Spreading the Word: Art, Understanding, Meaning

Can art be a channel of understanding? Does it have a claim to truth, to knowledge? What comes first, understanding or knowing? Does art have a part to play in our processes of meaning-making? These are just some of the fascinating and stimulating questions explored in the video I share with you today. It is …

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Spreading the Word: When Words and Worlds Collide

Does it matter how we name things? Do words influence our worldviews? A curious case of renaming a dinosaur suggests there is more to words and worlds relation than meets the eye. Check out this fascinating article over on aeon, "A dinosaur is a story". Enjoy! Keeping up the "Spreading the Word" tradition, I hope …

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Philosophical Quote About Our Self-Understanding

"We always find ourselves within a situation, and throwing light on it is a task that is never entirely finished. This is also true of the hermeneutic situation—i.e., the situation in which we find ourselves with regard to the tradition that we are trying to understand. The illumination of this situation—reflection on effective history—can never …

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Spreading the Word: Different Worlds We Experience

When we experience the world and interpret its meaning, it is not so much "I'll believe it when I see it", it is rather "I will see it if I believe it". And - in the way that I believe it to be. Curious? Then you might be interested in this short BBC Ideas video: …

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Spreading the Word: Importance of Meaning-Making

Why is it much more important to understand than to know? Why are all the 'why' questions significant, and how an understanding of reasons shapes our actions? I found these two articles that I would like to share with you today: on understanding and on 'why'. In each article, the authors offer their take on …

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Philosophical Quote on Interpretation as Way of Being

"...the way we experience one another, the way we experience historical traditions, the way we experience the natural givenness of our existence and of our world, constitute a truly hermeneutic universe, in which we are not imprisoned, as if behind insurmountable barriers, but to which we are opened."Hans-Georg Gadamer "Truth and Method" (my emphasis) keep …

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Spreading the Word: How AI Interprets Art?

Have you ever felt bewildered when looking at contemporary art? I know I have. Sometimes it is even difficult to understand what is art anymore. Maybe such musings are part of art's genius. So imagine what it is like for an AI to 'interpret' contemporary art. How would an algorithm go about recognising art and …

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Disrupting and Creating Meaning

We, humans, are remarkably flexible beings. Sometimes, we surprise even ourselves if we pay attention. For example, take Jacques Derrida's idea of deconstruction. As a way of thinking, it takes a settled meaning we accept as true and dismantles it to show how inherently arbitrary any one such interpretation is. In other words, its opposite …

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Spreading the Word: What is Deconstruction?

What do philosophers mean when they talk about deconstruction? This concept is rather simpler than it might sound. It is associated with the 20th-century philosopher Jacques Derrida who introduced it as a notion describing a way of thinking. What sort of thinking? Have a listen to this interesting short video and find out about some …

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Spreading the Word: Lecture on Gadamer and Hermeneutics II

Last week, I shared with you a video lecture by Dr Michael Sugrue on Hans-Georg Gadamer, an influential 20th-century German philosopher who developed philosophical hermeneutics. This branch of philosophy focuses on human understanding, interpretation, and meaning creation. Today, I share another take on Gadamer's philosophy - Understanding and Dialogue: What I Have Learned from H. …

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