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RE: [xmca] Circle of Activity?

Hi Andy, 
The hermeneutic circle is tied to horizons of understanding and fusion of horizons. When we come to agreement between us (myself and the text in this case) then there is a fusion of horizons of understanding. This brings the circle of interpretation into play as we re-engage, so to speak, and work on the next/ new horizon of understanding. Gadamer (my peep here) would argue that there is a tension between the whole and the parts of the text with neither taking seniority, so to speak. I would argue, on his behalf, that the you cannot simply reduce meaning to the meaning within the text outside the reader. This would be Dilthey's fallacy.... there is a nice piece by Gadamer on this aspect of Dilthey's work but Gadamer addresses all of this in Truth and Method.  
I would suggest using Gadamer for your definitions. I would also recommend Gallagher on education and hermeneutics. 
By the way, I wrote a piece that brings together activity, hermeneutics, and democratic education...yes, a blend of Engestrom, Vygotsky, Gadamer and Dewey... to look at ways to talk about what occurs for teachers and students when working in the ZPD.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:33 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [xmca] Circle of Activity?

Another problem of terminology. I would like to know if 
anyone knows the expression for this idea.

"The hermeneutic circle" is the understanding of a text 
based on reading each word composing the text, but each word 
is read only in the light of having already taken the word 
to belong to a certain genre of text. Thus we have a circle: 
understand whole via parts, understand parts via whole.

But this concept of 'circle' is hardly unique to the 
interpretation of texts.

An institution or social formation is constituted by the 
individuals in a community who act and perceive a range of 
actions as belonging a certain social entity, but each 
action is always only interpreted in the light of it being 
part of a certain social entity. So we have a circle.

I am thinking of calling this a 'circle of activity'.

Does anyone know if this idea has a name which makes the 
link to 'hermeneutic circle' explicit?


Andy Blunden (Erythrós Press and Media) 
Orders: http://www.erythrospress.com/store/main.html#books

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