Routledge, London-New York


322 Pages

ISBN ISBN9781032390154

Routledge Series in Contemporary Philosophy
vol. 1

The ethics of interpretation

From charity as a principle to love as a hermeneutic imperative

Pol Vandevelde

This book discusses the ethical dimension of the interpretation of texts and events. Its purpose is not to address the neutrality or ideological biases of interpreters, but rather to discuss the underlying issue of the intervention of interpreters into the process of interpretation. The author calls this intervention the "ethical" aspect of interpretation and argues that interpreters are neither neutral nor necessarily activists. He examines three models of interpretation, all of which recognize the role that interpreters play in the processof interpretation. In these models, the question of the truth or validity of interpretation is dependent upon the attitude of interpreters. These three models are: (1) the principle of charity in interpretation in the two different versions defended by Hans-Georg Gadamer and Donald Davidson; (2) the production of truth, as developed by Paul Ricoeur and Michel Foucault; and (3) the regulative principle in interpretation as formal validity claims—as presented by Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas—and as benevolence or love as an epistemic virtue—as defended by Friedrich Schlegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher. The critical discussion of these three models, which brings to the fore the different manners in which interpreters intervene in the process of interpretation as persons, lays the foundations for an ethics of interpretation.

Publication details

Full citation:

Vandevelde, P. (2023). The ethics of interpretation: From charity as a principle to love as a hermeneutic imperative, Routledge, London-New York.

Table of Contents

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