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The Scenes of InquiryOn the Reality of Questions in the Sciences$
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Nicholas Jardine

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250395

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250395.001.0001

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Original Meanings and Historical Interpretation

Original Meanings and Historical Interpretation

(p.243) 12 Original Meanings and Historical Interpretation
The Scenes of Inquiry

Nicholas Jardine

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by reviewing the question-oriented account of historical understanding of explaining scenes of inquiry, local reality, and interpretation. It follows with an argument of an account that avoids the most blatant forms of hermeneutic circularity, unlike related question-oriented accounts. It then discusses the main topic, the relation between the explication of historical understanding and the craft of historical interpretation. In particular, it examines the validity of two additional criteria of adequacy of interpretation: faithfulness to authorial intention and imputation of consistency. It argues that the theoretical account pointed out in this chapter entails definite stances on these issues, and that these stances are in good accord with common sense and sound historical practice. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the prospects for extension of this account from the history of philosophy and the sciences to the history of writings in general.

Keywords:   explication, historical understanding, adequacy of interpretation, faithfulness, authorial intention, imputation of consistency, hermeneutic circularity

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