Noel Carroll, “Anglo-American Aesthetics and Contemporary Criticism: Intention and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion,” in Beyond Aesthetics, 180–189, 186. 7. Schleiermacher, Friedrich. ed., trans. Jessica Rutt. If our understanding runs in a circle from whole to part and part to whole, how do we get into the circle in the first place? See F. D. E. Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism: And Other Writings, ed. They write, “There is no necessary relation between the meaning the author intends and any one of the meanings the author’s words can have in the language—except the one the author intends.”34 More recently, moderate intentionalists, hypothetical intentionalists, and actual intentionalists have revised and updated intentionalist claims.35 Noel Carroll attempts to do so while trying to allow for the legitimacy of the kind of historical changes in the understanding of texts that Gadamer endorses. In addition, he calls Schleiermacher’s work on grammatical interpretation “brilliant.”8 Nevertheless, he is less certain about his focus on misunderstanding. Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism, 28. 8. For Collingwood, understanding a text or a historical event involves reconstructing the question to which it is an answer, where we necessarily read the question off of the answer. Hermeneutics and Criticism and Other Writings was first published as the edition of Friedrich Lücke, entitled Hermeneutics and Criticism, with Particular Reference to the New Testament, in 1838, as Volume 7 of the First Division, On Theology, of Schleiermacher’s Complete Works. The two central features of Schleiermacher's philosophy are (1) his clear separation between religion (as concerned with feeling/ intuition and dependence on God), and metaphysics and ethics (as being grounded in reason to conceptualize God and the world); and (2) his view that action and the ethical life are conditioned by historical-cultural factors and the 'peculiarity' of each individual. In other words, in order for the political interpretation to make sense, it must presuppose an intentional interpretation. If Schleiermacher shifts from a lax practice of hermeneutics to a more rigorous method and from written or spoken content to an author’s intentions, rehabilitating tradition and prejudice allows us to rethink the first of these shifts while affirming indeterminacy and incompleteness allows us to rethink the second. 17. Indeed, despite the possible category mistake in Cordelia’s initial response to her father, her subsequent actions reflect ideals of love to which we continue to hold and that continue to influence our judgments. Gadamer therefore maintains that “[t]radition is not simply a permanent precondition; rather we produce it ourselves inasmuch as we understand, participate in the evolution of tradition, and hence further determine it for ourselves.”29. Up to 90% off Textbooks at Amazon Canada. This discussion begins with the problems Gadamer raises with regard to the direction that Schleiermacher sets out for hermeneutics. 11. Hence, he stresses what he calls the “fore-structure” of understanding that consists of a “fore-having,” “fore-sight,” and “fore-conception,” where fore-having reflects our immersion in the projects and purposes that constitute the arena of our understanding, fore-sight signals the perspective this immersion opens up for us on that which we are in the midst of understanding, and fore-conception fixes its range of possible meanings.25, We revise aspects of this fore-structure if we encounter glitches or disruptions in our ability to get around in our world. To the contrary, he is, for example, inconsolable when he thinks that Harding is dead, and he exclaims “My master, my master” with almost religious devotion when he discovers him alive. The ego is itself both body and soul — the conjunction of both constitutes it. Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, “Against Theory 2: Hermeneutics and Deconstruction,” Critical Inquiry 14.1 (1987): 49–68, 57. Schleiermacher maintains that while grammatical interpretation is a method of understanding how meaning is determined by the way in which language is used, psychological interpretation is a method of understanding how spoken or written language represents the thoughts of the person who is speaking or writing. Friedrich Schleiermacher's Hermeneutics has been characterized as a watershed in the history of the field. The lectures are divided into two chapters: the first discussing the theology of Schleiermacher as a preacher, working particularly with his early sermons, Easter and Christmas sermons, and household sermons. 6. 43. Carroll, “Anglo-American Aesthetics and Contemporary Criticism,” 187. Accordingly, Gadamer maintains that despite the attention that Schleiermacher gives to both grammatical and psychological interpretation, his “particular contribution is psychological interpretation.”9 In attending to speech and text, hermeneutics has as its main aim not the content or subject matter, or what Gadamer calls die Sache, but rather individual expression, or “thought considered as part of another’s life.”10 Thus, what Schleiermacher says he finds “most neglected and ignored is understanding a succession of thoughts as an emerging element of life.”11 The result, Gadamer thinks, is that any claim or proposition becomes “an aesthetic construct.”12. Another such effort to relate Schleiermacher to his predecessors (e.g., Leibniz, Wolff, Baumgarten, Herder, and Schlegel) was made by Reinhold Rieger, who interprets Schleiermacher's hermeneutics to be a hermeneutics of "Sinn" (sense/meaning), because understanding aims at texts containing sense—this, in contrast to the merely referential hermeneutics found especially in semiotics. Rather it is a kind of “creative hypothesis-making.”17 Moreover, she maintains, it is not meant to be a method on its own but is, rather, linked with the method of comparison. In reading The Mysterious Island, we may appreciate Verne’s sympathy for African Americans, but the depiction he gives of Neb nevertheless shocks us in a way that leads us to consider aspects of racism we may not yet have adequately understood. Thus, hermeneutics and criticism are concerned with understanding the similarities and differences which may occur between these objective and subjective elements. Carroll suggests that we need to insist on a difference in order to absolve Verne of racism. As a rigorous method, hermeneutics attains understanding through both “reference to language and … reference to the one who speaks”—in other words, through grammatical and psychological or technical interpretation.18 In some cases, as in scientific texts, the commonality of language will dominate and, hence, so too will grammatical interpretation. Why is the hermeneutic circle not a vicious one? Nevertheless, he thinks the supposition that a methodological approach will allow us to resolve them ignores the place of prejudice and tradition in our understanding. Summary and Keywords Modern hermeneutics begins with F. D. E. Schleiermacher who systematized hermeneutics, developing it from a group of disparate disciplines meant to apply to different fields of discourse to a set of procedures applicable to all. How, then, Carroll asks, are we to understand The Mysterious Island? This conclusion brings us back to Gadamer’s worries about Schleiermacher’s attention to psychological interpretation and about intentionalism in literary interpretation, in general. To the extent that we are, however, we participate in their traditions and are oriented or prejudiced by the assumptions they hand down to us. 28. Moreover, when we do encounter or read these texts, we are already possessed of a historically developed fore-having, or prejudice, that has been handed down to us by previous generations of readers and interpreters. Gjesdal, Gadamer and the Legacy of German Idealism, 167. Hermeneutical Inquiry. . Yet as long as intentions are evident in the work, as its purposive structure, why need we talk about intentions at all? We do not first come upon an object and then ask what it is—using some method for finding the whole of which it is a part. Schleiermacher describes how understanding may discover the internal unity of discourse, and he explains how this internal unity may include language and thought, the grammatical and the psychological, the rhetorical and the historical, the objective and the subjective, the real and the ideal. Some of Schleiermacher’s most important philosophical workconcerns the theories of interpretation (“hermeneutics”)and translation. While Hawkes and Grady refer to Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and Walter Benjamin, rather peculiarly they do not refer to Gadamer. Causes of misunderstanding include: indeterminacy in the meaning of words, ambiguity in the meaning of words, contradictoriness or inconsistency in the usage of words, inattentiveness to the setting or context in which words are used, and mistaken preconceptions of the meaning of words. Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism, 22. See, for example, Donald Davidson, Truth, Language, and History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); William Irwin, Intentionalist Interpretation: A Philosophical Explanation and Defense (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000); Gary Iseminger, “An Intentional Demonstration,” in Intention and Interpretation, ed. For Gadamer, this analysis means that we need to rethink the Enlightenment’s rejection of tradition and prejudice as sources of knowledge. Gadamer suggests that this shift from content to individual expression, part of the Romantic cult of the genius, also effects a change in the “philologist’s rule of thumb” that Kant and Fichte employ, according to which the interpreter understands writers or speakers better than they understood themselves.13 Kant and Fichte consider the idea a principle of philosophical critique insofar as it is possible to acquire greater conceptual clarity on an issue than a given author’s text may have allowed; Schleiermacher, however, applies the idea to the creative act. In this way, philosophical hermeneutics asks us to take works of literature seriously as claims to truth with which we engage dialogically in a process of clarifying an issue or subject matter for ourselves, a clarification that we hand down to the next generation to do with what it will. Under Schleiermachian procedures, one makes a hypothesis about a text or passage and then revises or confirms that hypothesis by comparing it with one’s understanding of other passages and texts by the same author, as well as passages and texts by other authors of the same culture and time. E-LOGOS/2006 ISSN 1121-0442. Schleiermacher’s focus on intentions is equally problematic. The relation between textual meaning and an author’s intention is, of course, a large topic in analytic aesthetics, with formulations and debates over hypothetical intentionalism, moderate intentionalism, moderate actual intentionalism, and the like. Carroll, “Anglo-American Aesthetics and Contemporary Criticism,” 186. Modern hermeneutics begins with F. D. E. Schleiermacher who systematized hermeneutics, developing it from a group of disparate disciplines meant to apply to different fields of discourse to a set of procedures applicable to all. Rather, Gadamer explains: “The process that Heidegger describes is that every revision of the fore-projection is capable of projecting before itself a new projection of meaning; rival projects can emerge side by side until it becomes clearer what the unity of meaning is; interpretation begins with fore-conceptions that are replaced by more suitable ones.”26. It then turns to Gadamer’s Heidegger-inspired account of hermeneutics and to its implications for the concern with tools and methods, on the one hand, and with authorial intentions, on the other. 5. Friedrich Schlegel was an immediate influence on histhought here. Grammatical and psychological elements are always combined in discourse, and discourse is never purely grammatical or psychological. As long as we assume that we understand the claims that other people are making we can devote ourselves to engaging with them in an inquiry into a subject matter. On this analysis, our reaction to the novel’s depiction of Neb as a racist one is an external understanding and even, perhaps, one that illegitimately imposes contemporary values on a text that is possibly antiracist for its own time. Although each of these interpretations might succeed in offering an understanding of the whole in terms of the part and of the parts in terms of the whole, each will also emphasize different scenes and roles and fit part and whole in different ways. Consequently, Carroll maintains that Verne did not intend his portrayal of Neb to be a racist one but meant it, rather, as a depiction that could advance the case for treating African Americans humanely. Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 2d rev. Schleiermacher explains that hermeneutics is not only the art of understanding the meaning of discourse, but is the art of avoiding misunderstanding. . Noel Carroll (Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 157–180, 157. Indeed, as a preparation for divination, Schleiermacher maintains that “one must put oneself in the place of the author.” One does so on the “objective” side “via knowledge of the language as he possessed it” and on the subjective side “in the knowledge of his inner and outer life” (Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism, 24). Here, he maintains that Socrates’ genius in asking questions stems from his awareness that he does not already know the answer. Although Schleiermacher published little on hermeneutics during his lifetime (1768–1834), his posthumously published work on the subject was immensely influential.4 Much of this influence can be attributed to Schleiermacher’s generalization of hermeneutics from what he calls a “collection of observations” that are specific to particular fields of discourse into a systematic set of procedures applicable to any field.5 He rejects the idea that separate subject matters, and in particular scripture, require separate forms of interpretation. Schleiermacher: The Father of Modern Hermeneutics and Theology. E. D Hirsch, Validity In Interpretation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967), 9. Verne may have intended to portray Neb sympathetically, as someone deserving to be treated “humanely,” as Carroll writes. Forster’s and Gjesdal’s points are debatable. Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Hermeneutics and Criticism (1838) is concerned with the art of understanding the meaning of discourse, and with the art of avoiding misinterpretation of … Historical criticism seeks to determine whether written records may be viewed as historical documents, and whether they may provide an accurate understanding of history. Cited in Gadamer, Truth and Method, 186. If we apply Carroll’s intentionalist understanding of texts to actions and events, we will understand those events or actions in terms of agential intentions. In this case, we may revise our understanding of the part in order to retain our understanding of the whole, or context, of our acting. The cultures and historical developments from which we acquire the fore-structure of our understanding constitute the interpretive traditions to which we already belong or in which we become acculturated. Rather, psychological interpretation concerns the way in which a particular author or speaker maneuvers within a common language. 42. Schleiermacher also explains that philological criticism may be either a documentary or a divinatory form of criticism. Noel Carroll, “Art, Intention, and Conversation,” in Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays, ed. 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. Ethical human beings treat animals humanely; they treat their fellow citizens as equals. Schleiermacher's Hermeneutics and Criticism is the founding text of modern hermeneutics. 25. (University Park: Penn State University Press); Jerrold Levinson, “Intention and Interpretation in Literature,” in The Pleasures of Aesthetics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), 175–213; Paisley Livingston, Art and Intention: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); and Robert Stecker, “Moderate Actual Intentionalism Defended,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64.4 (2006): 429–438. 41. A summary of Friedrich Schleiermacher's theory of hermeneutics as formulated in the manuscripts edited by Heinz Kimmerle (I. We can draw on feminist criticism to think about what Ophelia’s role in Hamlet says about the play and women’s lives, or draw on Marxism to claim Hamlet’s bourgeois individualism as a key to the text, or interpret Hamlet as a Confucian hero and see the play as a political allegory. The effective history of texts is an ongoing one; texts connect up with other texts that had not yet been written when they first appeared, with criticisms that had not yet been formulated, and with events and ideas that remained in their future. In his 1967 book, Validity in Interpretation, E. D. Hirsch considered Gadamer’s text a version of nihilism, one that denied “the author’s prerogative to be the determinator of textual meaning” and thereby allowed a text to mean “whatever we take it to mean.”33 In the 1980s, Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels were equally dismissive for reasons identical to Hirsch’s. Hermeneutics. We may be prepared to be moved and edified by Cordelia’s actions in King Lear, for example, but come to conceive of her as either a moralistic twit or someone who, despite the love she has for her father, has remarkably little patience for his idiosyncrasies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Written as a method for the interpretation and textual criticism of the New Testament, it is remarkably relevant to contemporary theories of interpretation in literary theory and analytical philosophy. the central concern of hermeneutics.”2 —“Schleiermacher’s New Testament hermeneutics is to guide and aid exegesis . Gadamer thus concludes: “The ultimate ground of all understanding must always be a divinatory act of con-geniality” (Gadamer, Truth and Method, 189). To us in the 21st century, of course, the portrayal seems racist. Gjesdal, Gadamer and the Legacy of German Idealism, 161. In understanding a text, the initial assumptions we hold about a text, our skeletal understanding, may not allow us to integrate its parts into a coherent whole, and we may have to resort to other frames or orientations for what we are trying to understand. When Truth and Method first appeared in 1960, English-speaking intentionalists were appalled. In moving to philosophical hermeneutics, Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer refocus away from the procedures conducive to understanding and towards the conditions under which understanding occurs: namely, in the context of our ongoing projects and purposes and the interrelations they involve. 34. In another article, he denies that authorial intentions are private mental events separate from the works attributed to them. 24. Readers brought up in the traditions for which Shakespeare’s work, for example, is foundational cannot come upon it afresh as if it did not have the status it has come to have in those traditions. In effect, then, Gadamer reverses Carroll’s claim with which this article began, namely, that only intentionalism in literary theory can link understanding in the realm of art and literature to understanding in other domains of communication.44 While for Carroll it seems natural to interpret words and actions in terms of authorial intention, the opposite turns out more nearly to be the case. 29. In other cases, as in poetry, the individuality of the use of language will dominate and require an emphasis on psychological interpretation. Divination does not involve placing oneself within the author’s framework of production or recreating the original creative act. None supposed that misunderstanding could not arise; clearly, if we want to meet a friend for coffee, we will have to verify that we both intend to go to the same coffee shop. We take a particular text to be a certain kind of text—an ode, for instance—and thus project a preliminary understanding of its parts as dimensions of the tribute it creates. All this shows that a conversation has a spirit of its own, and that the language in which it is conducted bears its own truth within it—i.e., that it allows something to “emerge” which henceforth exists.45. Verne intended for Neb to be nonironically “docile, naive, childlike and even somewhat simian,” and this intention forms the basis of our contemporary political judgment of the novel as racist. Doctrinal criticism seeks to determine whether spoken or written discourse is in accord with ethical, religious, moral, social, or aesthetic values or doctrines. As an example, she points to a possible inquiry into differences in style or individual expression. In his view, “Though it seems natural to interpret words and actions in terms of authorial intention, arguments of many sorts have advanced for nearly fifty years to deny the relevance of authorial intention to the interpretation of works of art in general and to works of literature in particular.”2 Eagleton’s reference to the tools of the trade may be more offhand than Carroll’s insistence on the interpretive relevance of authorial intentions.3 Nonetheless, both claims recall positions that F. D. E. Schleiermacher took on literary interpretation in the early 19th century, and, like this position, both are decidedly at odds with the later philosophical hermeneutics that stems from the work of Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Nevertheless, despite his similar separation of intention and result, Gadamer moves in the opposite direction from Carroll in conceiving what it is we understand when we understand. 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