Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Hermeneutics in Relation to Family Systems Theory

  • Pavan S. BrarEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_279

Name of Theory



Broadly and simply speaking, hermeneutics can be understood as the “art or technique of understanding and interpretation” (Gadamer 1975/2004, p. 175), with the text typically being considered the original interpretandum of hermeneutics. Interpretative reflections and practices date back to ancient Greece, with systematic and written attempts to discuss standards for interpretation appearing as early as the seventeeth century (Mantzavinos 2016). Yet, it was in the nineteenth century that hermeneutics began to be developed as a methodology for the human-sciences, and, thus, for understanding human life and the products of human action. Recognition for the relevance of hermeneutics to specific fields of psychological inquiry, such as clinical psychology and psychopathology, came to rise later in the twentieth century.

Ideally, by the end of this entry, what should become clear to the reader is that the tradition of hermeneutics does not offer an...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA