202210261254 ⭐ preliminaries for an immanent hermeneutics

¶1. If a hermeneutics is to proceed immanently, it must account for the self-reflexivities already noted in the transcendental semiotic and the immanent semiotic. That is, preliminarily, the hermeneut must be clear about his subject-position before the object. However, whereas immanent semiotics states this as limit to the possibility of any immanent semiosis, immanent hermeneutics does not state this for immanent hermeneusis. Rather, immanent hermeneusis uses self-reflexivity as an opportunity for a declaration about the noumenal quality of the object, such that it had to appear in some such way because it appeared at some way at some time. Semiotics thereby leaves open the possibility of an appearance so new and unthinkable that it could not have been accounted for - treats of a solipsism of the present moment. Hermeneutics, by contrast, closes one portion of possibility, namely, historical possibility, because that history is the condition for its work. Semiotics, we might say, treats of time consciousness synchronously, whereas hermeneutics treats of it asynchronously or diachronically. Put another way, semiotics is a temporal slice of hermeneutics.

¶2. Because hermeneutics always investigates the condition for any appearance of an object severally in consciousness across time, reflexivity here is also necessarily derived. However, such reflexivity is (again) investigated only insofar as it can make a claim about the noumenality of the object to the subject. That is, though I must impute my hypothesis to the object, I do so on grounds of and not in spite of the fact of my subjective limitation. I impute the hypothesis de re because in order for me to persist as subject and it to persist as object it must at least be present to me according to the hypothesis. This is, transcendentally, the conclusion of any immanent hermeneutic argument. The truth hereof rests only on intersubjective consensus and the givenness of the object across those who convene thereon.


¶3. Because the immanent semiotic proceeded at the heels of the transcendental semiotic, I found it necessary to give a nearly complete account thereof. However, for my purposes, the entirety of Gadamerian hermeneutics need not be worked out here. If one wishes to read them in their circular function, they may do so upon a search, or in the article linked in the references section to this piece [@farooqReviewGadamerianRicoeurian2018]. Instead, I will work out its moments in basic outline:

  1. historico-culturally situated subject
  2. implicatures of the history and culture of that subject
  3. historico-culturally situated object
  4. bona fide subject-object encounter
  5. object implicatures rupture subject implicatures
  6. horizons of implication across subject and object fuse

¶4. This basic outline is adapted from the above article, and its moments proceed according both to the prefatory remarks here and the general derivation of the possibility of transcendental hermeneutics. For, (1.) and (2.) amount to self-reflexivity and its necessary recognition and (3.) - (5.) amount to the derivation of the necessity of hermeneutics from time consciousness with the object. (6.) alone stands as a unique dictum for hermeneutic work and, as such, it seems at first glance to question the imputation of the finality of hermeneusis to the object. However, it is the task of self-reflection to redouble this imputation, so that it too becomes a further moment of re-penetration into the object via a new circulation of hermeneusis. This, follows implicitly from the remarks made in ¶6 of the transcendental hermeneutic - if time consciousness means that an object encounter always differs across time, then hermeneusis can only be complete with respect to some such encounter or encounters. Future encounters will always thereby require new hermeneusis. The imputation of the result of the hermeneusis to the object is thus always provisional as a matter of the implications of such remarks. As such, I have already admitted the fusion of horizons and its demand for perpetual circulation of hermeneusis implicitly.

Hermeneutics by Way of Metaphor

¶5. Because the work of hermeneutics proceeds almost entirely as a superstructural work in the “stratosphere,” so to speak, most individual methodological moves of interpretation must be semiotic. As said in the transcendental hermeneutic, hermeneutics aims at uncovering the character of an object. Tying these remarks together, hermeneutics itself might only be described in terms of the character of its work. That is, the coordination of several semiotic analyses together would be just thereby a hermeneutic analysis. How one does such a hermeneutics is best advanced, in my view, by way of three practical metaphors which alternately describe differing characters of coordinated semiosis, that is, differentially characterized forms of hermeneutics.

¶6. Indeed, because I have taken the imputation of hermeneutics’ conclusion to be the fusion of horizons, what I have outlined in the immanent semiotic as IS13-21 generally amounts to what might be called hermeneutics proper. For, here, I encounter the object self-consciously with presuppositions and fuse them with the object. The use one is liable to make of such presuppositions is, in part, the justification for their being presupposed, a fact implied by IS19-21. Of course, for semiotics, such presuppositions are looked at in the micro-context of one individual sign-reading. Here, several signs are read in tandem with each other. Thus, the simple work of close attention to before and after the appearance of any one sign appears too granular. As such, though such work may be presupposed, it need not be. In this respect, immanent hermeneutic work is, in my view, less rigorous and time consuming than that of semiotic work. Indeed, because of the fecundity of confirmation bias, what proceeds as a series of signs read in tandem might be called mere average, everyday cognition for the sake of the support of any such presupposition. Indeed, as Marx rightly points out, this is the work of ideology. As later critical theorists note, such work proceeds with ease for the reason just said - signs in tandem can everywhere be read with each other in favor of a presupposition. For this reason, in synthetic view, I list 3 practical methods of making use of this bias self-consciously (or as self-consciously as possible):

  1. hermeneutic hypotheses (=lenses)
  2. hermeneutic axes
  3. hermeneutic grids

Hermeneutic Hypotheses

¶7. The hermeneutic hypothesis is only an abducted hypothesis relying on someone else’s abduction. As such, we can assume that some sort of semiotic work went into its creation - Marx did not generate his theory of capital in a vacuum, nor did Joachim de Fiore generate his theory of the 3 ages on an island. No, each thought with signs together into a coherent totality and rendered them as such. A hermeneutic hypothesis thus asks: if this hypothesis holds true, how would this object behave? We must, thus, state the hypothesis in all its technicality according to the literature we wish to cite. For the hypothesis to be considered as such, it must be a premise asserting some sort of mechanism, causal or correlative. This, then, is only an exploded version of IS13. After this, we proceed upon interrogation into the hypothesis, which proceeds as a series of quasi-immanent semiotic investigations. Thus, if for instance Foucault’s theory of governmentality is true, we should be on the look out in some text for implicatures concerning panoptical observation. We will, of course, find no shortage of these, for this is only confirmation bias doing its work. Generally speaking, then, hermeneutics by way of hypothesis proceeds in three parts:

  1. stipulation of the hypothesis
  2. selection and investigation into the object by signs
  3. fusion of object with the hypothesis

Again, (3.) consists in a fusion of whole with whole, so the explanation via the hypothesis amounts to a reading of the character of the whole object vis-à-vis the sign-reading.

Hermeneutic Axes

¶8. To make the hypothetical work more robust, we might admit of more than one premise in the hypothesis. When we do so, however, we axiomatize the hypothesis and thereby create axes of meaning across the (at least two) premises. Proceeding with the example of Foucault’s governmentality, in addition to a single-premise expectation of panopticism, we might also say something about the increase or decrease of this with time (a part of Foucault’s general theory), or perhaps something about the application of governmentality to sexuality; or, perhaps, we could assert an interpretation in which all 3 are considered. Across these axes the hermeneut situates different signs, so that (e.g.) for governmentality a particular sign falls upon one end or another - the same is true for temporality and sexuality in this example. Of course, this also happens with the hermeneutic hypothesis. However, the spectral nature of hypothesis-confirmation in semiotic work is unhelpful so far as a description of the work goes. Such a description is helpful here, as the 2, 3, 4,…n dimensionality of the axes produces a second-order meaning of the situation of a given sign across intersecting dimensions of the hypothesis. The singular dimensionality of the single-premise hypothesis hereby makes its reliance on confirmation-bias abundant - with such generality, nearly everything can be read under its purview. With additional premises, the situation of signs in the hypothesis for an ultimate fusion becomes more narrow. Hereby, the hypothesis becomes more robust and the selection of signs more intensive. Hermeneutics by way of axes thus also proceeds in three parts:

  1. stipulation of complex hypothesis
  2. selection and situation of object signs
  3. fusion of the object with the hypothesis

Hermeneutic Grids

¶9. If one asserts a sufficient amount of premises or, perhaps, requires paragraphs to assert their hypothesis, it makes more sense to abandon talk of axes and spectra in favor grids. Indeed, for hypotheses of at least 3 distinct premises, it begins to make more sense to speak of grids. Taking Freud’s postulation of id, ego, and superego as an example, supposing we have properly articulated each, we can set up a 3x3 grid of affirmations to denials, running id-ego-superego on the vertical axis and each of their negations on the horizontal axis. As more signs are fit upon the grid, gradually the whole of the object comes into view under that grid’s aspect. The utility of a hermeneutic grid, then, lies in its explanatory power for the phenomena (or signs) of the object (or noumenon) under investigation. Of course, the richer the vocabulary postulated, the greater will be the grid which affirms and denies them. Thus thereby will the object be more diffusively accounted for, so that grid enables manifold coordinations of signs, often the same signs, several times over.

¶10. There is a sense in which the grid is a glass through which we see darkly, a lens through which we concentrate beams of intentionality. Such concentration proceeds identically to that of the method of hermeneutic axes.

A Note on Syllogisms

¶11. In my statement of first premises, I have worked out a series of hermeneutic syllogisms relating individual objects to universals. Each syllogism shows the order of argumentation when conducting hermeneutics. Thus, though I will appeal generally to this document in the future for the principles of my immanent hermeneutics, future defensive and reconstructive work will proceed according to the syllogisms given there. That is, if I conduct a future hermeneutic in which several of my arguments are obscure, I will take it on myself to clarify them by appeal to the structures laid out there. Such structures may come back as I conduct my writing, so as to support the general tenor of my claims as I write. If this is the case, a document will be posted outlining the order and structure of said claims with respect to their hermeneutic significance.

A preliminary list of hermeneutic hypothesis:

  1. Natural antagonism (Marx, Engels, Heraclitus, Lao Tzu, Huizinga)
  2. Natural reincarnation (Pythagoras, Buddhism, early Judaism)
  3. “Karma” / “Dharma”
  4. Homeric subjection to fate / cosmic justice
  5. Homeric hero’s journey
  6. Sophiclean blinding to hubris
  7. Platonic intellectual ascent
  8. Platonic apopria
  9. Platonic stages of the state
  10. Platonic justice
  11. Aristotelian virtuosity
  12. Aristotelian logicism
  13. Aristotelian catharsis
  14. Aristotelian justice
  15. Aristotelian logicism
  16. Aquinas’s divisions of law
  17. Aquinas’s formed faith
  18. Judeo-Christian moral ascent, 2nd coming
  19. Virgil’s ascent of Rome
  20. Medieval great chain of being
  21. Alchemical magnum opus
  22. Thomistic 3 acts of mind
  23. Rousseauian departure from nature
  24. Hobbesian state of nature
  25. Spencerian state-as-coercion
  26. Emersonian-Romantic self-overcoming
  27. Emersonian self-reliance
  28. Transcendentalist re-unity with nature
  29. Baconian materialism
  30. Kantian self-clarificationism (the efficacy of critique)
  31. Kant’s two stems
  32. Kantian-Durkheimian moral perfectionism
  33. Millian utilitarianism
  34. Durkheimian labor differentiation/specialization
  35. Durkheimian anomie
  36. Weberian rationalization
  37. Protestant work ethic
  38. Hegelian absolute understanding
  39. Hegelian inferentialism
  40. Hegelian encyclopedism
  41. Hegelian state-as-moral/rational-perfection
  42. Hegelian recognition
  43. Marxist communism
  44. Marxist alienation
  45. Marxist state-as-alienation
  46. Marxist crisis theory
  47. Marxist “iron law” of falling profit
  48. Jamesian pragmatism about practices
  49. Peircean pragmatism about concepts
  50. Deweyan pragmatism about thinking/reflex-action/discovery
  51. Mead’s pragmatism about significant symbols
  52. Wittgenstein’s pragmatism about term meaning
  53. Rortyan pragmatism about social usefulness
  54. Comtean historical stages
  55. Woolfian androgyny
  56. Piagetian increasing cooperation
  57. Baudrillardian detachment of signifiers
  58. Baudrillardian signification structure
  59. Derridean phallogocentrism
  60. Benjamin/Debord’s intensification of spectacle
  61. Thucydidean/Spenglerian decline
  62. Foucaultian governmentality
  63. Foucaultian panopticism
  64. Foucaultian archealogy/genealogy
  65. Foucaultian power (qua flow, “force on force”)
  66. Foucaultian repression
  67. Foucaultian technologies of the self (Pagan-Expressive, Christian-Mortifying)
  68. Liberal-Whig “progress” in freedom
  69. Neoliberal “progress” in material goods (as a progress in freedom)
  70. Deweyan/Holmes/Kuhn complexification
  71. Deweyan pragmatism about the state
  72. Deweyan conflict theory
  73. Deweyan public-occlusion / public-discovery
  74. Modern fragmentation of social coherence
  75. Postmodern balkanization of discourses
  76. Metamodern reflection-into-subject
  77. Fascist decline of masculinity
  78. Fascist invasion of the Other
  79. Racial self-enclosure narratives
  80. Game-Theoretic advancement of self-interest
  81. Evolutionary-adaptive filling of niches
  82. Machiavellian motive-occlusion
  83. Evolutionary-psychological offspring games
  84. Pareto-Mills elite entrenchment
  85. Adorno’s ideological entrenchment
  86. Military-Industrial complex
  87. Kaczynski ecological decline
  88. Psychoanalytical cultural repression of desires
  89. Patriarchy as universal subjection of women
  90. Colonialism as wealth-extraction
  91. Scientistic/Logical Positivist narratives of absolute discovery
  92. Quietism (esp. social → Lao Tzu, Alan Watts, Buddhism, Wittgenstein)
  93. Nietzschean master/slave moral ascendancy
  94. Nietzschean personal moral constructivism
  95. Nietzschean will to power
  96. Rortyan gestalt switching (vocabulary alterations)
  97. Neoconservative anti-intellectualism
  98. Habermasian discourse ethics
  99. American exceptionalism
  100. Queering as “living otherwise”
  101. Self-help/positive thinking narratives (“Law of Attraction”)
  102. Hermeneutics of suspicion
  103. Hermeneutics of faith
  104. Veblen’s conspicuous consumption
  105. Schopenhauerian Will
  106. Freudian theories of (id, ego, superego), (consciousness, unconsciousness, preconsciousness), (libido, repression), dreams
  107. Jungian theory of archetypes
  108. Wittgensteinian language games
  109. Adlerian Great Ideas
  110. Empedoclean four elements
  111. Medieval Liberal Arts
  112. Lacanian discourses
  113. Platonic soul structure
  114. Platonic knowledge structure
  115. Platonic transcendentals
  116. Burkean rhetorical pentad
  117. Kierkegaardian faith
  118. Kierkegaardian paradoxes
  119. Peircean sign trichotomies
  120. Peircean complexification
  121. Heideggarian Dasein
  122. Buberian addresses
  123. Gnostic dualism
  124. Cartesian dualism
  125. Spinozist monism
  126. Shakespearean staging
  127. Landian acceleration
  128. Saussurean paradigm/syntagm
  129. Burkean pentad (“symbolic action”)
  130. Deleuzeian desiring-production / desiring-machines
  131. Burnhamite managerialism
  132. Millian power-elitism
  133. Wittgenstinean self-care (“logic/ethics takes care of itself”)
  134. Goffmanite performance, frontstage/backstage
  135. Simmel’s social anonymity
  136. Bergsonian creative evolution
  137. Frege-Russelian logicism/logocentrism
  138. Lotman’s center-periphy of signs
  139. Beckerian rational choice
  140. Adornian Culture Industry

For the premises with which I make the most general hypothetical use, please see [[ 04 UNASSAILABLE PREMISES#Indeterminate|here ]]

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