I have decided to consider Hannah Arendt's magisterial discussion of the vita activa in The Human Condition at this point in my study for a number of reasons. Firstly, since it is obvious that the Cartesian anthropological model was a decisive influence upon the development of modern hermeneutics, it seemed important to assess the subject of anthropology without regarding it as a concern that began with Kant and Schleiermacher. They were the first thinkers to apply the Cartesian model to man. Secondly, since modern hermeneutics has a decidedly different orientation to that of its forebears, it seemed to me that in order to gain any sort of critical perspective upon the issues involved in interpretation that would not merely recapitulate the assumptions (and perhaps the errors) of modern hermeneutics, a broader historical perspective needed to be taken. Arendt's study was useful on both accounts. 1 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it seemed to me to provide the most plausible explanation why the two-world paradigm and the study of hermeneutics on different terms according to its two different regions, the sacred and the secular, was abandoned: the contemporary axiom that life is the greatest good. This is a decidedly important theme in Wordsworth and his contemporaries' writing, so it seemed necessary to provide some sort of historical-critical context for a hermeneutic engagement with it, the subject matter of the final three chapters.