>At least it actually means something. In an academic context,
>"hermeneutic" is just intellectual line noise. Code for "look how
>smart I am." Admittedly, there are a lot of codes for that in
Speaking for myself, I like it as a word and find it useful, but I would never use it outside of the context of the interpretation of specifically religious texts. Ditto for "exegesis." Technically speaking, both words can be used in a wider context; as a practical matter, I find doing so to be deeply unhelpful and confusing.
You can, in my opinion, expand the usage to philosophical writing only if they're specifically religious philosophers. I can see situations where I'd use the word hermeneutic when talking about Aquinas or Augustine, but not about Voltaire.
(Amusing sidebar: the forum spellchecker wants to make hermeneutic into "hermetic." That's kind of hilarious.)