Nature and Ontological Status of Interpretation

Interpretatioan is the English translation of the latin interpretio, from interpres,which etymologically meant “ to spread abroad”. Accordingly, interpres came to mean an agent between two parties, a broker or negotiator and by extension an explainer, expounder, and translator. It meant “meaning,” an interpretation was equivalent to give the meaning of whatever was being interpreted.  Interpretatio was also taken to mean “translation”, “explanation” what was hidden and unclear, to make plain what was irregular, and to provide an accountof something or other.

There are the three main ways in which the term ‘interpretation’ is used in connection with text, in one way, an interpretation is the same things  as an understanding one has of the meaning of a text. In this sense, for example, when two different interpretation of the questions.

‘Interpretation’ is also frequently used to refer to a process or activity where by one develops an understanding of a text. Follow to grasp the meaning of the sentence, ‘minina is on the mat’ is called an interpretation. In this sense, an interpretation involves decoding the text to understand its message, it is not to be indentified with the message itself.

The term ‘Interpretation’ is also used in a third way, to refer to texts. Concerning the factors thet play a role in interpretations, an interpretation of a texts understood in the third sense indicated involves three factors: first, the texts being interpreted; second, the interpreter and third, a texts added to the texts that is being interpreted.

An Interpretation is as a definition is composed of a definienum, the term to be definied, and a definiens, the defining expression. ‘Man is a rational animal’ is definition in wich ‘man’ is the definiendum and ‘rational animal’ is the definiens. Likewise, and interpretation is composed of the texts to be interpreted, call it the interpretandum, and the commentary added to it, call it the interpretans. The text being interpreted [Interpretandum], then, is ontologically part of the interpretation, just as the definiendumis part of the definition.

What is added to a texts under interpretation, namely, the interpretans, is something other and therefore an interpretation is something more than the text under interpretation. The text under interpretation itself, whether written somewhere, spoken at some time, or mentally present in some mind, is not an interpretation. The interpretation comes in when the interprener begins to analyze the text and its elements into terms and concepts thet are not explicit in the text. What an interpretation adds to a text. The added text that is, the interpretans, as well as the interpretation and the text under interpretation can be mental, spoker, or written. Wich is the interpretation. The texts is in question are the actual text – wich can be in turn historical, intermediary, or contemporary -, the intended text, and the ideal text.

Indeed, in many cases there is no hope of ever recovering the historical text, as is the case with the works of most pre-Socastic Philosophers, and we must do with what we have. Moreover, in cases where there are several historical texts that reflect the evolution of an author’s thought through a period of time, interpreters must take them all in to consideration, keeping in mind the evolutionary processes that they reflect, if they are to provide historical interpretation.

Interpreter’s Dilemma and Function of Interpretations

The difficulty concerning the addition of a text (Interpretans) to a text under interpretation (Interpretandum) arises because it would appear that such an addition changes the text under interpretation and therefore, precludes the possibility of understanding its historical meaning.

There are three different specific functions: historical function aimsr re-create in the contemporary audience the acts of understandings of thehistorical author and the historical audience of the historical text. Meaning function is to produce in contemporary audiences acts of understandings of the historical author and historical audience of the text, revealing aspect of the meaning of the text with which their historical audiences were not acquainted. Implicative function, is to produce in contemporary audience acts of understading where by those audiences understands the implications of the meaning of the text, regardless of whether  the historical author and the historical audience were or were not aware of those implications.

Types of interpretations: textual Vs nontextual

Interpretations whose  main or only purpose is to produce understandings of the meaning of text and of  the implications of those meaning may be distinguished from a second sort.

A textual  interpretation is precisely the sort of interpretation we have been discussing in this chapter. There are 3 ways: first. As the re-creation of the acts of understanding of the historical author and the historical audience, that is, as the understanding of the historical author and the historical audience had second as the production of acts of understanding where by meaning of the text regardless of what historical author and historical audience thought is understood by the contemporary audience n third as the production of acts of understanding where by the implications of the meaning of the text are understood by the contemporary audience.

A nontextual interpretation is one that, although itmay be based on a textual interpretation, has something else as its primary aim even if such an aim involves or is a kindof understanding. The functions of nontextual interpretation are different from the three textual interpretation have and not primary directed toward the meaning of the text or its implication.

Number, truth, value and objectivity of interpretation

Of Textual interpretation: 1. Number. Textual interpretation will depend on how many commentaries on a text have been done, n it would have to be determined on the basis of empirical evidence. 2. truth Valu. Concerned with truth n falsity of textual interpretation have to begin by recalling that textual interpretations generally are texts in natural languages, n those text are composed of sentence. 3. objectivity n Subjectivity. Objectivity is counterpart of subjectivity. N subjectivity is a text composed of textual additions to a historical text,. Of nontextual interpretation is composed of many sentences some of which are not subject to truth value.

Understanding, meaning, n interpretation of interpretations

Some interpretations require textual interpretations to reveal what their authors n historical audiences understood by them but others may not. It all depends on the cultural n historical gap between the historical n the contemporary audience of the interpretations. N whether interpretations require other cultural interpretations will depend, as in the case of other texts, on the cultural function.


Text are historical entries. Interpretation involve 3 factors specific functions: historical, meaning, implicative. The objectivity n subjectivity of nontextual interpretation depends again on the objective or subjective nature of the causes that produce them.


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