Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

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Interpretive Hermeneutic Phenomenology: Clarifying Understanding

Ann E McManus Holroyd


The philosophical orientation of Gadamerian hermeneutic phenomenology is explored in this paper. Gadamer offers a hermeneutics of the humanities that differs significantly from models of the human sciences historically rooted in scientific methodologies. In particular, Gadamer proposes that understanding is first a mode of being before it is a mode of knowing; what this effectively offers is an alternative to the traditional way of understanding in the human sciences. This paper details why the work of hermeneutics is not to develop a procedure for understanding, but to clarify the conditions of understanding. In this explication, the author examines the hermeneutic experience and, in the process, relates it to both the practical and the historical horizons of the lifeworld of health professionals, particularly nurses.

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology<, Volume 7, Edition 2 September 2007
AJOL African Journals Online