While the West with its preoccupation with reason and rationality developed
the scientistic forms sciences which
ultimately results in novel technological achievements and hence progress in material culture, the Dravidian folks appear
to have developed the hermeneutic sciences which leads to developments in spiritual or psychological technologies and
hence improvements in mental and physical health. The essential principles of this form of science is more inclusive
than the mathetically oriented scientistics and hence incorporates a conception of human rationality that is more
comprehensive. There is a more inclusive concept of reason that has agitated the best of the Dravidian folks and has
finally enabled them to understand Metaphysica Universalis as outlined in the 13th cent. Civajnana Botham of
Meykandar. It should be noted that Metaphysica Universalis is possible only within the notion of Hermeneutic Sciences.
The phrase " vinaiyin n-Ingki viLangkiya aRivin munaivan"
that occurs in one of the sutras in TolkAppiyam outlines a
notion of OBJECTIVITY that is central to the Hermeneutic Science that we are trying to articulate here. Only an
individual who frees himself from prejudices of all sorts (vinai) and because of which he becomes an luminary
(munaivan) can be objective and see a thing as it is, as it discloses itself from within itself. This is phenomenology in the
true sense of the word (iyal n-eRi) and only a person who pursues his studies with this phenomenological stance well
established , can see TRUTHS and generate a TEXT that can be authoritative (muthal n-Ul)
Within the phenomenological attitude a person must be DETACHED
and hence be NOTHING at least during those
moments he is investigating something. Only when he keeps the possibility of NOTHINGNESS established firmly in
understanding can he remain detached, be free of prejudices and hence OBJECTIVE.
Now since objectivity as such is related to a way of Being and
hence SEEING it follows that genuine hermeneutic
sciences can be developed only by choosing UNDERSTANDING as that which ought to be investigated. Since human
understanding discloses itself as discourses of various kinds i.e. TEXTS in general, TEXTS are what ought to be
procured and investigated, something we see so eminently in the body of TolkAppiyam itself. Over and above the verbal
texts, the nonverbal texts such as those obtained in the Baum Test and Family Portrait Test and such other spontaneous
productions of man are also taken as TEXTS , very useful for gaining a true understanding of the machinations of the
2.The Notion of RELIABILITY in Hermeneutic Science
With this clarification it is possible now to explain the meaning of
RELIABITY as it obtains in the hermeneutic sciences.
The Hermeneutic Scientist in order to be truly OBJECTIVE , has to be NOTHING in terms of prejudices, at least during
those precious moments at which he is an investigator. He would then obtain a TEXT without tempering with the
productive processes, abstain from interference and such direct or indirect manipulations that would serve to project his
OWN ideas rather than that of the subject being investigated. The investigator is free to create a context of a kind for
otherwise TEXTS of useful kind cannot be obtained. Having created the necessary context in which the subject
produces, he should then withdraw himself from it, be ABSENT, be NOTHING subsequent to that so that subjects are
FREE to respond in a manner they see fit. The responding here is actually that of EXPRESSING himself so that what he
is himself gets a textual manifestation. In Hermeneutic Sciences, we do not obtain data on the basis experimentation
which are always manipulations of the subjects to test whether a particular hypothesis the experimenter has in mind,
holds or not.
The focus on analyzing expressions as such also means there
are no INSTRUMENTS in the hermeneutic sciences and
hence concerns as to whether a particular instrument is reliable or not, REALIABILTY being here something measurable.
It is understood that MAN IS NOT THE MEASURE of everything and hence acknowledging the possibility of
TRUTHS outside and above instrumental interventions. In Hermeneutic Sciences we investigate only TEXTS and they
are RELIABLE only when they are obtained as spontaneous productions of the subjects, expressions emerging out of
the subjects themselves and from within without being subjected to any manipulations. The personality of the investigator
must not be present either directly or indirectly in a manner that would affect the productive or expressive processes.
3.The Notion of VALIDITY
Having clarified the notion of RELIABILITY thus now we have to attend
to the important notion of VALIDITY.
Certainly the TEXT in relation to the way it is obtained is irrelevant to the notion of validity. For validity pertains to
JUDGEMENT and hence to the notion of TRUTH. The attitude of standing detached in the analysis of TEXTS is also
relevant here for it is within this attidute that TRUTHS can be sighted.
Now every TEXT, because it points to something beyond and above itself,
has DUAL STRUCTURE, the Surface
Structure (S.S) and Deep Structure (D.S ) . A preunderstanding of a text enables only a partial understanding of it. It
simultaneously points to a subjective condition of being IGNORANT pertaining to the meaning of the text as a whole. In
other words while we have only a partial understanding of a text, there is no translucency but rather an opacity in the
relationship between the investigator and the text. The subjectivity of the investigator is EXPOSED as ignorant and hence
necessitating the exercise of interpretive maneuvers to destroy it. When a person notes certain features of the S.S and
and remains ignorant of them, he seeks to locate some elements in the D.S that are causally related to them. Since the
causal presence comes along with simultaneity, the causation is not physical but rather AGENTIVE. The D.S elements
agentively determine the observable features of the S.S. and when a person successfully locates these agentive causes, he
UNDERSTANDS the text. Such an understanding when gets articulated generates a text about a text for which reason
we call it a METATEXT ( The Tamil linguists call it CeyyuL). Since there is the possibility of making mistakes, of
being in error and so forth, the question of the VALIDITY and the TRUTH of such claims emerge here. The
interpretation here is in fact ontopretations, a going beyond the surface features and reaching the deep structure
elements that in fact constitute them. The gaze goes beyond the surface and reaches the hidden, the concealed but which
are in the texts themselves, in situ. And when the right D.S. structure is sighted then it can also be SEEN by others. This
possibility of making others see what one succeeds in seeing ensures that what is seen is objectively there in the TEXT
itself and not simply a construction an imagination, a subjective fancy and what not.
Now since seeing what are there though concealed somewhat constitutes
seeing TRUTH it foollows that what is seen thus
Loganathan,K. Metaphysica Universalis of Meykandar (Available
in this Home Page under classical texts)