• Cultural Paths and Aesthetic Signs: A Critical Hermeneutics of Aesthetic Validity

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), 2003)
      Contemporary philosophical stances toward ‘artistic truth’ derive from Kant’s aesthetics. Whereas philosophers who share Kant’s emphasis on aesthetic validity discount art’s capacity for truth, philosophers who share Hegel’s critique of Kant render artistic truth inaccessible. This essay proposes a critical hermeneutic account of aesthetic validity that supports a non-esoteric notion of artistic truth. Using Gadamer and Adorno to read Kant through Hegelian eyes, I reconstruct the aesthetic dimension from three polarities in modern Western societies. Then I describe aesthetic validity as an horizon of imaginative cogency governing the exploration, presentation and creative interpretation of aesthetic signs. The essay argues that aesthetic processes, so construed, are crucial to cultural pathfinding, and that aesthetic validity-claims in art talk contribute significantly to this pursuit. Aesthetic validity, cultural orientation and art talk constitute the hermeneutical matrix from which questions of artistic truth emerge.
    • Fiction as Philosophy: Reading the Work of Christine de Pizan and Luce Irigaray to Write a Hermeneutics of Socially Transformative Fiction-mediated Philosophy

      Sweetman, Robert; Carr, Allyson Ann; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2011-06)
      This dissertation proposes to examine the work of scholars Christine de Pizan and Luce Irigaray in order to develop the possibilities of fiction in philosophy for the purposes of social transformation. Using four of her major narrative texts (The Mutacion of Fortune, the City of Ladies, the Path of Long Study and the Vision) I show how Christine employs the complex array of hermeneutical tools available to her in fictionalized ways as a means of training her readers into re-writing their understanding of themselves and their contexts. Alongside such re-writings, I show that she understands herself to have a particular vocation for educating the powers of France towards ethical action in their governance, and that she does so in these works in the form of philosophically oriented fictionalizations. I use the work of Luce Irigaray to explore a philosopher from the twentieth and twenty-first century who uses narrative and hermeneutical tools that bear a family resemblance to Christine's. Tracing Irigaray's formulations on the necessity of sexual difference I show how she re-tells stories from myth and history in such a way as to develop the sexual difference she desires. Finally, having engaged with these two philosophers, I use the hermeneutical work of Hans-Georg Gadamer to present my own work on how well-crafted fiction can be used to build philosophical concepts and understandings that are not yet available in our world, but which become available to us through our participation in the new fictionalized contexts and fictional worlds we create. I show how it is through understanding the possibilities this kind of philosophical and fictionalized utopic thinking holds that social transformation rooted in the world-building capabilities of individual persons can occur.
    • The Hermeneutics of Ancient Astronaut Theory

      Johnson, Matthew E.; Institute for Christian Studies (2013-05-21)
    • Liberating Emergence: Human Dependence and Autonomy in Emergentism, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatism

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Johnson, Matthew E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2014-08)
      This thesis traces a thread that runs through emergentism in analytical philosophy and the thought of five philosophers: Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Charles Taylor, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty. I suggest that the insight that connects all of these thinkers is precisely the insight that undergirds a theory of “strong emergence,” which acknowledges that in certain systems, properties emerge that exert causal influence on the system out of which they emerged. Strong emergence offers a helpful “third way” to describe human personhood that is neither reductionistic nor dualistic and maintains that the human person is both dependent upon and (within certain limits) autonomous from the system out of which it emerges. I will suggest that the hermeneutic philosophy of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Taylor clarifies the historical cultural conditions out of which the human person emerges as a critical and creative agent in a way that similarly maintains a balance between the dependence and autonomy of the human person. Dewey and Rorty, on the other hand, provide accounts of human situatedness but emphasize the creative freedom that emerges out of this situatedness, characterizing humans as artists or poets who can engage with their situatedness in novel ways. For both Dewey and Rorty, our ability to shape the future and to shape ourselves is built into our experience in the world. I will conclude that each of these five thinkers develop accounts of human personhood that resonate with strong emergence, describing how human persons are able to emerge out of their embeddedness in the world, upon which they remain ever dependent, as creative innovators.
    • Phronesis, Tradition, Logos and Context: a Reading of Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics

      Olthuis, James H.; Friesen, Henry; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2000-07)
    • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Hermeneutic Circle

      Johnson, Matthew E.; Institute for Christian Studies (2013-10-09)
    • The Subversive Force of the Imaginary: Christianity as Radical Possibility in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-11)
    • Translation of the Implicit: Tracing How Language Works Beyond Gendlin and Derrida

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Huisman, Jelle; Institute for Christian Studies (2012)
      This thesis discusses the explication of the implicit side of language, from the perspective of the self, the social, and the text, as situated in the wider context of thinking about language 'beyond post-modernism.' Language is first discussed as an intricacy, an intricate and changing complex of explicit signs and implicit elements and processes. It is shown that the implicit processes, such the speaking of being (Heidegger), focusing (Gendlin), and the interrelatedness of language and culture (Agar), are ruptured by processes like deconstruction (Derrida) and the semiotic breach of the symbolic (Kristeva). Explication brings a part of the implicit to the surface in the form of creativity (Deleuze) and critique, which is also discussed in the examples of play (Gadamer) and care. The transformations involved are illustrated in reflections on writing (Plato), poetry (Trakl), life as immigrant, and on translation as a philosophical practice.
    • Truth in Art: a Dialogue With Gadamer

      Dengerink-Chaplin, Adrienne; Dziedzic, Allyson Ann; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-03)
      "One of the most contentious issues in aesthetics is whether or not there can be truth in art. This is so because the question of the possibility of truth in art implicitly assumes two other fundamental questions: the nature of truth and the nature of human understanding. In his treatment of truth in art, Gadamer comes down roundly on the side of the possiblity of truth in art. In this thesis, I show how Gadamer's approval of truth in art hinges on his notion of hermeneutics and his belief in art's transformative power, and propose that his account of truth in art is still a viable and creative approach to the question today. After taking a look at the Kantian, Heideggerian, and Aristotelian background with which Gadamer is operating in his treatment of truth and art, I trace where this led Gadamer, specifically in the sense of his move to have aesthetics so closely connected to hermeneutics. Through interaction with work by Mary Devereaux, I highlight some concerns over Gadamer's use of tradition and of order as a fundamental feature of the artwork, and give an account of how those concerns may be addressed."