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Long but lacking detail[edit]

Sorry to be negative, but after reading the article I feel I am absolutely none the wiser. Hermeneutics seems to me to be a technical synonym for "interpretation". Is this all there is to it? In many ways the article reads a little like an expanded disctionary definition, saying not a lot more than: "interpretation is used in the following areas: ......"

Interpretation (hermeneutics) is required of all natural communication it seems to me so I'm struggling to see what the word adds to things, and even why there's an article on it here at all.

Perhaps some examples within some of the sections might help to cast some light. Other sections could be combined for instance where hermaneutics/interpretation is a practice/occupation/study in architecture, design, art etc.

LookingGlass (talk) 19:26, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Looking Glass is apparently unaware that his/her/its view, that Interpretation (hermeneutics) is required of all natural communication it seems to me so I'm struggling to see what the word adds to things, and even why there's an article on it here at all. was once widely, and is still in some places, thought radical, extreme, subversive, and all that stuff.

I don't intend to contest his claim that he's struggling, mind you, but the idea that the plain and simple written messages of God needed, or could be subjected to, interpretation was once thought odd. People who didn't think it odd were at times thought to be picking fights with God, doubting God's existence, or in other ways acting in ways for which they should be, and often were, hanged.

From this point of the view the article is somewhat inadequate, but the inadequacy is not quite of the sort Looking Glass seems to see.

Heaven forfend that looking glasses should be expected to make the same criticisms of an interpretation of hermaneutics, or any particular hermaneutic of an interpretation, of course.

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 06:11, 13 August 2015 (UTC)


I wish the article discussed actual methods as a central sub-topic. I wish this article could have taken the time to explain this at a simpler level. I consult Wiki to have things explained, not obfuscated — Preceding unsigned comment added by74.95.126.250 (talk) 01:30, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Separating the history of hermeneutics from hermeneutics[edit]

The article is now very long and hard to read through. Would it be better if the history of hermeneutics would be separated from the main article? The main article could focus on the general description of hermeneutics, its applications and methods, while the historical perspective could be moved to a different article. Another possibility would be to move more of the Biblical hermeneutics to that article - most of the history in this article is still more or less Biblical.Wikikrax (talk) 06:59, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Support. That may help. What may be surprising, though, is that once History of hermeneutics is created with material from this article, there may not be a whole lot left with this article. That may be a good thing, allowing the core material here to be developed more fully. DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 10:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
The idea sounds exciting. How would you go about the project? Start with outlines? What are the "core elements"? -- Streen (talk) 16:19, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

There were no disagreements, so I moved some of the material to history of hermeneutics. Both pages still need a lot of work, but at least the page is slightly more readable. Wikikrax (talk) 12:52, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Slab copying to support definition ?[edit]

This page really needs serious investigating by a Wiki Editor.

The virtual entire opening screed is copied verbatim from a site that is then used to 'justifiy' the definition ?

At least that is how it seems to read to me.

Here is the site from which most of the material has been copied.

It is even listed as a main reference (2) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

The "" material is a copy of the lead section of the Wikipedia article. That site even has a link to the Wikipedia article. The "" external link does not appear in our article. Wahrmund (talk) 15:39, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

If that is the case : it terribly unsatisfactory.

Can anything be done about this situation ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm a new editor, but the subject is one of my favorites and I'm game to work on a new intro. Anyone else? -- Streen (talk) 16:13, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The Introduction is not clear to what Hermeneutics is ..., "Hermeneutics /hɛrməˈnjuːtɪks/ is the theory of text interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts."
It reflects mainly the typical Bible-School non-academic schools' perceptions in the 'new world'. In other environments where most of the academic work on this subject comes from, Hermeneutics is a central part of all academic disciplines in their self-understanding and attempts to determine their fields of study. In this sense, hermeneutics is a precursor to any discipline's self-definition and is by nature a necessary philosophical basis for a discipline understanding its basis; in effect it cannot be defined initially as more that a 'Theory of understanding', all else is already subject to hermeneutics; hermeneutics defined more as 'coming to an understanding'.
If this article is to remain a preoccupation with the first sentence's definition of what this article understands as what hermeneutics is, it should be retitled to something like Christian biblical Hermeneutics. Unhelpful comments like "less Sein und Zeit and more Encyclopedia Britanica" (both of which I use and uphold highly), the use of " .. ... word-of-the-day" and "Murray Rothbard" as sources/references with infantile comments like "Article is crappy and could use work, but not from you." illustrate the level of scholastic work. Such an environment is not conducive to seriousity in work and enjoyment of sharing work, for which serious academics have no time or appetite. Otherwise your call is welcome to a new intro and thorough reworking of the rest. SidGaia (talk) 13:08, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

KevinInMfrg (talk) 16:37, 6 January 2015 (UTC) While the material may or may not be copied, the web site referenced cites five different texts as its source. So while the fact that the pages read the same word-for-word raises suspicion, investigation does not in my opinion show a problem with bias. Nevertheless to your point, those original sources should be cited, not the ...word-of-the day page. I don't have an opinion as yet as to the clarity of the article. Thanks.

Let's start to balance this article[edit]

The previous entry in the talk page helps to account for the non-neutral point that has developed on this page, since it seems to indicate that people who love the topic are the main ones to write the article. There is a lot of material, but it dearly lacks that encyclopedia-like clarity and lack of bias. In other words the page needs less Sein und Zeit and more Encyclopedia Britanica.

I suggest that a synopsis of the problems with Hermeneutics be included in the intro, something like: A number of rational intellectuals from fields within and beyond the realm of philosophy, such as Murray Rothbard, argue that Hermeneutics does more to obfuscate rather than enlighten. [1]

Then a synopsis of critical viewpoints in the overview of each major subsection would be rather helpful. In some cases, the overview itself would need to be written, but this provides the chance to go beyond the band-aid of tacking on critical viewpoints, and allows the clean incorporation a variety of viewpoints in a comprehensible overview created de novo. If you happen to be a hermeneutics lover and are up to the challenge of stepping outside of your comfort zone and playing devil's advocate, I'd say try the latter. inthedryer (talk) 8:59, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Surely you don't detect a bias in your repeated use of the word "rational", the fact you cite a well known heterodox and politically motivated economist (economics+hermeneutics=??), and the fact you seem to plain not like hermeneutics? Article is crappy and could use work, but not from you. (talk) 15:17, 15 January 2015 (UTC)


Murray Rothbard is not a major critic of hermeneutics, and while the case can be made for mentioning his views somewhere in the article, they do not belong in the lead (I've been reading the article by Rothbard, and while it's quite amusing, it's clear that Rothbard is not too familiar with French philosophy; he mistakenly identifies Paul Ricoeur and Michel Foucault as proponents of deconstruction). If someone wanted to establish a "criticism" section, it might be appropriate to mention Rothbard's views there. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:24, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


The article says that "Hermeneutics […] is the theory and methodology of text interpretation", but also that "Hermeneutics […] includes written, verbal, and nonverbal communication.". Which is it? (talk) 09:16, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

The article Text (literary theory) states "In literary theory, a text is any object that can be "read," whether this object is a work of literature, a street sign, an arrangement of buildings on a city block, or styles of clothing." This article, in stating "Exegesis focuses primarily upon texts." seems to be using "text" in both the foregoing sense and in the narrower sense of linguistic text. I suggest that "text" in "theory and methodology of text interpretation" be replaced by text and in "Exegesis focuses primarily upon texts" by "linguistic text". Lewis Goudy (talk) 21:39, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

The original comment refers to an older version of the article. The current version doesn't have the problem anymore. I'm not sure if linking to the Text-article is useful: that refers to literary theory and while there are some similarities and overlaps, hermeneutics is really not literary theory. It has been developed in theology, philosophy and law, among other fields. Wikikrax (talk) 07:12, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Biblical Hermeneutics[edit]

Hi, the four levels of interpretation could perhaps be linked to main article ? T (talk) 01:53, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

architectural hermeneutics[edit]

While reference to Gadamer (et al) elsewhere in this article is ample, there is none to [Paul Ricoeur]. His works, particularly the Rule of Metaphor, and Interpretation Theory, were essential reading in Dalibor's architecture design studios at Cambridge in 1980s. The key point is the notion of 'surplus' of meaning in architecture, that links to 'simultaneity' of experience both optically visual and culturally/historically contextual, especially where any or all of those aspects might be 'latent'. That is the essence of Dalibor's 'theory' of the 'fragment', a term he used metaphorically for the experience of the city. The seminal work <Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation> expands the argument fascinatingly. Domskitect (talk) 14:24, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^