In this illuminating study of Kant's theory of imagination and its role in interpretation, Rudolf A. Makkreel argues against the commonly held notion that Kant's transcendental philosophy is incompatible with hermeneutics. The charge that Kant's foundational philosophy is inadequate to the task of interpretation can be rebutted, explains Makkreel, if we fully understand the role of imagination in his work. In identifying this role, Makkreel also reevaluates the relationship among Kant's discussions of the feeling of life, common sense, and the (...) purposiveness of history. (shrink)
Moving beyond the dialogical approaches found in much of contemporary hermeneutics, this book focuses instead on the diagnostic use of reflective judgment, not only to discern the differentiating features of the phenomena to be understood, but also to the various meaning contexts that can frame their interpretation. It assesses what such thinkers as Kant, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Habermas and others can contribute to the problems of multicultural understanding, and reconceives hermeneutics as a critical inquiry into the appropriate contextual conditions (...) of understanding and interpretation. (shrink)
The philosopher and historian of culture Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) has had a significant and continuing influence on twentieth-century Continental philosophy and in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. Rudolf Makkreel interprets Dilthey's philosophy and provides a guide to its complex development. Against the tendency to divorce Dilthey's early psychological writings from his later hermeneutical and historical works, Makkreel argues for their essential continuity.
A close link between empathy and understanding has often been attributed to Dilthey, but in fact one seldom finds the German word for empathy—Einfühlung— in his writings. For this and other reasons one should be reluctant to reduce Dilthey’s theory of Verstehen to a form of empathy.1 The relation between Einfühlung and Verstehen is much more explicit in Husserl. By working out what this relation is for Husserl in Book Two of Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie and (...) in some other late writings, we can see how phenomenology transformed the aesthetic meaning of Einfühlung, which had been originally established by the psychologist Theodor Lipps. In addition to distinguishing several senses of empathy, I will compare them to a range of related phenomena such as sympathy and pity, divination and transposition, appreciative understanding and critical understanding. (shrink)
My purpose is to examine Kant's views on interpreting nature and history and to attempt to see them as coherent by relating them to his theory of reflective judgment. With this reconstruction of a kantian conception of interpretation it is possible to shed new light on kant's approach to political history. I propose that reflective judgments as defined in the "critique of judgment" be conceived primarily as interpretive and only derivatively as either aesthetic or teleological. This approach to reflective judgments (...) creates a spectrum of them ranging from the noncognitive to the cognitive and from the aesthetic to the practical. (shrink)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason stresses the limits of what our finite intellect can understand directly about our experience of nature. This raises the question of what role the more indirect process of interpretation can have in his overall system. Because religious interpretation is approached from the perspective of morality, this chapter considers it in relation to Critique of Practical Reason. Systematic interpretation falls within the province of theoretical reason and is considered in relation to Critique of Pure Reason. The (...) third sense of interpretation still to be developed is oriented by Critique of the Power of Judgment. The figurative use of interpretation in relation to theoretical reason is found most explicitly in Kant's Reflections on Metaphysics: “for nature is our task, the text of our interpretation” Whereas determinant judgment is externally directed, reflective judgment can be called self‐orienting in searching for what else is worth knowing. (shrink)
This essay explores the relation between worldly orientation and rational comprehension in Kant. Both require subjective grounds of differentiation that were eventually developed into a contextualizing principle for reflective judgement. This kind of judgement can proceed either inductively to find new universals or by analogy to symbolically link different objective spheres. I will argue that the basic orientational function of reflective judgement is to modally differentiate the formal horizonal contexts of field, territory, domain and habitat laid out in the Introduction (...) to theCritique of the Power of Judgement. Assessing which context takes priority will be important in making aesthetic judgements and for applying practical reason to comprehend human affairs. (shrink)
Starting with Kant’s doubts about psychology as a natural science capable of explaining human behavior, several alternative attempts to conceive of human life, culture and history are examined. Kant proposes an anthropology that will be a commonly useful human science rather than a universally valid natural science. This anthropology relates to philosophy as a mode of world-cognition. Special attention is given to how Kant’s theory of right can help define our appropriate place in a communal world. The different ways in (...) which Wilhelm Dilthey and Hermann Cohen respond to Kant’s idea of legitimate appropriation are also considered. The various tasks that descriptive elucidation, explanation, reflective understanding, characterization and interpretation can perform for the human and cultural sciences are examined throughout the essay.Keywords: Appropriation; Hermann Cohen; Culture; Wilhelm Dilthey; Human sciences; Immanuel. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:196 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY in 1943, was to write an Epilogue to Julian Marias' History o] Philosophy. In early 1944, the Epilogue was conceived as a volume of 400 pages, and later of 700. In 1945 a part of the Epilogue was to be detached and given the title The Origin ol Philosophy. Then one completed part of that was published in 1953 as an essay in a Festschrift (...) for Karl Jaspers. That, and other sections, have been put together here. The first part of the book treats philosophy as a cumulative enterprise in which each man rethinks and thinks further what other men have thought. Even when past thought has reached an end, or taken a direction we will not follow, it is only for the reason that it has already happened that we do not have to do it ourselves. This is not because history is rational but because thought is historical, rooted in ideas we did not ourselves create and based on methods we have acquired and sometimes altered. The second part of the book deals with the origin of philosophy--and the origin of "philosophy" for Ortega is concerned throughout with language and etymology. The word "philosophy" is not one Ortega likes; he prefers the word "aletheia," which was used by Parmenides and his contemporaries. In popular language, aletheia meant discovery, exposure, denudation, revelation. For the thinker, "aletheia" is "truth" as a verb, the activity of uncovering reality, which is concealed under the robes of appearance or falsehood. Philosophy, for Ortega, begins with Parmenides and Heraclitus; "proto-philosophers" he calls them. The Ionians had been scientists; their attempts at natural explanation upset religion and tradition, and prepared the way for philosophy. In a remarkably subtle and complex analysis for so short a space, Ortega argues that skepticism, atheism, wealth, and knowledge of nature created a freedom based on a need to create or choose one's own beliefs in a world in which relative abundance demands choice, since in poverty "an individual is never in the position of being able to choose; for choice assumes that the circle of one's possibilities is notably greater than that of one's needs" (p. 98). The social need to define the thinker and so grant him professional status that might minimize the hostility of the tradition-ridden and reactionary populace, especially in Athens, led to the name "sophist," which became disreputable to a hostile citizenry, and then to "philosopher." Socrates was, unfortunately, the only philosopher, the man who liked, had a taste for, or loved wisdom, but made no pretense that he had any, saying only he sought it. But the name persisted, and helped institutionalize the new profession. I haven't even intimated the delight of Ortega's incidental insights. He was probably justified in believing that his stature as a thinker was much greater than his reputation. A first-rate, full-scale study of Ortega in English would help, but what we need most is a collection and translation of his complete works. RSLPH ROSS ~cripps College Discourse on Thinking. By Martin Heidegger. Translated by John M. Anderson and E. Hans Freund. (New York: Harper and Row, 1966. Pp. 93. $3.50.) This is a translation of a speech and conversation originally published under the thematic title Gelassenheit (Pfullingen: Giinther Neske, 1959). Heidegger uses this unusual German word to remind us that there is another way of thinking than the calculative and dialectical modes made prominent by the mathematical sciences and modem cultural philosophy respectively. We have forgotten a less busy mode of thinking, a thinking released from all desire to control reality. Gelassenheit is rendered throughout as "releasement" in this translation. But Gelassenheit does not just mean letting go, or freedom from, as "releasement" may suggest. It also has the more positive sense of composure and a patient letting things be. In the context of Heidegger's attempts to define a mode of thinking not concerned with dominating reality, Gelassenheit comes to mean the freedom to be open to reality. BOOK REVIEWS 197 Heidegger stresses the ability to wait for insight, which is not, however, a mere passive waiting for something fixed. It would be... (shrink)
Die Geisteswissenschaften zu verstehen, was sie sind und was sie erreichen konnen, ist heute, hundert Jahre nach Diltheys Tod, eine genauso wichtige Aufgabe wie zu dessen Lebzeiten. Diltheys Argumente und seine Position einer umfassenden philosophischen Grundlegung der Geisteswissenschaften sind auch heute noch von Bedeutung. Seine Verteidigung der Autonomie der geistigen Welt angesichts der positivistischen Herrschaftsanspruche liefert wichtige Gesichtspunkte fur die Evaluierung geisteswissenschaftlicher Forschung. Zum 100. Todestag Diltheys zeigen zehn renommierte Forscher anhand zweier Themengebiete - 'Dilthey and Kant' sowie 'Dilthey and (...) Hermeneutics' - auf, wie Dilthey fur heutige Fragestellungen fruchtbar gemacht werden kann. Die deutsch- und englischsprachigen Beitrage sollen insbesondere jenen Wissenschaftlern dienen, die sich der methodischen Erneuerung der intellectual history, der Philosophie- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte sowie der Begriffsgeschichte verpflichtet haben. - Mit Beitragen von Benjamin D. Crowe, Annette Hilt, Theodore Kisiel, Rudolf A. Makkreel, Massimo Mezzanzanica, Jared A. Millson, Eric Sean Nelson, Frithjof Rodi, Maja Soboleva und Denis Thouard. (shrink)
The place of Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911)in the history of hermeneutics has been subject to considerable misinterpretation. He is rightly regarded as having expanded the scope of hermeneutics by adding human actions to the kinds of texts that can be interpreted, but is wrongly dismissed as having overlooked the full significance of this move. His distinction between understanding and explanation has been stereotyped as a mere methodological distinction relevant for his theory of the human sciences. His reflections on interpretation have been (...) relegated to the domain of traditional philological hermeneutics and excluded from philosophical hermeneutics. Heidegger's ontical‐ontological distinction has been used to drive a wedge between the two and place Dilthey on the ontical side of a divide that cannot be fully justified. On the basis of newly available writings, a more adequate account dealing with the philosophical content of Dilthey's hermeneutic contributions can now be given. (shrink)
Kant's Worldview offers a new interpretation of Immanuel Kant's theory of judgment to clarify how the German philosopher increasingly expands the role of judgment from its logical task to its reflective capacity to evaluate objects and contextualize them in worldly terms.
This is the second volume in a six-volume translation of the major writings of Wilhelm Dilthey, a philosopher and historian of culture who continues to have a significant influence on Continental philosophy and a broad range of scholarly disciplines. In addition to his landmark works on the theories of history and the human sciences, Dilthey made important contributions to hermeneutics, phenomenology, aesthetics, psychology, and the methodology of the social sciences. This volume presents Dilthey's main theoretical works from the 1890s, the (...) period between the Introduction to the Human Sciences and The Formation of the Historical World. A common thread of the writings included here is an interest in the relation between the self and the world. In "The Origin of Our Belief in the Reality of the External World and Its Justification," Dilthey argues that our engagement with the world is rooted in our practical drives and the resistance they meet. The basic nexus of our beliefs about reality is volitional rather than representational. The next essay, "Life and Cognition," examines the main categories with which we organize our experience of life into an understanding of the human world: selfsameness; doing and undergoing; and essentiality. These categorial relations are further articulated with the aid of Dilthey's structural psychology in ways that rival some of the insights of phenomenology. This occurs in "The Ideas for a Descriptive and Analytic Psychology." By focusing on how lived experience places everything in a temporal continuum that can be described and analyzed, Dilthey saw the opportunity to establish a structural psychology that could be of great use to the human sciences in general. In the final essay, "Contributions to the Study of Individuality," Dilthey attacks Windelband's thesis that the human sciences are idiographic. Many human sciences have systematic and structural aims that combine the study of uniformities with the examination of individuation. Applying the comparative method, Dilthey argues that living beings share many basic similarities within which typical variations tend to recur. For human individuation, however, the specification of the historical nexus is also essential. (shrink)
This volume provides Dilthey's most mature and best formulation of his Critique of Historical Reason. It begins with three "Studies Toward the Foundation of the Human Sciences," in which Dilthey refashions Husserlian concepts to describe the basic structures of consciousness relevant to historical understanding.The volume next presents the major 1910 work The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences. Here Dilthey considers the degree to which carriers of history--individuals, cultures, institutions, and communities--can be articulated as productive systems capable (...) of generating value and meaning and of realizing purposes. Hegel's idea of objective spirit is reconceived in a more empirical form to designate the medium of commonality in which historical beings are immersed. Any universal claims about history need to be framed within the specific productive systems analyzed by the various human sciences. Dilthey's drafts for the Continuation of the Formation contain extensive discussions of the categories most important for our knowledge of historical life: meaning, value, purpose, time, and development. He also examines the contributions of autobiography to historical understanding and of biography to scientific history. The finest summary of Dilthey's views on hermeneutics can be found in "The Understanding of Other Persons and Their Manifestations of Life." Here, Dilthey differentiates understanding relative to three kinds of manifestations of life. After giving his analysis of elementary understanding, he examines the role of induction in higher understanding and interpretation, and the relevance of transposition and re-experiencing for grasping individuality. (shrink)
The philosopher and historian of culture Wilhelm Dilthey has had a significant and continuing influence on twentieth-century Continental philosophy and in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. This volume is the third to be published in Princeton University Press's projected six-volume series of his most important works. Part One makes available three of his works on hermeneutics and its history: "Schleiermacher's Hermeneutical System in Relation to Earlier Protestant Hermeneutics" ; "On Understanding and Hermeneutics", based on student lecture notes, and the (...) "The Rise of Hermeneutics", which traces the history of hermeneutics back to Hellenistic Greece. All the addenda to this well-known essay are translated here, some for the first time. In them Dilthey articulates three philosophical aporias concerning hermeneutics and projects an ultimate convergence between understanding and explanation. Part Two provides translations of review essays by Dilthey on Buckle's use of statistical history and on Burckhardt's cultural history; an essay "Friedrich Schlosser and the Problem of Universal History;" and a talk recalling his early years as a student of Boeckh, Jakob Grimm, Mommsen, Ranke, and Ritter. It also contains the important historical essay "The Eighteenth Century and the Historical World," in which Dilthey reexamines the Enlightenment to show its significant contributions to the rise of historical consciousness. (shrink)
This is the fifth volume in a six-volume translation of the major writings of Wilhelm Dilthey, a philosopher and historian of culture who has had a significant, and continuing, influence on twentieth-century Continental philosophy and in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. In addition to his landmark works on the theories of history and the human sciences, Dilthey made important contributions to hermeneutics and phenomenology, aesthetics, psychology, and the methodology of the social sciences.This volume presents Dilthey's principal writings on aesthetics (...) and the philosophical understanding of poetry, as well as representative essays of literary criticism. The essay "The Imagination of the Poet" is his most sustained attempt to examine the philosophical bearings of literature in relation to psychological and historical theory. Also included are "The Three Epochs of Modern Aesthetics and its Present Task," "Fragments for a Poetics," and two final essays discussing Goethe and Hölderlin. The latter are drawn from Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung, a volume that was acclaimed on publication as a classic of literary criticism and that continues to be a model for the geistesgeschichtliche approach to literary history. (shrink)
Introduction to the Human Sciences carries forward a projected six-volume translation series of the major writings of Wilhelm Dilthey --a philosopher and historian of culture who has had a strong and continuing influence on twentieth-century Continental philosophy as well as a broad range of other scholarly disciplines. In addition to his landmark works on the theories of history and the human sciences, Dilthey made important contributions to hermeneutics and phenomenology, aesthetics, psychology, and the methodology of the social sciences. The Selected (...) Works will make accessible to English-speaking readers the full range of Dilthey's thought, including some historical essays and literary criticism. The series provides translations of complete texts, together with editorial notes, and contains manuscript materials that are currently being published for the first time in Germany.This volume brings together the various parts of the Introduction to the Human Sciences published separately in the German edition. Rudolf Makkreel and Frithjof Rodi have underscored the systematic character of Dilthey's theory of the human sciences by translating the bulk of Dilthey's first volume and his important drafts for the never-completed second volume. (shrink)
Wilhelm Dilthey's contributions to hermeneutics go back to 1860 when he wrote a long manuscript entitled “Schleiermacher's Hermeneutical System in Relation to Earlier Protestant Hermeneutics”. Because of the long hold that theology had over hermeneutics as the theory of interpretation, the important theoretical writings that contribute to Dilthey's life project of a Critique of Historical Reason before 1900 refer less to the problems of interpretation and more to the nature of understanding. Dilthey prefers the term lived experience (Erlebnis) and increasingly (...) focuses on the capacity of lived experience to encompass both inner and outer sense. Dilthey's last essay on hermeneutics entitled “The Understanding of Other Persons and Their Manifestations of Life”, he reiterates the three levels of understanding: the elementary understanding that derives from the commonalities that nurture us from birth, the higher conceptual understanding contributed by the sciences, and, finally, re‐experiencing as reflective assessment. (shrink)
This paper attempts to reassess the role of judgment in hermeneutics. Beyond considering the different modes of judgment involved in interpretation, a topology of contexts that can orient understanding is proposed, starting with the way Kant distinguishes among a field, a territory and a domain. Other relevant contexts are also considered. One of the main tasks of hermeneutics is to be able to coordinate various interdisciplinary contexts.
The Journal of the History of Philosophy is saddened to report that Professor Edward P. Mahoney died on January 8, 2009. Professor Mahoney served on the Journal's Board of Directors from 1984 until the spring of 2008, when he retired due to illness. Ed also served on the Journal's Book Review Advisory Board since 1990. He was a tireless advocate of scholarly rigor.Edward Mahoney was born in 1932 in New York City. Ed received his BA at Cathedral College, an MA (...) in Philosophy at St. John's University and an MA in Political Science, and in 1966 a PhD in Philosophy at Columbia University. He wrote his dissertation, The Early Psychology of Augustino Nifo, under the direction of Paul Oskar Kristeller, the noted scholar of medieval and Renaissance thought. Ed went on to become. (shrink)