Wednesday, September 05, 2012
In NDPR, James Swindal reviews Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala's Hermeneutic Communism.
[I]t was Heidegger who, by subsequently linking interpretation to the very "thrown projection" that the human being is, moved hermeneutics not in a psychological or sociological but an existential direction. Since the human has a privileged relation to Being, interpretation is linked directly to a being with a "conception of Being." But since this being is uniquely subject to time, Being is linked to history via "the event" of continual disclosure in economic, cultural, and political loci. Interpretation becomes radically destabilized, de-subjectivized, and historicized.
After Heidegger, then, hermeneutics becomes "political in itself". Politics ought no longer to pretend to avoid the historicity of Being by operating with either a metaphysics that mirrors the world as it is or a moral order of rights and natural ethics. Rather, politics becomes, as Rorty indicated, a "conversation" that shapes a political order based not on rule-following but toleration. Hermeneutic communism does not avoid but embraces the postmodern affirmation of alteration via Derridean "iterability". This serves to undercut the "unconditional self-legislation" of the "I" that leads to an all-embracing system. So the new rallying cry is not to change the world, but to interpret it continuously. Vattimo and Zabala acknowledge and affirm that this is anarchistic.
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