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Yvonne Sherratt argues for the importance of an historical understanding of the continental traditional approach to social science in order to appreciate its individual, humanist character. Examining the key traditions of hermeneutic, genealogical and critical theory, and the texts of major thinkers such as Gadamer, Ricoeur, Derrida, Nietzsche, Foucault, the Early Frankfurt School and Habermas, she also contextualizes contemporary developments within strands of thought stemming back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Sherrat demonstrates how these modes of thinking developed through the ages to become part of twentieth-century disciplines.
Introduction; Part I. The Tradition of Hermeneutics: 1. Ancient hermeneutics; 2. Biblical hermeneutics; 3. German philosophical hermeneutics: Enlightenment and Romanticism; 4. German philosophical hermeneutics: phenomenology and Existentialism; 5. Continental philosophical hermeneutics post-war; Part II. The Tradition of Genealogy: 1. The history of genealogy: Nietzsche; 2. The theory of genealogy: Foucault; 3. Application of genealogy; Part III. The Tradition of Critical Theory: 1. The history of critical theory; 2. Critical theory I; 3. Critical theory II.