The Hermeneutical and Philosophy

By Günter Figal
Translated by Theodore George

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438432069, 470 pages, July 2011
Hardcover : 9781438432052, 470 pages, August 2010

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Table of contents

Translator’s Introduction

I. From Philosophical Hermeneutics to Hermeneutical Philosophy
1. The Human Sciences as Problem

2. Hermeneutics of Facticity

3. Hermeneutics and Practical Philosophy

4. Origin

5. Models of Origin

6. Moments of Origin

Chapter 2. Interpretation
7. Carrying Over

8. What Is To Be Interpreted

9. Setting In

10. Exterior Relations

11. Presentative Recognizing

12. Understanding

13. Objectivity

Chapter 3. The World as Hermeneutical Space
14. Phenomenology

15. Space

16. The Concept of World

Chapter 4. Freedom

17. Action

18. Deliberation

19. Freedom of Things

20. Shared Freedom

21. Free Contemplation

Chapter 5. Language

22. Based on Speech

23. An Individual Simple Sentence

24. Signs

25. Significance

26. Deconstruction of the Voice

27. Positions

28. Written Thought

Chapter 6. Time

29. Ubiquitous and With All Things

30. Something Occurs

31. Being in Time

32. Time of Enactment

33. Temporality

34. Constellations of Meaning

Chapter 7. Life

35. In Hermeneutical Space

36. Lifting Out and Folding

37. Originariness

38. Form of Life

39. Body and the Body Quick

40. Reason

41. Structure of Life

42. Lack and Fullness

Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Index of Greek Terms

Appearing for the first time in English, Günter Figal’s groundbreaking book in the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics offers original perspectives on perennial philosophical problems.


Günter Figal has long been recognized as one of the most insightful interpreters working in the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics and its leading themes concerned with ancient Greek thought, art, language, and history. With this book, Figal presses this tradition of philosophical hermeneutics in new directions. In his effort to forge philosophical hermeneutics into a hermeneutical philosophy, Figal develops an original critique of the objectification of the world that emerges in modernity as the first stage in his systematic treatment of the elements of experience hermeneutically understood. Breaking through the prejudices of modernity, but not sacrificing the importance and challenge of the objective world that confronts us and is in need of interpretation, Figal reorients how it is that philosophy should take up some of its most longstanding and stubborn questions. World, object, space, language, freedom, time, and life are refreshed as philosophical notions here since they are each regarded as elements of human life engaged in the task assigned to each of us—the task of understanding ourselves and our world.

Günter Figal is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where he holds the Husserl and Heidegger Chair. He is the author of several books, including For a Philosophy of Freedom and Strife: Politics, Aesthetics, Metaphysics, also published by SUNY Press. Theodore D. George is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Tragedies of Spirit: Tracing Finitude in Hegel's Phenomenology, also published by SUNY Press.


"Figal's work launches a renewal of hermeneutics in the broadest sense. Through his investigation of the hermeneutical dimension of experience and of language, he enlarges the scope of hermeneutics to such an extent that it comes to coincide with philosophy as such. Thus, he takes up not only questions concerning understanding and interpretation but also the classical philosophical issues of space and time, of language and speech, and of life and reason. Objectivity is a thoroughly original and rigorous work, which retrieves much of the content of the philosophical tradition while also advancing into the still uncharted territory opened up by recent philosophical thought. " — John Sallis, author of Platonic Legacies