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 (hûr′mə-no͞o′tĭks, -nyo͞o′-)
n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially of scriptural text.

her′me·neu′tist n.


n (functioning as singular)
1. (Bible) the science of interpretation, esp of Scripture
2. (Theology) the branch of theology that deals with the principles and methodology of exegesis
3. (Philosophy) philosophy
a. the study and interpretation of human behaviour and social institutions
b. (in existentialist thought) discussion of the purpose of life
[C18: from Greek hermēneutikos expert in interpretation, from hermēneuein to interpret, from hermēneus interpreter, of uncertain origin]


(ˌhɜr məˈnu tɪks, -ˈnyu-)

n. (used with a sing. v.)
1. the art or science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures.
2. the branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis.


the science of interpretation and explanation, especially the branch of theology that deals with the general principles of Biblical interpretation. — hermeneut, hermeneutist, n.
See also: Bible


The study of the way in which we interpret and attempt to understand phenomena such as texts, works of art, actions, and gestures. Although originally part of philosophy, hermeneutics has had an important influence on sociology.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hermeneutics - the branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis
theology, divinity - the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth
References in periodicals archive ?
Istvan Kiraly resorts to philosophical hermeneutics as an authentic source of thinking in relation with the religious hermeneutics and the theological practices from which he explicitly dissociates in this book, but also in other works.
To close, he offers an original discussion on philosophical hermeneutics, and on how certain hermeneutical lenses can bring issues into focus for comparative theologians.
Philosophical hermeneutics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
In philosophical reflections, as in the development of his philosophical hermeneutics, Gadamer starts what Martin Heidegger set.
(2010) Philosophical Hermeneutics. Coimbra University, Coimbra.
It is rooted in Hegel's work, the Phenomenology of Spirit (1), first written in 1807, followed by a development of phenomenology by Husserl (2) and Heidegger (3), writings on hermeneutics by Gadamer (4) (philosophical hermeneutics), Adorno and Horkheimer (5) (objective hermeneutics) and Habermas (6) (hermeneutics and dialectics) and comprehensive historicism by Dilthey (7).
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics deeply penetrate the fundamental questions of Heart of Darkness.
His text is an exercise in postmodern philosophical hermeneutics. By rejecting universal moral norms (104), disparaging the use of natural law reasoning (31), and denying the divine inspiration of sacred scripture (99, 125), the author illustrates the incommensurability--the unbridgeable "hermeneutical gap"--between his own worldview and that of the Church Fathers and the authors of modern Catholic social teaching.--E.
Synopsis: Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889-26 May 1976) was a German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition and philosophical hermeneutics. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Michael Bowler (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Michigan Technological University) and Ingo Farin (lecturer in philosophy at the University of Tasmania, Australia", "Hermeneutical Heidegger" is a collection of eleven scholarly essays that critically examines and confronts Heidegger's hermeneutical approach to philosophy and the history of philosophy.
Using Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics as the main framework, we re-examine the story-poem as an allegory of intercultural desire to understand what Spivak, in An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012), terms the "quite other." Borges's ethnographic allegory of intercultural thinking as hermeneutic circle enacts intercultural understanding as a paradoxical, contradictory, even conflictive ethical performance.
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics is, essentially, an attempt to recover history's meaning for the life of the present through an approach to historical interpretation that advocates the application of texts to contemporary circumstances, (4) as has traditionally taken place in the fields of law and theology (Truth and Method, 306-10).

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