Comparative Hermeneutics (A Study of the Identity of the Philosophy of Interpretation in Islam and the West)

Hermeneutics or the theory of text understanding can be considered a unique method in human sciences against natural sciences. Knowing and understanding a text, particularly in written form, are the main purposes of the science of hermeneutics. In other words, hermeneutics attempts to learn about the inner realities of the interactants, inherent semantic structures, and the meanings hidden beyond human and social phenomena.

The present book contains a general study of western hermeneutics in order to highlight the basic significance of its historical roots. It consists of an Introduction and five chapters. The Introduction presents a comparative study of hermeneutic terminology. In doing so, in addition to its background in the west, the history of hermeneutic terminology in the field of Islamic civilization is discussed and explored.

In the first chapter, entitled “Some Theories about Language, Text, and Meaning”, the writer analyzes the fundamental concepts of hermeneutics. In the second chapter, before examining the ideas of Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, he has tried to present the history of this field and discuss the theories of hermeneutic philosophers and thinkers in the first and second period, as well as those in the Romantic period of the modern era. In this study, he has also cast a short glance at Islamic civilization. The third chapter entitled “Gadamer and Hermeneutics” is devoted to the rise of philosophical hermeneutics and Gadamer’s significant role in this regard. In the fourth chapter, the writer propounds Ricoeur’s hermeneutic deliberations and ideas and explores them under four subcategories. The last chapter, entitled “Truth and Criticism”, concludes the present book.

The book Comparative Hermeneutics by Qasim Pourhassan has been published by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute in 504 pages in Persian.