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Carnal Hermeneutics$
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Richard Kearney and Brian Treanor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265886

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265886.001.0001

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Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

The Challenge of Matter

(p.57) Mind the Gap
Carnal Hermeneutics

Brian Treanor

Fordham University Press

This chapter urges hermeneutics to take a Ricoeurian “detour” to engage the hard sciences, realism, and materialism. Such a detour is of particular importance and significance in the treatment of subjects such as the environment, the body, and questions of matter. It further suggests that the work of Michel Serres on “the hard” and “the soft” could be a useful landmark on such a detour. Serres provides a framework for taking seriously both a commitment to realism and the inescapability of the hermeneutic circle, as well as offering criticisms of thinking that, through zealous fidelity to either the hard (matter, the given) or the soft (interpretation, language), becomes blind to alternatives.

Keywords:   Realism, Materialism, Paul Ricoeur, Michel Serres, Hermeneutics, Interpretation, Environment, Body

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