Hermeneutics as we understand it today is an essentially modern phenomenon. The chapter presents observations that illustrate some of the central ways in which the modern and late modern phenomena of philosophical hermeneutics relate to the ancient philosophical legacy. First, the roots of hermeneutics are traced to ancient views on linguistic, textual, and sacral interpretation. The chapter then looks at certain fundamentally unhermeneutic elements of the Platonic, Aristotelian, and Augustinian “logocentric” theory of meaning that philosophical hermeneutics (...) and its heirs sought to call into question, reconsider, and deconstruct. Augustine's De doctrina christiana, can be regarded as an epitome and culmination of the ancient protohermeneutic heritage, theological as well as philological. Finally, Aristotle's practical philosophy, particularly the notion of phronesis, “practical insight”, is designated as an implicit ancient prototype of hermeneutic thinking, the reappropriation of which lay at the core of the Heideggerian and Gadamerian philosophical projects. (shrink)
This paper contributes to the on-going research into the ways in which the humanities transformed the natural sciences in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. By investigating the relationship between hermeneutics -- as developed by Herder -- and natural history, it shows how the methods used for the study of literary and artistic works played a crucial role in the emergence of key natural-scientific fields, including geography and ecology.
This essay charts several key points of contact between Nietzsche and the hermeneutical tradition. It begins by arguing that the familiar claim that Nietzsche offers a hermeneutics of suspicion is potentially misleading. Seeking a more accurate representation of Nietzsche’s views, the essay argues that Nietzsche’s interpretive stance has several key features: he rejects immediate givens, endorses holism and perspectivism, and sees conscious experience as structured by concepts and language. Methodologically, Nietzsche inaugurates a genealogical approach to studying objects of philosophical (...) concern, and offers a series of thoughts and arguments on perspectives and the ways in which they might be assessed. After explaining these points, the essay reviews the way in which Nietzsche takes religious, moral, and philosophical systems as aspiring to provide an interpretation of existence that renders it meaningful. The closing section briefly discusses the Nietzschean approach to interpretation that is adopted by Foucault. (shrink)
Edward S. Casey’s rich and detailed work on place (now spanning at least seven books) harbors many insights regarding the hermeneutics of place—even though he does not directly address this topic under that heading. So I begin by briefly mapping his work in its relevance to the hermeneutics of place. This lets me descry an underlying methodological and conceptual trajectory that contextualizes the main task of this chapter, namely, articulating two of Casey’s distinctive contributions to the hermeneutics (...) of place, and then drawing out a deeper implication. -/- Casey’s first distinctive contribution is his study of moving, bodily implacement as key to the determinate appearance of things in places, places and place itself —and thereby crucial to the hermeneutics of place. The second contribution arises from Casey’s more recent and highly innovative work on what he calls periphenomena. Periphenomena, such as glances and edges, are peripheral to phenomena, yet guide our moving, bodily implacement; they are thus ingredient in our encountering places, and things in places, as determinate phenomena. Periphenomena though, are beneath direct notice and inherently escape clear determination or delimitation—they are what I call subliminal. These two contributions together imply a third, underlying point that I draw out of Casey, namely that a hermeneutics of place and indeed all hermeneutics turns on a hermeneutics of place, that is, an account of hermeneutical activity as itself arising from and granted by place—yet the place that grants meaning is not some already fully given and determinate foundation, but is subliminal. This has ethical implications. (shrink)
Fredrik Svenaeus' book is a delight to read. Not only does he exhibit keen understanding of a wide range of topics and figures in both medicine and philosophy, but he manages to bring them together in an innovative manner that convincingly demonstrates how deeply these two significant fields can be and, in the end, must be mutually enlightening. Medicine, Svenaeus suggests, reveals deep but rarely explicit themes whose proper comprehension invites a careful phenomenological and hermeneutical explication. Certain philosophical approaches, on (...) the other hand - specifically, Heidegger's phenomenology and Gadamer's hermeneutics - are shown to have a hitherto unrealized potential for making sense of those themes long buried within Western medicine. Richard M. Zaner, Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University. (shrink)
This article re-examines the theoretical basis for environmental and heritage interpretation in tourist settings in the light of hermeneutic philosophy. It notes that the pioneering vision of heritage interpretation formulated by Freeman Tilden envisaged a broadly educational, ethically informed and transformative art. By contrast, current cognitive psychological attempts to reduce interpretation to the monological transmission of information, targeting universal but individuated cognitive structures, are found to be wanting. Despite growing signs of diversity, this information processing approach to interpretation remains dominant. (...) The article then presents the alternative paradigm of hermeneutics through the works of Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer, to provide a broader interpretation of interpretation. This not only captures the essence of Tilden’s definition but construes heritage interpretation as a more inclusive, culturally situated, critically reflexive and dialogical practice. (shrink)
_Expanding Hermeneutics _examines the development of interpretation theory, emphasizing how science in practice involves and implicates interpretive processes. Ihde argues that the sciences have developed a sophisticated visual hermeneutics that produces evidence by means of imaging, visual displays, and visualizations. From this vantage point, Ihde demonstrates how interpretation is built into technologies and instruments.
"This is a remarkable book: wide-ranging, resonant, and well-written; it is also reflective and personable, warm and engaging." —Philosophy and Literature "With this book Caputo takes his place firmly as the foremost American, continental post-modernist... " —International Philosophical Quarterly "One cannot but be impressed by the scope of Radical Hermeneutics." —Man and World "Caputo’s study is stunning in its scope and scholarship." —Robert E. Lauder, St. John’s University, The Thomist For John D. Caputo, hermeneutics means radical thinking without (...) transcendental justification: attending to the ruptures and irregularities in existence before the metaphysics of presence has a chance to smooth them over. Radical Hermeneutics forges a closer collaboration between hermeneutics and deconstruction than has previously been attempted. (shrink)
Hans-Georg Gadamer is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His philosophical hermeneutics has had a major impact in a wide range of disciplines, including the social sciences, literary criticism, theology and jurisprudence. Truth and Method, his major work, is widely recognised to be one of the great classics of twentieth-century thought. In this book Georgia Warnke provides a clear and systematic exposition of Gadamer's work, as well as a balanced and thoughtful assessment of his views. Warnke (...) gives particular attention to the ways in which Gadamer's work has been taken up and criticised by literary critics, social theorists and philosophers, such as Hirsch, Habermas and Rorty. She thus provides an introduction to Gadamer which demonstrates the relevance of his work to current debates in a variety of disciplines. This book will be invaluable to students and specialists throughout the humanities and social sciences, as well as to anyone who is interested in the most important developments in contemporary thought. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging historical introduction to philosophical hermeneutics, Jean Grondin discusses the major figures from Philo to Habermas, analyzes conflicts between various interpretive schools, and provides a persuasive critique of Gadamer's view of hermeneutic history, though in other ways Gadamer's _Truth and Method_ serves as a model for Grondin's approach. Grondin begins with brief overviews of the pre-nineteenth-century thinkers Philo, Origen, Augustine, Luther, Flacius, Dannhauer, Chladenius, Meier, Rambach, Ast, and Schlegel. Next he provides more extensive treatments of such major (...) nineteenth-century figures as Schleiermacher, Böckh, Droysen, and Dilthey. There are full chapters devoted to Heidegger and Gadamer as well as shorter discussions of Betti, Habermas, and Derrida. Because he is the first to pay close attention to pre-Romantic figures, Grondin is able to show that the history of hermeneutics cannot be viewed as a gradual, steady progression in the direction of complete universalization. His book makes it clear that even in the early period, hermeneutic thinkers acknowledged a universal aspect in interpretation—that long before Schleiermacher, hermeneutics was philosophical and not merely practical. In revising and correcting the standard account, Grondin's book is not merely introductory but revisionary, suitable for beginners as well as advanced students in the field. (shrink)
The relevance of the Aristotelian concept ofphronesis – practical wisdom – for medicine and medical ethics has been much debated during the last two decades. This paper attempts to show how Aristotle’s practical philosophy was of central importance toHans-Georg Gadamer and to the development of his philosophical hermeneutics, and how,accordingly, the concept of phronesiswill be central to a Gadamerian hermeneutics of medicine. If medical practice is conceived of as an interpretative meeting between doctor and patient with the aim (...) of restoring the health of the latter, then phronesis is the mark of the good physician, who through interpretation comes to know the best thing todo for this particular patient at this particular time. The potential fruitfulness of this hermeneutical appropriation of phronesis for the field of medical ethics is also discussed. The concept can be (and has been) used in critiques of the conceptualization of bioethics as the application of principle-based theory to clinical situations, since Aristotle’s point is exactly that problems of praxis cannot be approached in this way. It can also point theway for alternative forms of medical ethics, such as virtue ethics or a phenomenological andhermeneutical ethics. The latter alternative would have to address the phenomena of healthand the good life as issues for medical practice. It would also have to map out in detail the terrain of the medical meeting and the acts of interpretation through which phronesis is exercised. (shrink)
Computers may help us to better understand (not just verify) arguments. In this article we defend this claim by showcasing the application of a new, computer-assisted interpretive method to an exemplary natural-language ar- gument with strong ties to metaphysics and religion: E. J. Lowe’s modern variant of St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God. Our new method, which we call computational hermeneutics, has been particularly conceived for use in interactive-automated proof assistants. It aims at shedding light on (...) the meanings of words and sentences by framing their inferential role in a given argument. By employing automated theorem reasoning technology within interactive proof assistants, we are able to drastically reduce (by several orders of magnitude) the time needed to test the logical validity of an argu- ment’s formalization. As a result, a new approach to logical analysis, inspired by Donald Davidson’s account of radical interpretation, has been enabled. In computational hermeneutics, the utilization of automated reasoning tools ef- fectively boosts our capacity to expose the assumptions we indirectly commit ourselves to every time we engage in rational argumentation and it fosters the explicitation and revision of our concepts and commitments. (shrink)
To have a theory of religion before studying religion would make the study superfluous unless there is openness for change, openness for new horizons emerging. However, we need to understand that contextual meaningfulness is not the same as relativism. The search for a common framework presupposes the reality of and possibility of the same. Men can determine the rules of a particular language-game; but, they cannot create the laws of logic. So, while hermeneutics must pay attention to both content (...) and context, it must also watch to keep to the principles that are universal and absolute – that are common. (shrink)
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.. (shrink)
A study of the interface between philosophical hermeneutics and the philosophical theory of education, yielding a hermeneutical approach to education--an approach that calls into question the current models of educational experience and ...
The founding text of modern hermeneutics. Written by the philosopher and theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as a method for the interpretation and textual criticism of the New Testament, it develops ideas about language and the interpretation of texts that are in many respects still unsurpassed and are becoming current in the contemporary philosophy of language. Contrary to the traditional view of Schleiermacher as a theorist of empathetic interpretation, in this text he offers a view of understanding that acknowledges both the (...) structurally and historically determined aspects of language and the need to take account of the activity of the individual subject in the constitution of meaning. This volume offers the text in a new translation by Andrew Bowie, together with related writings on secular hermeneutics and on language, and an introduction that places the texts in the context of Schleiermacher's philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
Hermeneutics is widely celebrated as a call for “conversation”—that is, a manner of inquiry characterized by humility and openness to the other that eschews the pretenses of calculative rationality and resists all finality of conclusions. In this, conversation takes shape in efforts to understand and interpret that always unfold in the transmission of meaning historically in language. Yet, the celebration of hermeneutics for humility and openness appears, at least, to risk embarrassment in light of claims found in Heidegger (...) and Gadamer that conversation is always contingent on “prior accord.” Critics of hermeneutics have, for some decades, interpreted this claim of prior accord to refer to a common tradition, so that the understanding achieved in conversation is restricted to those who belong to the same heritage. In this essay, the author argues that although Heidegger and Gadamer often suggest this prior accord is a matter of common tradition, crucial threads of Gadamer’s thought, in particular, recommend a different view. Gadamer, in these threads, offers that “prior accord” concerns not a common tradition, but, on the contrary, the call to participate in hermeneutic transmission as such, even—and no doubt especially—when those in conversation are not familiar with the tradition or language of the other. With this, we are called to converse not first by _what_ the other says, but by the fact _that_ we do not yet understand, that we have already misunderstood, and that we perhaps cannot understand. (shrink)
Naturalistic Hermeneutics proposes the position of the unity of the scientific method and defends it against the claim to autonomy of the human sciences. Mantzavinos shows how materials that are 'meaningful', more specifically human actions and texts, can be adequately dealt with by the hypothetico-deductive method, the standard method used in the natural sciences. The hermeneutic method is not an alternative method aimed at the understanding and the interpretation of human actions and texts, but it is the same as (...) the hypothetico-deductive method applied to meaningful materials. The central thesis advocated by Mantzavinos is, thus, that there is no fundamental methodological difference between natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Advanced students and professionals across philosophy, social and political theory, and the humanities will find this a compelling and controversial book. (shrink)
In The Ethics of Immigration, Joseph Carens’ builds a sophisticated account of justice in immigration based on an interpretation of liberal states’ democratic principles and practices. I dispute Carens’ contention that his hermeneutic methodology supports a broadly liberal egalitarian consensus; instead, the consensus he detects on principles and practices appears because his interpretation presupposes liberal egalitarianism. Carens’ methodology would benefit by engaging with a “hermeneutics of suspicion” that explores the ideological and exclusionary facets of liberal egalitarian principles when applied (...) to immigration. This would contribute to an account of the ethics of immigration that gives more attention to power and interest, mediated through structures of gender, race, and class. (shrink)
Hermeneutics has had a pervasive influence on contemporary philosophy, social and cultural theory, literary criticism, and aesthetics. In this book one of Europe's foremost contemporary philosophers provides hermeneutics with a fresh relevance and a substantive account of its philosophical meaning for science, ethics, religion, and art. Vattimo argues for a reading of hermeneutics that radicalises it according to what the author calls its 'nihilistic vocation', a term referring to the interpretive character of truth and taken from Nietzsche's (...) statement that there are, in the modern period, no facts, only interpretations. Modernity, for Vattimo, is conceived as the advent of nihilism, and the central question of the book is to ask what it means to take this nihilistic vocation seriously. This involves not simply accepting the current status of hermeneutics, but evaluating why it appears when, and where, it does. (shrink)
This excellent collection contains 13 essays from Gadamer's _Kleine Schriften, _dealing with hermeneutical reflection, phenomenology, existential philosophy, and philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer applies hermeneutical analysis to Heidegger and Husserl's phenomenology, an approach that proves critical and instructive.
Leading philosopher of religion D. Z. Phillips argues that intellectuals need not see their task as being for or against religion, but as one of understanding it. What stands in the way of this task are certain methodological assumptions about what enquiry into religion must be. Beginning with Bernard Williams on Greek gods, Phillips goes on to examine these assumptions in the work of Hume, Feuerbach, Marx, Frazer, Tylor, Marett, Freud, Durkheim, Le;vy-Bruhl, Berger and Winch. The result exposes confusion, but (...) also gives logical space to religious belief without advocating personal acceptance of that belief, and shows how the academic study of religion may return to the contemplative task of doing conceptual justice to the world. Religion and the Hermeneutics of Contemplation extends in important ways D. Z. Phillips' seminal 1976 book Religion Without Explanation. It will be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy, anthropology, sociology and theology. (shrink)
Recent research on infant and animal imitation and on mirror neuron systems has brought imitation back in focus in psychology and cognitive science. This topic has always been important for philosophical hermeneutics as well, focusing on theory and method of understanding. Unfortunately, relations between the scientific and the hermeneutic approaches to imitation and understanding have scarcely been investigated, to the loss of both disciplines. In contrast to the cognitive scientific emphasis on sharing and convergence of representations, the hermeneutic analysis emphasizes the indeterminacy and openness of action (...) understanding due to preunderstanding, action configuration, and the processual nature of understanding. This article discusses empirical evidence in support of these aspects and concludes that hermeneutics can contribute to the scientific investigation of imitation and understanding. Since, conversely, some grounding—and constraining—aspects of hermeneutics may be derived from cognitive science, both should be integrated in a multilevel explanation of imitation and understanding. This holds also for explanations that are largely based on mirror neuron systems, since these appear to be sensitive to developmental and experiential factors, too. (shrink)
El artículo expone el papel del otro y de lo otro en la hermenéutica de Gadamer a la luz de la idea de diálogo. Para comprender se requiere reconocer lo otro en su carácter de tú, asumir que no se tiene distancia frente a él y estar abierto a acoger lo dicho por él como una posible verdad. La compresión posee una estructura dialéctica que implica la cancelación de las propias expectativas y el acceso a un saber más abarcante. Aunque (...) la comprensión es histórica, en ella se muestra cada vez un aspecto de la cosa misma, que resulta de la interacción del yo y el tú en el curso de la conversación hermenéutica y que constituye una verdad común con caracteres análogos a los del saber de tipo práctico. [The paper exposes the role of the other in Gadamer’s hermeneutics in the light of the idea of dialogue. Understanding requires the recognition of the other as a thou, the acceptance of the lack of distance from him and the openness to embrace what is said by him as a possible truth. Understanding has a dialectical structure which implies the cancellation of one’s own expectations and the access to a more comprehensive knowledge. Even though every understanding is historical, it discloses an aspect of the thing itself, which results from the interaction of the I and the thou during the process of hermeneutical conversation and constitutes a common truth with analogous characteristics to practical reason.] . (shrink)
In this text, I discuss the environmental education project "Legible Landscape ", which aims to teach inhabitants to read their landscape and develop a closer, more engaged relationship to place. I show that the project's semiotic perspective on landscape legibility tends to hamper the understanding of the moral dimension of reading landscapes, and argue that a hermeneutical perspective is better suited to acknowledge the way that readers and texts are intimately connected.
_ Source: _Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 61 - 94 Interchanges between political, juridical and theological thought in the early modern period have been studied extensively during the past decades. Less light has been cast on the corresponding interrelations between politico-juridical thought and biblical hermeneutics. However, this issue deserves some attention, too, as the following case study on Hugo Grotius wants to show by pointing to the mutual adjustment of juridical, theological and biblical arguments in the progress of the (...) core semantics of Grotius’s natural law theory from _De iure praedae_ to _De iure belli ac pacis._. (shrink)
Human experience has a symbolic structure. By focusing on the symbolism of human action, this essay considers the reciprocal influences and the essential differences between Paul Ricœur’s hermeneutics and Clifford Geertz’s cultural anthropology. Through reference to Ricœur’s Lectures on Ideology and Utopia, the section on “Ideology, Utopia, and Politics” in From Text to Action, and Geertz’s 1973 book The Interpretation of Cultures, this paper aims at reconstructing the dialogue between these thinkers. I begin with a broad framing of the (...) encounter between Ricœur and Geertz, and then turn to the notion of the symbolic mediation of action, considering it as the shared key concept between these authors. These reflections will lead to an examination of the semiotic conception of culture, opening up the discussion of a nonpejorative dimension of ideology. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to give an outline of digital hermeneutics understood as the encounter between hermeneutics and digital technology, particularly the Internet. In the first part, I want to raise the attention of IT researchers and hermeneuticists to the theoretic and practical relevance of the encounter of their areas of research that are sometimes considered as incompatible to each other. There is still a lot of translation work to be done in order to get these (...) two cultures come closer to and profit from each other. The second part of the paper deals with the foundation of digital hermeneutics on what I call—following Heidegger’s and Vattimo’s paths—digital ontology as opposed to digital metaphysics. (shrink)
Hermeneutics has become a major topic of debate throughout the scholarly community. What has been called the "interpretive turn" has led to interesting new approaches in both the human and social sciences, and has helped to transform divided disciplines by bringing them closer together. Yet one of the largest and most important social sciences economics has so far been almost completely left out of the transformation. Economics and Hermeneutics takes a significant step towards filling this gap by introducing (...) scholars on both sides of the divide to ways that hermeneutics might help economists address some of their most important problems. Among the topics addressed are entrepreneurship, price theory, rational expectations, monetary theory, welfare economics, and economic policy. The approaches to economics represented include the Austrian school, McCloskey's "rhetoric" approach, Marxian critical theory and institutionalism. (shrink)
Gadamer's Dialectical Hermeneutics affirms the continuity between Gadamer's interest in Plato and his hermeneutics by focusing on the role of dialectic for Gadamer's own conception of understanding. Highlighting the productive and on-going nature of the dialectical tension at the heart of hermeneutics clarifies the roles that truth, good, practice, theory, and dialogue play in Gadamer's thought and emphasizes his desire to recover the practical nature of philosophy.
This paper investigates how Schleiermacher’s universal hermeneutics can be considered as a better alternative to both, German rationalist aesthetics as pioneered by Christian Wolff, and Kant’s transcendental idealism, to the extent of overcoming the problematics of rule-following. A general account of the necessity of a universal hermeneutics and its meaning from historical practices of exegeses is given. This is then followed by the account of rule-following in the tradition of both German rationalist aesthetics and Kant’s transcendental idealism with (...) latter as expounded in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The investigation is comparative and descriptive. The purpose of this study is to discuss the hermeneutic possibilities in research methodologies for human sciences. (shrink)
Understood in its widest sense, the term “hermeneutics” can be taken to refer to the theory and/or practice of any interpretation aimed at uncovering the meaning of any expression, regardless of whether such expression was produced by a human or non-human source. Understood in a narrower sense, the term “hermeneutics” can be taken to refer to a particular stream of thought regarding the theory and/or practice of interpretation, developed mainly by German-speaking theorists from the late eighteenth through to (...) the late twentieth century. “Hermeneutics” in its broadest sense dates at least as far back as the ancient Greeks and is linked etymologically to the ancient Greeks’ mythological deity Hermes, who was said to deliver and interpret messages from the gods to mortals. “Hermeneutics” in its narrower sense emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, initially for the purpose of addressing problems in the interpretation of classical and biblical tests and then later for the purpose of articulating a more “universalized” theory of interpretation of general. This chapter traces the development of hermeneutics in its narrow sense through the work of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834), Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), and then concludes with some observations about what Hegel’s own hermeneutical thought might mean against the backdrop of this development. (shrink)
The hermeneutical tradition represented by Yorck, Heidegger, and Gadamer has distrusted Dilthey as suffering from the two sins of modernism: scientific “positivism” and individualistic and aesthetic “romanticism.” On the one hand, Dilthey’s epistemology is deemed scientistic in accepting the priority of the empirical, the ontic, and consequently scientific inquiry into the physical, biological, and human worlds; on the other hand, his personalist ethos and Goethean humanism, and his pluralistic life- and worldview philosophy are considered excessively aesthetic, culturally liberal, relativistic, and (...) subjective. This essay involves two tasks in response to this negative evaluation of Dilthey that has shaped our current understanding of his philosophical project; first, an interpretation of the issues at stake in Heidegger’s reception of and struggles with Dilthey. These issues touch upon language, historicity, and the nature of hermeneutics. Second, by pursuing this task in light of Guignon’s interpretation of Dilthey and Heidegger, I hope to question and challenge the “overcoming” of Dilthey’s epistemic and life-philosophical hermeneutics in the “ontological” or “philosophical” hermeneutics of Heidegger. (shrink)
Philosophical hermeneutics provides a model of interreligious dialogue that acknowledges the interpretive variability of truth claims while maintaining their relation to a preinterpretive reality. The dialectic and tensive structure of philosophical hermeneutics directly parallels the tension between the diversity of belief and the ultimacy of the sacred. By placing philosophers like Gadamer, Ricoeur, Peirce, and Whitehead in conversation, J. R. Hustwit describes religious truth claims as coconstituted by the planes of linguistic convention and uninterpreted otherness. Only when we (...) recognize that religious claims emerge from a dalliance back and forth across the limits of the understanding can we appreciate the engagement between religions. In terms of dialogue, this approach treats religious truth claims as tentative hypotheses, but hypotheses that are frequently commensurable and rationally contestable. Interreligious dialogue goes beyond facilitating bonhomie or negotiating tolerance; dialogue can and should be a disciplined space for rationally adjudicating claims about what lies beyond the limits of human understanding. (shrink)
Combining exemplary scholarship and analytic precision, Stanley Rosen illuminates the underpinnings of post-modernist thought, providing valuable insight as he pursues two arguments: first, that post-modernism, which regards itself as an attack upon the Enlightenment, is in fact the penultimate stage of the Enlightenment itself; and second, that the extraordinary contemporary emphasis upon hermeneutics is the latest consequence of the triumph of history over mathematics within the unstable essence of the Enlightenment. Hermeneutics is consequently at bottom a political phenomenon. (...) In developing these arguments, Rosen demonstrates the paradigmatic status of Kant for a proper understanding of post-modernism, analyzes Derrida's influential critique of Platonism as well as his defense of writing, explains the political dimension of the quarrel between the ancients and moderns by studying the hermeneutics of Leo Strauss and Alexander Kojhve, and shows how the modern notion of "theory" is intrinsically relativized by the triumph of history over mathematics into the notion of interpretation. A wide-ranging exploration into current critical thinking, Hermeneutics as Politics will generate considerable debate among scholars interested in post-modernism, the Enlightenment, hermeneutics, the relation of philosophy and politics, deconstruction, and the history of philosophy. (shrink)
This essay looks at how Ricoeur's hermeneutics functions as both philosophy of translation and philosophy as translation. It starts with a overview of Ricoeur's theories in the light of the history of the philosophy of translation and shows how he, following in the footsteps of Gadamer, understands the act of translation as an art of negotiating and mediating between Self and Other. It then goes on to explore the hermeneutic model of translation, advanced in Ricoeur's later work, in terms (...) of three main paradigms: linguistic, ontological and ethical. The essay concludes with a discussion of the crucial role played by translation in hospitality, pluralism and pardon. (shrink)
Hermeneutics is a crucial but neglected perspective in African philosophy. Here, Tsenay Serequeberhan engages post-colonial African literature and the ideas of the African liberation struggle with critically-used insights from the European philosophical tradition. Continuing the work of Theophilus Okere and Okonda Okolo, this book attempts to overcome the debate between ethnophilosophy and professional philosophy, demonstrating that the promise of African philosophy lies with the critical development of the African hermeneutical perspective.
Strong Hermeneutics presents a compelling case for the importance of hermeneutics in understanding ethics today. It provides a critical comparison of the enlightenment view of ethics with the postmodern or "weak" view of ethics. The weak view, which Nicholas H. Smith traces back to Nietzsche and identifies in the recent work of Rorty and Lyotard, is skeptical of any universal principles in ethics. The enlightenment view, starting with Kant and taken up in the work of Habermas, casts identity (...) as subject of universal but formal moral constraints. Smith argues that neither of these views can provide a proper framework for ethics. Drawing on the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur and Charles Taylor, he presents a fascinating reworking of key issues in ethics and continental philosophy. (shrink)
In this article I scrutinize the question whetherclinical medicine, in order to be considered ahermeneutical enterprise, must be thought of as areading of different texts. Three differentproposals for a definition of the concept of text inmedicine, suggested by other hermeneuticians, arediscussed. All three proposals are shown to beunsatisfying in various ways. Instead of attempting tofind a fourth definition of the concept of textsuitable to a hermeneutics of medicine, I then try toshow that the assumption that one needs to operatewith (...) the concept of text in order to develop ahermeneutics of medicine is false. Clinicalinterpretation can be shown to essentially consist ina dialogical hermeneutics, the pattern of which can befound in the philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer. Thiskind of hermeneutics is not a methodology of textreading, but an ontological, phenomenologicalhermeneutics in which understanding is a necessaryfeature of the being-together of human beings in theworld. This being-together in and through languagetakes on a peculiar form in the clinical encounter,since the medical meeting is typically characterizedby an asymmetrical enstrangement and has a specificgoal – health for the patient – absent in other formsof hermeneutics. Central issues of Gadamer''sphilosophy, e.g. fusion of horizons, are shown tofit the structure of clinical practice. (shrink)
Hermeneutics, also referred to as interpretive phenomenology, has led to important contributions to nursing research. The philosophy of Charles Taylor has been a major source in the development of contemporary hermeneutics, through his ontological and epistemological articulations of the human sciences. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that Taylor's ideas can further enrich hermeneutic inquiry in nursing research, particularly for investigations of ethical concerns. The paper begins with an outline of Taylor's hermeneutical framework, followed by a (...) review of his key ideas relevant for ethics research. The paper ends with a discussion of my empirical research with critically ill children in Canada and France in relation to Taylor's ideas, chiefly Social Imaginaries. I argue that Taylor's hermeneutics provides a substantive moral framework as well as a methodology for examining ethical concerns. (shrink)
At the heart of two recent theological traditions are hermeneutical principles which are not only consistent but are integrated in the hermeneutics of Augustine. According to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy as it has been recently articulated by Evangelicals, Scripture has an original meaning, and that meaning is not open to the possibility of error. According to some thinkers in postmodern theology, including Jean-Luc Marion, the meaning of Scripture transcends its original meaning. After examining postmodernism and inerrancy, I consider (...) their harmony in the writings of Augustine, who takes original meaning as a guide for understanding that biblical meaning which transcends it. An Augustinian hermeneutic consistent with inerrancy is thus an alternative to the more typical non-inerrantist postmodern theologies. (shrink)
The phenomenology of Edmund Husserl had a permanent and profound impact on the philosophical formation of Paul Ricoeur. One could truly say, paraphrasing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s brilliant 1959 essay ‘The Philosopher and his Shadow’,that Husserl is the philosopher in whose shadow Ricoeur, like Merleau-Ponty, also stands, the thinker to whom he constantly returns. Husserl is Ricoeur’s philosopher of reflection, par excellence. Indeed, Ricoeur always invokes Husserl when he is discussing a paradigmatic instance of contemporary philosophy of ‘reflection’ and also of descriptive, (...) ‘eidetic’ phenomenology. Indeed, I shall argue in this chapter that Husserl’s influence on Ricoeur was decisive and provided an eidetic, descriptive methodology which is permanently in play, even when it has to be concretized and mediated by hermeneutics, as Ricoeur proposes after 1960. (shrink)
What is hermeneutics? -- The suffering stranger and the hermeneutics of trust -- Sandor Ferenczi : the analyst of last resort and the hermeneutics of trauma -- Frieda Fromm-Reichmann : incommunicable loneliness -- D.W. Winnicott : humanitarian without sentimentality -- Heinz Kohut : glimpsing the hidden suffering -- Bernard Brandchaft : liberating the incarcerated spirit.
Hermeneutics, or the science of interpretation,is well accepted in the humanities. In thefield of education, hermeneutics has played arelatively marginal role in research. It isthe task of this essay to introduce thegeneral methods and findings of Paul Ricoeur'shermeneutics. Specifically, the essayinterprets the usefulness of Ricoeur'sphilosophy in the study of domination. Theproblem of domination has been a target ofanalysis for critical pedagogy since itsinception. However, the role of interpretationas a constitutive part of ideology critique isrelatively understudied and it is (...) here thatRicoeur's ideas are instructive. Last, theessay radicalizes Ricoeur's insights in orderto realize their potential to disruptasymmetrical relations of power in education. To this extent, the author contributes to thebuilding of a critical brand of hermeneutics,or the interpretation of domination. (shrink)