chapter  2
14 Pages


Hermeneutics is the theory for which Ricoeur is most celebrated. In the 1960s, beginning with The Symbolism of Evil, Ricoeur sees hermeneutics merely as a method of interpreting symbols. However, he subsequently refines hermeneutics into a theory of interpreting discourse as a whole, including, but not confined to, the symbols which any discourse contains. Essentially, hermeneutics becomes a theory of text, which takes texts as its starting point, but ultimately comes to see the world as textual, insofar as human existence is expressed through discourse, and discourse is the invitation humans make to one another to be interpreted.