Understanding as a process of knowledge development
Classical hermeneutics prefers subjective and psychological methods of interpretation. The main thing for the hermeneutic interpretation is to use empathy (emotion), i.e. actual reincarnation, to penetrate into the spiritual world of another person and understand his actions. It is on this basis - on the basis of a specific method of investigation - V. Dilthey contrasted the science of man's spiritual activity to the natural sciences. In other words, he emphasizes that the basis of understanding is the mastery of the subjective side of human activity. At the same time, outside the consideration are objective factors of social phenomena.
What is the reality of the dialectics of objective and subjective in the mechanism of understanding (interpretation) as a method of scientific cognition?
First, understanding is based on the maximum consideration of objective data, which relate to the object of interpretation (socio-economic situation, historical conditions, natural and climatic factors, etc.).
Secondly, any interpretation of a particular object of study (text, human behavior, etc.) is based on some "pre-understanding" - on the already existing (preliminary) ideas, theoretical ideas, hypotheses, i.e. on preliminary interpretation.
Indeed, when a person who knows physics observes the movement of a voltmeter needle, he interprets it as a change in the voltage in the network. For a person who is not familiar with physics, it all looks like a simple movement of the arrow of the device. Why this happens remains incomprehensible. The above example is more relevant to understanding as the concept of everyday language (that is, to understanding as a conscious assimilation of a certain amount of knowledge). However, this example also shows that interpretations are always connected with the ideas, concepts and hypotheses of the subject. Much more complex is the interpretation of human behavior. It is based even more on the pre-understanding of the researcher.
So, some translators believe that the interpretation should be guided by only the text of the work and do not contribute anything to it. However, such an approach can never be implemented in practice: an interpreter is not an abstract linguistic machine, but a concrete person living in a particular society and therefore not free from the influence of this society.
With a linguistic interpretation, the understanding of the text is associated primarily with the disclosure of the meaning that the author has invested in him.
However, from the perspective of the semantic approach to interpretation, almost any sign system can be given a different meaning, and therefore, the author's interpretation of the text is not the only possible.
For example, for an understanding of a historical or legal document, the interpreter does not simply disclose the author's meaning, but introduces some new meaning from himself, since he approaches the document from a certain position of his time, personal experience, his ideals and beliefs. Often the interpreter already knows the fate of a specific legal document drawn up in the past historical epoch (for example, the Code of Napoleon), is aware of its impact on the modern for this document society and even on subsequent generations. In this regard, the interpreter can not use such knowledge to interpret the document. However, the author of the document did not possess such knowledge, and his interpretation is different.
Thus, classical works of art of the past therefore are characterized as great, that each new generation finds in them ideas and images that are consonant with the thoughts and ideals that worried their predecessors. The regularities connected with this situation were thoroughly substantiated by the outstanding United States literary critic and philosopher Μ. M. Bakhtin.
Referring to the judgment of VG Belinsky that each epoch reveals in the great works what they did not pay attention to before, Μ. M. Bakhtin emphasizes: "Neither Shakespeare himself nor his contemporaries knew the" great Shakespeare "that we now know". Μ. M. Bakhtin comes to the conclusion that understanding is not limited to the disclosure of the author's meaning. It must be the best. & lt; ... & gt; Understanding fills the text, it is active and creative. Creative understanding continues creativity, multiplies the artistic richness of mankind. "
The value and significance of new interpretations Μ. M. Bakhtin sees that they reveal such a potential meaning in the great works of art of the past, which neither the author himself nor his contemporaries could see.
The dependence of the understanding of the text on the concrete historical conditions of its interpretation does not allow us to regard the interpretation as purely psychological and purely subjective. Meanwhile, V. Dilthey sought to build a methodology of humanitarian knowledge exclusively on the psychological concept of understanding: "Any attempt to create an experimental science of the spirit without psychology also can not lead to positive results in any way. An empiricist who refuses to justify what is happening in the realm of the spirit on the understandable connections of spiritual life is necessarily barren. This can be shown on any science of the spirit. Each of them requires psychological knowledgeIn objecting W. Dilthey, the famous English historian and philosopher RJ Collingwood pointed out: "To assert that history becomes understandable only when it is conceptualized in the categories of psychology means the recognition of the impossibility of historical knowledge." When a historian seeks to understand the decisions and actions of eminent historical personalities (emperors, conquerors, reformers, etc.), then he "needs to reproduce in himself the entire decision-making process on this issue."
However, it is extremely difficult to do this, firstly, because the historian can not identify himself fully with Caesar, Napoleon or another historical figure; secondly, subjective reproduction does not solve the problem of objective analysis of the historical situation. In this connection, K. Popper, for example, rightly considers essential "not a re-enactment of history, but a situational analysis".
Such analysis is associated not only with a thorough acquaintance with the historical situation, but also with the promotion of assumptions and hypotheses for its solution. Checking these decisions with the help of existing and new historical evidence can help to take a fresh look at the situation and even make an opening in historical science: "So, as a historian, he must not play out anew experienced in the past, but build arguments for and against his presumptive situational analysis ".
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