The Dilemma of Context

The Dilemma of Context

BEN-AMI SCHARFSTEIN
Copyright Date: 1989
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 236
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qg89q
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  • Book Info
    The Dilemma of Context
    Book Description:

    In The Dilemma of Context, Scharfstein contends that the problems encountered with context are insoluble. He explains why this problem lays an intellectual burden on us that, while remaining inescapable,can become so heavy it destroys the understandingit was created to further.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-8874-5
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. 1 CONTEXTUAL PROBLEMS AND TENSIONS
    (pp. 1-50)

    The termcontext, the dictionaries tell us, is derived from the Latincontextus, the past participle ofcontextere, which means to weave together or to join together. In a now-obsolete usage, it referred to the weaving together of words or to the continuous discourse produced by the weaving. It also referred and still refers to the words that help determine the meaning of a word or passage they surround. But the meaning that concerns us is obviously more general. I venture the following definition: Context is that which environs the object of our interest and helps by its relevance to...

  6. 2 CONTEXTUAL DILEMMAS AND LIMITATIONS
    (pp. 51-138)

    So far, a single idea has dominated: To understand human beings or cultures, we must understand their contexts. The idea has been corroborated by examples of blindness to context. But though we look on this blindness as a lack, it is the sign of a full, natural immersion in one context rather than another. The vice of blindness, as we have seen, is the virtue of conformity, the evidence being that those who succeed best in overcoming the blindness are those most likely to suffer from contextual ambivalence and to be nonconformists or misfits. Maybe this is only another kind...

  7. 3 CONTEXTUAL HESITATIONS AND SOLUTIONS
    (pp. 139-194)

    If it is best to refuse the choice between contextualism and its opposite, a question suggests itself: Should such a refusal be extended to other, similar opposites? If the question is about the kinds of opposites we have been dealing with, including the relative and absolute and the individual and general, my answer has consistently been, yes, it is best to refuse. The reasons for my refusal should by now be obvious; but I do not want to leave any cardinal issue without making my attitude as clear as I can, so I will linger briefly on the issue of...

  8. REFERENCES
    (pp. 195-210)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 211-221)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 222-223)