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Hermeneutics is a particular approach to the study of texts. Advocates of this approach claim that such texts, and the people who produce them, cannot be studied using the same methods as the natural sciences. Moreover, they claim that such texts are conventionalized expressions of the experience of the author; thus, the interpretation[?] of such texts will reveal something about the social[?] context in which they were formed, but, more significantly, provide the reader with a means to share the experiences of the author. Among the key advocates of this approach are Wilhelm Dilthey[?], a historian and philosopher; the sociologist Max Weber; the philosopher Martin Heidegger; and the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer. Although Jurgen Habermas attacked the principles of hermeneutics and advocated critical theory as an alternative, Paul Ricoeur[?] has attempted to reconcile and synthesize[?] these two opposing traditions.

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