By Nicholas Rescher
Philosophers are commonly too busy doing philosophy to take time to face again and examine reflectively how the undertaking itself truly works. This provides solid reason behind getting to philosophical hermeneutics, reflecting at the factor of ways philosophical texts are to be understood and interpreted.
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Additional info for Interpreting Philosophy: The Elements of Philosophical Hermeneutics
Granted, all of the various interpretations of a text that are not totally bizarre have (by assumption) some sort of merit-there is almost always 41 Nicholas Rescher something to be said for theln. In view of the generally underdeterminative impetus of our contextual resources, the interpretation of texts is usually somewhat flexible. But there are definite limits to the elasticity that is available here. The partisans of a hermeneutical relativism that maintains the equivalency of possible interpretations are talking through their deconstructionist hats.
The growth of the discipline has forced it beyond the limits of feasible surveillance by a single n1ind. After World War II it becomes literally impossible for American philosophers to keep up with what their colleagues were writing. No single thinker commands the whole range of knowledge and interests that characterizes present-day American philosophy, and indeed no single university department is so large as to have on its faculty specialists in every branch of the subject. The field has outgrown the capacity not only of its practitioners but even of its institutions.
METAPHILOSOPHY-A PART OF PHILOSOPHY ITSELF Interestingly enough, this agenda-oriented issue of how the problemfield of philosophy is constituted is itself a decidedly philosophical question. And philosophy is almost unique in this respect. For here-and here virtually alone-the problem of how the discipline is constituted is one that belongs to the discipline itself. What the problems and issues of physics are is not a physical question (although, of course, only physicists can profitably deal with it).
Interpreting Philosophy: The Elements of Philosophical Hermeneutics by Nicholas Rescher