Giorgio A. Pintón
The hermeneutics as the general methodology of the sciences of the spirit, that is, Die Hermeneutik als allgemeine Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften zugleich ein Beitrag zum Unterschied zwischen Auslegung und Sinngebung, was published by Betti in Germany byJ.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck),Tübingen, in 1962 - two years after the publication by the same publisher of Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik by Hans Georg Gadamer - in order to present to the German public in a convenient manner the principal concepts of his own masterpiece, the Teoria Generale della Interpretazione, which had been published by Istituto di Teoria della Interpretazione presso le Universita di Roma e di Camerino in two volumes, with Dott. A. Giuffre Editore, Milan, in 1955.
In the work of 1962 Betti lamented that his previous monumental work did not generate in Germany but a modest echo and a few reviews, and thus dedicated himself to translate it immediately into German in one volume as the Allgemeine Auslegungslehre als Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften, again published in Germany byJ.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck),Tübingen, in 1967. This edition is not a strict translation of the original Italian text: Betti made significant and specific changes for the German readers. A second edition of the original Italian text, still in two volumes, corrected and amplified by Giuliano Crifo, a disciple of Betti, was made in 1990 by the same publisher of Milan.
Chronologically, however, we should mention that in 1954, Betti had exposed his most personal conceptions on hermeneutics, which had already matured in a continuous reflection on the topic for more than ten years, in the famous'Hermeneutisches Manifest’, the article titled‘Zur Grundlegung einer allgemeinen Auslegungslehre’, that was included in the Festschrift für Ernst Rabel, II, 1954, pp. 79-168, and in which Betti mentioned and commented on the main topics of the theory. It is important to mention that in 1968, the general theory of interpretation was the topic of study of the specific Convention in Salzburg with the title 'Hermeneutik als Weg
Editorial Preface xxvii heutiger Wissenschaft’, of an interdisciplinary character and it was at that time that Emilio Betti was mentioned, together with Friedrich Schleiermacher and Wilhelm Dilthey, as being considered and classified among the most significant and classic representative scholars of hermeneutics (for this see Norbert Henrichs, Kleine Bibliographie der Hermeneutik und ihrer Anwendungsbereiche seit Schleiermacher, Düsseldorf: Philosophia-VerL, 1968).
The present translation of the treatise Die Hermeneutik als allgemeine Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften comes from the review of the second edition of the work made by the author and published posthumously by Mohr, Tiibingen, in 1972.
The integral translation of this work corrects the lacunas of some translations for the most dispersed through Italian journals or in various published works, and makes known the terminology, especially used in the Teoria Generale della Interpretazione, that Betti has adopted for the publication and translation of his works in the German language.