Teodor Negru
Pages 113-119
DOI: 10.5840/cultura20074124


We can talk about universality of hermeneutics in two way: which correspond to the two big directions in the development of this discipline. In the first place, we can say that the aim of the hermeneutics is to establish a universal method for texts interpretation. The second meaning of universality of hermeneutics can be found in Heidegger’s philosophy, who said that understanding is a phenomenon constituent to human beings. In this conception interpretation is not limited only to the text, it becomes a way in which we relate to the world. In the first case, we talk about a normative or a methodic hermeneutics (from Antiquity to the nineteenth century), in the second case, we have a phenomenological ot philosophical hermeneutics (in the twentieth century). At the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, hermeneutics was theorized as method of interpreting all the texts, specially the humanities texts. Instead of the particular rules of exegetes which are applied only to certain texts (the Bible, in special), the main concern now is finding the rules of understanding in general. This attempt belonged first to Friedrich D. Schleiermacher who theorized two types of understanding: grammatical interpretation and psychological (or technical) interpretation. If the first one, concerns the understanding of an expression in relationship with the language as part of it, the second one understand a utterance as a part of a speaker’s life process. The main task of psychological interpretation is to understand how the author thinks the meaning of the texts. But understanding cannot be fully achieved because any time can be a part which we don’t understand properly. The misunderstanding is primordial and it can never be clear away definitive. In this way Schleiermacher found the universality of the hermeneutics on the universality of misunderstanding. The epistemological foundation of hermeneutics was continued by Wilhelm Dilthey for who understanding becomes a “category of life”.

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