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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 Hermeneutica sacra, sive Methodus exponendarum S. literarum proposita et vindicata a Joh. Conrado Dannhawero…, (Sacred Hermeneutics, that is, an Interpreted and Advocated Method of Interpretation of the Sacred Sciences) where he for the first time used the term hermeneutics in a modern sense but, more importantly, he aimed ← 31 | 32 → his attention to the universal right of hermeneutics, to hermeneutics generalis. Dannhauer’s questions were determined by looking for a new methodology of sciences. 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 sentences and statements and looks for harmony or conflict. In spite of the fact that this effort is originally a hermeneutic one, hermeneutics cannot be satisfied only...

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