"I do not think that hermeneutics and epistemology are distinguished by two separate methodologies, two projects of intelligibility; these two perspectives intersect over and over again, are in constant interference with one another, first of all because the term 'hermeneutics' subsumes at least three things: precise methods containing rigorous rules—this is the case of philology and the exegesis of the great classical texts, such as those of jurisprudence; next, a reflection on the very nature of understanding, its conditions and its operation; finally, a more ambitious axis, a sort of 'philosophy' that presents itself as another part of intelligibility and that claims to understand scientific endeavors better than they are able to understand themselves, fencing off these endeavors within the limits of a sort of 'methodologism.' This is more or less the position adopted by Gadamer, in relation to which I have taken a certain distance. Now hermeneutics, even in the first sense, that of exegesis, constitutes to my mind an epistemology, in which intelligibility is saturated by the notion of 'sense.'
What is more, when science is understood not through its objects, its method, or its principles, but as a theoretical practice, it obeys an intentionality proper to it which cannot help but raise the question of its sense: the legitimacy of a hermeneutics in this sense is therefore entirely well-founded here. This is, as a matter of fact, a hermeneutics of scientificity as one practice among others" (Ricoeur 1998:73).
1998 Critique & Conviction. Kathleen Blamey, trans. New York: Columbia University Press.
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