Michael N. Forster

in The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234097
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:



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‘Hermeneutics’ means the theory of interpretation, i.e. the theory of achieving an understanding of texts, utterances, and so on. Two fairly common but competing pictures of the course of modern hermeneutics in Germany are that it began with a fumbling germination in the eighteenth century and then flowered in the systematic hermeneutics of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher in the early nineteenth century, or that it began with a fumbling germination in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and then eventually flowered in the philosophical hermeneutics of Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer in the twentieth century. But Herder also took further seminal steps in his theory of interpretation. One of these was to argue for the need to complement the focus on language which Ernesti had already championed with a focus on authorial psychology.

Keywords: hermeneutics; interpretation; Martin Heidegger; Hans-Georg Gadamer; psychology

Article.  19593 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language

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