Understanding Hermeneutics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2014-08-20
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Hermeneutics concerns itself with the theory of understanding and the interpretation of language. Lawrence Schmidt provides an introduction to modern hermeneutics through a systematic examination of the ideas of its key philosophical proponents - Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer. Understanding Hermeneutics begins with the ideas of the Protestant theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who argues that misunderstanding is always possible so we must always employ interpretation if we are to understand correctly. Schmidt then explores the ideas of Wilhelm Dilthey, who maintains that understanding in the humanities is fundamentally different from explanation in the natural sciences, and those of Martin Heidegger, who radicalizes hermeneutics by shifting its focus from interpreting texts to an existential interpretation of human being. He also examines Hans-George Gadamer's recent ideas in relation to the structures of hermeneutic experience and the supremacy of the natural sciences as models for truth. The final chapters consider some of the criticisms and controversies surrounding hermeneutics, including work by Habermas, Hirsch, Ricoeur, and Derrida.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and referencesp. vii
Introduction: what is hermeneutics?p. 1
Schleiermacher's universal hermeneuticsp. 10
Dilthey's hermeneutic understandingp. 29
Heidegger's hermeneutic ontologyp. 49
Hermeneutics in the later Heideggerp. 80
Gadamer's theory of hermeneutic experiencep. 95
Gadamer's ontological turn towards languagep. 116
Hermeneutic controversiesp. 133
Questions for discussion and revisionp. 173
Further readingp. 177
Indexp. 181
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