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Abstract and Keywords

The chapter traces the emergence and development of modern hermenutics in both philosophical and philological terms. Key questions in modern philosophy concerning language, judgement, and interpretation give rise to a new agenda for reflection on the understanding of all kinds of text. The effects of the natural sciences on theological understanding of the world lead to new methodological issues concerning the relationship between the author and the text which lead to central issues in the philosophy of language. The chapter considers the often misinterpreted contribution of Schleiermacher to hermeneutics, the implications of which extend to questions that still form the focus of contemporary philosophy. Schleiermacher’s relationship to subsequent thinkers like Boekh and Dilthey is considered, and hermeneutics’ role in thinking about ethical and aesthetic issues is examined. The tension in theories of interpretation suggested by the notion of a ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’ in Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is explored.

Keywords: philosophy, hermeneutics, language, aesthetics

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