This title was first published in 2002: Drawing extensively upon recent developments in post-phenomenological philosophy, especially 'the textual turn' exemplified by Paul Ricoeur, Jacques Derrida and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, this book explores the role that textual narratives have in the possibility of reasonably affirming the intelligibility of the world. Shorthouse reveals how textual narratives can play a primary role in affirming rational meaning in a continuing hermeneutical process. Offering a radically new approach to metaphysics, Shorthouse demonstrates that rational meaning is ontologically grounded in terms of a transcendental viewpoint or perspective. It is this grounding which transcends the language and the self in a hermeneutical movement towards the affirmation of rational meaning. Revealing that the critical characteristic of reading a narrative is rhythm, Shorthouse explains how each narrative has a rhythmic structure, or prose rhythm, in relation to its semantic and figurative characteristics, activity and mood. Two key questions are explored: what kind of rational unity may be affirmed which does not close or suspend reflection? and what kind of linguistic mediation may generate an extralinguistic, or transcendental element in establishing an ontological grounding for this affirmation? The response to both these questions is presented in terms of textual sonority, where Shorthouse draws upon, and develops, Maurice Merleau-Ponty's notion of sonorous being.
’The central argument that textual narratives play a role in affirming rational meaning in an ongoing hermeneutical movement will be of great interest to many readers from a variety of disciplines - philosophy, theology, cultural and literary studies etc. This is a highly original and engaging work.’ Professor Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The question of presence; Presence and metaphor; Metaphor and narrative; Prose rhythm: the mediation of sonorous being; The primordial dialectic and temporal perspective; Self and other; The creative imagination; Reasonable hope; A new metaphysics; Bibliography; Appendix; Index.
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