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(2012) English and American studies, Stuttgart, Metzler.

Hermeneutics and critical theory

Ulf Schulenberg

pp. 186-190

Interpretation is a central human activity. Every day human beings have to interpret texts, situations, feelings, and people. Hermeneutics, the art of interpretation (see box), was developed in fields which were concerned with the interpretation of holy or canonical texts. Theologians developed a "hermeneutica sacra," while jurisprudence came to be governed by a "hermeneutica iuris." In philology, a "hermeneutica profana" became increasingly important. This long tradition of biblical exegesis, legal hermeneutics, and philological hermeneutics culminated in the work of class="EmphasisTypeBold ">Friedrich Schleiermacher and Wilhelm Dilthey. In contrast to his precursors, Schleiermacher no longer focused exclusively on the interpretation of classical texts, but rather conceived of hermeneutics as a general activity. Moreover, he, in a Kantian manner, sought to illuminate the conditions for the possibility of understanding.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-00406-2_6

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Schulenberg, U. (2012)., Hermeneutics and critical theory, in M. Middeke, T. Müller, C. Wald & H. Zapf (eds.), English and American studies, Stuttgart, Metzler, pp. 186-190.

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