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The Challenge of Coleridge: Hermeneutics, Ethics, and Romanticism (Sun Microsystems Press Java Series)
by:David P. Haney
An effort to enrich current debates over how interpretation and ethics are related by drawing on the resources of British Romanticism. "Haney opens a rich dialogue between ColeridgeÂ’s thinking on ethical issues and that of a wide range of our contemporaries. He escapes the reductive dichotomies that afflict recent critiques of Romanticism and shows that...
An effort to enrich current debates over how interpretation and ethics are related by drawing on the resources of British Romanticism. "Haney opens a rich dialogue between ColeridgeÂ’s thinking on ethical issues and that of a wide range of our contemporaries. He escapes the reductive dichotomies that afflict recent critiques of Romanticism and shows that Coleridge has something significant to contribute to current ethical reflection." Â—Don Marshall, University of Illinois at Chicago Interweaving past and present texts, The Challenge of Coleridge engages the British Romantic poet, critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in a "conversation" (in Hans-Georg GadamerÂ’s sense) with philosophical thinkers today who share his interest in the relationship of interpretation to ethics and whose ideas can be both illuminated and challenged by ColeridgeÂ’s insights into and struggles with this relationship. In his philosophy, poetry, theology, and personal life, Coleridge revealed his concern with this issue, as it manifests itself in the relation between technical and ethical discourse, between fact and value, between self and other, and in the ethical function of aesthetic experience and the role of love in interpretation and ethical action. Relying on GadamerÂ’s hermeneutics to supply a framework for his approach, Haney connects ColeridgeÂ’s ideas with, among others, Emmanuel LevinasÂ’s other-oriented notion of ethical subjectivity, Paul RicoeurÂ’s view about the otherÂ’s implication in the self, reinterpretations of Greek drama by Bernard Williams and Martha Nussbaum, and Gianni Vattimo's post-Nietzschean hermeneutics. Coleridge is treated not as a product of Romantic ideology to be deconstructed from a modern perspective, but as a writer who offers a "challenge" to our modern tendency to compartmentalize interpretive issues as a concern for literary theorists and ethical issues as a concern for philosophers. Looking at the two together, Haney shows through his reading of Coleridge, can enrich our understanding of both.
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