Title Philology vs Philosophy? In Search of the Exit from the Interpretative Dead Еnd
Author(s) Vadim V. Polonsky
Information about the author(s) Vadim V. Polonsky, DSc in Philology, Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia v.polonski@mail.ru
Received August 10, 2016
Published September 25, 2016
Issue Vol. 1, no 1–2
Department Literary Theory
Pages 14-25
DOI 10.22455/ 2500-4247-2016-1-1-2-14-25
UDK 82.09
BBK 83.3
Abstract The author claims that interpretation has become a key element among epistemological tools of the 20th Century humanities as the result of conflicting interference of philological and philosophical methods. Since the 1960s, there have been attempts in literary studies to resist the expansion of interpretative models that often bear on subjective and ideological speculations and borrow from the methodology of other disciplines. The essay gives a generalized historical insight into the dynamics of interrelation between philology and philosophy in the light of the interpretation problem, highlighting kin hostility and tense interdependence of these two disciplines deriving from Platonism. It demonstrates the swing of the pendulum between “philologization of philosophy” and “philosophication of philology” from Wolf, Friedrich Schlegel, and Schleiermacher to Nietzshe and Heidegger. Describing the current crisis in the theories of interpretation, the author argues that academic literary studies may overcome this crisis by following the principle of practical conservatism and methodological reduction. Working in fundamental philological genres (literary history, textology, preparing edited academic collections of classical works, biographical studies, the study of textual poetics, etc.), scholars would benefit from abandoning further search for new interpretative strategies and adhering to those methods that were already developed within the tenets of the classic 19th Century philology. This way, it would be possible to overcome the current overlapping between philology and philosophy that, in its turn, more and more conspicuously reorients itself from interpretation as a form of actual statement towards a genre of commentary on the heritage of the past
Keywords interpretation, philology and philosophy, hermeneutics, commentary
Works cited 1 Sontag S. Mysl’ kak strast’ [The mind as passion], sost., obshch. red., per. s fr. B.Dubina. Moscow, Russkoe fenomenologicheskoe obshchestvo Publ., 1997. 208 p. 2 Nietzshe Fr. Volia k vlasti. Opyt pereotsenki vsekh tsennostei [Will to power. Experience of reevaluation of all values], per. s nem. E. Gertsyk i dr. Moscow, Kul’turnaia Revoliutsiia Publ., 2005. 880 p. 3 Makhlin V. L. Vtoroe soznanie: Podstupy k gumanitarnoi epistemologii [The second consciousness: approaches to humanitarian epistemology]. Moscow, Znak Publ., 2009. 632 р. (In Russ.) 4 Chzhan Tszian. O nasil’stvennoi interpretatsii [On violent interpretation], per. s kit. [trans. from Chineese] Liu Ven’feia. Oktiabr’ [October], 2015, no 1, pp. 144–159. 5 Iampol’skii M. Filologizatsiia (proekt radikal’noi filologii) [Philologisation: a project of radical philology]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie [New literary observer], 2005, no 75, pp. 10–23. (In Russ.) 6 Dandrey P. Naissance de la critique littéraire au XVII-e siècle? // Littératures classiques. Toulouse, 2015, N 86, pp. 5–16. 7 Fables choisies, mises en vers par M. de La Fontaine. Paris, D. Thierry, 1668. 286 p. 8 Porter J. I. Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future. Stanford, 2000. 449 p. 9 Schlegel F. Über die Unverständlichkeit // Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe. Erste Abteilung: Kritische Neuausgabe, Band 2, München, Paderborn, Wien, Zürich, 1967, pp. 363–373. 10 Schleiermacher F. Hermeneutics: the Handwritten Manuscripts / Ed. by Heinz Kimmerle. Atlanta, 1986. 252 p. 11 Thouard D. Friedrich Schlegel: de la philologie à la philosophie (1795–1800) // Symphilosophie: F.Schlegel à Iéna / Ed. par Denis Thouard. Paris, 2002, pp. 28–44. 12 Wolf F.A. Prolegomena ad Homerum sive de Operum homericorum prisca et genuina forma variisque mutationibus et probabili ratione emendandi. Halle, Libr. Orphanotrophei, 1795. Vol. 3.
Full version of the article Download