Register now for the Summer Seminar 2019!

Hermeneutics as a Form of Epistemology

August 26-28 2019
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
HG‐03C01 Agora 1

In many disciplines text interpretation is a going concern. But strangely enough, epistemologists hardly pay attention to the phenomenon of interpretation, and those who engage in interpretative practices often do so without awareness of epistemological problems.

The aim of this seminar is to view hermeneutical practices from an epistemological perspective. It concentrates on interpretation of texts, and addresses the following questions: “What is it to ‘interpret’ a text?”, “When is an interpretation of a text ‘justified’?”, “What kinds of evidence are relevant when it comes to text interpretation?”, “What role should authorial intentions play in interpretative processes?”, “Can there be multiple correct interpretations of texts?”

Speakers in the seminar have backgrounds in legal studies, literary studies, theology, and philosophy.

Keynote speakers

Professor Richard Gaskin, University of Liverpool
Professor Tom Kindt, University of Freiburg
Professor Luis Oliveira, University of Houston
Professor Darren Sarisky, University of Oxford
Professor René van Woudenberg, Free University Amsterdam
Professor Jean Wagemans, University of Amsterdam
Professor Arie Zwiep, Free University Amsterdam


DAY 1 August 26    
09:00 – 09:30 Coffee  
09.30 – 11.00 Arie Zwiep
Biblical Hermeneutics I: Defining the Issues
11.00 – 11.15 Coffee break  
11.15 – 12.45 Richard Gaskin
What is Literary Humanism?
12.45 – 13.45 Lunch break  
13.45 – 15.15 Jean Wagemans
The Philosophy of Argument
15.15 – 15.30 Coffee break  
15.30 – 17.00 Tom Kindt
Interpretation in Literary Studies: Structures, Types, Tribes and Recent Developments
17.00 – 21.00 Evening program Art Zuid tour (Sculpture Biennial) and dinner
DAY 2 August 27    
09:00 – 09:30 Coffee  
09.30 – 11.00 Luis Oliveira Interpretative Authority and Hermeneutical Injustices
11.00 – 11.15 Coffee break  
11.15 – 12.45 Darren Sarisky
The Need for Theological Interpretation of Scripture
12.45 – 13.45 Lunch break  
13.45 – 15.15 Arie Zwiep
Biblical Hermeneutics II: Exploring the Field
15.15 – 16.45 René van Woudenberg Reading as a Source of Knowledge
16.45 – 18.00 Drinks  
DAY 3 August 28    
09:00 – 09:30 Coffee  
09.30 – 11.00 Richard Gaskin
Do Authorial Intentions Fix Meaning? 
11.00 – 11.15 Coffee break  
11.15 – 12.45 Jean Wagemans
Hermeneutic Aspects of Identifying Argument Types 
12.45 – 13.45 Lunch break  
13.45 – 15.15 Darren Sarisky What is Theological Interpretation of Scripture?
15.15 – 16.45 Tom Kindt
Relativism in Literary Interpretation?

Conference booklet
Please find the conference booklet here.

Participant: €150
PhD student: €100
Student: free
All incl. evening program (incl. dinner)

Please register via this link (you will be directed to another website).

Contact and further information
For questions please contact Elisa Matse MA:

The seminar is the sixth in a series organized by the Abraham Kuyper Center for Science and the Big Questions, at the Department of Philosophy of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The seminar is part of the “The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University” project sponsored by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.