Ricoeur did not produce a general theory of interpretation. His reflections on hermeneutics were themselves an instance of the philosophical practice of interpretation leading to insight into what ultimately underlies and enables such activity: the need to interpret in order to make sense of human life; the move from an initial understanding to greater understanding on the basis of critical reflection and an appeal to the imagination; interpolating explanatory techniques and procedures where understanding breaks down; appropriation of the meaning of discourse in terms of the world it projects, as a world one might inhabit. And finally: increased self-understanding.
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This year’s media prompt changed slightly. In the past, two prompts were given that read: “Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists” and “What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy?” This revised prompt feels more open-ended in the sense that no specific types of material were referenced . Again, you have the option of listing for all 50 words or picking a few and elaborating. However, you might want to avoid writing an extremely advanced work of literature or erudite publication down as your “favorite” (unless it really is the case!). If possible, try to strike a balance between things that are pure enjoyment and things that are educational.
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"How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please read the story of what happened and what it tells us about the nature of human nature."
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