Paul Ricoeur’s Hermeneutic Style: Explain More to Understand Better

Fabrizio Turoldo



In this essay the Author retraces the central themes of Ricoeurian hermeneutics. As heir to the philosophical tradition inaugurated by Heidegger and Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur follows the same line of the two undisputed masters of twentieth century hermeneutics, but gives his own very personal reading. By trying to overcome the dichotomy placed by Gadamer between truth and method, Ricoeur shows the complementarity between explanation (erklären), typical of the sciences, and understanding (verstehen), practiced by the humanistic disciplines. Explanation and comprehension are, in fact, two sides of the same hermeneutical arc, that arc which is stretched every time a reader is placed before a text and is called upon and questioned by it.

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