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Voices From Continental Philosophy<br />Hermeneutics, Critical Realism, and The Post-modern Critique of Scientism<br />?<br />
Analytic vs. Continental Philosophy<br />Analytic Philosophy<br />A Set of Overlapping Traditions whose main sources of authority are logic, mathematics, and science<br />Understands their analysis as continuous with, in service to, or subordinate to those of the natural sciences<br />Treats philosophy as discrete problems, capable of being analyzed apart from their historical origin<br />Continental Philosophy<br />Reject the view that the natural sciences are the most accurate way of understanding phenomena<br />Science is dependent upon a “pre-theoretical substrate of experience.” (Kant)<br />Tends toward historicism; grapples with how space and time, language, culture and history shape experience and knowledge.<br />
Analytic vs. Continental Philosophy (continued)<br />Analytic Philosophy<br />Has its origins and develops out of Great Britain and North America<br />Fathers are Wittgenstein, Russell, Moore, Frege<br />Continental Philosophy<br />Holds that conscious human agency can change the conditions of possible experience<br />Fathers include Hegel, Nietzche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Marx<br />Includes ideas from Existentialism, Phenomenology, Marxism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Critical Theory, and post-modernism<br />
Kant’s Noumenon and Phenomenon<br />Phenomenon: The thing as we perceive it<br />What shapes how we perceive the world? Culture, language, social structures?<br />Can we ever come to know the Noumenon except the lens of our Phenomenon?<br />Noumenon: The Thing itself outside of our perception of it<br />
Richard Rorty, “Hermeneutics, General Studies and Teaching”<br />1) Links Dewey’s American Pragmatism with the French-German Hermeneutic tradition<br />2) Traces similarity of each tradition<br />3) Touches on various Deweyan notions and the controversies they sparked (including a comparison to vulgar relativism)<br />4) Links Dewey’s pragmatism with Gadamer’s hermeneutics<br />5) Argues that both thinkers replace Plato’s emphasis on reason (truth as correlation) with tradition, community, and human solidarity<br />
Nietzche’s Criticism of Plato <br />Platonic Emphasis on Reason and truth <br />Hermeneutics: the science and study of interpretation; claim is that truth is contextual<br />Nietzche’s assault on Absolute truth—no transcendent goal of inquiry; ought not claim there is an objective truth<br />Truth is problematic if it is based on language (Gadamer); it is not universal but textual and tradition bound. <br />
Gadamer and Dewey –Shared Critique on Objective Claims to truth?<br />Plato and Locke: Words are simply tools to help us express truth which is non-linguistic. <br />Gadamer: Language shapes understandings; truth is contextual and tradition bound<br />Vulgar Relativism<br />Contextual Truth: Truth with Limits that emerge from communities of tradition<br />Platonic Absolutism<br />
Hermeneutics and Social Constructivism<br />If truth emerges and is dependent upon language, then culture, history, and the structures out of which and in which the individual operates conditions, constructs and confines our understanding of the world<br />
Strengths and Challenges of Hermeneutics<br />Strengths<br />Emphasizes local truths; can help build up a sense of human community <br />Emphasizes processes of dialogue and communication through which truth emerges<br />Careful not to impose/colonize truths on other communities and traditions (think science)<br />Emphasizes multiple interpretations <br />Acknowledgement of interpreter relativity and bias<br />Weaknesses<br />Argument from perceptual confrontation<br />Argument from moral evil<br />Openness to vulgar relativism<br />Vulnerability to dialogue between traditions turning vicious<br />Difficulty of finding consensus on truth across communities/traditions<br />