Friday, 10 August 2012

Beneath Interpretation… Danger of Absolutism

SHUSTERMAN, R. (1991) Beneath Interpretation. In: D.R. HILEY, J.F. BOHMAN, and R. SHUSTERMAN (Eds.) The Interpretive Turn. Cornell University Press. pp102-128

“First, the distinction between understanding and interpretation (…) cannot be distinguished by epistemological reliability, where understanding implies univocal truth while interpretation connotes pluralistic error. Nonetheless, understanding and interpretation are epistemologically different in terms of their functional relations: understanding initially grounds and guides interpretation, while the latter explores, validates, or modifies that initial ground of meaning.” (p125)

There is a danger of seeing interpretation and understanding in absolute terms distinguishing the former as pluralistic, relativist opinion-based, while the latter as a justified belief based on only one possible meaning of truth. Interpretationexplores, validates, or modifies” (p125) the understanding of an established meaning that is grounded in our pre-understanding.

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