Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation theory, and can be either the art of interpretation, or the theory and practice of interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics — which includes Biblical hermeneutics — refers to the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially texts in the areas of literature, religion and law. Contemporary, or modern, hermeneutics encompasses not only issues involving the written text, but everything in the interpretative process. This includes verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as well as prior aspects that affect communication, such as presuppositions, preunderstandings, the meaning and philosophy of language, and semiotics.Hermeneutics is named for the Greek god Hermes, who was believed the "inventor of language and speech, a liar, a thief and trickster." The Greek view was that words can be used either to illuminate or hide the truth.
I am on the subject of hermeneutics today, because the word is becoming of fashion in academic circles, and it is interesting to note that modern hermeneutics is intended to transcend language itself, by looking beyond mere verbal and literal interpretation. How do we really interpret things? If interpretation is based on words alone, then we live the lives of fools and in such foolishness, make a complete mess of things, and fools of ourselves.
Without personal experience, interpretation falls on deaf ears, idiot minds, and much of what we witness in modern life is the tragic result.
"The mind and hand are natural allies. The mind speculates; the hand tests the speculations of the mind by the law of practical application. The hand explodes the errors of the mind, for it inquires, so to speak, by the act of doing, whether or not a given theorem is demonstrable in the form of a problem. The hand is, therefore, not only constantly searching after the truth, but is constantly finding it."--Charles H. Hamm, 1886
"In other cases, even by the strictest attention, it is not possible to give complete or strict truth in words. We could not, by any number of words, describe the color of a ribbon so as to enable a mercer to match it without seeing it. But an accurate colorist can convey the required intelligence at once, with a tint on paper." -- John Ruskin, 1879While waiting for the pendulum to swing, returning hands-on learning to American schools, there are steps you can take yourself, thus finding a place in higher consciousness. Cook, clean, cleanse the mind by use of the hands, create, fix, make, tend, restore, repair, plant, harvest and make. Make good, Make whole. Hermeneutics is not just about interpreting for others, but about interpreting for ourselves and requires a foundation in the real world from which to discover truth.