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Reflective Orientation and the Bounds of Hermeneutics

Reflective Orientation and the Bounds of Hermeneutics

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter 3 Reflective Orientation and the Bounds of Hermeneutics
Source:
Orientation and Judgment in Hermeneutics
Author(s):
Rudolf A. Makkreel
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226249452.003.0004

The chapter begins by examining Josiah Royce’s insight that we cannot fully understand our own ideas until we can also express them in a currency or medium of thought other than our own. But the task of hermeneutics cannot be confined to bridging available languages and standard media of thought. Our orientational approach requires flexibility and imagination in dealing with a wider range of contexts where only partial convergences may be possible. We will gain our further bearings to the medial complexity of the world by developing four spheres of reference (field, domain, territory and habitat) that are distinguished in terms of scope in Kant’s Introduction to the Critique of Judgment. These will be delineated as judgmental contexts to provide reflective schemata for interpretation. Field and domain can be designated as purely theoretical or abstractly practical contexts. But to reflect on the meaning of our own lived experience, these contexts need to be supplemented with the two other spheres of reference listed by Kant. I will treat these as more concrete contexts: the local habitat where we happen to reside and in which meaning is based on familiarity and the worldly territory within which things can be understood more broadly as humanly meaningful.

Keywords:   Royce, Kant, contexts, field, domain, territory, habitat, orientation, world, earth

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