Literary Theory: Ways In and Out of the Hermeneutic Circle (Lecture 3 of 26)

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines acts of reading and interpretation by way of the theory of hermeneutics. The origins of hermeneutic thought are traced through Western literature. The mechanics of hermeneutics, including the idea of a hermeneutic circle, are explored in detail with reference to the works of Hans-George Gadamer, Martin Heidegger, and E. D. Hirsch. Particular attention is paid to the emergence of concepts of "historicism" and "historicality" and their relation to hermeneutic theory. 00:00 - Chapter 1. The History of Hermeneutics 10:32 - Chapter 2. The Hermeneutic Circle 20:37 - Chapter 3. On Prejudice 23:45 - Chapter 4. Historicism and "Historicality" 27:48 - Chapter 5. Gadamer's Debt to Heidegger 33:21 - Chapter 6. Prejudice and Tradition 37:20 - Chapter 7. E. D. Hirsch Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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