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HermeneuticaComputer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities$
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Geoffrey Rockwell and Stéfan Sinclair

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034357

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034357.001.0001

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Agile Hermeneutics and the Conversation of the Humanities

Agile Hermeneutics and the Conversation of the Humanities

(p.191) 11 Agile Hermeneutics and the Conversation of the Humanities

Geoffrey Rockwell

Stéfan Sinclair

The MIT Press

The concluding chapter returns to the method in the digital humanities. It argues that the humanities can be thought of as a dialogue over time and that computing methods have a place in this dialogue and that that place is not one of replacing interpretation, but enhancing it. To do this the chapter looks back at Plato’s Phaedrus and the Socratic critique of text technologies as not being responsive or interactive. We don’t claim that computing tools are interactive as Socratic dialogue, but we show the ways that interactive tools like Voyant can be placed into dialogue with electronic texts as “hermeneutica” with which others can interact. The chapter ends with a discussion of the importance of failure in text analysis and the dangers of computing as a form of keeping busy in interpretation.

Keywords:   Plato, Failure, Dialogue, Humanities, Method

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