Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Veilmaker's Intuition: Hermeneutics and Cognitive Science

Amalia Jiva.

Following the progression from a language centered hermeneutics to a 'psychology' centered hermeneutics in Schleiermacher's writings, this paper will argue that Schleiermacher's work foreshadows certain elements in the future unfolding of the understanding of language, including intentionality, speech acts and present day linguistics.
This paper's specific goal is to show how the argument made by Steven Pinker, in the neo-Chomskian tradition, regarding the possibility for thoughts to precede language or exist without language is evident in the work of Schleiermacher, the founder of hermeneutics as a science. The main evidence for this argument comes from comparing the two author’s views on children’s language, translation, reading processes, difference between speech and writing, and intentionality,
The larger goal of this paper is to call for language-centered hermeneutics in particular, and literary theory in general, to incorporate the findings of cognitive science both in evaluating existing theories and in developing new ones. As a result, cognitive science can both validate findings from these disciplines in humanities and lead to a richer, and finally truer account of what it means to be a conscious, linguistic being.


Amalia Jiva  (United States)
Ph. D. student
University Professors Department
Boston University

  • Hermeneutics
  • Cognitive science
  • Linguistics
Person as Subject
  • Schleiermacher, Friedrich Steven, Pinker

(Virtual Presentation, English)