more from Thomas Mautner

Single Idea 5439

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 3. Hermeneutics]

Full Idea

The 'hermeneutic circle' consists in the fact that an interpretation of part of a text requires a prior understanding of the whole, and the interpretation of the whole requires a prior understanding of its parts.

Gist of Idea

The 'hermeneutic circle' says parts and wholes are interdependent, and so cannot be interpreted


Thomas Mautner (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy [1996], p.247)

Book Reference

Mautner,Thomas: 'Dictionary of Philosophy' [Penguin 1997], p.247

A Reaction

This strikes me as a benign circle, solved the way Aristotle solves the good man/good action circle. You make a start somewhere, like a child learning to speak, and work your way into the circle. Not really a problem.