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The goal of the investigation is a phenomenological theory of the methods and later the methodology of the human sciences, first of all the philological interpretation of texts. The first part is a critical reflection on the historical development of hermeneutics as method of interpreting texts and the tradition including the first steps toward the emergence of scientific methodological hermeneutics. Such reflections show that the development of hermeneutics is onesidedly founded in the development of hermeneutical consciousness, i.e. the changing attitudes in the application and rejection of cultural traditions. All methods and finally methodologies are onesidedly founded in the activities of the lifeworld. The second part is a first attempt to develop an outline of a general phenomenological theory of pre-methodical and methodical understanding in the lifeworld. The third part offers a critical phenomenologically guided analysis of methodological hermeneutics.
The Development of Hermeneutical Consciousness.- The Development of Hermeneutical Consciousness in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages.- The Genesis of Philological-Historical Hermeneutics.- Methodological Hermeneutics.- Toward a General Theory of Understanding.- A Typology of Understanding.- Cultural Understanding.- Method and Methodology.- The Unsolved Problems of Methodological Hermeneutics.- Parts, Wholes, and Circles.- The First Canon and the Philological-Historical Method.