Hermeneutics (was Public Funding vs Free Inquiry)

Mark Crosby (crosby_m@rocketmail.com)
Wed, 20 May 1998 09:19:20 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 20 May 1998 08:05:36 -0400 (EDT) Daniel
Fabulich daniel.fabulich@yale.edu wrote:
< As for hermeneutics, as I seem to recall, one of
its central ideas was that supposedly contradictory
elements within a text would coalesce into a meaning
by virtue of the fact that they contradict. >

An interesting overview article on hermeneutics is
Extropian Nick Szabo's "Commentaries on Hermeneutics"
at http://www.best.com/~szabo/hermeneutics.html where
he notes:

"There have been several superficial (aka 'radical')
crypto-Marxist philosophies constructed using a gloss
of Heideggerian language, such as Sartre, Derrida,
et. al., but I take these only as a cautionary tale
to balance Heidegger's influence on Gadamer, who is
probably the most eloquent and thoughtful defender of
tradition in our time."

Another very useful but longer article is
"Hermeneutics: From Textual Explication to Computer
Understanding?" by MIT AI Lab's John C. Mallery,
Roger Hurwitz, Gavan Duffy published in The
Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence, Stuart. C.
Shapiro, editor, John Wiley &Sons, New York, 1987 at
. They summarize their interpretation of this as

"In sum, lexical-interpretive semantics differs from
approaches relying on semantic universals because
meaning equivalences are determined dynamically at
reference time for specific language users with
individual histories rather than statically in
advance for an idealized language user with an
unspecific background knowledge but who is
'semantically and pragmatically competent'."

Mark Crosby
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