Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

Home Screenshot Tabelle Begriffe

Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. See also actions, meaning, knowledge.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Paul Ricoeur on Understanding - Dictionary of Arguments

II 71
Understanding/explanation/Ricoeur: (...) it may be said, at least in an introductory fashion, that
- understanding: is to reading what the event of discourse is to the utterance of discourse and that
- explanation: is to reading what the verbal and textual autonomy is to the objective. meaning of discourse. >Discourse/Ricoeur
II 72
Explanation/tradition: finds its paradigmatic field of application in the natural sciences. When there are external facts to observe, hypotheses to be submitted to empirical verification, general laws for covering such facts, theories to encompass the scattered laws in a systematic whole, and subordination of empirical generalizations to hypothetic-deductive procedures, then we may say that we "explain."
Understanding/tradition: Understanding, in contrast, finds its originary field of application in the human sciences (the German Geisteswissenschaften), where science has to do with the experience of
other subjects or other minds similar to our own. It relies on the meaningfulness of such forms of expression as physiognomic, gestural, vocal, or written signs, and upon documents
II 73
and monuments, which share with writing the general character of inscription. The immediate types of expression are meaningful because they refer directly to the experience of the other mind which they convey.
Tradition/Ricoeur: The dichotomy between understanding and explanation in Romanticist hermeneutics is both epistemological and ontological. It opposes two methodologies and two spheres of reality, nature and mind.
II 75
Understanding/Ricoeur: (...) we have to guess the meaning of the text because the author's intention is beyond our reach.
II 79
Interpretation: (...) if it is true that there is always more than one way of construing a text, it is not true that all interpretations are equal. The text presents a limited field of possible constructions. The logic of validation allows us to move between the two limits of dogmatism and scepticism. It is always possible to argue for or against an interpretation, to confront interpretations, to arbitrate between them and to seek agreement, even if this agreement remains beyond our immediate reach.
II 81
Structural Linguistics/interpretation/understanding/Ricoeur: [the approach of the structural schools of literary criticism] proceeds from the acknowledgement of what I have called the suspension or suppression of the ostensive reference. (>Reference/Ricoeur). The text intercepts the "worldly" dimension of the discourse - the relation to a world which could be shown - in the same way as it disrupts the connection of the discourse to the subjective intention of the author. According to this choice, the text no longer has an exterior, it only has an interior. To repeat, the very constitution of the text as a text and of the system of texts as literature justifies this conversion of the literary object into a closed system of signs, analogous to the kind of closed system that phonology discovered underlying all discourse, and which Saussure called langue. Literature, according to this working hypothesis, becomes an analogon of langue. >Langue/Ricoeur.
II 86
Explanation/literature/texts/Ricoeur: [The] transposition of a linguistic model to the theory of narrative perfectly corroborates my initial remark regarding the contemporary understanding of explanation. Today ((s) 1976) the concept of explanation is no longer borrowed from the natural sciences and transferred into a different field, that of written documents. It proceeds from the common sphere of language thanks to the analogical transference from the small units of language (phonemes and lexemes) to the large units beyond the sentence, including narrative, folklore, and myth.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Ricoeur I
Paul Ricoeur
De L’interprétation. Essai sur Sigmund Freud
German Edition:
Die Interpretation. Ein Versuch über Freud Frankfurt/M. 1999

Ricoeur II
Paul Ricoeur
Interpretation theory: discourse and the surplus of meaning Fort Worth 1976

Send Link
> Counter arguments against Ricoeur
> Counter arguments in relation to Understanding

Authors A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

Concepts A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z