Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

Home Screenshot Tabelle Begriffe

Interpretation: A) making statements about other statements, whereby the new statements of the vocabulary make use of the original statements and possibly introduce new vocabulary. If no new vocabulary is introduced, new information can be obtained by changing the syntactic elements.
B) In logic, the insertion of values (objects) instead of the constants or free variables.

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

Karl Marx on Interpretation - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 19
Interpretation/Marx/Ball: Marx famously remarked that ‘the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas’ (Marx and Engels, 1947: 39)(1). That is, the dominant or mainstream ideas of any era are those that serve the interests of the dominant class, largely by legitimating their pre-eminent position in society. So it comes as no surprise, Marxists say, that in slave-owning societies slavery is portrayed and widely regarded as normal and natural (...).
, >Marxism, >Interest.
Gaus I 20
Ideology/Marx: inefficient. Ideas - including those to be found in works of political theory - combine to form a more or less consistent set or system of ideas that Marx calls an ‘ideology’. The point and purpose of any ideology is to lend legitimacy to the rule of the dominant class. Thus ideologies serve as smokescreens, hiding tawdry reality from a credulous public, and presenting a rosy – albeit false – picture of a society that treats all its members fairly, that rewards the deserving and punishes the undeserving, and distributes valued goods in a just and equitable manner.
Interpretation/Marxism: For a Marxist, then, the task of textual interpretation is to get behind appearances, to uncover the reality they obscure, and to expose what Marx calls ‘the illusion of that epoch’ (1947: 30)(2).
Today: This general approach, which is now sometimes called ‘the hermeneutics of suspicion’, takes no statement at face value but views it as a stratagem or move in a game whose point is to obscure reality and legitimize existing power relations.
Cf. >Hermeneutics.
Adequacy: An adequate or good interpretation is one that performs the function of ‘ideology critique’ – that is, penetrates the veil of illusion and brings us closer to unveiling and exposing a heretofore hidden socio-economic reality. >Interpretation/Macpherson.

1. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels (1947) The German Ideology. New York: International. p. 39.
2. Ibid. p. 30.

Ball, Terence. 2004. „History and the Interpretation of Texts“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.

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.

Marx I
Karl Marx
Das Kapital, Kritik der politische Ökonomie Berlin 1957

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

Send Link
> Counter arguments against Marx
> Counter arguments in relation to Interpretation

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