chapter  2
36 Pages

The Strains in the Realist/Anti-realist Framework

There is a serious danger inherent in the practice of reinterpreting a work in the context of an explanatory framework which is wholly extraneous to the 'horizons' of meaning - as the hermeneuticians would say - of the original book. For the framework itself soon begins to take over, introducing themes and obstacles which distort what the author himself believed he was engaged in or had accomplished, and which initiate heated controversies that are unrelated to the central concerns of his work. Subtle shifts in emphasis and perception are thus produced which lead one into over-hasty generalisations, and perhaps into misinterpretation. It may be true that alt~rnative critical frameworks can open up an entirely new and profound dimension to a text, but the allure of such potential insights must not blind us to the ever-present need for meticulous study of the new terms which we seek to impose on the author and their relevance to his thought.