Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory… Horizonal

PALMER, R.E. (1969) Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

“Explanatory interpretation makes us aware that explanation is contextual, is ‘horizonal.’ It must be made within a horizon of already granted meanings and intentions. In hermeneutics, this area of assumed understanding is called preunderstanding.” (p24)


Interpretation for explanatory purposes works in a context of established meanings with granted intentions. In phenomenology this is defined as horizonal. In the Husserlian transcendental school this allows for bracketing of experience to be set, and in Heideggerian phenomenology this horizonality focuses on the pre-understanding that interpreters bring to what they are analysing. Heidegger’s analysis indicated that ‘understanding’ and ‘interpretation’ are foundational modes of man’s being” (p42).

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