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INTERPRETATION AND DIALOGUE                                                                                                                   PURCHASE

                                                                                                                                                Culture and Dialogue, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp. 223-224


Volume 4 closes with an issue on “dialogue and interpretation.” The Latin etymology of the word, interpretari, already contained elements of what we usually mean nowadays by interpreting something: clarifying, explaining, understanding, or even translating. Of course, interpretation also came to designate the transmission, expression, or embodiment of meaning found in messages of all kinds; the artist can interpret the world as much as the musician a piece of music or the actor a play. To interpret, in other words, is not always about ascribing meaning to something at a distance; it can also be about incarnating the meaning of the world, a musical piece, or a play. Depending on schools of philosophy, cultures and historical periods, emphases have fluctuated between the objective, subjective, and experiential natures of interpretation. Each of these different emphases has been determined by how the interpreter relates to the interpreted and, needless to say, by the ethical validity individuals, communities, systems, ideologies, cultures, or periods see in the act of interpretation. In any case, whether interpretation incarnates the revelation of being or attempts to retrieve the alleged original meaning of messages or the true nature of things; whether interpretation is a means by which the interpreter expresses his or her subjectivity or relives the experience of the world of the interpreted, interpretation is inherently relational. In that sense, interpretation is not only an essential element of conscious life; it shapes the way we relate to worlds, whether in space or time, whether human or natural. By doing so, interpretation shapes self and worlds. I interpret therefore we are. The relevance of “interpretation” as a theme to Culture and Dialogue is therefore self-evident: the act of “inter-preting” involves “between-ness.”

Each contribution in this issue of the Journal discusses, analyses, describes, or provides examples of the fundamental of interpretative “between-ness” at work. Nicholas Davey’s opening essay draws critically from Hans-Georg Gadamer’s conception of the “in-between” to formulate an understanding of hermeneutics as practice “between faith and reason.” Laura Di Summa-Knoop discusses a form of “missing dialogue” between contemporary art and philosophy by focusing on three interpretative aspects of artistic experience today: its “enactive accounts,” the “ethical content of artworks,” and the influence of “the art market” on artistic appreciation. Alexander Naraniecki bridges science and art by showing how Karl Popper’s “later writings on evolutionary epistemology and theory of objective knowledge” can renew our understanding of artistic creativity. Inspired by Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya’s “improvisations” from his reading and understanding of classical Indian texts and thought, Daniel Raveh provides an example of interpretative “in-between” at work by “interfering creatively” with Milan Kundera’s novel Slowness through the lens of poets and thinkers from ancient and contemporary India alike. Jonathan Day questions the relevance of Immanuel Kant’s account of judgement of beauty to understand the inherently ineffable nature of aesthetic experience as found in interpretative practices such as Zen writing, composition, musical improvisation and jazz. The two last essays of this issue of the Journal explore in different ways the metaphysics and ethics of translation as interpretation. Yong Zhong provides a detailed analysis of how the concept of “discourse” was introduced and translated into Chinese. The ensuing problems of interpretative inadequacy, Zhong argues, can only be addressed by adopting “an informed strategy” when it comes to translating such Western critical cultural concepts in the Chinese language. Validity in types of interpretation is also what Takeshi Morisato tackles by introducing the thought of Kyoto School philosopher Miki Kiyoshi on translation and understanding in the context of modern Japan. Morisato also offers the first English translation ever of Miki’s text “Disregarded Translation.” Finally, Robert Clarke reviews the recent publication of another form of interpretative journey, that of Stephen Pax Leonard in The Polar North: Ways of Speaking, Ways of Belonging (2014).

As usual, I would like to thank again my editorial colleagues, Martin Ovens and Loni Reynolds, as well as all the scholars who accepted to review the contributions that make up this issue, and the members of the Board for their continuous patience, support and trust.

Gerald Cipriani


223            Editorial

                            Gerald Cipriani

          225            Hermeneutics: Between Faith and Reason
                            Nicholas Davey  

          246            Art Today and Philosophical Aesthetics: A Missing Dialogue
                             Laura T. Di Summa-Knoop 

          263            Karl Popper on the Unknown Logic of Artistic Production and Creative Discovery
                            Alexander Naraniecki 

          283             A Short Improvisation on Milan Kundera's Slowness
                             Daniel Raveh 

          301             Jazz, Kant and Zen: The Philosophy of Improvisation
                             Jonathan Day 

          317             Becoming Equivalent: Tracking the Chinese Renditions of “Discourse”
                             Yong Zhong 

          338              Miki Kiyoshi and Interpretation: An Introduction to “Disregarded Translations”
                              Takeshi Morisato

          349              Book Review
                              Stephen Pax Leonard, The Polar North: Ways of Speaking, Ways of Belonging   
                              Reviewed by Robert Clarke