Dissertation news

Dissertation: Creative Action as a Hermeneutical Viewpoint (Pirttimaa)


6.10.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki, S212 Vanha juhlasali
M.A. Vesa Pirttimaa defends his doctoral dissertation in Education: "Luova toiminta hermeneuttisena horisonttina – Kevin J. Vanhoozerin käsitys draamasta, eettisestä kasvusta ja oppimisesta".

Opponent Professor Emeritus Timo Airaksinen (University of Helsinki) and Custos Professor Tapio Puolimatka (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish. 


Creative Action as a Hermeneutical Viewpoint – Drama, Learning and Ethical Progress in Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s Theory

The aim of this research is to analyze Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s theory of creative action as a hermeneutical viewpoint in the light of learning and ethical development. The method used in this research is systematic analysis. Vanhoozer’s understanding of action differs strongly from that of Marx and of Dewey. By turning to philosophical hermeneutics he finds a way through Aristotle’s drama theory where creative action is a basis for the Gadamerian horizon, but instead of fusing the horizons Vanhoozer sees it as the viewpoint of Bakhtinian outsider, which in turn provides an opportunity to critique the surrounding culture. The horizon becomes wider and clearer through improvisation and spontaneity because then the hermeneutical tension grows stronger.

Cultural plots exist behind cultural symbols and signs, which have a tendency to steer people’s lives and thwart the imagination. However, the catharsis of cosmic drama sets the imagination free again. Vanhoozer understands drama altogether differently than does Derrida, for whom mimique is the basis of mimesis because it sets the play and drama free of all reference. In Vanhoozer’s theory, action as drama always has a reference through plot and the mimesis of action. This reference is why action is also ethically binding and has a reference in transcendence, which gives a strongly ethical focus and meaning. The whole question of morality is also understood in a new way through plots, which offer a thoroughly new perspective on ethics, one in which creativity is the fundamental basis.