What is it about?

My paper responds to the idea that literature must be used in order to develop empathy in students. Because 1. every student comes to the classroom with her or his own history that informs reading and 2. the teacher comes to the classroom with the same history, empathy is not guaranteed. Limiting interpretative approaches is a disservice to the literature classroom. I propose that open interpretative approaches best serve students. I use Plato and William Desmond to discuss authentic interpretive methods. This authenticity is not absolute but, rather, is always partial, which is more reflective of interpretive processes in general.

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Why is it important?

Recent scholars undermine many approaches in interpretation. My paper is a reminder of the mysteries inherent in the reading and interpretive processes.


I am interested in myriad approaches to literature. This article is in many ways the foundation of a longer work on which I’m working called, Beyond Knowing: Knowing Beyond: Returning to the Mysteries of Hermeneutics.

PHILLIP Mitchell
University of North Georgia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Literature unbound: William Desmond's metaxu and the opening of literary hermeneutics, Journal of Philosophy of Education, August 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12593.
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