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Hermeneutics, the study of interpretation, is an essential and valuable branch of philosophy. Hermeneutics is also a central component of the methodology of the social sciences and the humanities, for example historiography, anthropology, art history, and literary criticism. In a sequence of accessible chapters, contributors across the human sciences explain the leading concepts and ideas of hermeneutics, the historical development of the field, the importance of hermeneutics in philosophy today, and the ways in which it can address contemporary concerns including intercultural relations, relations between subcultures within a single society, and relations across race and gender. Clearly structured and written in non-technical language, this Companion will be an important contribution to a growing field of study.