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The Art Of Interpretation Of Sacred Texts, Hermeneutics As The Methodological Basis Of The Human Sciences

Traditionally understood as the art of interpretation (ars hermeneutica) that provided rules for the interpretation of sacred texts, hermeneutics today serves to characterize a broad current in contemporary continental philosophy that deals with the issues of interpretation and stresses the historical and linguistic nature of our world-experience. Since this characterization is also valid for contemporary thinking as a whole, the boundaries of hermeneutics are difficult to delineate with pinpoint accuracy. In contemporary thought it is mostly associated with the thinking of Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002), who continues the hermeneutic tradition of thinkers such as Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911) and Martin Heidegger (1889–1976). All three authors unfolded a distinct philosophical understanding of hermeneutics (that is, interpretation theory) that drew on the more ancient tradition of hermeneutics. Since their thinking is a radicalization of and reaction to this older conception, it is with it that one must start.

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