I’m going to keep this short, not out of disrespect for my wonderful conversation partners (whose patience and persistence I greatly admire and appreciate) but first, because I don’t want to go on indefinitely about the topic, ’cause I have the distinct feeling that very few people care, and second, because I don’t want to slight Juliet, who’s been waiting patiently for my response, and by responding to whom I’m likely to engender another whole round of this carousel. So a very brief response to David Weinberger’s morning post at this point goes like this:
(a) David’s point about “imagining” and “attributing” set me back a pace or two, but in the end those words don’t differ with respect to the activity of the interpreter. That’s one reason I’ve been so tediously persistent about the metaphor of the web as shared imagination; I don’t construe “imagination” as a sort of solitary dreaming-up-without-connection-to-anything-else, which is what David’s use of the term sounds like to me.
(b) (This is the biggy.) How does my conviction that I understand God’s intention in Scripture differ from Pat Robertson’s conviction that he understands God’s intention in Scripture?
If there’s no cogent way of comparing those intuitive convictions — and I’m Wittgensteinian enough to believe there isn’t, though I hope Joseph Duemer will check me on this — then I maintain that my assertion, “But I really do understand God’s authorial intention,” (the asseveration for which David is waiting) is syntactically blank. It puts my waving fist into words, but it doesn’t say any more than “I’m right ’cos I know I am.”
If there is a cogent way of comparing my degree of rightness with Pat Robertson’s, or for that matter for comparing it to The Big Truth, then I hope someone will show me. So far as I’ve been able to tell, all I can do is compare arguments and interpretations with Pat (or David, or whomever), and make an informed (imaginative) judgment about which is the most satisfactory.
In other words, if I’m wrong about this, I’m wrong in a big way — I’m ignoring, almost deliberately, an avenue to the truth that others on the road traverse easily. At least I’m not alone, though, because the other wanderers must include some sponsors of integral hermeneutics who are absolutely sure they’re on the right track, but who are misled, with no way to account for their erring.
Whoops! I was going to promise Juliet she was next, but her Blogger misfortunes seem to have 404’ed her archives. That’s a lousy way to get out of an argument, but perhaps she’ll remind me of the weaknesses she saw in my argument.
DRMA: “Double Crossing Blues,” Johnny Otis Quintet; “I’m So Bored With the USA,” the Clash; “Down on Me,” Eddie Head and his Family; Theme from Albert Campion, PBS TV; “Marrow,” Ani DiFranco; “When You’re Alone,” Bruce Springsteen; “2000 Man,” the Rolling Stones.