Discussions of the theoretical foundations of artiicial intelligence increasingly refer to hermeneutics, a branch of continental European philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of written texts. Dreyfus and Wino-grad draw heavily on hermeneutics to question the feasibility of AI and cognitive science. But, hermeneutics also ooers insights that may contribute to the understanding of meaning, translation, architectures for natural language understanding, and even to the methods suitable for scientiic inquiry in AI. After brieey reviewing the historical development of hermeneutics as a method of interpretation, from its classical use through the modern debates, this article examines the contributions of hermeneutics to the human sciences. This background provides perspective for a review of recent hermeneutically-oriented AI research. This includes the Alker, Lehnert and Schneider computer-assisted techniques for coding the aaective structures of narratives, the earlier positive proposal by Winograd, and subsequently Bateman, the later pessimistic Winograd and Flores on the possibility of AI, as well as the system-building eeorts of Duuy and Mallery.