New PDF release: Between Description and Interpretation: The Hermeneutic Turn

By Andrzej Wiercinski (ed.)

ISBN-10: 0952533359

ISBN-13: 9780952533351

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136 In short, the essence of anything is not an object (of whatever sort) that can be “referred to” or “intuited”; an essence is nothing more than a function of the interpretive-definitional statements we may make in order to appease our desire for intelligibility by saying “what” something or other is. The “whatness” (quidditas) of things is thus a function of the way in which, by means of language, we interpret them (for whatever purpose), and the “essential relationships” (Wesenszusammenhänge) between things (that metaphysicians believe are simply “there,” waiting to be discovered) are a function of the particular point of view with which we approach them.

126 Cf. ” 127 Ricoeur’s position contrasts in this regard with that of a disciple of the later Wittgenstein, Peter Winch, who, round about the same time, attempted to revive in an Anglo-Saxon format the Diltheyan dichotomy between the natural sciences and the social sciences, between (causal) explanation and (empathetic) understanding; see Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958). ” [HHS, 192]). The detour by way of methodic “distantiation” is the key to overcoming what William James called “vicious intellectualism” and is the means, as Ricoeur sees it, for achieving a less distorted self-understanding than the one we invariably start out with.

J. , On Narrative (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981). 134 Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View, Preface. ” Essences are not “metaphysical entities” (see PriP, 10); they do not exist, Platonic-wise, in rem, nor, for that matter, are they, as Husserl thought in his quasi-Platonism, things (of a quasi-sort) that can be directly intuited by means of an “eidetic insight” (Wesenschau). , narration or story-telling, it appears to the story-teller to have unfolded: Wesen ist was gewesen ist, as Hegel remarked.

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Between Description and Interpretation: The Hermeneutic Turn in Phenomenology by Andrzej Wiercinski (ed.)


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