Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
From its early beginning in eighteenth-century German philosophy, modern hermeneutics has addressed the linguistic mediation of experience, the roots of human agency in intersubjectivity and practice, and the historical situatedness of reason. However, over the past 30 years or so, the meaning of the term hermeneutics has been significantly broadened. Today the term refers to anti-foundationalist positions of all stripes and makes its presence felt within practically all subdivisions of the human sciences. In this entry, hermeneutics designates a theorizing of the first-order practice of, and second-order conditions of possibility for, interpretation and understanding of symbolic expression and action. In the works of Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, Friedrich Schleiermacher, the Jena romantics, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, modern hermeneutics tackles the most basic epistemological problems of the human sciences, including the question as to what kind of knowledge these sciences can and should aspire to. However, ...