1. Learning Outcomes: The aim of this course is to examine critically the historical development of the discipline of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the art and theory of interpretation. We will investigate various approaches to interpretation as presented by philosophers ranging from Schleiermacher through Heidegger to Ricoeur. By the end of the semester students will be able to:
2. Requirements: The requirements for the class are sixfold.
a) attendance and class participation 10%
b) in-class midterm exam 25%
c) Paper abstract with thesis and outline 5%
d) Paper rough-draft 10%
e) 2100-3000 word paper 25%
f) final exam 25%
In order to meet these requirements, it will be necessary to attend class regularly and to do the assigned reading. It will be evident if you have not done the reading and this will not be beneficial to your success in the course. Papers absolutely will not be accepted after the due date unless you have discussed it with me prior to the due date.
The Department of English and Philosophy defines plagiarism as taking personal credit for the thinking of others as it is presented in electronic, print, and verbal sources. The Department expects that students will accurately credit sources in all assignments. Plagiarism is grounds for failing the course and may result in further consequences of being expelled from the University.
3. Availability: I am available outside of class during office hours, or by appointment. If there are questions or problems, do not hesitate to see me.
Hours: M, W, F 9:00-11:00a.m., M, F 12:00-1:00pm
4. Book List: The books listed below should be available in the bookstore. Course readings will also be made available through the library Docutek system. Password: Hermeneutics.
The Hermeneutics Reader ed.Kurt Mueller-Vollmer
Truth and Method Hans-Georg Gadamer
E. D. Hirsch, Jr. “In Defense of the Author”
David Weberman “Gadamer’s Hermeneutics and the Question of Authorial Intention”
Antonin Scalia “Common-Law Courts in a Civil-Law System: The Role of the United States Federal Courts in Interpreting the Constitution and Laws”
Daniel Farber “The Originalism Debate: A Guide for the Perplexed”
Michel Foucault “What is an Author?”
Hans-Georg Gadamer “The Artwork in Word and Image—‘So true, so full of being!’” (Goethe)
7 Introduction. Discussion of themes. Biblical Hermeneutics, Legal Hermeneutics, Aesthetic Hermeneutics.
9 What is Hermeneutics?
12 Schleiermacher HR 72-85
14 Schleiermacher HR 86-97
21 Husserl HR 165-186
28 Heidegger HR 214-227
2 Heidegger HR 228-240
9 Bultmann HR 241-248
13 Gadamer TM 265-276
16 Gadamer TM
18 Gadamer TM 277-306
20 Gadamer TM
23 Gadamer TM
25 Gadamer TM 307-323
27 Gadamer TM
2 Gadamer TM 324-345
4 Gadamer Midterm Exam
6 Gadamer TM 346-380
9 Gadamer TM (paper abstract due)
11 Gadamer TM 346-380
13 Gadamer TM
16-21 Spring Break
23 Hirsch “In Defense of the Author”
27 Hirsch (rough draft due)
30 Weberman “Gadamer’s Hermeneutics and the Question of Authorial Intention”
1 Honors Convocation Class cancelled
8 Foucault “What is an Author?”
10 Foucault (Paper Due)
13 Farber “The Originalism Debate: A Guide for the Perplexed”
17 Scalia “Common-Law Courts in a Civil-Law System”
22 Gadamer “The Artwork in Word and Image”
27 Concluding discussion
Final exam is Wednesday, May 6, 11am-1pm.