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Too Far or Not Far Enough?: Alain Badiou and the Hermeneutics of Small Moments

Too Far or Not Far Enough?: Alain Badiou and the Hermeneutics of Small Moments Colin Davis Too Far or Not Far Enough? Alain Badiou and the Hermeneutics of Small Moments introDuCtion: CritiCal ExCEss According to Paul Ricoeur, post-Heideggerian hermeneutics assumes what he calls "the necessity for all understanding to be mediated by an interpretation which exhibits its insurmountable plurivocity" (56).1 There are two key elements here: first, there is no understanding without interpretation, no direct, intuitive access to the "thing itself "; and second, meanings are multiple, unstable, subject to dispute and change. Interpretation has always already begun, and so long as humans continue to inhabit the earth, it will never come to an end. The interpretation of works of art is just a specialized version of something we do all the time in our ordinary lives and interactions. Those of us who are sympathetic to hermeneutics are likely to take such views to be axiomatic to the point of accepting them without question. Even so, whilst describing a general aspect of what it means to be human, this account of the hermeneutic problem offers no solution to specific issues of interpretation. Hermeneutics, I suggest, concedes the instability of meaning but also seeks to rein it in. If there is no final, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Too Far or Not Far Enough?: Alain Badiou and the Hermeneutics of Small Moments

The Comparatist , Volume 38 (1) – Oct 31, 2014

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

Colin Davis Too Far or Not Far Enough? Alain Badiou and the Hermeneutics of Small Moments introDuCtion: CritiCal ExCEss According to Paul Ricoeur, post-Heideggerian hermeneutics assumes what he calls "the necessity for all understanding to be mediated by an interpretation which exhibits its insurmountable plurivocity" (56).1 There are two key elements here: first, there is no understanding without interpretation, no direct, intuitive access to the "thing itself "; and second, meanings are multiple, unstable, subject to dispute and change. Interpretation has always already begun, and so long as humans continue to inhabit the earth, it will never come to an end. The interpretation of works of art is just a specialized version of something we do all the time in our ordinary lives and interactions. Those of us who are sympathetic to hermeneutics are likely to take such views to be axiomatic to the point of accepting them without question. Even so, whilst describing a general aspect of what it means to be human, this account of the hermeneutic problem offers no solution to specific issues of interpretation. Hermeneutics, I suggest, concedes the instability of meaning but also seeks to rein it in. If there is no final,

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 31, 2014

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