Verbum interius as the Essential Experience of Philosophical Hermeneutics. An Outline of the Debate

Małgorzata Przanowska

Since Einfürung in die philosophische Hermeneutik by Jean Grondin published in 2001, a debate on verbum interius as an essential experience of philosophical hermeneutics has begun. A unique voice in it belongs to John Arthos’ book The Inner Word in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics published in 2009. Th e article presents an outline of the polemic discussion on the two books and their authors’ interpretation of verbum interius. Th e outline includes James Risser’s interpretation (from 1997) with which the author of the article shares the way of understanding Gadamer’s hermeneutics. The text can be treated as an introduction to the interpretation of hermeneutic ontology and dialectic. Both of them, on the one hand, use the wording “speaking from deep inside of language”, and on the other hand, both exceed, so to speak, the Christian thought perspective of verbum. The author comes to a conclusion that although the debate broadens – as Gadamer put it – a resonance of the text, a tendency to track a “theoretical base” of philosophical hermeneutics should not deafen its own “voice”, that is the experience which the hermeneutics not only wishes to bequeath, but the experience it wants to be.


Keywords: word · St. Augustin · St. Thomas · Duns Scotus · Heidegger · Gadamer · Risser · Grondin · Wierciński · McGrath · Arthos · Vessey · Cary

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