Interpretation as the Engagement of Operational Artifacts: Operational Hermeneutics

Dissertation, University of Guelph (Canada) (1994)

In this thesis, operation analysis and dynamic system modeling techniques are borrowed from Engineering to solve a set of aporiae facing contemporary general hermeneutics. Using these techniques, an 'Operational Hermeneutics' is constructed. This hermeneutics takes texts to be operational artifacts, or human-made dynamic systems. It further takes interpretative activities to be engagements of such artifacts. In these engagements texts are sourced for operations. The fruitfulness of Operational Hermeneutics is demonstrated through the resolution of a set of related problems which presently hinder advancement in Hermeneutics. Operational Hermeneutics offers a manner in which to take into account the obvious diversity of texts and interpretative activities, authorial intentions , and methodological concerns. The theories of Schleiermacher, Betti, Hirsch, and Gadamer are discussed and critically assessed.
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