Four levels of self-interpretation: A paradigm for interpretive social philosophy and political criticism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):691-720 (2004)

If we are to find the criteria for critical analyses of social arrangements and processes not in some abstract, universalist framework, but from the guiding ‘self-interpretations’ of the societies in question, as contemporary contextualist and ‘communitarian’ approaches to social philosophy suggest, the vexing question arises as to where these self-interpretations can be found and how they are identified. The paper presents a model according to which there are four interdependent as well as partially autonomous spheres or ‘levels’ of socially relevant self-interpretation that have to be taken into account equally in order to provide a sound basis for social and political criticism. Thus, it is from the tensions and incoherences between (A) social ideas and doctrines, (B) social institutions and practices, (C) individual beliefs and convictions, and (D) body-practices and habits that social pathologies can be identified and possible solutions can be envisaged
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DOI 10.1177/0191453704045761
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Philosophical Arguments.Charles Taylor - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186):94-96.
The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism.Daniel Bell - 1976 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 35 (2):229-231.

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