Hermeneutics Essay

Words: 3987
Pages: 16


"Hermeneutics" means the theory of interpretation, i.e. thetheory of achieving an understanding of texts, utterances, and so on (it does notmean a certain twentieth-century philosophical movement). It is the art of interpreting. Hermeneutics proved to be much bigger than theology or legal theory. The comprehension of any written text requires hermeneutics; reading a literary text is as much a hermeneutic act as interpreting law or Scripture.
Without collapsing critical thinking into relativism, hermeneutics recognizes the historicity of human understanding. Ideas are nested in historical, linguistic, and cultural horizons of meaning. A philosophical, theological, or literary problem can
…show more content…
As Claes Schaar describes, The study of infracontext /vertical context/ is in fact text archeology, and the past becomes the key to the present. Connotations emerge, operating within larger literary systems made up of groups of texts available to homogenious groups of readers with the same cultural background, readers likely to recognize relevant pieces of language and to respond in a similar way to them. An unresponsive reader, in whose mind no associations arise, derives a narrower and more limited meaning from his study of the surface context. [14]
It can be concluded that to attain the end of complete assimilation, the reader has to; firstly, be aware of the historical, social, cultural, geographical, any other information relating to the author and his work, i.e. have sufficient background knowledge, which is essential in the process of evaluating the notion of allusion, and secondly, recognize these data in the structure of the work, i.e. read through the vertical context. In other words, the background knowledge refers to the author, the vertical context belongs to the work. The two vertical context categories are allusions an quotations, those borrowings from other sources, literary sources, which are revealed in the horizontal context.
Background knowledge is the entity of information about the culture, history and time to which a certain work belongs. As for vertical context, it's a philological research. It