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In this essay, we explore the various aspects of hermeneutic relativity that have rarely been explicitly discussed. Our notion of “hermeneutic relativity” can be seen as an extension, with significant revisions, of Gadamer’s notion of Vorurteil. It refers to various choices and constraints of the interpreter, including beliefs concerning the best way of doing philosophy, what criteria are to be used to evaluate competing interpretations, and so on. The interpreter cannot completely eliminate the guidance and constraint originating from his/her “background.” However, in principle the interpreter can “choose” to be guided by other constraints. Hence, we speak of “choices” or “commitments.” Hermeneutic relativity is the major cause for the variation of competing interpretations.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-018-9638-2
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