Interpretation and Understanding

Interpretation and Understanding

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Description

Our species has been hunting for meaning ever since we departed from our cousins in the evolutionary tree. We developed sophisticated forms of communication. Yet, as much as they can convey meaning and foster understanding, they can also hide meaning and prevent comprehension. Indeed, we can never be sure that a "yes" conveys assent or that a smile reveals pleasure. In order to ascertain what communicative behavior "means", we have to go through an elaborate cognitive process of interpretation. This book deals with how we achieve the daily miracle of understanding each other. Based on the author 's contributions to pragmatics, the book articulates his perspective using the insights of linguistics, the philosophy of language and rhetoric, and confronting alternatives to it. Theory formation is shaped by application to fields of human activity - such as legal practice, artificial intelligence, psychoanalysis, the media, literature, aesthetics, ethics and politics - where interpretation and understanding are paramount. Using an accessible language, this is a book addressed to specialists as well as to anyone interested in interpreting understanding and understanding the potentialities and limits of interpretation.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 736 pages
  • 154 x 225 x 44mm | 1,090g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Benjamins (John) North America Inc.,US
  • Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588114147
  • 9781588114143

Table of contents

1. Foreword; 2. Part I: Theorizing; 3. 1. Pragmatics and communicative intentions; 4. 2. Conversational relevance; 5. 3. Strategies of understanding; 6. 4. Two modes of understanding; 7. 5. Individual and collective intentions; 8. 6. How does a connective work?; 9. 7. Commitment and involvement; 10. 8. Cues, clues, and context; 11. 9. Models of interpretation; 12. Part II: Applying; 13. 10. Understanding digressions; 14. 11. Understanding a metaphor; 15. 12. Three remarks on pragmatics and literature; 16. 13. Understanding controversies; 17. 14. Understanding misunderstanding; 18. 15. Understanding the law; 19. 16. Understanding jokes and dreams; 20. 17. Understanding art; 21. 18. Why does language matter to Artificial Intelligence?; 22. 19. Pragmatics in the digital age; 23. 20. Interpretation and tolerance; 24. 21. Understanding other cultures; 25. Part III: Meeting the alternatives; 26. 22. Why should I ask her?; 27. 23. Speech act theory and pragmatics; 28. 24. The pragmatic structure of conversation; 29. 25. Contextualism; 30. 26. Does pragmatics need semantics?; 31. 27. Pragmatics and foundationalism; 32. 28. The marriage of pragmatics and rhetoric; 33. 29. Hermeneutic interpretation and pragmatic interpretation; 34. 30. The limits of interpretation; 35. Sources and acknowledgments; 36. References; 37. Subject Index; 38. Name Indexshow more

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