Abstract
By demonstrating the uniformity and universality of the principles of valid interpretation of verbal texts of any sort, this closely reasoned examination provides a theoretical foundation for a discipline that is fundamental to virtually all humanistic studies. It defines the grounds on which textual interpretation can claim to establish objective knowledge, defends that claim against such skeptical attitudes as historicism and psychologism, and shows that many confusions can be avoided if the distinctions between meaning and significance, interpretation and criticism are correctly understood. It provides perhaps the first genuinely comprehensive account of hermeneutic theory to appear in English and the first systematic presentation of the principles of valid interpretation in any language. Mr. Hirsch, associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, is the author of _Wordsworth and Schelling _and _Innocence and Experience: An Introduction to Blake._ “Here is a book that brings logic to the most unruly of disciplines, literary interpretation. Viewing this subject within the tradition of hermeneutics, Mr. Hirsch is able to trace its origins and development with brilliant insight. The result is a lucidly systemic and authoritative account of the premises and procedures applicable to the interpretation of a literary text. Mr. Hirsch has performed a monumental service thereby that of reinstating the credentials of objectivism and defining the limits of the aesthetics of truth. This study is a necessary took for anyone who wants to talk sense about literature.”—_Virginia Quarterly Review_ “Professor Hirsch demonstrates convincingly that objectivity is attainable in humane studies, and that it is not identified with the subject but with the evidence. A valid interpretation is not necessarily a correct one, but one which is more probably than any other on the basis of existing evidence. He makes a subtle and important distinction between a text’s ‘meaning’ and its ‘significance’, and brilliantly relates meaning to understanding and interpretation to explanation…” In short, this is a work which future students of literary theory cannot afford to neglect.”—_Notes and Queries_ E.D. Hirsch, Jr., is professor of English at the University of Virginia.
Keywords Hermeneutics   Literature
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Reprint years 1968
ISBN(s) 0300005571   9780300016925
DOI 10.2307/428334
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Walton on Fictionality.Richard Woodward - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (12):825-836.
Minimal Authorship (of Sorts).Christy Mag Uidhir - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (3):373 - 387.
A Moderate Hermeneutical Approach to Empathy in History Education.Tyson Retz - 2015 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (3):1-13.
Authors, Intentions and Literary Meaning.Sherri Irvin - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (2):114–128.
Text Interpretation as a Scientific Activity.C. Mantzavinos - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):45-58.

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