ERIC Number: ED399846
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul-29
Hermeneutics: What Is It? Is It Critical?
Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation as a fundamental human experience and activity. It is also the interpretation of meaning, the realization that human expression contains a meaningful component which must be recognized as such and transposed into one's own system of values and meanings. It describes what seems to happen in conversation, discussion, reading, and writing, all of the activities that teachers participate in, foster, encourage, and assign. Hermeneutics can be used to confront misunderstanding, prejudice, and ideology, and help individuals to step outside their assumptions and examine what they or others know. In hermeneutics the exemplary practice is the conversation, the confrontation with another's thought with the possibility of thus going beyond the limits of one's present horizons. The paper uses examples from college literature classes and concludes that teachers can help use concepts of hermeneutics to create the environment for conversational learning. (Contains 18 references.) (MAH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A