Recovery of the Measure

Interpretation and Nature

By Robert Cummings Neville

Subjects: Hermeneutics
Paperback : 9780791400999, 369 pages, August 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400982, 369 pages, August 1989

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Table of contents



Division One
The World As Measure

Preliminary Remarks

1 The problem of Truth

I. Imagination and Interpretation
II. Myth
III. The Imperial Triumph of Interpretation
IV. Fact and Value

2 Philosophical Strategies

I. Cartesian Mechanism vs. Context Dependence
II. Functionalism
III. Hermeneutics
IV. Pragmatism

3 Truth: An Axiological Hypothesis

I. Interpretation
II. Value and Valuation
III. Truth as the Carryover of Value
IV. The Hypothesis as a Theory of Truth

4 Participation: The Context of a Philosophy of Interpretation

I. Biological Participation
II. Cultural Participation
III. Semiotic Participation
IV. Purposive Participation

Division Two
Philosophic Foundations For A New Common Sense: An Axiological Metaphysics

Preliminary Remarks

5 Identity

I. The Problem of Identity
II. Identity in Metaphysics and Cosmology
III. Difference: Conditional Features
IV. Self-identity: Essential Features

6 Being and Primary Cosmology

I. Being and the Ontological Ground of Reality
II. Primary Cosmology
III. Form, Components, Actuality, and Goodness
IV. A Summary Theory of Reality

7 Value

I. Historical Reflections on "Value"
II. The "Objectivity" of Value
III. A Theory of Value
IV. Form and Value

8 Harmony: A Theory of Components

I. Claiming and Patterned Components: Extensionality
II. Achieved Components: Actual Space-Time
III. Harmonized Components: Cosmos and Chaos
IV. Knowledge of Value

Division Three
Philosophy of Nature: A Cosmology of Participation

Preliminary Remarks

9 Modalities of Time

I. Present
II. Past
III. Future
IV. The Being of Time

10 Temporal Things: Endurance, Perishing, and Change

I. Endurance
II. Perishing
III. Discursive Actuality
IV. The Temporal Structure of Human Being

11 Space and Motion

I. Space and Extensionality
II. Motion
III. Dynamics of the Space-Time Field
IV. Extensionality and the "Metaphysics of Presence"

12 Causation

I. Causation, Endurance, and Growth
II. Inertial Forces, Regularities, and Systems
III. Discursive Individuals
IV. Causation, Nature, and Interpretation

Division Four
Truth and Interpretation: A Measure Recovered
Preliminary Remarks

13 Network Meaning

I. On Language for Interpretation Theory
II. Rules, Networks, and Reference
III. The Development of Codes
IV. Formal Structure of Network Meaning

14 Content Meaning

I. Pragmatism and the Linguistic Turn
II. The Structure of Content Meaning
III. Human Representations
IV. Value and Deficiency in Content Meaning

15 Intentionality

I. Experience as Process
II. The Vector Character of Experience
III. Presentational Immediacy
IV. The Temporality of Intentional Life

16 Interpretation

I. Purpose
II. Context
III. Truth
IV. The World as Measure





"The world is as we interpret it. " Arguing that this assumption is a major and pervasive error, Neville demonstrates that the world is the measure of our interpretations. Distinguishing two traditions of hermeneutics, the continental tradition focusing on the interpretation of texts and the American tradition on the interpretation of nature; Neville argues that, since interpretation itself is part of the natural world, a philosophical vision of nature must be restored to currency in order to provide an interpretive theory of the world that can be a measure of interpretation. The natural world must be construed richly enough to be inclusive of human intention and purpose. By taking the discussion of hermeneutics from the context of textuality and placing it within that of nature, Recovery of the Measure provides a non-modernist and non-postmodernist theory of interpretation.

The first four chapters and the last four constitute a hermeneutical theory addressing contemporary problems of interpretation situated in the context of the philosophy of nature. The middle chapters provide a compact philosophy of nature dealing with being, identity, value, space, time, motion, and causation.

Robert Cummings Neville is the author of New Essays in Metaphysics; The Puritan Smile: A Look Toward Moral Reflection; The Tao and the Daimon; and Reconstruction of Thinking; all published by SUNY Press.


"Neville's systematic, self-conscious employment of Peirce's theory of the sign as a means of locating the project of a philosophy of nature within the context of contemporary hermeneutical thinking is extremely fortunate. By so doing Neville has opened his thought to a ready assessment by continental thinkers and has placed himself near the center of contemporary philosophic debate. Because of its timeliness, the brilliance of its arguments, and the profundity of its conclusions, there is good reason to believe that this work will shortly become the focus of genuine and widespread discussion. With the publication of this latest installment of his Axiology of Thinking, Neville emerges as one of the strongest voices in American philosophy. " — David L. Hall