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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. David Hume was one of the most important British philosophers of the eighteenth century. The first part of his Treatise on Human Nature is a seminal work in philosophy. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 3rd by Routledge first published May 8th More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Added to PP index Total views 62 , of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 4 , of 2,, How can I increase my downloads? Sign in to use this feature. Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy. Normative ethics. Philosophy of biology. Philosophy of language. And, to be sure, Heidegger cannot rely upon past failure as a guarantee of future failure. As an ontical concept, signifying the totality of entities that can be present-at-hand within the world.
As an ontological term, denoting the Being of such present-athand entities — that without which they would not be beings of that type. In another ontic sense, standing for that wherein a given Dasein might be said to exist — its domestic or working environment, for example.
In a corresponding ontological or, rather, existential sense, applying to the worldhood of the world — to that which makes possible any and every world of the third type. Heidegger uses the term exclusively in its third sense, although his ultimate goal is to grasp that to which the term applies in its fourth sense. Thus, although the world must be such as to accommodate the entities encountered within it, it cannot be understood in the terms appropriate to them.
Accordingly, to get the phenomenon of the world properly into view, we must locate a type of human interaction with entities that casts light on its own environment. The kind of Being which equipment possesses — in which it manifests itself in its own right — we call readinessto-hand. Thus, the notion of readiness-to-hand brings with it a fairly complex conceptual background that is not so evident when objects are grasped in terms of presence-at-hand, and that Heidegger aims to elucidate — handicapped as always by the fact that philosophers have hitherto ignored it, and so constructed no handy, widely accepted terminology for it.
Second, the utility of a tool presupposes something for which it is usable, an end product — a pen is an implement for writing letters, a hammer for making furniture. And, fourth, the end product will have recipients, people who will make use of it, and so whose needs and interests will shape the labour of the person producing the work — whether that labour is part of craft-based, highly individualized modes of production or highly industrialized ones.
In this sense, any single ready-to-hand object, however isolated or self-contained it may seem, is encountered within a world of work. Even in a working environment, however, this equipmental totality tends to be overlooked. Paradoxically enough, objects become visible as ready-to-hand primarily when they become unhandy in various ways, of which Heidegger mentions three.
If a tool is damaged, then it becomes conspicuous as something unusable; if it is absent from its accustomed place in the rack, it obtrudes itself on our attention as something that is not even to hand; and, if we encounter obstacles in our work, things that might have helped us in our task but which instead hinder it, they appear as obstinately unready-to-hand — something to be manhandled out of the way.
In all three cases the ordinary handiness of equipment becomes unreadiness-to-hand, and then presence-at-hand, as our attempts at repair or circumvention focus more exclusively on the occurrent properties with which we must now deal. Such transformations can, of course, occur in other contexts — in particular, whenever we refrain from everyday activities in order to consider the essential nature of objects — which helps explain why we then tend to reach for the category of presence-at-hand; but, in the present context, it can also bestow a certain philosophical illumination.
For the unhandiness of missing or damaged objects forces us to consider with what and for what they were ready-to-hand, and so to consider the totality of assignment-relations which underpinned their handiness; and it reveals that handiness as ordinarily inconspicuous, unobtrusive and non-obstinate. In short, precisely because we cannot perform our task, the task itself, and everything that hangs together with it, is brought to our explicit awareness:.
The context of equipment is lit up, not as something never seen before, but as a totality constantly sighted beforehand in circumspection. With this totality, however, the world announces itself.
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However, although with most pieces of equipment the world only announces itself retrospectively — when that object becomes somehow unhandy and its assignment-relations are disturbed — one type of tool is precisely designed to indicate the worldly context within which practical activity takes place: the sign. Heidegger puts it as follows:. A sign is. And what the world announces itself as is clearly neither something present-at-hand nor something ready-to-hand.
This totality makes up what Heidegger means by the world; and precisely because it is not itself an object, it is not typically an object of circumspective concern, even when it emerges from its normal inconspicuousness in ordinary practical activity. In general, it can only be glimpsed ontically in the essentially indirect manner we have just outlined.
The handiness of a hammer is ultimately for the sake of sheltering Dasein; the handiness of a pen is ultimately for the sake of communicating with others. In this sense, the ontological structures of worldhood are and must be existentially understood. For, if distinctively human being is not only life but activity, then Dasein always faces the question of which possible mode of existence it should enact; and answering that question necessarily involves executing its intentions in practical activity.
The spectacles on my nose are further away from me than the picture on the wall that I use them to examine, and the friend I see across the road is nearer to me than the pavement under my feet; my friend would not have been any closer to me if she had appeared at my side, and moving right up to the picture would in fact distance it from me. Closeness and distance in this sense are a matter of handiness and unhandiness; the spatial disposition of the manifold of objects populating my environment is determined by their serviceability for my current activities.
Space and spatiality are thus neither in the subject nor in the world, but rather disclosed by Dasein in its disclosure of the world; Dasein exists spatially, it is spatial.
On the basis of this account of Dasein as Being-in-the-world, and of the worldhood of that world, Heidegger regards the logical or metaphysical priority given to presence-at-hand over readiness-tohand in the philosophical tradition as getting things precisely the wrong way around. For him, encountering objects as present-athand is a mode of holding back from dealings with objects, a species of provisional and relative decontextualization, in which one is no. Accordingly, in addition to the argument from scepticism that we examined earlier, Heidegger has at least two main lines of attack against those who would assign logical and metaphysical priority to presence-at-hand, claiming that readiness-to-hand can be understood as a construct from — and so as reducible to — presence-at-hand.
First, he could argue that, in so far as encountering objects as present-at-hand is itself a form of worldly engagement with them, such a reductive analysis would presuppose what it was claiming to account for. Any such analysis of readiness-to-hand requires an account of the worldhood of the world, but any such account which begins from the conceptual resources supplied by present-at-hand encounters with objects would already be presupposing the phenomenon of the world.
It seems evident that an understanding of a particular landscape in terms of the resources it provides for carpenters or millers is no less dependent upon a particular, culturally determined way of conceptualizing its elements, its form and their relation to human perception and human life, than is an understanding of it in terms of its natural beauty.
But precisely analogous points can be made about the various ways in which one can encounter objects as present-at-hand. A carpenter who studies the occurrent properties of a hammer with a view to repairing it does.http://kendrabrekke.com/messenger-location-on-motorola-moto-g7.php
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Even the scientist whose goal in studying the hammer is to comprehend its molecular structure can do so only within the complex web of equipment, resources, theory and cultural understanding and the corresponding totality of assignment-relations within which anything recognizable as a chemico-physical analysis of matter could even be conceived, let alone executed. As Heidegger would put it, she can tarry alongside entities only because she can also have dealings with them, so even holding back from manipulation does not occur entirely outside the ambit of worldliness.
The worldhood of the world is not comprehensible in the terms developed by speculative reason for the comprehension of present-at-hand objects and their properties. The phenomenal content. BT, —2. First, the point about context. The capacity to encounter a pen as a handy writing implement or a hammer as a carpentry tool depends upon a capacity to grasp its role in a complex web of interrelated equipment in certain sorts of context; but spelling out its relations with such totalities is far from simple. This brings us to the second of the issues mentioned above — the difference between knowing how and knowing that.
Encountering a hammer as ready-to-hand is, as we have seen, intimately related to a capacity to make use of it as the piece of equipment it is — the capacity to hammer. To argue that the readiness-to-hand of a hammer can be understood as a construct from its occurrent properties together with certain facts about its relations with particular contexts of action thus amounts to arguing that know-how can be understood in terms of knowing that — as the application of knowledge of facts about the object, the situation and the person wishing to employ it in that situation.
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For the propositional knowledge they invoke must be applied to the situations the knower faces, a process which must itself either be based on further propositional knowledge a knowledge of rules governing the application of the theorems cognized or entirely ungrounded. If the latter is preferred, the question arises why the original practical ability cannot itself be ungrounded: if the theorems can be applied without relying upon propositional knowledge, why not the actions that the theorems were designed to explain?
Putting these two lines of argument together with the argument from scepticism suggests that Heidegger can meet the challenge posed by the Cartesian philosopher to his analysis of Dasein as. For surely no object can be encountered as ready-to-hand or as presentat-hand unless it is actually there to be encountered and possessed of certain properties; a hammer could not be used for hammering unless it had the requisite weight, composition and shape, and it could not even be contemplated unless it was actually there before us.
But, if so, if any form of human encounter with an object presupposes its material reality, must not the whole web of culturally determined assignment-relations that constitutes the world of human practical activity be conceptually or metaphysically dependent upon the material realm within which human culture emerges and without which it could not be sustained? He does, however, attempt to assuage the worry at this point, so I will conclude this chapter by outlining his strategy. Heidegger never denies that a hammer could not be used for hammering unless it had the appropriate material properties and was actually available for use; in this sense, the materiality of any given object is needed to explain its functioning.
But this is an issue on what he would call the ontic level — the level at which we concern ourselves with particular types of human practices and the particular types of objects that are involved in them, and simply. At the ontological level, however, we put exactly those assumptions in question: we enquire into the Being of human practical activity and of material objects, asking what must be the case for there to be a human world of practical activity, and what the readiness-to-hand, unhandiness or presence-at-hand of an object really amounts to.
It is to this task that Heidegger has devoted these opening sections of his book. Those presuppositions are not only impossible to account for in terms of the categories appropriate to species of theoretical cognition, but must themselves be invoked to account for the ontological presuppositions of theoretical cognition itself. See especially ch. It should already be becoming clear that Heidegger conceives of the human way of being as essentially conditioned.
This does not, however, mean that human beings are somehow imprisoned in the world, forcibly subjected to the essentially alien limits of embodiment and practical interaction with nature; for those limits are not essentially alien. If no recognizably human existence is conceivable in the absence of a world, then the fact that human existence is worldly cannot be a limitation or constraint upon it; just as someone can only be imprisoned if there is a world outside her prison from which she is excluded, so a set of limits can only be thought of as limitations if there exists a possible mode of existence to which those.
Since that is not the case here, the inherent worldliness of human existence must be thought of as an aspect of the human condition. It is a condition of human life, not a constraint upon it. This chapter will examine two of them: the way in which the world is inherently social or communal, and the ways in which it conditions human affective and cognitive powers. But Heidegger emphasizes that there is at least one other class of beings that must be accommodated by any adequate analysis of that world, those with the kind of Being belonging to Dasein — in short, other people.
But, of course, many philosophers have tried to do just that. It implies that, while we can be certain of the existence of other creatures with bodies similar to our own, justifying the hypothesis that these bodies have minds attached to them is deeply problematic. Here, a dualistic understanding of human beings as mind—body couples combines with a materialist impulse to suggest that our relations with other putatively human beings are, in effect, relations with physical objects of a particular sort to which we are inclined to attribute various distinctive additional characteristics — which inevitably raises the question of our warrant for such extremely unusual attributions.
Given that we know from our own case that such behaviour is associated with mental activities of various sorts, we can reliably infer that the same is true in the case of these other entities. This is a species of inductive inference, drawing a conclusion about what is correlated with the behaviour of other bodies on the basis of our acquaintance with what is correlated with the behaviour of our own. But, of necessity, our observations relate solely to correlations between mental phenomena and our own behaviour, and so provide no basis whatever for conclusions about what if anything might be correlated with the behaviour of others — a correlation that it is in principle impossible for us to observe directly.
That the bodies and the behaviour are similar in bodily and behavioural respects is not in question. But the similarity that matters is that a mind be similarly attached to those other bodies and their behaviour; and no amount of similarity between our bodily form and behavioural repertoire and theirs can establish that. To think otherwise — to think that a correlation established between body and mind in my own case can simply be extrapolated to the case of others — is to assume that comprehending the essential nature of others is simply a matter of projecting our understanding of our own nature onto them.
The relationship-of-Being which one has towards Others. The other would be a duplicate of the Self. But while these deliberations seem obvious enough, it is easy to see that they have little ground to stand on. Thus, the argument from analogy appears to work only if the question it is designed to answer is begged — only if it is assumed from the outset that all the other humanoid bodies I encounter are similar to mine not only physically and behaviourally but also psychophysically, i.
The similarity that legitimates the inductive inference thus turns out to be the similarity that it is supposed to demonstrate; the argument from analogy assumes what it sets out to prove. We must, rather, recognize that the concept of the Other of other persons is irreducible, an absolutely basic component of our understanding of the world we inhabit, and so something from which our ontological investigations must begin.
To adapt Strawsonian terminology, it is the concept of other persons and not that of other minds plus other bodies that is logically primitive. It is not just that the concept of another person must be understood non-compositionally i. That concept is also essential to any adequate ontological analysis of Dasein i. After all, the Being of Dasein is Being-in-the-world, so the concepts of Dasein and world are internally related. So Dasein cannot be understood except as inhabiting a world it necessarily shares with beings like itself.
And just what are these essential references to Others? In our description of the. If this is ready-to-hand, then there lies in the kind of Being which belongs to it that is, in its involvement an essential assignment or reference to possible wearers, for instance, for whom it should be cut to the figure. BT, —4. First, they form one more class of being that Dasein encounters within its world. Third, the readiness-to-hand of objects for a particular Dasein is not and could not conceivably be understood as their readiness-to-hand for that Dasein alone; if any object is handy for a given task, it must be handy for every Dasein capable of performing it.
Note that Heidegger is not claiming that Dasein cannot be alone, isolated from all human company; whether or not that is the case is a purely ontic question, to do with a particular individual in a particular time and place. The two issues are ontologically inseparable; to determine the one is to determine the other. Our usual sense of who we are, Heidegger claims, is purely a function of our sense of how we differ from others. We understand those differences either as something to be eliminated at all costs, thus taking conformity as our aim; or perhaps less commonly as something that must at all costs be emphasized and developed — a strategy which only appears to avoid conformity, since our goal is then to distinguish ourselves from others rather than to distinguish ourselves in some particular, independently valuable way, and so amounts to allowing others to determine by negation the way we live.
Cultivating uncommon pleasures, thoughts and reactions is no guarantee of existential individuality. Dasein, as everyday Being-with-one-another, stands in subjection to Others. It itself is not; its Being has been taken away by the Others. These Others, moreover, are not definite Others.
On the contrary, any Other can represent them. One belongs to the Others oneself and enhances their power. They cannot be any less vulnerable to the. It has vanished, projected on to an everyone that is no one by someone who is, without it, also no one, and leaving in its wake a comprehensively neutered world. In short, the average everyday mode of Dasein is inauthentic.
And this cultural critique also accounts for the prevalence of ontological misunderstandings in the philosophical tradition. For Heidegger needs to explain how a creature to whom according to his own analysis an understanding of Being essentially belongs can have misunderstood its own Being so systematically.
Any attempt to retrieve an authentic ontological understanding will accordingly appear to subvert obvious and self-evident truths, to overturn common sense and violate ordinary language. Two words of warning are in order about this notion of inauthenticity. First, such an inauthentic state is not somehow ontologically awry, as if Dasein were less real as an entity, less itself, when its Self is the they-self.
Second, authenticity does not require severing all ties with Others, as if genuine individuality presupposed isolation or even solipsism. So authentic Being-oneself could not involve detachment from Others; it must rather require a different form of relationship with them — a distinctive form of Being-with. It is hard to see what sense might be attached to the idea that authenticity is an existentiell mode of an ontologically inauthentic being; how can Dasein be both authentic and inauthentic at once — authentically inauthentic?
In utilizing means of transport and in making use of information services such as the newspaper, every Other is like the next. On the other hand, it plainly links the idea of one Dasein being just like the next with that of the environment that lies closest to it, which is of course the work-world — as if for Heidegger there is something inherently public or impersonal. What might this something be? Their identity is thus given primarily by their occupation, by the tasks or functions they perform; who they are to us is a matter of what they do and how they do it.
Since our appearance to them must take a precisely analogous form, we must understand ourselves to be in exactly the same position. It must be possible for others to occupy exactly the same role, to engage in exactly the same practice; apart from anything else, society and culture could not otherwise be reproduced across generations. But, more importantly, a practice that only one person could engage in simply could not count as a practice at all. Such a thing would be possible only if it were possible for someone to follow a rule that no one else could follow — to follow a rule privately — and as Wittgenstein has argued, that is a contradiction in terms.
Such roles do not, as it were, pick out a particular person, even if they do require particular skills or aptitudes; they specify not what you or I must do in order to occupy them, but rather what one must do — what must be done.
Heidegger does not deny the possibility of authentic existence to beings who must begin from such a selfunderstanding. His aim is to deepen his earlier, introductory remarks. In other words, he recognizes that Dasein is not trapped within a mind or body from which it then attempts to reach out to objects, but is, rather, always already outside itself, dwelling amid objects in all their variety. This capacity to encounter entities as entities is what Heidegger invokes when he talks of Dasein as the clearing, the being to whom and for whom entities appear as they are: Only for an entity which is existentially cleared in this way does that which is present-at-hand become accessible in the light or hidden in the dark.
Dasein is its disclosedness. The most familiar existentiell manifestation of this existentiale is the phenomenon of mood. More generally, our affections do not just affect others but mark our having been affected by others; we cannot, for example, love and hate where and when we will, but rather think of our affections as captured by their objects, or as making us vulnerable to others, open to suffering. For human beings, such affections are unavoidable and their impact pervasive. They constitute a further and fundamental condition of human existence. We can, of course, sometimes overcome.
In this sense, moods are disclosive: a particular mood discloses something sometimes everything in the world as mattering to Dasein in a particular way — as fearful, boring, cheering or hateful; and this reveals in turn that, ontologically speaking, Dasein is open to the world as something that can affect it. It is, however, easier to accept the idea that moods disclose something about Dasein than that they reveal something about the world.
Since human beings undergo moods, the claim that someone is bored or fearful might be said to record a simple fact about her. In short, there can be no such thing as an epistemology of moods. Heidegger, however, wholeheartedly rejects any such conclusion. As he puts it: A mood is not related to the psychical. Heidegger reinforces this claim with a more detailed analysis of fear.
Its basic structure has three elements: that in the face of which we. That in the face of which we fear is the fearful or the fearsome — something in the world which we encounter as detrimental to our well-being or safety; fearing itself is our response to that which is fearsome; and that about which we fear is of course our well-being or safety — in short, ourselves. Thus, fear has both a subjective and an objective face.
On the one hand it is a human response, and one that has the existence of the person who fears as its main concern. This reveals not only that the world Dasein inhabits can affect it in the most fundamental ways, that Dasein is open and vulnerable to the world, but also that things in the world are really capable of affecting Dasein.
This argument against what might be called a projectivist account of moods is reminiscent of one developed by John McDowell. But, in so doing, she overlooks the fact that those responses are to things and situations in the world, and any adequate explanation of their essential nature must take account of that. So, for example, any adequate account of the fearfulness of certain objects must invoke certain subjective states, certain facts about human beings and their responses. It must also, however, invoke the object of fear — some feature of it that prompts our fear-response: in the case of a rabid dog, for example, the dangerous properties of its saliva.
Now, of course, that saliva is dangerous only because it interacts in certain ways with human physiology, so invoking the human subject is again essential in spelling out what it is about the dog that makes it fearful; but that. Moreover, the relation of moods to those undergoing them — what we have been calling the subjective side of the question of moods — is not to be understood in an unduly subjective way.
This has two very important consequences. A politician determining judicial policy on the back of a wave of moral panic is precisely responding to the public mood. It is not that the relationship between feeling and available vocabulary is a simple one. How things might conceivably matter to her, just as much as how they in fact matter to her at a given moment, is something determined by her society and culture rather than by her own psychic make-up or will-power.
But any such projection both presupposes and constitutes a comprehending grasp of the world within which the projection must take place. Understanding of Being has already been taken for granted in projecting upon possibilities. It is easier to accept that projective understanding has a genuinely cognitive dimension than that moods possess an epistemology; but that makes it all the more important to understand the nature of the knowledge involved. As we saw when we analysed readinessto-hand, this knowledge is essentially practical, a matter of knowhow rather than knowing that: understanding is a matter of being competent to do certain things, to engage in certain practices.
And this practical competence is essentially related to certain existentiell possibilities. How I relate to the objects around me is determined by the task for the sake of which I am acting e.
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In this way, the more general for-the-sake-ofwhich directs and constrains the more local. My self-understanding shapes the way in which I carry out — project myself upon — the. More precisely, projecting myself in a particular way upon the latter just is to project myself in a particular way upon the former. But, then, living as a carpenter means continually projecting oneself in a certain way. As long as it is, Dasein always has understood itself and always will understand itself in terms of possibilities.
As projecting, understanding is the kind of Being of Dasein in which it is its possibilities as possibilities. Here, the question of authenticity re-emerges. In short, projective understanding can be either authentic or inauthentic, although it is typically the latter; but projective inauthenticity is no less ontologically real than its authentic counterpart.
A particular Dasein cannot project itself upon any given existential possibility at any given time. And, third, the range of existential possibilities upon which someone can project is determined by their social context. This shows that understanding always has only a relative autonomy; our projective capacities are as conditioned as our affective states. The freedom to actualize a given existential possibility is real but it is not absolute, since what counts as a real possibility is and must be shaped by the concrete situation and the cultural background and their respective prevailing moods within which the decision is taken, and these factors are largely beyond the control of the individual concerned.
As Heidegger puts it: In every case Dasein, as essentially having a state-of-mind, has already got itself into definite possibilities.
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As the potentiality-for-Being which it is, it has let such possibilities pass by; it is constantly waiving the possibilities of its Being, or else it seizes upon them and makes mistakes. But this means that Dasein is Being-possible which has been delivered over to itself — thrown possibility through and through. No situation reduces the available possibilities to one, but, unless a situation excluded many possibilities altogether, it would not be a situation a particular position in existential space at all.
These are in fact two. If, however, we further explore the ontological underpinnings of understanding, we will see that it does not just essentially relate Dasein to the realm of possibility; it too has such a relation — our capacity for projective understanding itself possesses certain possibilities of self-development and self-realization.
And, when they are actualized, those possibilities provide an important mode of access to the precise ontological structure of the capacity, and so to that of the being whose capacity it is. Sometimes, the smooth course of our everyday activities is disrupted — when, for example, we are forced to stop in order to repair a broken tool, or to adapt an object for a given task, or even when a sudden access of curiosity leads us to contemplate an item in our work-world.
Such interpretation is not something superimposed upon our practical comprehension, but is rather a development of it — the coming to fruition of a possibility that is inherent in projective understanding but which is not necessary for its usual, more circumspect functioning. In interpretation, we might say, the understanding appropriates itself understandingly, taking a practical interest in how it guides practical activity.
Seeing-as is simply the fundamental structure of the totality of reference- or assignment-relations that make up the world.
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Once again, Heidegger is rejecting any interpretation of the world as essentially meaningless and of our relation to it as a matter of projecting subjective values or meanings upon it. BT, —1. And what the interpretation lays out is the fact that it is always already grounded in a particular conceptualization of the object of our interests.
We conceive of it in some particular way or other our fore-conception , a way which is itself grounded in a broader perception of the particular domain within which we encounter it our fore-sight , which is in turn ultimately embedded in a particular totality of involvements our fore-having. The example of the. Similarly, my interpretation of this passage in Being and Time presupposes my interpretation of the book as a whole, and that interpretation is in turn guided by my particular interests in philosophy and my conception of what philosophy is, and so is ultimately dependent upon my assimilation of that particular facet of modern Western culture.
Whether or not this multiple embedding has three basic layers or aspects is unimportant. What matters is that there can be no interpretation and, so, no understanding that is free of preconceptions, and that this is not a limitation to be rued but an essential precondition of any comprehending relation to the world.
If all interpretation necessarily involves preconceptions, the relevant task of such a critic is not simply to determine their presence in any particular case, but to evaluate their fruitfulness or legitimacy. This circle of understanding is not an orbit in which any random kind of knowledge may move; it is the essential fore-structure of Dasein itself. In the circle is hidden a positive possibility of the most primordial kind of knowing. To be sure, we genuinely take hold of this possibility only when, in our interpretation, we have understood that our first, last and constant task is never to allow our fore-having, fore-sight and fore-conception to be.
No interpretation of an object could conceivably be free of preconceptions, because, without some preliminary orientation, however primitive, it would be impossible to grasp the object at all: we would have no sense of what it was we were attempting to interpret. But this does not mean that all interpretations are based on prejudice: for it is always possible to uncover whatever preconceptions we are using and subject them to critical evaluation.
The point is that we can and do distinguish between good and bad interpretations, and between better and worse preconceptions.
We can only do so by allowing text, interpretation and preconception to question and be questioned by one another, but that essentially circular process can be virtuous as well as vicious. In short, there is a difference between preconceptions and prejudices, and we can tell the difference.
This is not just a point about interpretations of texts — of literary criticism, Bible studies, history and the like. Even mathematicians can approach their business only if they have some preliminary conception of what that business is — how it is to be conducted, what its standards of achievement are, which of its technical resources are legitimate and so on.