Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning First Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0912646596
ISBN-10: 0912646594
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0912646594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0912646596
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Paul Ricoeur's focus is interpretation--how to decipher texts. Language is ". . .itself the process by which private experience is made public." When we try to understand the author of a written text, we no longer have the immediate dialogue that we have with a person to whom we are speaking. As a result, we have a ". . .detachment of meaning from the event." In essence, we now must interpret the words in a piece of writing without being able to clarify them through dialogue with the author.

But how can we make sense of this alien written discourse, now separated from the mind of its author by the simple act of putting words to paper? First, the reader must take a guess! Ricoeur says:

"With writing, the verbal meaning of the text no longer coincides with the mental meaning of intention of the text. This intention is both fulfilled and abolished by the text, which is no longer the voice of someone present . The text is mute. An asymmetric relation obtains between text and reader, in which only one of the partners speaks for the two. The text is like a musical score and the reader like the orchestra conductor who obeys the instructions of the notation. Consequently, to understand is not merely to repeat the speech event in a similar event, it is to generate a new event beginning from the text in which the initial event has been objectified."

In other words, we have to guess the meaning of the text because the author's intention is beyond our reach. A musical metaphor: Listen to Wilhelm Furtwangler's World War II recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Compare it with Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra version a decade later. The tempos are slow to the breaking point in Furtwangler's reading--except for the latter portions of the fourth movement.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By barryb on March 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
RICOEUR SYNTHESIZES HUSSERL AND WITTGENSTEIN:
From 1976, when post-modern thinking was emerging like a volcano; Ricoeur developed the unique position of combining phenomenology with linguistics. This is similar to Badiou’s reading of Wittgenstein, which also helps to inform this text. Ricoeur pivots off the axis-threshold, but does not rely almost exclusively on the dokounta-threshold of unconsciousness. Instead, he introduces a healthy balance of the composition-threshold of consciousness. And you will appreciate his attentiveness to “LOGOS”. He offers a profound articulation of the three key aspects of “logos” that allow it to be rendered “objective”, and not merely “subjective”.
His treatment of “counter-blow”, or Husserl’s “fringe”, as a contribution during the initial acquisition of atomic-propositions, is significant also. The “balance” within Ricoeur’s work allows it to excel in post-modern offerings. With all of the emphasis on “writing” today, concerning the composition-threshold, and the desire for “recognition”; Ricoeur addresses: RANGE, SIGNIFICATION, GENRE, and METAPHOR as essential aspects to cover at the threshold when “speech-act” transitions to “writing-act”. Given at Texas Christian university, from the lecture halls of Brite Divinity School; you will find these essays accessible, enlightening, and inclusive for defining Ricoeur’s position. 5 stars for certain. These lectures remove a great deal of ambiguity concerning the author’s position.
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This is not the easiest entry into Ricoeur, but it is the most condensed. In these four essays, originally given as lectures, Ricoeur cogently breaks down of the discourse of text. Essential for writers and world builders!
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