[whatwg] Hermenutics. Was: several messages about HTML5

Keryx Web webmaster at keryx.se
Fri Feb 23 14:28:20 PST 2007

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
> Elliotte Harold wrote:
>> Authorial intent is a myth. 
>  All
> communication involves translation, and something invariably gets "lost"
> in translation. But if you want to arrive at an approximation of what an
> original interlocutor meant (which is what we usually want to do), you
> want an interpreter who attempts to capture, however remotely, the
> original meaning, not somebody who just makes stuff up. Partial
> knowledge is better than no knowledge.

This discussion seems to be more about hermeneutics than technology. 
Being a theologian I suddenly feel at home and would like to offer my 2 

It would be sad to see this effort be lost because partly valid post 
modern-ish hermeneutic viewpoints, such as is echoed by Elliotte Harold, 
are allowed to win out over also partly valid viewpoints more in line 
with modernity - such as echoed by Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis.

Modernity gave us a hermeneutic approach almost obsessed with finding 
the original authors intent. For ancient texts, such as the Bible, this 
proved more difficult than at first supposed. For this but also for a 
number of other reasons post modern hermeneutics rightly criticizes the 
modern approach, but often finds itself lost in a quagmire of relativity 
and subjectivity.

Even if one does not find the original intent in an exact way, it is 
possible that the effort reveals enough to make some interpretations 
much more plausible than others. The effort is seldom pointless.

Lars Gunther

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