Phainomena 37:49-62 (2001)

Eric S. Nelson
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
This essay is about the significance of communication and the ineffable for the question of hermeneutics. I argue that Friedrich Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics needs to be interpreted in the context of his early religious thought and that the play between communication and what resists and withdraws from communication provides an alternative conception of the tasks of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is not only constituted by what is said and what is left unsaid but, further, by that which is unsayable. Finally, the relation and non-relation of meaning and the ineffable is articulated in its ethical import by exploring the questions of alterity, singularity and responsiveness
Keywords Schleiermacher
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