The Basics of Hermeneutics. Syllabus: 2017-2018

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Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism

Course “The Basics of Hermeneutics”

Syllabus: 2017-2018

Prof. Serhiy Kvit

Office: 304, Building 5                                                         E-mail:

Office Hours: by appointment


Cycle or graduate: Master

Field of studies: Journalism and Information 0303

Narrow field of studies: 8.03030101 – Journalism

Status of the course: elective


Number of hours

Total: 162

Lectures: 16

Seminars: 16

Independent work: 130

Final Control: exam

Course Description

The course “The Basics of Hermeneutics” is a necessary part of learning interpretation and mass communications theories. It provides an opportunity to gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for master’s level research. The course is designed for 6th year students of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies, specializing in social communication.

“The Basics of Hermeneutics” is important for theoretical training in media studies, development of research skills, studying the hermeneutic phenomenon, exploration of the major intellectual discussions in European history in the philosophical, public and mass communications contexts. Students will have the opportunity to acquire a wide reader’s experience, also the ability to use philosophical concepts for reaching an understanding and forming their own point of view on different hermeneutical topics.

Course Goal

As a result of studying the course you should know: (1) the foundations of the interpretation theory in its historical development; (2) the practical possibilities of philosophical hermeneutics; (3) the fundamentals of communicative philosophy.

Therefore, by the end of the course you should be able to do the following:

• use philosophical concepts in a polemical context;

• build and defend your own point of view;

• think critically by evaluating any sources and messages;

• find understanding, self-understanding, and mutual understanding.

It also will help you to write well-constructed and appropriately formatted graduate-level papers.

Course Texts

Readings will be available in digital files and on-line:

  1. Serhiy Kvit’s blog:
  2. The Hermeneutics of Slyle (2011):
  3. Герменевтика стилю (2011):
  4. Saint Augustine’s Hermeneutical Universalism (2010):
  5. Truth: Philosophy in Transit (2013):
  6. Філософська герменевтика і соціальні науки з погляду однієї дискусії (2007):

Main Topics

1. What is hermeneutics and the hermeneutical phenomenon?

2. The consistencies of aesthetic fashions changes.

3. The first systems of interpretation.

4. Greek heritage.

5. The inner word: St. Augustine.

6. The power of imagination: Ignatius Loyola.

7. Essayistic breakthrough: Montaigne and Pascal.

8. Hermeneutical strategies in the Ukrainian context: Skovoroda and Chyzhevskyi

9. Romantic hermeneutics: Schleiermacher and Dilthey.

10. Husserl’s Phenomenology.

11. Philosophical hermeneutics: Heidegger and Gadamer.

12. Postmodernism: Foucault and Derrida.

13. Philosophical hermeneutics and critical theory.

14. Hermeneutic practice.


Quality control during the trimester is in the forms of oral and written interrogations, collective discussions and individual presentations. Final control is carried out by the end of trimester in the form of a written exam.

Conditions for the determination of student academic rankings:

Trimester work (participation in lectures and seminars) – 40 points;

Presentation within the course – 20 points;

Exam: 40 points;

Total: 100


Depending on the topic, a multimedia presentation (max 20 min) has to reflect the content or interpretation of philosophical doctrines, basic terms and concepts of certain intellectuals, essential points of their biographies or background. Not accepted are other people’s judgments, including taken from introductions of various books and Wikipedia. Requirements for written works include the ability to express your opinions in a clear and structured way and provide proper arguments. Not only the content but also the form of the written work is important because it shows the culture of your thinking.

Topics for Presentations:

1. St. Augustine

2. Montaigne

3. Pascal

4. Kierkegaard

5. Dontsov

6. Malaniuk

7. Marseille

8. Bachelard

9. Frankl

10. Heidegger

11. Gadamer

12. Ricoeur

13. Borges

14. Derrida

15. Foucault

16. The Phenomenon of Europe

17. Psychoanalysis

18. Feminism

19. Existentialism

20. Structuralism

21. Postmodernism

22. Phenomenology

23. Muslim Intellectualism

24. Literature as Hermeneutics

25. Contemporary Ukrainian Intellectualism: Aesthetic and Mass Communications Aspects

Final Exam: The final exam will be a cumulative essay of the material covered during the course.

Class Policy

Attendance and Participation: Students are expected to be prepared and participate in every class. Absences can negate the cumulative structure of the course even if individual students have missed relatively few classes.

Academic Conduct: In accordance with Kyiv-Mohyla academy policy and recognized standards of conduct, any form of dishonesty is unacceptable.  This includes plagiarism, cheating and the falsification of data. Plagiarism is the use of others’ material, knowingly or unknowingly, that leave the perception it is the author’s own.

Classroom Privacy: Recording classroom activities by any electronic means by students, other faculty, university administrators, or other observers / participants requires the permission of the instructor. All students in a class must be informed if permission has been giving for a class to be recorded.

Опубліковано у Герменевтика. Додати до закладок постійне посилання.

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