:245-262.
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  22. G. Douglas Atkins (1988). Radical Hermeneutics: Repetition, Deconstruction, and the Hermeneutic Project (Review). Philosophy and Literature 12 (2):313-314.
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  23. Pierre Aubenque, Tom Krell & Ian Alexander Moore (2013). The Relationship Between Hermeneutics and Ontology in the Case of Aristotle's ΠΕΡΙ ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑΣ. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 34 (1):3-20.
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  24. Sylvie Avakian (2015). Undecidability’ or ‘Anticipatory Resoluteness’ Caputo in Conversation with Heidegger. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (2):123-139.
    In this article I will consider John D. Caputo’s ‘radical hermeneutics’, with ‘undecidability’ as its major theme, in conversation with Martin Heidegger’s notion of ‘anticipatory resoluteness’. Through an examination of the positions of Caputo and Heidegger I argue that Heidegger’s notion of ‘anticipatory resoluteness’ reaches far beyond the claims of ‘radical hermeneutics’, and that it assumes a reconstructive process which carries within its scope the overtones of deconstruction, the experience of repetition and authenticity and also the implications of Gelassenheit. Further, (...)
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  25. A. J. Ayer, J. O'Grady, Blackwell Oxford, J. Bacon, K. Campbell & L. Reinhardt (1994). Alejandro, R., Hermeneutics, Citizenship, and the Public Sphere, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1993, Ix, 291, US $17.95 (Cloth). Alston, WP, The Reliability of Sense Perception, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1993, X, 148, US $27.50 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1).
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  26. Alireza Azad (2005). A Trace Of Hermeneutics In Plato And Aristotle. Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 16 (1-2).
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  27. Carlos B. Gutiérrez (2000). Ética y hermenéutica. Natureza Humana 2 (2):249-272.
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  28. H. B. (1970). Wilhelm Dilthey's Philosophy of Historical Understanding. Review of Metaphysics 24 (2):347-348.
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  29. Michael Bacon (forthcoming). Beyond Metaphysics Gianni Vattimo and the Meaning of Hermeneutics for Political Theory. Philosophy and Social Criticism:0191453715587975.
    This article examines Gianni Vattimo’s contribution to the recent ontological turn in political theory. Drawing on Nietzsche and Heidegger, Vattimo offers a ‘philosophy of history’ in which strong metaphysical claims are presented as gradually being weakened, but in which the irrationalism he thinks characteristic of many anti-foundationalist theorists is also avoided. This philosophy is said to provide for new understandings of ethical and political life which have the acceptance of pluralism as their aim. The article argues that Vattimo’s attempt to (...)
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  30. Béla Bacsó (2010). „das Ego Ist Also Keine Realität“. Zur Vor- Und Nachgeschichte Von Husserls Londoner Vorträgen. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  31. Béla Bacsó (1997). Die Unvermeidbarkeit des Irrtums Essays Zur Hermeneutik. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  32. Günter Bader (2006). Geist und Buchstabe - Buchstabe und Geist, ausgehend von Schleiermachers Reden 'Über die Religion'. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  33. Ulrich Baer (1996). Landscape and Memory in the Work of Paul Celan. Semiotics:111-123.
  34. Ulrich Baer (1996). Landscape and Memory in the Work of Paul Celan. Semiotics:111-123.
  35. B. Baertschi (1994). Sean E. MCEVENUE, Ben F. MEYERS , "Lonergan's Hermeneutics". [REVIEW] Revue de Théologie Et de Philosophie 126:286.
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  36. O. Balaban (1989). The Hermeneutics of the Young Marx: According To Marx's Approach To the Philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. Diogenes 37 (148):28-41.
    In the History of Philosophy, the atomistic physics of Epicurus and of Democritus have been considered as very similar.1 Con trary to the more conventional view, Marx considers this similarity.
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  37. Joe Balay (2013). The Convalescence of Language: James Risser. The Life of Understanding: A Contemporary Hermeneutics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012. Viii+ 142 Pp. Bibliography and Index. [REVIEW] Research in Phenomenology 43 (2):267-273.
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  38. Álvaro Balsas & Ricardo Barroso Batista (2014). Apresentação - Direito E Filosofia: Fundamentos E Hermenêutica = Law and Philosophy: Foundations and Hermeneutics. Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 70 (2-3):199-204.
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  39. Charles R. Bambach (1998). Wilhelm Dilthey, Selected Works, Volume IV: Hermeneutics and the Study of History (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (4):641-642.
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  40. Paula Banerjee & Samir Kumar Das (eds.) (2007/2008). Autonomy: Beyond Kant and Hermeneutics. Anthem Press.
    would suspect him of murdering them and would not spare him. So he too killed himself. Gods were very much disturbed by this sad incident and realized the ...
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  41. Jeffrey Barash (2008). Why Remember the Historical Past? Reflections on Historical Skepticism in Our Times. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  42. Damir Barbarić (2010). Emporhebendes Scheinen. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  43. Damir Barbaric (2008). Überbrückung der Leere. Zu Rodins Skulptur Iris. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  44. Damir Barbaric (2003). Mensch in der Nacht. Heraklits Fragment 26. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  45. Damir Barbaric (2002). Spiel der Sprache. Zu Platons Dialog Kratylos. Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik.
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  46. Edmond Barbotin & Louis Bouyer (1975). Qu'est-Ce Qu'un Texte? Éléments Pour Une Herméneutique. J. Corti.
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  47. F. Barison & S. Del Monaco Carucci (1996). Hermeneutics and Heideggerian Ontology in Psychiatry: The Life-Struggle for the Light of the Spirit. Analecta Husserliana 48:343-348.
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  48. Karin Barnaby & Pellegrino D'acierno (1990). C.G. Jung and the Humanities Toward a Hermeneutics of Culture.
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  49. Craig G. Bartholomew (1998). Reading Ecclesiastes Old Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutical Theory. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  50. L. Batnitzky (1999). The Philosophical Import of Carnal Israel: Hermeneutics and the Structure of Franz Rosenzweig's' Star of Redemption'. Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 9 (1):127-153.
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