Natural science as a hermeneutic of instrumentation

Philosophy of Science 50 (2):181-204 (1983)
The author proposes the thesis that all perception, including observation in natural science, is hermeneutical as well as causal; that is, the perceiver (or observer) learns to 'read' instrumental or other perceptual stimuli as one learns to read a text. This hermeneutical aspect at the heart of natural science is located where it might be least expected, within acts of scientific observation. In relation to the history of science, the question is addressed to what extent the hermeneutical component within scientific observation opens natural science to the charge of reflecting merely cultural values, and of providing merely a culturally acceptable reading of the "Book of Nature", rather than, as the author states, one stating universal antecedent conditions of possibility of cultural activity itself.
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DOI 10.1086/289105
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Dimitri Ginev (2012). Two Accounts of the Hermeneutic Fore-Structure of Scientific Research. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):423-445.
Patrick A. Heelan (1998). The Scope of Hermeneutics in Natural Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):273-298.
Dimiter Ginev (1988). Scientific Progress and the Hermeneutic Circle. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (3):391-395.

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