This book provides an invative approach to meeting the challenges faced by philosophical hermeneutics in interpreting an ever-changing and multicultural world. Rudolf A Makkreel proposes an orientational and reflective conception of interpretation in which judgment plays a central role. Moving beyond the dialogical approaches found in much of contemporary hermeneutics, he focuses instead on the diagstic use of reflective judgment, t only to discern the differentiating features of the phemena to be understood, but also to orient us to the various contexts that can frame their interpretation. Makkreel develops overlooked resources of Kant's transcendental thought in order to reconceive hermeneutics as a critical inquiry into the appropriate contextual conditions of understanding and interpretation. He shows that a crucial task of hermeneutical critique is to establish priorities among the contexts that may be brought to bear on the interpretation of history and culture. The final chapter turns to the contemporary art scene and explores how orientational contexts can be reconfigured to respond to the ways in which media of communication are being transformed by digital techlogy. Altogether, Makkreel offers a promising way of thinking about the shifting contexts that we bring to bear on interpretations of all kinds, whether of texts, art works, or the world.
Rudolf A. Makkreel is the Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Emory University. He is the author of Dilthey: Philosopher of the Human Studies and Imagination and Interpretation in Kant: The Hermeneutical Impact of the Critique of Judgment, the last published by the University of Chicago Press, and coeditor of Dilthey's Selected Works.