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(2004) Hermeneutics. method and methodology, Dordrecht, Springer.

Methodological hermeneutics

Thomas M. Seebohm

pp. 55-91

The classical text of methodological hermeneutics for the further development is Boeckh's Encyclopedia and Methodology of the Science of Classical Antiquity. Dilthey was convinced that this method is the method of the historical human sciences and that it had been sufficiently developed by Wolf, Ast, Schleiermacher, and Boeckh. That Boeckh is listed at the end indicates that Dilthey considered his hermeneutical system as the state of the art in his time, though there have been several criticisms and modifications in the further development. Dilthey himself introduced some of them, but nevertheless presupposed Boeckh's system as the groundwork. Other methodological hermeneuticists later criticized Boeckh in several ways, but his system was nevertheless the basis for their further corroborations and articulations of the system of methodical hermeneutics. The literature is quite rich, and the earlier research of Wach should be replaced with a new history of the philological-historical method in the second half of the nineteenth century. This task cannot be fulfilled in this chapter. Only the most relevant extensions can be considered. Most of the changes introduced in other philological hermeneutics of the time have the character of modifications. New essential modifications having the character of real extensions can be found first of all in Dilthey's later writings and in the hermeneutics of Blass and Birt written at the the end of the nineteenth and at the beginning of the twentieth century. The historics (Historik), i.e., the methodology of historical interpretation developed by Droysen was another significant factor for Dilthey's conception of the methodology of the human sciences. Droysen demonstrated the failure of the attempt to reduce the problem of historical methodology to the methodology of philology. In addition, he saw the real dimensions of another hermeneutical problem, one that Dilthey called the interpretation of non-linguistic fixed life expressions. Archaeological hermeneutics in the time of Boeckh and later was often reduced to the interpretation of the works of fine art in classical antiquity. Though Droysen did not use the term "archaeology," he recognized the essential significance–for history as well as prehistory–of the interpretation of remains not belonging to the realm of written sources. Thus the development of archaeological hermeneutics, whether the term "archaeology" is used or not, will be an essential topic, and not only the section about what was understood by this term at the time. It will also be of interest for philological and historical methodology.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-2618-8_3

Full citation:

Seebohm, T.M. (2004). Methodological hermeneutics, in Hermeneutics. method and methodology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 55-91.

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