- Feb 2023
What we ultimately should care about is being able to use our knowledge to produce something new, whatever that may be. To not merely reproduce you must understand the material. And understanding requires application, a hermeneutic principle that particularly Gadamer worked out extensively. If you really want to measure your level of understanding, you should try to apply or explain something to yourself or someone else.
Here’s a basic hermeneutic insight for you: interpretation requires a form of application which renews the interpretandum by engaging it in a new context. Yes, “something in it anarchives” itself, but that’s also the seed for the old to enter into something new and to stay “alive”.
Only then do I start writing. Compared with the labour of making, sorting and arranging notes, this is a relatively speedy business. But it is followed by a much more time-consuming task, that of travelling round the libraries to check the references in my footnotes, only too many of which, thanks to poor handwriting, carelessness and an innate tendency to ‘improve’ what I have read, turn out to be either slightly wrong or taken out of context.That one hit a little close to home. lol.
We should also acknowledge that when revisiting some of our references again later, we're doing so with a dramatically increased knowledge and context of a particular problem which we may not have had when we first read a piece or took the notes.
Not many here are writing or talking about these small sorts of insights into learning and writing or generating new work. Perhaps we should do more to acknowledge this hermeneutic cycle in our work?
reply to u/stjeromeslibido at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/10wj6tv/comment/j7uexbk/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
- Jan 2023
Looking at three broad ideas with examples of each to follow: - signals - patterns - pattern making, pattern breaking
Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913
Jane Kent for witchcraft
250 years with ~200,000 trial transcripts
Can be viewed as: - storytelling, - history - information process of signals
All the best trials include the words "Covent Garden".
Example: 1163. Emma Smith and Corfe indictment for stealing.
19:45 Norbert Elias. The Civilizing Process. (book)
Prozhito: large-scale archive of Russian (and Soviet) diaries; 1900s - 2000s
How do people understand the act of diary-writing?
a convenient way to evaluate the self
a means to see, with reassuring clarity [...] the changes which you constantly suffer.
a kindly blankfaced old confidante
Diary entries in five categories - spirit - routine - literary - material form (talking about the diary itself) - interpersonal (people sharing diaries)
Are there specific periods in which these emerge or how do they fluctuate? How would these change between and over cultures?
The pattern of talking about diaries in this study are relatively stable over the century.
pre-print available of DeDeo's work here
Pattern making, pattern breaking
Individuals, institutions, and innovation in the debates of the French Revolution
- transcripts of debates in the constituent assembly
the idea of revolution through tedium and boredom is fascinating.
speeches broken into combinations of patterns using topic modeling
(what would this look like on commonplace book and zettelkasten corpora?)
emergent patterns from one speech to the next (information theory) question of novelty - hi novelty versus low novelty as predictors of leaders and followers
Robespierre bringing in novel ideas
How do you differentiate Robespierre versus a Muppet (like Animal)? What is the level of following after novelty?
Four parts (2x2 grid) - high novelty, high imitation (novelty with ideas that stick) - high novelty, low imitation (new ideas ignored) - low novelty, high imitation - low novelty, low imitation (discussion killers)
Could one analyze television scripts over time to determine the good/bad, when they'll "jump the shark"?
Hermeneutic circle In traditional humanities scholarship, the hermeneutic circle refers to the way in which we understand some part of a text in terms of our ideas about its overall structure and meaning -- but that we also, in a cyclic fashion, update our beliefs about the overall structure and meaning of a text in response to particular moments.
- Feb 2022
Local file Local file
Theseemingly pragmatic and down-to-earth-sounding advice – to decidewhat to write about before you start writing – is therefore eithermisleading or banal.
Properly framed note taking methods are themselves a hermeneutic circle for thinking and creating.
Every intellectual endeavour starts from an already existingpreconception, which then can be transformed during further inquiresand can serve as a starting point for following endeavours. Basically,that is what Hans-Georg Gadamer called the hermeneutic circle
All intellectual endeavors start from a preexisting set of ideas. These can then be built upon to create new concepts which then influence the original starting point and may continue ever expanding with further thought.
Ahrens argues that most writing advice goes against the idea of the hermeneutic circle and pretends as if the writer is starting with a blank page. This can prefigure some of the stress and difficulty Ernest Hemingway spoke of when he compared writing to "facing the white bull which is paper with no words on it."
While it can be convenient to think of the idea of tabula rasa, in practice it really doesn't exist. As a result the zettelkasten more readily shows its value in the writing process.
The hermeneutic circle (German: hermeneutischer Zirkel) describes the process of understanding a text hermeneutically. It refers to the idea that one's understanding of the text as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole. Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. However, this circular character of interpretation does not make it impossible to interpret a text; rather, it stresses that the meaning of a text must be found within its cultural, historical, and literary context.
The hermeneutic circle is the idea that understanding a text in whole is underpinned by understanding its constituent parts and understanding the individual parts is underpinned by understanding the whole thereby making a circle of understanding. This understanding of a text is going to be heavily influenced by a text's cultural, historical, literary, and other contexts.
- Oct 2020
The idea of the hermeneutic circle is to envision a whole in terms how the parts interact with each other, and how they interact with the whole. That may sound a little bit out there, so let’s have a look at a concrete example.
This is a general concept, the rest of the article extrapolates the idea to the act of reading. This may be a stretch, since it implies that whatever can be broken into parts will belong to the hermeneutic circle, while this only applies to interpreting (text)
As objective you may try to be, interpreting a text doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The hermeneutic circle captures the complex interaction between an interpreter and a text.
This is the only useful idea in the text. Whatever we read has the context in which it was written and the context in whcih it is being read. Is this a hermeneutic circle as described earlier? Don't think so.
While you do so, you can even take notes to keep track of the evolution of your interpretation.
This is exactly the opposite of what Luhmann was doing (he only read things once)