Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics: Concepts of reading, understanding and interpretation


Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is a popular qualitative research interpretive method aiming to explore the meaning of individual experiences in relation to understanding human interpretation. Gadamer identifies that authentic engagement with reading requires awareness of the inter-subjective nature of understanding in order to promote a reflective engagement with the text. The main concepts of Gadamer’s view of reading and understanding are explored in this paper in relation to interpreting text. Concepts such as; inter-subjectivity, Being, authenticity, fore-structure, pre-suppositions, prejudice, temporality and history are all help to enhance health and social science researchers’ understanding of his theory and its application.

Keywords: Gadamer, Philosophical hermeneutics, Reading, Understanding, Interpretation, Qualitative research

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