In this wide-ranging interview with three members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sao Paolo (Brazil) Wylie explains how she came to work on philosophical issues raised in and by archaeology, describes the contextualist challenges to ‘received view’ models of confirmation and explanation in archaeology that inform her work on the status of evidence and contextual ideals of objectivity, and discusses the role of non-cognitive values in science. She also is pressed to explain what’s feminist about (...) feminist research and in that connection outlines her account of feminist standpoint theory and the relevance of feminist analysis to science. (shrink)
Alison Wylie is one of the few full-time academic philosophers of the social and historical sciences on the planet today. And fortunately for us, she happens to specialise in archaeology! After emerging onto the archaeological theory scene in the mid-1980s with her work on analogy, she has continued to work on philosophical questions raised by archaeological practice. In particular, she explores the status of evidence and ideals of objectivity in contemporary archaeology: how do we think we know about the (...) past? Her other key interests include feminist initiatives in Anglo-American archaeology, and ethical conflicts in current archaeological practice. Kathryn Denning recently asked about her adventures in archaeology and academia and her thoughts on archaeology’s past, present, and future. (shrink)
In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. -/- Preprints available for download. Please see entry for specific article of interest.
Archaeologists put a premium on pressing “legacy data” into service, given the notoriously selective and destructive nature of their practices of data capture. Legacy data consist of material and records that been assembled over decades, sometimes centuries, often by means and for purposes long since discredited or superseded. The primary strategies by which archaeologists put the data to work for new purposes are, I argue, secondary retrieval, recontextualization, and experimental modelling. I focus here on a particularly telling and complex example (...) of secondary retrieval: the extraction of new data from old by means of radiocarbon dating. This is by no means a straightforward process of retrieving physical samples from legacy data to which 14C techniques can be applied that can, on their own, decisively settle chronological questions. When Libby’s post-war radiocarbon revolution got under way, it was expected to establish an absolute chronology that would render obsolete the local and relative chronologies on which archaeologists had long relied. Transformative though it has been, bringing these tools of physical dating to bear on archaeological problems has been a long, tortuous process, now described as proceeding through two subsequent radiocarbon revolutions. The second was an extended process of calibration by which 14C chronologies were corrected and refined, often against the very lines of evidence they were meant to displace. The most recent, a “pragmatic Bayesian” approach to archaeological dating, is motivated by concern that, no matter how much it is refined, radiocarbon dating cannot on its own resolve the chronological problems that archaeologists address; the challenge, its advocates argue, is to ‘fully integrate archaeological information with 14C dating in order to address archaeologically relevant timescales and episodes’. This is a genre of “robustness” reasoning that illustrates its epistemic risks as well as its appeal. As recent philosophical debate makes clear, it depends on appeals to the convergence of independent lines of evidence that may have more rhetorical than epistemic force and that may be spurious. Drawing on this philosophical literature I identify a set of conditions that must be met if these risks are to be avoided, all of which are an explicit focus of debate in cases of contestation about and reconciliation of chronologies based on legacy data. Manning, S. W. Radiocarbon Dating and Archaeology: History, Progress and Present Status. In Material Evidence, ed. Chapman and Wylie, pp. 128-158. London: Routledge. Soler, L., E. Trizio, T. Nickles, W. C. Wimsatt, eds.. Characterizing the Robustness of Science: After the Practice Turn in Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht: Springer. Soler, L. “Against Robustness? Strategies to Support the Reliability of Scientific Results. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28.2: 203-215. (shrink)
In commenting on the state of affairs in contemporary archaeology, Wylie outlines an agenda for archaeology as an interdisciplinary science rooted in ethical practices of stewardship. In so doing she lays the foundations for an informed and philosophically relevant “meta-archaeology.”.
Insofar as the material residues of interest to archaeologists are cultural and, as such, have specifically symbolic significance, it is argued that archaeology must employ some form of structuralist analysis (i.e. as specifically concerned with this aspect of the material). Wylie examines the prevalent notion that such analysis is inevitably 'unscientific' because it deals with a dimension of material culture which is inaccessible of any direct, empirical investigation, and argues that this rests on an entrenched misconception of science; it (...) assumes that scientific enquiry must be restricted to observables. It is clear, as realist critics of this view have argued, that scientific (explanatory) understanding depends fundamentally on theoretical extensions beyond observables; extensions which bring into view underlying and inaccessible causal structures or mechanisms responsible for the mani- fest phenomena through a procedure of analogical model construc- tion. In consideration of realist models of these procedures and of the potential of linguistic modes of analysis for archaeology, it is pro- posed that archaeologists might (and, in fact, often do) effectively grasp the symbolic, structural order of surviving material culture through analysis governed by a rigorous and controlled use of ethno- graphic analogy. It is claimed, moreover, that the archaeological record can provide empirical bases for evaluating these theoretical constructs if a procedure of recursive and systematic testing is adopted in research, but the standard hypothetico-deductive model is seriously flawed as an account of an ideal for this procedure. Glassie's analysis of Middle Virginian folk housing is an example of research along these lines which illustrates the potential for a rigorous structuralist alternative. (shrink)
As a young man, Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in an age of great social change. The political upheavals in America and France, the industrial revolution, and the explosion in humanity's knowledge of the natural order all had a profound effect on Coleridge and radical intellectuals like him. This book examines Coleridge's ideas on science and society in the critical years 1794 to 1796, setting them within the moral, political, and scientific context of the time. Wylie shows how the complex (...) poem, Religious Musings, became a vehicle for these ideas and how they were then developed in the poetry of Coleridge's later years. (shrink)
Harding’s aim in Science and Social Inequality is to integrate the insights generated by diverse critiques of conventional ideals of truth, value freedom, and unity in science, and to chart a way forward for the sciences and for science studies. Wylie assesses this synthesis as a genre of social constructionist argument and illustrates its implications for questions of epistemic warrant with reference to transformative research on gender-based discrimination in the workplace environment.
This is a systematic theology focusing on what makes Jesus important in Christianity. It studies six families of symbols about Jesus, showing how they are true for some people, not true for others, and not meaningful for a third group. Divine creation is analysed in metaphysical and symbolic terms, and religious symbolism is shown to be wholly compatible with a late-modern scientific world view. Robert Cummings Neville, a leading philosophical theologian, presents and illustrates an elaborate theory of religious symbols (...) according to which God is directly engaged in symbolically shaped thinking and practice. Symbols are not distancing substitutes for God. Theology of symbolic engagement is defended as an alternative to doctrinal or descriptive theology. This major work re-shapes the way we think about Jesus, and will be of value to students, academics, clergy with theological training, and others grappling with the meaning and importance of religious symbols in our age. (shrink)
Feminist standpoint theory has been marginal to mainstream philosophical analyses of science–indeed, it has been marginal to science studies generally–and it has had an uneasy reception among feminist theorists. Critics of standpoint theory have attributed to it untenable foundationalist assumptions about the social identities that can underpin an epistemically salient standpoint, and implausible claims about the epistemic privilege that should be accorded to those who occupy subdominant social locations. I disentangle what I take to be the promising core of feminist (...) standpoint theory from this conflicted history of debate. I argue that non-foundationalist, non-essentialist arguments can be given (and have been given) for attributing epistemic advantage (rather than privilege) to some social locations and standpoints. They presuppose a situated knowledge thesis, and posit contingent advantage relative to epistemic purpose. I illustrate these claims in terms of the epistemic advantages that accrue to a fictional character, from Neely’s novel Blanche on the Lam, who represents a type of standpoint invoked by diverse advocates of standpoint theory: that of a race, class, and gender disadvantaged “insider-outsider” who has no choice, given her social location, but to negotiate the world of the privileged while at the same time being grounded in a community whose marginal status generates a fundamentally different understanding of how the world works. (shrink)
Despite their ethical intentions, ethically minded consumers rarely purchase ethical products (Auger and Devinney: 2007, Journal of Business Ethics 76, 361-383). This intentions-behaviour gap is important to researchers and industry, yet poorly understood (Belk et al.: 2005, Consumption, Markets and Culture 8(3), 275-289). In order to push the understanding of ethical consumption forward, we draw on what is known about the intention— behaviour gap from the social psychology and consumer behaviour literatures and apply these insights to ethical consumerism. We bring (...) together three separate insights — implementation intentions (Gollwitzer: 1999, American Psychologist 54(7), 493-503), actual behavioural control (ABC) (Ajzen and Madden: 1986, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 22, 453-474; Sheeran et al.: 2003, Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 393-410) and situational context (SC) (Belk: 1975, Journal of Consumer Research 2, 157— 164) — to construct an integrated, holistic conceptual model of the intention— behaviour gap of ethically minded consumers. This holistic conceptual model addresses significant limitations within the ethical consumerism literature, and moves the understanding of ethical consumer behaviour forward. Further, the operationalisation of this model offers insight and strategic direction for marketing managers attempting to bridge the intention-behaviour gap of the ethically minded consumer. (shrink)
This paper capitalizes on an institutional perspective to analyze corporate social responsibility (CSR) orientations in the Lebanese context. Specifically, the paper compiles a new theoretical framework drawing on a multi-level model of institutional flows by Scott (Institutions and organizations: ideas and interests, 2008 ) and the explicit/implicit CSR model by Matten and Moon (Acad Manag Rev 33(2):404–424, 2008 ). This new theoretical framework is then used to explore the CSR convergence versus divergence question in a developing country context. The findings (...) highlight the usefulness of the compiled multi-layered institutional framework and the varied nuances and profound insights it offers in analyzing CSR in context. They also suggest that a cosmetic level of global convergence in explicit CSR may materialize in light of mimetic isomorphic pressures, but that the path dependence hypothesis is indeed salient in light of national history trajectories and socio-politico configurations. The findings correspond most closely to patterns of CSR crossvergence, combining elements of both convergence and divergence, and reflecting in complex hybridized CSR expressions. The findings and their implications are presented and assessed. (shrink)
Standpoint theory is an explicitly political as well as social epistemology. Its central insight is that epistemic advantage may accrue to those who are oppressed by structures of domination and discounted as knowers. Feminist standpoint theorists hold that gender is one dimension of social differentiation that can make such a difference. In response to two longstanding objections I argue that epistemically consequential standpoints need not be conceptualized in essentialist terms, and that they do not confer automatic or comprehensive epistemic privilege (...) on those who occupy them. Standpoint theory is best construed as conceptual framework for investigating the ways in which socially situated experience and interests make a contingent difference to what we know (well), and to the resources we have for determining which knowledge claims we can trust. I illustrate the advantages of this account in terms of two examples drawn from archaeological sources. (shrink)
It has long been thought that science is our best hope for realizing objective knowledge, but that, to deliver on this promise, it must be value free. Things are not so simple, however, as recent work in science studies makes clear. The contributors to this volume investigate where and how values are involved in science, and examine the implications of this involvement for ideals of objectivity.
While stakeholder theory has traditionally considered organization’s interactions with stakeholders in terms of independent, dyadic relationships, recent scholarship has pointed to the fact that organizations exist within a complex network of intertwining relationships [e.g., Rowley, T. J.: 1997, The Academy of Management Review 22(4), 887–910]. However, further theoretical and empirical development of the interactions between stakeholders has been lacking. In this paper, we develop a framework for understanding and measuring the effects upon the organization of competing, complementary and cooperative stakeholder (...) interactions, which we refer to as stakeholder multiplicity. We draw upon three forms of fit (i.e. fit as matching, fit as moderation, and fit as gestalts; Venkatraman, N.: 1989) to develop a framework for understanding stakeholder multiplicity based upon the direction, strength, and synergies of the interacting claims. Additionally, we draw upon the theory of stakeholder identification and salience of Mitchell et al. (1997), which we argue provides a more relevant and significantly more illustrative explanation of the nature and effects of stakeholder interactions upon the organization than the network approach of Rowley (1997). Furthermore, we ground our framework through reference to three stakeholder groups (i.e. governments, customers, and employees) and the stakeholder issue of concern for the natural environment. We propose a hierarchy of the multiplicity strength of influence of these three stakeholder groups. Potential measurement and implications are discussed. (shrink)
I’m often asked why, as a philosopher of science, I study archaeology. Philosophy is so abstract and intellectual, and archaeology is such an earth-bound, data-driven enterprise, what could the connection possibly be? This puzzlement takes a number of different forms. In one memorable exchange in the late 1970s when I was visiting Oxford as a graduate student an elderly don, having inquired politely about my research interests, tartly observed that archaeology isn’t a science, so I couldn’t possibly be writing a (...) dissertation in philosophy of science on archaeology. At job interviews a few years later a standard opening gambit was to ask: “so what’s philosophical about the work you do on archaeology” or, more querulously, “what could possibly be of philosophical interest in archaeology”? And from archaeologists, weary of the “theory wars” that raged through 1980s and 1990s, the standard question was, “What’s the point?! Better to step away from the wrangling about philosophical ‘isms’ and get on with the empirical work that needs doing.”. (shrink)
Standpoint theory is based on the insight that those who are marginalized or oppressed have distinctive epistemic resources with which to understand social structures. Inasmuch as these structures shape our understanding of the natural and lifeworlds, standpoint theorists extend this principle to a range of biological and physical as well as social sciences. Standpoint theory has been articulated as a social epistemology and as an aligned methodological stance. It provides the rationale for ‘starting research from the margins’ and for expanding (...) the diversity of backgrounds and experience represented in scientific communities. (shrink)
This article revisits and further develops Mitchell et al.’s (Acad Manag Rev 22(4):853–886, 1997 ) theory of stakeholder identification and salience. Stakeholder salience holds considerable unrealized potential for understanding how organizations may best manage multiple stakeholder relationships. While the salience framework has been cited numerous times, attempts to develop it further have been relatively limited. We begin by reviewing the key contributions of other researchers. We then identify and seek to resolve three residual weaknesses in Mitchell et al.’s ( 1997 (...) ) framework, thereby strengthening its foundations for further development. We argue, first, that urgency is not relevant for identifying stakeholders; second, that it is primarily the moral legitimacy of the stakeholder’s claim that applies to stakeholder salience; and last, that the salience of stakeholders will vary as the degrees of the attributes vary. These insights inform revised definitions of stakeholder salience and legitimacy, and necessitate a new theoretical underpinning for the role of legitimacy. Finally, we present an extensive agenda for future research with the objective of refueling research in stakeholder salience. (shrink)
Innovative modes of collaboration between archaeologists and Indigenous communities are taking shape in a great many contexts, in the process transforming conventional research practice. While critics object that these partnerships cannot but compromise the objectivity of archaeological science, many of the archaeologists involved argue that their research is substantially enriched by them. I counter objections raised by internal critics and crystalized in philosophical terms by Boghossian, disentangling several different kinds of pluralism evident in these projects and offering an analysis of (...) why they are epistemically productive when they succeed. My central thesis is that they illustrate the virtues of epistemic inclusion central to proceduralist accounts of objectivity, but I draw on the resources of feminist standpoint theory to motivate the extension of these social -cognitive norms beyond the confines of the scientific community. (shrink)
Archaeological data are shadowy in a number of senses. Not only are they notoriously fragmentary but the conceptual and technical scaffolding on which archaeologists rely to constitute these data as evidence can be as constraining as it is enabling. A recurrent theme in internal archaeological debate is that reliance on sedimented layers of interpretative scaffolding carries the risk that “preunderstandings” configure what archaeologists recognize and record as primary data, and how they interpret it as evidence. The selective and destructive nature (...) of data capture in archeology further suggests that there may be little scope for putting “legacy” data to work in new ways. And yet archaeologists have been strikingly successful in mining old datasets for new insights. I situate these concerns in the broader context of debate about the epistemic standing of the historical sciences, and then consider three strategies by which archaeologists address the challenges posed by legacy data. The first two – secondary retrieval and recontextualization – are a matter of reconfiguring the scaffolding that underpins evidential reasoning. The third turns on redeploying old data in the context of computational models that support the experimental simulation of the cultural systems and contexts under study. (shrink)
Reflecting the dangers of irresponsible science and technology, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein quickly became a mythic story that still feels fresh and relevant in the twenty-first century. The unique framework of the Frankenstein myth has permeated the public discourse about science and knowledge, creating various misconceptions around and negative expectations for scientists and for scientific enterprises more generally. Using the Frankenstein myth as an imaginative tool, we interviewed twelve scientists to explore how this science narrative shapes their views and perceptions of (...) science. Our results yielded two main conclusions. First, the Frankenstein myth may help scientists identify popular concerns about their work and offer a framework for constructing a more positive narrative. Second, finding optimistic science narratives may allow scientists to build a better relationship with the public. We argue that by showing the ethical principles and social dimensions of their work, scientists could replace a negative Frankenstein narrative with a more optimistic one. (shrink)
As a working hypothesis for philosophy of science, the unity of science thesis has been decisively challenged in all its standard formulations; it cannot be assumed that the sciences presuppose an orderly world, that they are united by the goal of systematically describing and explaining this order, or that they rely on distinctively scientific methodologies which, properly applied, produce domain-specific results that converge on a single coherent and comprehensive system of knowledge. I first delineate the scope of arguments against global (...) unity theses. However implausible old-style global unity theses may now seem, I argue that unifying strategies of a more local and contingent nature do play an important role in scientific inquiry. This is particularly clear in archaeology where, to establish evidential claims of any kind, practitioners must exploit a range of inter-field and inter-theory connections. At the same time, the robustness of these evidential claims depends on significant disunity between the sciences from which archaeologists draw background assumptions and auxiliary hypotheses. This juxtaposition of unity with disunity poses a challenge to standard positions in the debate about scientific unity. (shrink)
Philosophy has the dubious distinction of attracting and retaining proportionally fewer women than any other field in the humanities, indeed, fewer than in all but the most resolutely male-dominated of the sciences. This short article introduces a thematic cluster that brings together five short essays that probe the reasons for and the effects of these patterns of exclusion, not just of women but of diverse peoples of all kinds in Philosophy. It summarizes some of the demographic measures of exclusion that (...) are cause for concern and identifies key themes that cross-cut these discussions: gender stereotypes and climate issues, ‘cognitive distortions’ and disciplinary norms. (shrink)
Sustainability is increasingly a matter of concern in the corporate world. Many business scholars have analyzed the phenomenon from institutional and cultural perspectives, addressing the key questions of what drives the spread of sustainability principles, and also why sustainability adoption varies so widely among organizations and cultures. In this article, we propose that sustainability adoption can be better explained by integrating the insights from the institutional and cultural perspectives. This would break the current practice of choosing one approach or the (...) other, a trend that has estranged these fields despite their obvious overlap in questions, core constructs, and theoretic arguments. We therefore introduce a model that emphasizes a dual-effect of culture—namely, culture plays a role in "norming" the proliferation of sustainability-relevant institutions, while also influencing the "conforming" to pressures for sustainability emanating from these institutions. We offer theoretic insights not only for explaining sustainability adoption but also for addressing the recognized challenge of bringing culture back into institutional theory. (shrink)
The vagaries of evidential reasoning in archaeology are notorious: the material traces that comprise the archaeological record are fragmentary and profoundly enigmatic, and the inferential gap that archaeologists must cross to constitute them as evidence of the cultural past is a perennial source of epistemic anxiety. And yet we know a great deal about the cultural past, including vast reaches of the past for which this material record is our only source of evidence. The contents of this record stand as (...) evidence only under interpretation, but however much a construct it is, archaeological evidence has a striking capacity to disrupt settled assumptions, redirecting inquiry and expanding interpretive horizons in directions no one could have anticipated. It is this capacity for constraining inference and interpretation that I am concerned to understand. I outline a model of evidential reasoning based on archaeological practice that integrates insights drawn from philosophical theories of confirmation, model building and hypothesis testing. Given growing interest in the uses of material evidence in fields that had been resolutely text-based, the archaeological principles of evidential reasoning may have much wider reach than this particular social/historical discipline. (shrink)
There is a longstanding belief that research should be a calling more than a job. How does this expectation shape the selection of future researchers? Specifically, undergraduate research experience is credited with increasing students’ success in science and engineering majors and their likelihood to choose careers in science and engineering; thus, how researchers select student laboratory workers has implications for the future population of researchers. After all, because research communities construct knowledge collectively, researchers’ identities and experiences crucially shape knowledge. This (...) paper analyzes qualitative interviews with engineering professors and students about what they believe are the characteristics of a good researcher. Both groups describe the importance of a researcher feeling interested in and enthusiastic about research to be able to do good work. They also imply that good researchers must be assertive, such as by requesting jobs in laboratories. I suggest that these... (shrink)
Taking seriously the social dimensions of knowledge puts pressure on the assumption that epistemic agents can usefully be thought of as autonomous, interchangeable individuals, capable, insofar as they are rational and objective, of transcending the specificities of personal history, experience, and context. If this idealization is abandoned as the point of departure for epistemic inquiry, then differences among situated knowers come sharply into focus. These include differences in cognitive capacity, experience, and expertise; in access to information and the heuristics that (...) make it intelligible; and in motivating interests and orienting standpoint. Dissent takes on rather different significance, as a potentially productive feature of epistemic life rather than evidence of a failure of aperspectivality or an indication of error. The central questions are, then, what forms of diversity are epistemically consequential, and how can they best be deployed to ensure that the beliefs we warrant as knowledge are as well grounded and truth-tracking as possible. (shrink)
This article is a profile of the journal Hypatia for TPM: its founding, its mission, and central themes that figure in its close to 30 year publication history. When the first issues of Hypatia appeared in the mid-1980s they were the culmination, in the mid-1980s, of a decade-long process of visionary debate in the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) about what form a journal of feminist philosophy should take, and extended discussion of how to make it a reality. The (...) guiding vision and a signature strength of Hypatia has always been its pluralism. The touchstone for the new generations of feminist philosophers who founded and now sustain Hypatia has been the real world, experiential and political issues that have galvanized feminist activism and scholarship since the late 1960s – directing attention to new questions as well as reframing the old. (shrink)
Taking seriously the social dimensions of knowledge has put considerable pressure on the assumption that epistemic agents can usefully be thought of as autonomous, interchangeable individuals, capable, insofar as they are rational and objective, of transcending the specificities of personal history, experience, local context. If this idealization is abandoned as the point of departure for epistemic inquiry, then differences among concretely situated knowers come sharply into focus: differences in cognitive capacity, experience, and expertise; in access to information and the interpretive (...) heuristics that make it intelligible; in motivating interests and orienting standpoint. And dissent takes on rather different significance, as a central and potentially productive feature of epistemic life rather than evidence of a failure of aperspectivality, or an indication of error yet to be discovered. The central questions addressed in this special issue of Episteme are: What forms of diversity (cognitive, social, perspectival) are epistemically consequential? And how can they best be deployed to ensure that the beliefs we warrant as knowledge are as robust and well grounded, as explanatorily probative—as truth-tracking—as possible? (shrink)
"Racism and Anti-Blackness" in America is very bad.1 What has pragmatism had to say about this? Charles S. Peirce was a racist and thought that blacks are inferior.2 Much as most readers of this journal love him for other things, Peirce's pragmatism needs to change in this regard insofar as it bears on his racist views. A significant part of Peirce's racism came from his appreciation of science. Louis Agassiz strongly opposed Darwinian evolution and upheld racist views regarding Africans; he (...) was a close friend of Peirce's father, Benjamin Peirce, who long defended Agassiz. After the Civil War, many scientists added Mexicans and Native Americans to the list of inferior peoples who needed to be controlled by the... (shrink)
Given the diversity of explanatory practices that is typical of the sciences a healthy pluralism would seem to be desirable where theories of explanation are concerned. Nevertheless, I argue that explanations are only unifying in Kitcher's unificationist sense if they are backed by the kind of understanding of underlying mechanisms, dispositions, constitutions, and dependencies that is central to a causalist account of explanation. This case can be made through analysis of Kitcher's account of the conditions under which apparent improvements in (...) unifying power may be judged spurious. But to clarify what is at issue I consider an archaeological case in which debate about the merits of an ambitious explanatory account reproduces exactly the intuitions that divide Salmon and Kitcher. The case in question is the “demic-diffusion” account of contemporary linguistic diversity advanced by Renfrew in the late 1980s: the thesis that the diffusion of agricultural populations, itself attributed to demographic pressure, was responsible for the spread of the ancestral root languages (e.g., proto-Indo-Eurpoean) that account for the existence and distribution of linguistic macrofamilies. The credibility of this powerfully unifying argument pattern depends entirely on the plausibility of its claims about the conditions and mechanisms actually responsible for the explanandum, the spread of agriculture, and not on an elaboration of its unificationist virtues. (shrink)
The author constructs a philosophy of nature dealing with being, identity, value, space, time, motion, and causality, and uses that as a basis for a theory of hermeneutics to address contemporary problems of interpretation.