Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (10-11):162-174 (2004)
|Abstract||Hermeneutics is usually defined as the theory and practice of interpretation. As a discipline it involves a long and complex history, starting with concerns about the proper interpretation of literary, sacred, and legal texts. In the twentieth century, hermeneutics broadens to include the idea that humans are, in Charles Taylor’s phrase, ‘self-interpreting animals’ (Taylor, 1985). In contrast to the narrowly prescriptive questions of textual interpretation, philosophical hermeneutics, as developed by thinkers like Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur, raises questions about the conditions of possibility for human understanding — not how we should interpret or understand something, but what interpretation and understanding are and how they work. For the nineteenth-century philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey, the hermeneutical disciplines were very different from the disciplines of science, including the newly emerging science of psychology. In contrast to psychology, which, in part, attempts to explain the natural behaviour of human animals in causal terms, Dilthey (1926) thinks of the hermeneutical disciplines as attempting to under- stand the behaviour of human persons in terms of their experience and inner motivation. Inner life is not composed of a series of mechanistic starts and stops, but is woven together into a continuity (Zusammenhang) that has a structure, by..|
|Keywords||Cognitive Science Computation Hermeneutics Metaphysics Understanding|
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