“The word hermeneutic implies that there is a text or a text analogue through which somebody has been trying to express a meaning and from which somebody is trying to extract a meaning. This in turn implies that there is a difference between what is expressed in the text and what the text might mean, and furthermore that there is no unique solution to the task of determining the meaning for this expression.”
“Such hermeneutic interpretation is required when there is neither a rational method of assuring the “truth” of a meaning assigned to the text as a whole, nor an empirical method for determining the verifiability of the constituent elements that make up the text. In effect, the best hope of hermeneutical analysis is to provide an intuitively convincing account of the meaning of the text as a whole in the light of the constituent parts that make it up. This leads to the dilemma of the so-called hermeneutic circle–in which we try to justify the “rightness” of one reading of a text in terms of other readings rather than by, say, rational deduction or empirical proof. The most concrete way of explicating this dilemma or “circle” is by reference to the relations between the meanings assigned the whole of a text (say a story) and its constituent parts.
Bruner, Jermoe. “The Narrative Construction of Reality,” Critical Inquiry vol. 18 no. 1 (1991) pp. 7 -8