Joe Kincheloe's Critical Complex Epistemology/Pedagogy & Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

Critical Symbiotic Hermeneutics

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In Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, Joe explains that critical hermeneutics falls under the category of "philosophical hermeneutics" and it "is an exercise in developing interpretive ability, the scholarly facility of knowledge workers in any domain (p. 245, 247). He explains:
A critical complex epistemology is particularly interested in producing research and knowledge that are more open-ended, less finalized, more creative, performative, and more rigorous. In critical pedagogy we want to accomplish all of these things and do them in a more accessible and reader friendly way. In this context, critical hermeneutics plays a key role in this effort to make our way through the smoky forest, the foggy night of the mysterious world to which we are connected. In the smoke and the fog our critical complex hermeneutic goal is not to provide a mimetic image of what our ethnographies see or our histories uncover. Instead, criticalists are interested in moving from FIDUROD's correspondence epistemology to an interpretation of relationship, significance, and relevance for action. . . . A critical complex hermeneutics asks what meaning do phenomena hold for humans, other species on the planet, and the planet itself. . . . Employing the genius of hermeneutics, criticalists extend their efforts to make meaning--that leads to emancipatory action--about humans and the physical and social surroundings in which they live. Of course, these physical and social surroundings are inseparable from whom we are as human beings--they are not separate entities (p. 245).

And to put it more boldly, he states:

It is impossible for me to understand how FIDUROD and its positivist predecessor dismissed the importance of interpretation/hermeneutics in the research act. Indeed, in this reductionistic epistemological context that values only empirical knowledge, interpretation is a sign of vulnerability--it is the admission of a small penis in the locker room of macho empiricism. Indeed, interpretation is the strategy of those wimpy researchers who don't have the cohones to provide us with unbiased (fair and balanced?) accounts of pure facts. The great irony here in the smelly epistemological locker room is that interpretation is always present even when the cries of objective empiricism are the loudest. Thus, in a critical complex epistemology interpretation is brought out of the closet, rendered overt, made self-conscious, and subjected to evaluation (p. 128).


He continues by explaining that critical complex hermeneutics is "complex in that it has engaged with complexity theory" (p. 247).

On pages 245-248 and in his other works, he discusses these concepts in greater detail, and in my dissertation, I provide an analysis of his critical symbiotic hermeneutics.


Big Deal-Catch Up 
“As a child I wanted so desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking, p. 13)
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