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Gadamer

This tag is associated with 9 posts

The big book of hermeneutics

“[U]nderstanding is always a standing somewhere, and it is this standing somewhere that underlies understanding itself” (355).That’s a clever statement by philosopher Jeff Malpas describing the circumstances of interpretation. We always interpret a book, painting, play or a building from some position or other — within a horizon; and so Malpas links hermeneutics (the study of interpretation) to … Continue reading

Interpretation by design

As for all the arts, it’s easy enough to indicate how important interpretation is in architecture. Designers interpret the clients’ and users’ requirements, the brief, the regulations, and the site. They also interpret buildings and texts about architecture, not to mention drawings, instructions, illustrations, and photographs. In keeping with the conceits of this proud art … Continue reading

What does it all mean?

Art provides a soft target for opinion and prejudice. I recently read a comment at the end of a Huffington Post blog about the 2012 Turner prize winner (Elizabeth Price): “most of the stuff is self-indulgent nonsense that couldn’t possibly mean anything to anyone other than the artist.” Meaning is tricky. Think of meaning as … Continue reading

Universities as interpretive communities

If Thomas Eddison thought that the phonograph “could keep the voices of the dead alive,” then what about those new photocopiers that enable you to feed in stacks of A4 sheets of type and deliver PDFs to your email address, ready for processing via OCR, and re-publishing. Dormant publications on lost or unreadable storage media … Continue reading

The reception of architecture

Meryl Streep’s embarrassing acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards reception this week didn’t go down all that well, but the pistachio-crusted pistou ravioli was very well received. (She acknowledged everyone except the Iron Lady herself, and only apologised for “trampling over England’s history.”) Reception is a major issue in the arts. Talented artists receive awards, lavish events … Continue reading

Play anywhere

Computer games are undoubtedly big business. Currently 76% of children in Scotland (where I live) have a games console according to a recent Ofcom report, a figure that is surely on the increase. Does this trend constitute any kind of problem for health (DVT), domestic life or for society? In the early days of the … Continue reading

Superlatives

I’ve adopted the habit when viewing a television documentary on some cultural achievement of counting the minutes before the first occurrence of that most English of adjectives “extraordinary,” as in “the Taj Mahal is an extraordinary masterpiece.” Some presenters may reinforce the assessment by letting the viewer in on the fact that the structure is … Continue reading

Being David Hockney

David Hockney sends digital paintings of flowers to his friends by email. These are pictures he created on his iPhone and iPad. Some of these images are now on show at a gallery in Paris (Fleurs Fraîches at the Fondation Pierre Bergé). It’s pleasing that artists of his stature can embrace new technologies and explore … Continue reading

Hermeneutics and ethics

Some ethical problems: uneven access, inflated claims of egalitarian access, presumption of growth, the deception of conspicuous simulations, the primacy of calculative reason, and obsessions with devices rather than the socio-technical systems of which they are a part. The critical theorists (see Wired-up Words) identify potent areas of critique, but a hermeneutical perspective presents an ethical … Continue reading

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