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2019 Vol. 10 № 4

The philosophy of the text as texts of philosophy

Abstract

The conceptualization of the philosophy of the text requires a preliminary idea about the ways of the textual presentation of philosophy as such. At the same time, philosophical views per se are difficult to classify and systematize — at best, they are arranged by eras and cultural-ethnic factors. In this regard, it seems fruitful and justified not to build various rationalistic constructions but to take an open look at the very existence of philosophizing. From such perspectives, philosophy appears not so much a single, monolithic, and strictly ordered system as a ‘system of systems’ that are interrelated, interconnected, and reminiscent of Ludwig Wittgenstein's ‘family of language games’. Philosophy is a universal, ultimate understanding of the world, society, human beings, and their self-determination in this rea­lity. In this interpretation, being in itself appears as a text. Philosophizing as such is reali­zed in various forms of textualization, which are the focus of this article. Verbal textualization (sing­le words, paremia, aphoristics, parables, detailed plots, hermeneutic interpretations, con­ceptual systems) does not exclude visual, activity-driven textualizations and their mutual translations. Philosophy is capable of taking on diverse, dissimilar forms. It is as diversified as the paths of human self-determination, self-awareness, self-explanation, and self-justification. The­refore, the claims to exclusiveness and validity of any one way to textualize philosophizing do not seem justified.

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‘Reaching out’ beyond the text: philosophical notes

Abstract

In this article, I define the concept of text and briefly discuss the related concepts of speech and discourse. I demonstrate how the humanities treat texts and examine the structur­al-semiotic and the hermeneutic approach. Further, I identify both the differences between these approaches and the similarities in the ways they interpret texts. I argue that the philo­sophical approach seeks to go beyond the text as far as possible without leaving it altogether and stress that the divide between the humani­ties approach and the philosophical approach to the text lies in their methods. I emphasise that language has a synthesizing role within the philosophical approach to the text. Finally, I draw attention to the ‘science of communication’, within which the message as a whole is conceptualized.

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The Book of Life in the hermeneutics of Johann Georg Hamann

Abstract

In this article, I consider the philosophy of the Book in the context of reflections on her­meneutics in the works of the 18th-century Königsbergian thinker Johann Georg Hamann. Hamann’s bibliocentric hermeneutics treats the ‘philosophy of the Book’ as the question as to whether the experience of truth as such is possible. In the light of his hermeneutics, the fate of ontology is a function of the quality of reading since its dialogical nature directly determines a person’s special hermeneutic responsibility towards all that exists. In being the Book of Life, all that exists communicates with the human being as if it were the Book. It does so within the complex dialectics of objectivation in the epistemological linguisticality of a prophet, a scien­tist, or a poet and, through them, reaches out to countless generations of the Reader, who is voluntarily or involuntarily involved in the existential fate of the ontological dialogue. The ‘death of the Book’, or the transformation of the Book into a simulacrum, may confirm the diagnosis given by many modern philosophers: the world of culture is turning into an autoch­thonous flicker of hybrid quotations ruins.

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The text in the context of the Tartu Semiotic School: problems and prospects

Abstract

In this article, I discuss problems associated with the emergence and development of the concept of text, which is central to the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School (TMS). The first prob­lem is the interrelation between statics and dynamics. From the perspective of classical struc­turalism, the language system is a static entity. The generation of a text, however, is a dy­namic process. Therefore, language should contain the possibility of dynamics. The TMS of­fered a twofold solution to this dilemma. Firstly, the text was assumed to have a polysemiotic nature: the verbal text is encoded not by one, but by several sign systems. Secondly, there was an idea of the activity, memory, and responsibility of the text. The two major lines of research within the TMS developed accordingly. The first one focused on polysemiotic systems and mechanisms: the theory of poetic language, translation theory, and intersemiotic interactions in various fields of biosemiotics. The second one explored interactions between the text and the discourse, the semiotics of history, ideology, etc.

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Textonics: an introduction to electronic philology

Abstract

Digital philology studies texts and textuality in electronic networks and the ways of their reading, writing and transformation. Electronic texts are much more fluid and transformable than paper texts and oral utterances. Textonics is a combination of theoretical and practical work with digital texts, the use of the Internet and all the capabilities of computer technology to create new sign ensembles, to develop new genres of intellectual creativity, and to rethink and reorganize existing textual formations. This article introduces a number of theoretical concepts, denoting different configurations of digital texts: megatext — a collection of texts that are perceived and studied as a single thematic or semantic whole; unitext — the totality of all megatexts; supratext — the text of a higher order in relation to the given one; syntexts united by a common supratext and functioning as synonyms with respect to each other; peritext — a list of syntexts, a table of contents as presented by a search engine. Each author and researcher of electronic texts has to interact with the entire Web: each word has to be properly placed not only within its immediate context, but also in the supratexts of its usage by other authors throughout the history of writing. As a result, the main philological proce­dure is shifting: interpretation, as a deep-semantic reading of a text, is increasingly supersed­ed by its retextualization, transformation, expansion or narrowing of its sign frameworks. The internet makes it easy to synthesize new texts that integrate or disperse the initial, ana­lysed text via quotes or hyperlinks. Thus, coherent, linear reading and writing give way to the paradigmatic, cross-cutting approach. With the proliferation of automatic translation pro­grams and the multilingual competence of readers, the interaction among languages also changes: translation as a search for equivalence gives way to an interlation, a constructive metamorphosis that plays on the inequivalence of different languages.

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‘What can be described can happen too…’: describing text semantics as a model structure of transworld relationships

Abstract

In this article, I explore the content-related and formal aspects of describing the multidi­mensional semantic organization of a text, particularly, I focus on the possibility of using the apparatus of modal semantics to identify the relationship between sentential complexes. To those ends, I employ the concepts of model, model structure, and centred world. The latter is a system of functions that correlate language expressions, the language expressions of a text, states of affairs (possible worlds) described by language expressions, and the contexts in which a text occurs. Existence in the worlds of the text correlates with the possibility of description. Presumably, the text is a twofold notion: it refers to a linear sequence of segments and a mul­tidimensional semantic structure. In this work, I demonstrate the possibilities of integrating both approaches. I consider the correlation between the mechanisms of text coherence, on the one hand, and the relationships of transworld accessibility and of the identification of de­scribed individuals across possible worlds, on the other. Probably, the variety of cohesion mechanisms does not make it possible to use a single identification mechanism and requires taking into account various competing approaches. I illustrate the above conclusions, using Pushkin’s draft ‘If I were Tsar…’

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A philosophical framework for presenting novelty in a poetic text

Abstract

Texts of different eras relate to varying degrees to the question of generating and present­ing novelty. Recent poetry has been undergoing visible changes in poets’ attitudes to demon­strating linguistic novelty in texts. Young poets write texts that do not use the established algorithms of presenting and perceiving the new but disguise or surreptitiously reveal appar­ent novelty. One must explore the current practices of hedging against the new in the light of the philosophy of the text and in the context of the need to reconsider methods for studying the language of poetry. The possibility to decipher a poetic text is not embedded in it as an algo­rithm. The linguistic strategy of resisting the contemporary despotism of creativity results in the growing idiomaticity of both individual fragments of a poetic text and a text as a whole.

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Experiences in translation: the text as a pattern, the pattern as a text

Abstract

In this article, we discuss the methodological prospects of using the term ‘pattern’ in the analysis of a literary text. We identify the semantic and categorial field of the term, propose a definition of ‘pattern’ as projected on language material, and correlate the terms ‘pattern’, ‘repetition’, ‘recurrence’, and others. The linguistic ontology of the pattern as a text-generating mechanism is determined by the fact that the pattern problematizes the relation­ship between repetition and variation, singular and plural, a norm and a deviation. A text has a pattern nature if its basic pattern does not coincide with its textual realizations, provided the latter are very similar at the prototype or model level. Therefore, the relationship between the pattern and a resultant text is isomorphic to the relationship between language and speech. Our analysis of poetic texts by Andrey Monastyrsky and Dmitri Prigov demonstrates the possibilities of studying a text as the realization of a pattern from the perspective of vari­ous literary strategies adopted by authors.

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Text reinterpretation and the motif of transformation in a short form of Internet poetry

Abstract

In this article, I analyse the vehicles of humour in two short forms of Internet poetry that developed in the 2000s: the pirozhok (literary, a ‘stuffed bun’) and the poroshok (‘powder’). Poems of these genres are quatrains written in iambic tetrameter. Pirozhoks have no rhyme scheme, whereas, in poroshoks, the fourth line truncated to two syllables rhymes with the second line. The poroshok as a genre is a descendant of the pirozhok. Just as in jokes and several other genres, a punchline plays an important role in pirozhoks and poroshoks. In Russian, the punchline is termed puant, which is a borrowing from French (la pointe). The truncation of the final line in a poroshok puts it in a special position. The truncated line, independently or together with the third line, comprises the punchline of a poroshok. The punchline is practically mandatory and may be presented in greater detail inasmuch as it does not simply violate the reader’s expectations but enters into conflict with the beginning of the verse and forces the reader to reinterpret it. Reinterpretation manes that readers change their perception of the situation or carry out a ‘transformation’, that is, substitute the character or the entire situation. I identify common transformations, namely: thing → person, person → thing, person → animal, etc. Most frequent is the reciprocal transformation of men and cats. The transformation motif binds objects in the manner of a metaphor.

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