The Objects of Interpretation

Interpretation - A Critical Primer - Nathan Eric Dickman

Nathan Eric Dickman [+-]
University of the Ozarks
Nathan Eric Dickman (PhD, The University of Iowa) is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of the Ozarks. He researches in hermeneutic phenomenology, philosophy of language, and comparative questions in philosophies of religions, with particular concerns about global social justice issues in ethics and religions. He has taught a breadth of courses, such as Critical Thinking, Islam, Ethics, Zen, Existentialism, and the Historical Jesus. His Using Questions to Think (Bloomsbury, 2021) examines the roles questions play in critical thinking and reasoning.


Chapter Four, The Objects of Interpretation, turns to a theory of written texts, expanding on our discussion above where we distinguished books and texts. This involves examining how writing transforms discourse in a way that spoken and signed languages do not. Through writing, we can communicate across space and time in ways speech does not allow, but we can also build worlds for imaginative exploration and transformation of our immediate experiences and perceptions. For example, are we facing forward, or North, or toward Mecca? Moreover, we will refine the priority of questioning in interpretation to specify the logic of question and answer in relation to specific sentences composing texts. Questions help us weave lines of the text into a broader fabric of meanings into an interpretation. One notion in particular shapes how we have received texts over time is the “classic,” texts that have the power to continue to speak to future generations of readers.

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Dickman, Nathan Eric. The Objects of Interpretation. Interpretation - A Critical Primer. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781800503373. Date accessed: 28 Jan 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43482. Oct 2023

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