Introduction: Methods and Interpretation

Stephen R.L. Clark

in Aristotle's Man

Published in print May 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245162
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680847 | DOI:
Introduction: Methods and Interpretation

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Understanding of another's philosophy is an aspect of the interpreter's own philosophical growth, and the result should not be, because it cannot be, assessed as matching or missing an unknowable and possibly non-existent ‘original version’, but as an intelligible and (hopefully) plausible way of seeing the world that is developed by meditation on the chosen traditum. The ability to follow an argument depends upon an ability to catch hold of those reasonable generalizations, common definitions, and the like that can be made totally explicit only at the price of unbearable tedium – if then. The attempt to check the results is made more difficult precisely by the too-ready acceptance of certain doctrines as reasonable. Interpretation is always re-creation, whether good or bad, and this need not surprise a person. A good interpretation of Bach is accounted good for aesthetic reasons, not historical. An interpretation of Aristotle must be assessed upon other grounds.

Keywords: philosophy; interpretation; Bach; Aristotle; interpreter

Chapter.  5417 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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