This paper deals with the beginnings of hermeneutics as a philosophical discipline. The first part points out the reasons for the birth of philosophical hermeneutics. It also highlights the still prevailing prejudice according to which Schleiermacher was the founder of philosophical hermeneutics. The second part analyzes the development of general hermeneutics, outlining its emancipation from particular disciplines like theology, philology, jurisprudence, and its alignment with logic. Here the author-intentionalistic orientation of 18th century hermeneutics is emphasized. In the third and fourth parts I look at the development of theological hermeneutics: Holy Scripturer increasingly considered as a historical document, and this perspective with Lessing eventually leads to a philosophy of history. The last part sketches the emancipation of hermeneutics from logic and shows how hermeneutics comes to constitute itself as an autonomous discipline of philosophy.