Late work in the field of history of ancient civilisation of South Asia have led me to the analysis of logic among various scholars and their respective fields of study.
This analysis led to the observation that sources from which history is being communicated are more often the object of interpretation than description. Interpretation is the fruit of induction and is situated on the opposite of deduction, the latter leading to reality rather than imaginary.
An example is the presence of paleolithic drawings on the inner face of caves. The artwork can be described in detail. It can represent a bull or a horse or whatever. Some scholars however interpret these and try to give them a sense. They will for example say that the drawings were painted after hunting, to celebrate the fruit of the hunt. Some will say they were drawn to keep the spirit of the animal after its death, and others that the drawings were rituals to request a fruitful hunt from the gods. Please note that the idea that horses were drawn out of sheer boredom is less commonly presented.
The inherent inefficacy of such an interpretative process (which has in some cases led to major cultural conflicts) has caused the reconsideration of many who preferred to opt for Post Processulaism. The idea was simple: stick with what you can observe. So when seeing a horse painted on a cave we can simply say that "the contemporary inhabitants have drawn a horse on the face of the cave", the actual document does not tell us anything more.
This is a very different thinking process. We do not look at a document to understand what the document tells about X, but rather look at it to see what it says about itself. The re-analysing of prior studies has in parallel being manifested in what is called Deconstructionism, that is the analysis of authors through their interpretative work. So when an article tells about a statue representing a humanoid female body and explains it is a "mother goddess", reconstructionists will attempt to analyse why the author has interpreted the statues in that way, and what does it tells us about the author?
Now you must think: "OK Benjamin, are you sure you haven't mistaken as to which blog you are writing the post in?"
Well see while studying the subject above, the self-reflective aspect has had effect on my own interpretations. Not only i can see an object and describe it, but i can interpret it. So i can stick to this... and no more, reducing the chance of imagination or at the best, dissociating imagination from reality.
But behold it
is not the end. When a thought, either descriptive or interpretative pops up in my mind, is it not a document too, telling something about itself? And that which is composing the thought, what can be said about it?
Then the question arises: This idea of ME which i carry with me and rely on as one relies on a dictionary, is it not the result of interpretation? Isn't it imaginary? And who is asking this now?