International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
THE PHILOSOPHICAL POETIC ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF TRANSFORMATIVE HERMENEUTICS

Abstract


Philosophical poetics, as explored in this paper, is a personally transformative, intuitive, hermeneutical practice of meaning appropriation that is attitudinally open and vulnerable to the unsaid and infinite textual horizon of the text, the latent and emergent senses of the text, rather than on the analysis of objectively manifest content.  It is distinguishable from other hermeneutical practices of interpretation by its prioritizing of an attitude on the part of the aspirant reader that entails an affective, non-representational intentionality independent of or prior to any scientific, calculative, reductive, propositional, objectivist thinking, and the positivist interpretive attitude associated with that orientation. The practice of this attitude of open and vulnerable receptivity as way of allowing unsuspected dimensions of the text to reveal themselves is the main subject of this inquiry.  Attitude is construed as the relative positioning or posturing of an intentionality in relation to the infinite horizon of the textuality of the text.  Following an introduction to the idea of philosophical poetics as a transformative, therapeutic, hermeneutical attitude of the reader that allows the unsaid heart of the matter ‘behind’ the said of the text to emerge and show itself, this hermeneutical practice is deployed in an interpretation of Plato’s Sophist. The reading of the Sophist sketched here strives, not to be definitive in relation to the long and robust history of interpreting the ever-enigmatic Sophist.  Rather, my more limited aim is to demonstrate the practice of the phenomenological poetic attitudinal strategy as an interpretive orientation while at the same time showing, as if incidentally, that the Sophist itself, considered as a literary and philosophical work of art, is a non-representational depiction of the necessity for the kind of philosophical poetic practice of transformative reading described herein.