Re: Public Funding vs Free Inquiry

Technotranscendence (
Tue, 19 May 1998 17:47:30 -0400 (EDT)

At 09:31 AM 5/19/98 -0700, Mark Crosby <> wrote:
>Still, it's possibly an Objectivist red herring to
>characterize this as "hostility to truth", to suggest
>that hermeneutics implies that a text really has
>*infinite* meanings, or to equate all
>post-structuralist thinking with the antics of some
>jeering court jesters. It's just the public-goods
>market in evolution.

I used to think hermeneutics implied that every interpretation is a mis-
interpretation -- or, at least, that all interpretations are equal. On this
stance, someone who believed, to use a classic example, Belgium
invaded Germany in World War One is just as right as someone who
believed the opposite as well as someone who believed there was
no war or that Belgium and Germany were both nonbelligerents.

However, regardless of what I think, the Objectivist movement has
penetrated and been penetrated by hermeneutics. See, e.g., the
works of Gregory Johnson (his "Hermeneutics: A Protreptic" which
appeared a few years ago in _Critical Review_ gives a semi-
Objectivist view of the subject) and of Chris Sciabarra. The latter
has a web site at:

It will be interesting to see what hybrids and mutants flourish in such

Personally, I don't believe _all_ poststructuralist, postmodernists and
hermeneutics is bunk, though like all movements, the members of
these probably do too far and lack perspective. It's like the New
Critics who saw irony in everything or Freudians who see sex all
over the place. I'm sure there's a good deal to be learned from all
of them.

Daniel Ust