Thursday, December 08, 2011
In Aljazeera Santiago Zabala demands autonomous interpreters.
In the midst of our global economic crisis, which sees financial centres such as Wall Street occupied by protesters who call for change, Marx's statement points out that we are still framed within the thought system that sustains the crisis, but it also demands a change in thought, that is, a philosophy for these same protesters. This philosophy is available and is called hermeneutics, the philosophy of interpretation that runs proximally through history from Aristotle and Augustine to Paul Ricoeur and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Although Plato in the Ion presented hermeneutics as a theory of reception and practice for transmitting the messages of the gods of Olympus, it soon after acquired a broader philosophical significance, suggesting alternative vital meanings for world, thought and existence. Thus, its most important living representative, Gianni Vattimo, recently pointed out how "whoever does not succeed in becoming an autonomous interpreter, in this sense, perishes, no longer lives like a person but like a number, a statistical item in the system of production and consumption". The protesters and movements that arose in Spain last spring and have now spread throughout the world are the incarnation of these autonomous interpreters determined to overcome the economic impositions established by our governments. But what grants them this determination is not possession of a higher truth than the one espoused by the bearers of power, but rather the idea of an alternative and socially balanced organisation of wealth, that is, a different interpretation of the world.
Autonomy again

better ask the catholic dogmatists what they think of that. I don't think one can find support for autonomy in Aquinas et al (or the official muslim/jew scribes), and the WASP version is hardly superior to the "causa sui".

The Kantian-hegelian schema may not be the final answer to all political and philosophical issues but of a greater subtlety than most realize, and of course detested by most in the papist business (see like Edward Feser, neo-thomist at large, for his denunciations of Kant, the dreaded "transcendental humanist" or some BS).
I hadn't heard of Edward Feser before. I'm listening to a radio interview with him now; "Deconstructing Atheism", in which, alas, there is no deconstruction. I have a certain tolerance for, even enjoy, conversation with clever theists. Many of them have more subtle arguments than the "Four Athiests" are capable of grasping. Especially now that comrade Hitch has been struck voiceless.
Assuming Feser and his gang are the official opponents of the new-atheism...I respectfully return the ticket. Feser basically regurgitates Aquinas's arguments for God (what did Kant think of those..) and the substance mysteries. However there's more to the tale--Feser's an ex-Randian and converted to the RC a couple of years ago. He was a regular on the blog "Right Reason" and a fairly rabid neo-con type. There seem to be quite a few of these conservatives turned papists doing the "Jeesus is my Aeroplane" schtick. Gingrichism

I don't love Hitchens (though he had a certain Humean spirit, even if disagrees) but the fundamentalists relishing his impending death are quite obnoxious.

Dunno what your precise requirements are for "autonomous," but the so-called Protestant Principle (no intermediate between God and man; instead a priesthood of all believers) might indicate the likely RC response: only those anointed by the direct lineage to Jesus get to hear from God.

At the same time, it is the Protestant reliance on scripture that has given rise to the treatment of the text that we associate now with hermeneutics, even while RC and Protestants claim the truth of revelation superior to unholy language games.

By the way, does anyone know what MH's "gloss on Aristotle's Rhetoric" in one of the recent posts here refers to?
GA 18. Also, if you search for Aristotle Rhetoric here, it should return several posts.
I recall now reading these reviews of the lecture course. I had forgotten, as I did not and have not made use of the book. But they sure seem impossible to ignore.

While it is the least scholarly of the three reviews, I found the following especially intriguing:

"The affective becomes part of a concrete account of concept formation. The concrete context in which these concepts were formed allows us to locate the unity of the situations in which we find ourselves."--Edward Willatt

P.F. Strawson critiques Kant for mistaking the unity of experience for the experience of unity. Seems to me that is not a critique applicable to MH, especially the later MH who distinguishes decisively the mortal and the divinities.
"...whoever does not succeed in becoming an autonomous interpreter..."

A bit of an overstatement, as none of us can succeed with original interpretations everywhere interpretations happen. Socrates' "unexamined life" is a bit more forgiving.

So the question then becomes, "what is the minimal condition of authenticity?" For MH per Stambaugh it is the finitude of beyng. (although she just uses lower case being) For my religious context it is Appropriation as a promise, along with MH's situating it as a possibility.
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