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This chapter describes Gadamer’s initial understanding of the nature and significance of Platonic philosophy in terms of dialogue and dialectic. It then provides a brief account of Gadamer’s own interpretive method as presented in Truth and Method. The chapter then shows how Gadamer changed his understanding of Plato, particularly in relation to Aristotle. The chapter shows how this new understanding of Plato provides the ontological foundation for Gadamer’s own “hermeneutics.” Finally, we see how Gadamer’s readings of ancient philosophers constitute a fundamental challenge and correction to the mode of interpretation still dominant in Anglo-American philosophy.
Gadamer’s hermeneutics is concerned with the experience of understanding that takes place in living language. Living language is a matter of conversation and dialogue. Conversation and dialogue always take place in a living language within the historical context of a tradition. Gadamer’s hermeneutics challenges philosophy’s usual focus on the logic of statements. This is a profoundly Socratic-Platonic idea. The world is presented in language as a communicative event which is dialogical. The dialectic of the word in hermeneutics has a speculative structure.
This chapter explores the historical relationship between Heidegger and Gadamer. It points out several surprises and disappointments that Gadamer experienced with Heidegger. More importantly, the chapter considers the phenomenological character of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer rejects many of the basic characteristics of Husserl’s phenomenology, but he is also indebted deeply to other aspects of Husserl’s phenomenology. These aspects he also shares with Heidegger–the concepts of horizon and lifeworld, the account of temporality, and the rejection of a representational epistemology. The chapter points out the distinctiveness of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics in relation to Heidegger’s. Gadamer’s hermeneutics is more dialogical, embraces the antinomy of beginnings, and embraces Plato and Aristotle.
The Conclusion emphasises the dialogic, performative properties of politique both as a word and as a character, and emphasises that although the particular politique problem traced in the book is a sixteenth-century phenomenon, there is no particular rupture between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; I explore continuities and differences across the decades after the end of the wars, and consider the political writings of Cardinal Richelieu and Gabriel Naudé. The Conclusion also argues that sixteenth-century debates about politics and politiques had a long-term impact on the European political imagination; it looks briefly at early modern English and contemporary French examples to consider this. It further considers what room there might be for optimism amid the negativity attached to politics in the early modern period.
Chapter 6 considers two works that respond both to the polemical writings of c. 1588–89 (discussed in Chapter 5) and the immediate political circumstances of the failed Estates General of 1593 and the (re)conversion of Henri de Navarre to Protestantism. These are the Dialogue d’entre le maheustre et le Manant and the Satyre ménippée. I argue that these works redescribe politique qualities and behaviours as a means of intervening in the end stages of the civil wars. The Dialogue resists redescription whereas the Satyre constantly engages in redescription of the terms of conflict and the moral status of the key players. Both texts are strongly focused on Paris, the Catholic stronghold; the Dialogue seeks to defend Paris as a world unto itself and as a city loyal to supranational Catholicism; the Satyre sees it as a crucial microcosm of France as a whole and seeks to establish French (and Gallican) independence from external influences. The term politique is a kind of boundary marker here, invested with proto-Marxist class struggle as well as being represented as an agent in the rhetorical battles that accompanied the wars, and in the outcome of the conflict.
Ibsen, more than any other playwright, established realism as a vital mode in the theatre. The nature of Ibsen’s realism, however, warrants careful description. Realism for Ibsen is simultaneously a theatrical technique and a philosophical stance. We find realism at work in Ibsen’s dialogue, scenery and characterization, as well as in the plays’ relentless critique of bourgeois ideals. Ibsen was not the first realist dramatist, but he remains its most influential practitioner. This legacy is somewhat ironic, given the disturbing surreality that leeches through the realist surface of his plays. And yet, the spark of recognition the plays continue to ignite bears witness to realism’s effectiveness, as audiences continue to find themselves represented, in all their faults, in his towering dramas.
Chapter 6 introduces discourse analysis and explores some of the discursive tools that visitors use to inform, organize, and interpret experiences they have at the zoo. We highlight dialogue and metaphor as distinctly relevant discursive mechanisms for the learning that tends to occur as zoogoers negotiate multiple narratives and multisensory, emotional experiences during their visit – and simultaneously and subsequently integrate those experiences into their existing mental, narrative, and moral frameworks. Because nature and human–nature relationships are neither fixed nor uniform, we suggest that, rather than seek to enforce a singular narrative, agenda, and strategy for conservation, zoo leaders should focus on establishing and developing their spaces and their staff as flexible resources equipped to facilitate idea sharing and accountability through civic mechanisms of discourse development and dialogic exchange. Because on-site educators can deepen visitors’ engagement and retention of information but are not visitors’ sole source of ideas or information, we focus on how zoo staff can use context and metaphor to flexibly initiate or adapt discourse and dialogue to fit the setting and different zoogoers’ existing knowledge and intentions. We note that context becomes an important scaffold when spaces for knowledge sharing and reasoning enable diverse learners with varied foundational knowledge and perspectives to reach new levels of understanding, commitment, and conflict resolution.
The Russian radical émigré Alexander Herzen left three works that focus on 1848: two volumes of essays, and his great autobiography, My Past and Thoughts, in which his life story pivots around 1848. Herzen, who emigrated in 1847, describes himself as arriving in Paris as pilgrims once arrived at Jerusalem. By his own account, he rapidly discovered the fundamentally bourgeois character of French civilization and then witnessed the crushing of the June insurrection. The political debacle was compounded by personal tragedy – the deaths of his mother and son and his wife Natalie. In all his writings we find Herzen seeking a perspective from which the collapse of his pre-revolutionary ideals would make sense. His most powerful essays are jeremiads lamenting his broken dreams, replaying the June insurrection, and reflecting on the powerlessness of historical actors to change the world. Attempting to explain what went wrong in 1848, Herzen insists on the inability of European radicals to get beyond models drawn from the first French Revolution or Christianity or both. For Herzen, as for Proudhon (whom he admired) and Marx (whom he did not admire) the fatal weakness of the left lay in its inability to emancipate itself from memories that served to justify and cloak the return of repressive centralized government.
Hu Yaobang's death sparked student protests in Beijing, which escalated when protesters felt ignored by officials after Hu's memorial service on April 22, 1989. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang and Premier Li Peng disagreed about how to handle the protests before Zhao left for North Korea on April 23. In Zhao's absence, Li and other officials presented their views to Deng Xiaoping, who labeled the protests "turmoil," sparking a march of approximately 100,000 people disputing this characterization.
Protesters outside Beijing took cues from what demonstrators were doing in the capital. From demanding dialogue to staging hunger strikes, protests touched every province and autonomous region in China, and took on different shapes based on local dynamics.
Based on the analysis of a meeting with nineteen women from civil society with diverse backgrounds, invited to discuss what has gone wrong in Turkey’s Kurdish peace process and what women can do for peace in a highly polarized atmosphere, this article explores women’s dialogue in a conflict situation. With insights from deliberative and agonistic perspectives, the article shows that in a multiple-identity conflict, topical shifts in dialogue are accompanied by shifting alliances. The search for mutual definitions on conflictual issues renders the deliberation of sensitive issues difficult, so women circumvent polarizing discourses through indirect and covert language. However, the discussion of gender-based experiences with direct, contestational language helps women underline shared issues and address resentments. Dialogue’s transformative potential also depends on the existence of trust and an intersectionality perspective for which further dialogic initiatives should develop strategies.
The final chapter presents the conclusions of the book, looking specifically at how speaking publicly gives people authority, particularly when others listen to and support them. Then it discusses the challenges and opportunities of speaking about one's faith in contemporary, technologically mediated contexts. Finally, how diversity of belief is managed within religious communities is discussed, in relation to the data analysed in the previous chapters.
This chapter focuses on how authority is claimed by individuals in religious traditions and the role of sacred texts as the 'word of God' in both Christianity and Islam. How individuals take on that authority for themselves, using scared texts in their discourse is analysed, with a discussion of how people of different faiths discuss the differences in their sacred texts, and how they establish authority when cultural norms change.
This chapter begins with defining the key terms of religion and discourse, presenting how different approaches to language have influenced the understanding of religious experience and vice versa. A definition of discourse is provided which focuses on functions, embodied cognition, and emergence. Religion and spiritual experience have been described from a variety of perspectives with attempts to understand language with various perspectives (functional, embodied cognition, and emergence) applied to religious language and talk about religious experience. Finally, the emergence and influence of mediatisation and secularisation are discussed in terms of their effects on religious believers.
This chapter focuses on giving theoretical and methodological frameworks for dealing with religious discourse. While religious discourse can be observed in a variety of places, given the focus of this research on language-in-use and the development of religious belief and practice in these contexts, public dialogues about religion, in both supportive and antagonistic settings, are used as the primary data in this study. The data represents the ways in which speakers, foregrounding their religious identity, speak about religious belief and practice together, with a focus on instances in which the speakers are addressing challenges to the beliefs posed by social changes, such as those about homosexuality. Data sources were identified as a part of an ongoing, ten-year longitudinal observation of religious users online following principles of Discourse-Centred Online Ethnography and describing the changes in systems in interaction over time, following the principles of a Discourse-Dynamics Approach and discourse analysis using Positioning Theory.
This chapter focuses on how religion is reprented in contemporary life and how categories like 'Christian' and 'Muslim' are established both within one's own religious community and in contrast to people of different faiths. The role of religion in the wider world is then considered with a particualr focus on how religions adapt to changing cultural norms.
This chapter addresses the opportunities and challenges for believers living in the contemporary world, balancing the pressures of their own communities and their individual belief. The chapter discusses the influence of the market economy on the the presentation of belief in the contemporary world, and how debates between people of the same faith arise and are resolved. The focus on individual choice and personal conviction is analysed in relation to topics of debate within Christianity and Islam.
How do people of faith use language to position themselves, and their beliefs and practices, in the contemporary world? This pioneering and original study looks closely at how Christians and Muslims talk to people inside and outside of their own communities about what they think are the right things to believe and do. From debates, to podcasts and YouTube videos, the book covers a range of engaging texts and contexts, showing how doctrine and beliefs are not nearly as fixed and static as we might think, and that people are prone to change what they say they believe, depending on who they are talking to. From abortion, to hell, to whether it's okay to sell alcohol, Pihlaja investigates how Christians and Muslims struggle with different elements of their own faith, and try to make decisions about what to do when there are so many different voices to believe.
The chapter discusses how motor control theory can be applied to language production in dialogue. We develop the theory starting with control of individual speech production using self-monitoring supported by forward speech models. We then show how the production system supports interpretation of a partner's speech through simulation, as in other forms of action. Finally we show how the combination of forward modelling for comprehension and production supports distributed control of dialogue.