Series created by Jean Bollack in 1976, supervised by Fabienne Blaise, André Laks and Philippe Rousseau.
Interpretations of ancient or modern works abound, add up, contradict each other and often ignore one another. This plurality, indefinitely open, is immediately doubled by the theoretical justifications attempting to explain it: each interpretation, if it is valuable, defines quality standards with their own hierarchy, and in this way, distinguish itself from other interpretations.
Hence the following questions: can a dialogue be initiated between positions thus constituted? Are heterogeneous points of view so radically opposed that they can't be reconciled, as current perspectivism would have it, or could bridges be drawn between conflicting points of view? That is to say, could a regulated, contradictory, but at the same time enlightening debate be instituted within interpretation sciences? This question immediately prompts a second, and even more fundamental, one: what then of the underlying categories behind decipherings, what of the schemes used to build meaning(s) and what of—to put it in a nutshell— everything that shapes the critical apparatus of interpretations? What does one read behind readings? The example of classical philology only goes to show that avoiding such a public debate pushes interpretations, from one school or one country to the other, to develop themselves in parallel, according to their own idea of legitimacy, ignoring each other in the meanwhile. Objects, texts and methods tried and tested in publishing and critical analysis are the only common references left then.
The Cahiers de philology series will chart this new necessity for interpretation sciences to self-reflect. The interpretative work will be presented and discussed here according to different levels of relevance—hypotheses and concrete results, preconditions—in two distinct series:
• Following the principles of a defined hermeneutic, works in the Les textes series will give detailed interpretations of literary and philosophical texts from Antiquity.
• The Apparat critique series will gather (or bring forth) essays, individual or collective, aiming at defining the deciphering conditions, for philology at large (as a "sciences of works"), for historical knowledge, and more generally, for the whole of human sciences. Each volume will come back on the history of those (conceptual, but also cultural or institutional) conditions, discuss the legitimacy of the models used and the methodological issues brought forward by the reflection on “new historical objects”. One of the central rules to this common reflection will be, from one volume to the next or within the same collective work, for criticism to be able to express itself freely.