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)
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)
Both Kant and Dilthey distinguish between cognition and knowledge, but they do so differently in accordance with their respective theoretical interests. Kant’s primary cognitive interest is in the natural sciences, and from this perspective the status of psychology is questioned because its phenomena are not mathematically measurable. Dilthey, by contrast, reconceives psychology as a human science.For Kant, knowledge is conceptual cognition that has attained certainty by being part of a rational system. Dilthey also links knowledge with certainty; however, he derives (...) the latter from life-experience rather than from reason. Dilthey’s psychology begins with the self-certainty of lived experience and life-knowledge, but this turns out to fall short of cognitive understanding. In the final analysis, both Kant and Dilthey move beyond psychology to arrive at self-understanding. Because of his doubts about introspection, Kant replaces psychology with a pragmatic anthropology to provide a communal framework for self-understanding. Dilthey supplements psychology with other human sciences as part of a project of anthropological reflection.Author Keywords: Anthropology; Cognition; Dilthey; Kant; Knowledge; Psychology. (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.
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)
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)
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)