The Hermeneutics of God, the Universe, and Everything

Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 70)


Hermeneutic interpretation entered modern thought as a means of clarifying and resolving apparent incoherencies and contradictions within the scriptures, its potential for determining the meanings of legal, classical, and other texts being soon recognized, and even extended to the discernment of the meanings of plays, paintings, and other artistic and cultural artifacts and performances. And while some argued such meanings were to be ascertained by interpreting them within the contexts in which they appeared, others maintaining that artists’ or authors’ intentions were ultimately authoritative, were forced to concede that these too could only be interpretively derived, often in similar manner. Moreover conflicting interpretations suggest that the concepts which shape our “perceptions” of such matters are relative, while Gestalt psychologists and Ames and his school empirically demonstrated that even our most basic empirical perceptions are interpretations shaped by our pre-conceptions; an insight which clearly undermines the objectivistic pretensions of the natural sciences. The paper concludes, along with Heidegger, that hermeneutic interpretation is central to all epistemological understanding, as indeed it is to our very existence or being as humans.


  1. Barnes, Barry. 1974. Scientific Knowledge and Sociological Theory. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  2. Bauman, Zygmunt. 1978. Hermeneutics and the Social Sciences. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, Jacques. 1974. “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy.” New Literary History 6(1): 5–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Derrida, Jacque. 1978. Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan, Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dilthey, Willhelm. 1957. Die Geistige Welt. In Gessammelte Schriften, vol. 5. Stuttgart: Teubner.Google Scholar
  6. Earmarth, Michael. 1978. Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gadamer, Hans-Georg. 1975. Truth and Method, 2nd ed. London: Sheed and Ward.Google Scholar
  8. Gadamer, Hans-Georg. 1976. Philosophical Hermeneutics. ed. D. Linge. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  9. Glynn, Simon. 1991. “The Deconstruction of Reason.” Man and World: An International Journal of Epistemology 24(3): 311–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glynn, Simon. 2005. “The Mythos Logos Deconstructed.” In Dialogue and Universalism XV(3/4): 59–76.Google Scholar
  11. Habermas, Jurgen. 1978. Knowledge and Human Interests (2nd ed.). Trans. J. Shapiro. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  12. Heidegger, Martin. 1959. Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. R. Manheim. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and Time. Trans. J. Macquarrie, and E. Robinson. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  14. Heidegger, Martin. 1971. “Plato’s Doctrine of Truth.” Trans. J. Barlow. Philosophy in the 20th Century (Vol. 3), eds. W. Barrett, and H. Atkins, 251–270. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  15. Heidegger, Martin. 1975. Moira (Parmenides VIII, 3, 4–41) & Aletheia (Heraclitus Fragment B. 16). Early Greek Thinking. Trans. David, Krell and F. Capuzzi. 79–101 & 102–123. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  16. Heidegger, Martin. 1976a. “On The Essence of Truth.” In Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. D. Krell, 112–141. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  17. Heidegger, Martin. 1976b. “What is a Thing” reprinted in part as Modern Science, Metaphysics and Mathematics. In Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. Krell David, 243–282. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  18. Heisenberg, Werner. 1971. Physics and Beyond. Trans. A. Honeruns, ed. R. Rashon. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  19. How, Alan. 1980. “Dialogue as Productive Limitation in Social Theory: The Habermas-Gadamer debate.” In The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology II(2): 131–143.Google Scholar
  20. Hume, David. 1967. A Treatise on Human Nature. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  21. Husserl, Edmund. 1913. Logische Untersuchungen (revised ed.). Halle: M. Niemeyer. Vol. II, Part I.Google Scholar
  22. Husserl, Edmund. 1970. The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology. Trans. D. Carr. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Koepping, Klaus-Peter. 1981. “Leib und Leiben, Sprache und Spiel, Schweigen und Scham.” In Der Wissenshaftler und des Irrationale, ed. Duerr Hans-Peter, 296–329. Frankfurt: Syndikat.Google Scholar
  24. Kuhn, Thomas. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lakatos, Imre. 1970. “The Methodology of Scientific Research Programs.” In Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, ed. I. Lakatos and A. Musgrove, 91–196. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Leiss, William. 1974. “The Domination of Nature.” Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  27. Lubbe, Hermann 1978. “Positivism and Phenomenology: Mach and Husserl.” In Phenomenology and sociology, ed. Luckmann Thomas, 90–118. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  28. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1962. The Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. C. Smith. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  29. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1970. Werke, 2nd ed. Munich: Hansar.Google Scholar
  30. Pierce Charles, S. 1931–5. Lectures on Pragmatism. In Collected papers, ed. C. Hartshorne and P. Weiss, 13–121. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Plessner, Helmuth. 1978. With Different Eyes. In Phenomenology and Sociology, ed. Thomas Luckmann, 27–41. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  32. Polanyi, Michael. 1958. Personal Knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  33. Polkinghorne, Donald. 1983. Methodology for the Human Sciences. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  34. Popper, Karl. 1959. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  35. Ricoeur, Paul. 1981. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. ed. J.P. Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Rozack, Theodore. 1973. Where the Wasteland Ends. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  37. Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1959. Course in General Linguistics. Trans. Wade, Baskin. New York: NewYork Philosophical Library.Google Scholar
  38. Scheler, Max. 1960. Weissesformen. Gesammelte Werke, Band 8, 2nd ed. Bern: Verlag.Google Scholar
  39. Schrag, Calvin. 1980. Radical Reflection. Indiana: Perdue University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Schütz, Alfred. 1962. Concept and Theory formation in the Social Sciences. In Collected papers, 1st ed. The Hague: Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  41. Schütz, Alfred. 1972. The Phenomenology of the Social World. Trans. G. Walsh, and F. Lennert. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  42. Schütz, Alfred, and Luckmann, Thomas. 1974. The Structure of the Life-World. Trans. R. Zaner, and H. Engelenhardt Jr. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  43. Simmel, Georg. 1970. Grundfragen der Soziologie. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

Personalised recommendations