<philosophy, philosophical inquiry, history of philosophy> formal study of appropriate methods of interpretation (Gk. hermÍneuma), first developed as a formal discipline of study by Schleiermacher. Following the work of Dilthey, Gadamer, and Ricouer, the hermeneutical process is often regarded as involving a complex interaction between the interpreting subject and the interpreted object. The task is complicated by the apparent circularity of understanding particular elements in light of the text as a whole, which can in turn be understood only by reference to them. Recommended Reading: John D. Caputo, Radical Hermeneutics: Repetition, Deconstruction, and the Hermeneutic Project (Indiana, 1987); John D. Caputo, More Radical Hermeneutics: On Not Knowing Who We Are (Indiana, 2000); Jean Grondin and Hans-Georg Gadamer, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics, tr. by Joel Weinsheimer (Yale, 1997); Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics and Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action, and Interpretation, ed. by John B. Thompson (Cambridge, 1981); Hans Georg Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics (California, 1977); and Gianni Vattimo, Beyond Interpretation: The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy, tr. by David Webb (Stanford, 1997).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]


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Nearby terms: Heraclitus « Herbert of Cherbury Baron « heredity « hermeneutics » heterogeneous » heterological paradox » heteronomy