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The hermeneutic circle: a key to critical reading

Consider the context

When practising critical reading, it is crucial to be aware of the context of the text.

Before reading a text, ask :

  • What do you want to gain from reading this topic?
  • What are your existing beliefs?
  • What do you think you know about the topic already?
  • What philosophical movement does the author belong to?
  • How does this text fit within their main work?
  • Take into account the historical and cultural context of the text, the author, and yourself.

It is not practical to go through this process every time you read, but keeping these questions in mind will help you to understand the text.

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Translation And Interpretation
Translation And Interpretation

They require an ability to be able to understand two or more languages and accurately express the content and information in the other language.

Translations need not be binary, but sho...

Source Language and Target Language
  • Source Language: is the original message or content
  • Target Language: is the resulting outcome after the translation or the interpretation.

Translation and interpretation work well if it is the native language of the translators and it is essential to recognize the cultures of both the source and target languages, in order to fully adopt the content.

The Difference between Translation and Interpretation

While both translation and interpretation have the same purpose: making the information or content accessible in another language, there is one major difference.

Translation is done in a written format, while interpretation is oral. Translators, therefore, are excellent writers, while interpreters have great communication skills.

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

Robert J Hanlon
Hanlon’s Razor Explained
  • We tend to associate completely disconnected events in a unique way, fitting them into our ‘story’, the narratives we build to create our distorted version of reality.
  • The patterns we think exist may not actually do so, but that does not stop us from assuming negative intent or malice in all that happens around us.
  • We need to realize that the world does not revolve around us and try to approach situations and events in a neutral, objective manner.
The Way To Apply Hanlon’s Razor

The basic rules that we need to apply:

  1. Move from assuming bad intentions towards exploring other causes.
  2. Engage in active communication.
  3. Embrace opportunities.
  4. Stay positive and driven.
  5. Stop blaming and focus on creative problem-solving.
  6. Assume a neutral, unbiased position.

Hanlon’s razor is a potent mental model which can be used in any situation where our first instinct is a negative assumption. Any wrong hypothesis related to the bad intentions of others is counterproductive and can play havoc in our lives.

The Meaning Of Meaning
The Meaning Of Meaning

The meaning of life generally means the relevance, significance or value of the same.

The quest for meaning is not a simple one, but a rabbit’s hole of further queries, ma...

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The question of meaning can be applied both to the individual (Terrestrial) and the world (Cosmic).

  • Terrestrial meaning tries to offer an answer to the question of the meaning of one’s own life.
  • Cosmic meaning delves into life in general, with religious and spiritual dimensions, looking at the macro-view.
"A Meaning" Vs "The Meaning"
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  • ‘The’ Meaning, on the other hand, is concerned with the integrated reference point inside the individual, helping him or her navigate life.