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Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics

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Ladislav Tkáčik

To be confronted with a text can lead us to open our own living world, to its expansion and saturation with something new or even with something else, something unpredictable. What then makes a human a human? Can philosophical hermeneutics say anything about that? It can! «Language is the real centre of a human being… The human is a real, as Aristotle used to say, being who has language» (Hans-Georg Gadamer). What makes a human a human is the fact that internal reflection is performed behind his voice. This is the most original topic of philosophical hermeneutics.

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6. Hermeneutic Thinking in Modern Times

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Modern times brought more accessible texts – meaning the texts that are worth understanding! The Renaissance again insisted on the study of Greek and Latin texts. The dependency of knowledge of an interpretation of a text was connected with the printing press! Reading was less and less limited to Scripture and its comments! A need for universal hermeneutics was more and more palpable.   A  Protestant theologian Johann Conrad Dannhauer (1603 – 1666) published in 1654 a treatise called Herme- neutica sacra, sive Methodus exponendarum S. literarum proposita et vindicata a Joh. Conrado Dannhawero..., (Sacred Hermeneutics, that is, an Interpreted and Advo- cated Method of Interpretation of the Sacred Sciences) where he for the fi rst time used the term hermeneu- tics in a modern sense but, more importantly, he aimed 32 his attention to the universal right of hermeneutics, to hermeneutics generalis. Dannhauer’s questions were determined by looking for a  new methodology of sci- ences. Each area of partial human knowledge should, in his opinion, include a relevant philosophical science and this has to relate to the interpretation process itself. Dannhauer claims the need for the elaboration of a supra regional hermeneutics in the scope of philosophy. According to him, it cannot only be a  propaedeutic reference science, like logic, which tries to distinguish logic from illogic. It follows the method of analysing sen- tences and statements and looks for harmony or confl ict. In spite of the fact that this eff ort is originally a herme- neutic one, hermeneutics cannot be satis...

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