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The Meaning Of Meaning

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Chapter Summary

Meaning is problematic, in no small part, because it is always subject-referring - it does not reside 'objectively' in the situation or context in question. Taylor rejects scientistic approaches that deny the relevance of subject-referring properties from the range of possibly valid interpretations, for they cannot even begin to account for the full range of human actions and motivations. Taylor's hermeneutical approach seeks to re-interpret meaningful experience in such a way as to arrive at a 'best account' of it. In this chapter, the author hopes to provide a 'better account' of the human condition in modern societies at the beginning of the twenty-first century, even while allowing that this account is subject to alternative interpretations. The chapter focuses on Castoriadis' conceptualization of the magma. Castoriadis argued that each field - each particular logic - must provide its own foundations, for these foundations do not exist external to discourse.

Keywords: Castoriadis; magma; modern societies; Taylor's hermeneutical approach; theory of meaning

10.1163/ej.9789004181724.i-266.7
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