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篇名
脈絡主義與歷史理解
並列篇名
Contextualism and Historical Understanding
作者 Hayden White
中文摘要
歷史理解與脈絡化(或視脈絡化為一種認識)之間關聯的問題包含雙重困境。首先,如果涉及對歷史現象的理解,便有確認所要瞭解之事(事件、機構、人物等)的問題。由於凡是與歷史相關之事都必定被視為存在(或起源)於過去,這些事情已不可能再次公開接受觀察,以進行就各種不同描述和公認的共同「原狀」之間的比較。如同閔陸易(Louis O.Mink)曾經論證,如果涉及比較同一歷史事件之各種不同描述,很難知道所謂「同一歷史事件」可能的含意為何。因此,我們的第一個問題牽涉到歷史學描述的認知狀態。某些歷史學者尋求藉由將所描述(且從而「被理解」,如果尚未「被解釋」)的事件置於其原始脈絡中的方式,以處理這個問題。這便產生了第二個問題。「脈絡」這個語詞和視脈絡化為一種解釋或理解一個歷史事件的方法的想法源自文本分析的實踐。此處,將一個字或詞置於其「脈絡」之中,以理解其意思,乃是以被分析的文本所使用語言的文法、語法、修辭和用語的規則等方面的知識為先決要件。然而,必須提到的是:當談到過去,正是一個特定事件及其脈絡的選擇與組合的規則──正是「文法」與「語法」──是必須被確定的。實際上,歷史發展、變化或演變的概念是假設不僅歷史上的事件與事物在持續變化之中,事件與事物之間彼此互相關聯所依循的原則也在變化當中。這意味著對事件及其脈絡之間的關聯加以描述和對被認為可藉由「脈絡化」本身被「理解」的事件加以描述同樣有問題。這一切暗示:我們或許可以運用一個關係模式的理論來處理(因脈絡化而產生的)理解的問題。顯然,真實生活(相對於文本)中的事情以各種不同的形式彼此互相關聯,物質或機械的因果關係只是其中之一。它們也可能(由於對抗而)互相對立,互相類似(同為某一屬類),或僅只是彼此近似(相當接近,或同屬於整體之部分)──或同時具有以上這些關係。要適切描述只能藉由檔案、紀念碑、殘件等方式予以辨識的某一發生於過去的事情及此事與其脈絡之間的關係時,常會採用被假定存在於事物──正在發生變化,且其所處脈絡本身也持續在變化中──間的所有關係形式。對這些事物的「理解」常包括各種不同的「承認」,不是對所描述事物的精髓或本質(的「承認」),而是對事物間可能存在關係的形式(的「承認」)。
英文摘要
The problem of the relation between historical understanding and contextualization (or contextualization as a kind of understanding) contains a double difficulty. First, when it is a matter of the understanding of a historical phenomenon, there is the problem of the identification of the thing (event, institution, person, etc.) to be understood. Since all things historical must be taken to exist (or to have originated) in a past, such things are no longer open to observation by which to compare different descriptions with their putatively common 'original.' As Louis O. Mink argued, when it is a matter of comparing different descriptions of the same historical event, it is difficult to know what 'same historical event' might mean. So, our first problem concerns the cognitive status of historiological descriptions. Some historians seek to deal with this problem by setting the event to be described (and thereby 'understood,' if not 'explained') within its original context. Here a second problem arises. The term 'context' and the idea of contextualization as a way of explaining or comprehending a historical event derive from the practice of textual analysis. Here to comprehend the meaning a word or phrase by setting it into its 'context' presupposes knowledge of the rules of the grammar, syntax, and rhetoric and diction of the language in which the text under analysis is cast. But it has to be said that, when it comes to the past, it is the very rules of selection and combination — the very 'grammar' and 'syntax' — of a given event and its context that have to be determined. Indeed, the idea of historical development, change, or evolution presumes that not only are events and things in history continually changing, but that the principles by which events and things are related to each other are changing as well. This means that the description of the relations between events and their contexts is as problematical as the description of the events that are supposed to be 'understood' by 'contextualization' themselves. All this suggests that we might approach the problem of understanding (by contextualization) by way of a theory of modes of relationship. Obviously, things in real life (as against texts) are related to one another in a variety of modalities, of which that of material or mechanistic causality is only one. They may be related also antithetically (by opposition), by similarity (generically), or merely by contiguity (relative proximity or as parts to wholes) — or all of these at once. An adequate description of a thing of the past that can be discerned only by way of documents, monuments, remains, etc., and of the thing's relationship to its context(s) would utilize all of the modalities of relationship presumed to exist among things which are undergoing changes within contexts which are themselves constantly changing. The 'understanding' of such things would consist of various kinds of 'recognition,' not of the essence or substances of the things described but of the modalities of their possible relationships.
起訖頁 1-19
關鍵詞 脈絡化描述脈絡關聯理解歷史的詞語的contextualizationdescriptioncontextrelationunderstandinghistoricalverbal
刊名 臺灣東亞文明研究學刊  
期數 201006 (7:1期)
出版單位 國立臺灣大學東亞經典與文化研究計畫
該期刊-下一篇 將人文學放在歷史視野中:關於人文學的脈絡化與理解的理論思考
 

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