The hermeneutic circle - Deepstash

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The hermeneutic circle

Interpreting a text doesn't happen out of context. The concept of the hermeneutic circle is to understand the whole by seeing how the parts interact with each other, and how they interact with the whole.

When we first read a text, we gain an initial understanding. As we move through the text, we keep on updating our understanding based on the new knowledge. In turn, the new context will inform the way we interpret the text.

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We often forget that our interpretation of a text is influenced by our preexisting beliefs, knowledge and expectations.

Allow your initial understanding to change. If your first interpretation improved, it's a good sign of critical reading.

When practising critical reading, it is crucial to be aware of the context of the text.

To allow for the hermeneutic circle to be effective, re-read the text a few times or at least read the parts that are most interesting to you.

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