Friday, 20 November 2009

Self and tradition

"[T]he interpretation of a text culminates in the self-interpretation of the subject who henceforth understands himself better, understands himself differently, or simply begins to understand himself." (P. Ricoeur, "Discussion: Ricoeur on Narrative," On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and Interpretation, ed. David Wood [London: Routledge, 1991] 118.)

Self-understanding is a function of text-interpretation: "in hermeneutical reflection - or in reflective hermeneutics - the constitution of the self is contemporaneous with the constitution of meaning." (Ibid. 119)

Interpretation thus makes "one's own what was initially alien." (Ibid. 119)

(From Keith D'Souza, “Habermas and Hermeneutics: The Need for Critical-Hermeneutical Dialectics.” Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education 19/1-2 [2008] 176-7.)

Compare Fred Lawrence's formulation: the coming to light of the tradition is at once the coming to light of the self.

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