Understanding Versus Explanation? How to Think about the Distinction between the Human and the Natural Sciences
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 55 (1):17 - 32 (2012)
Abstract This essay will argue systematically and from a historical perspective that there is something to be said for the traditional claim that the human and natural sciences are distinct epistemic practices. Yet, in light of recent developments in contemporary philosophy of science, one has to be rather careful in utilizing the distinction between understanding and explanation for this purpose. One can only recognize the epistemic distinctiveness of the human sciences by recognizing the epistemic centrality of reenactive empathy for our understanding of rational agency, that is, by emphasizing the psychological component in the concept of understanding that nineteenth-century philosophers like Droysen, in contrast to twentieth-century hermeneutic philosophers, still acknowledged. In addition, the essay will show in detail that merely pointing to the fact that narratives have a cognitive function in the domain of the human sciences, as is common among philosophers of history, does not provide us with a sufficient demarcation criterion for distinguishing between the human and natural sciences
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Hans-Georg Gadamer (2013). Wahrheit und methode. Bijdragen 34 (2):118-122.
A. Macintyre (1984). After Virtue. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Shaun Gallagher & Daniel D. Hutto (2008). Understanding Others Through Primary Interaction and Narrative Practice. In J. Zlatev, T. Racine, C. Sinha & E. Itkonen (eds.), The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity. John Benjamins 17â38.
J. David Velleman (1996). The Possibility of Practical Reason. Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press 504.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Neil Cooper (1995). The Epistemology of Understanding. Inquiry 38 (3):205 – 215.
H. L. Dreyfus (2011). Medicine as Combining Natural and Human Science. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):335-341.
Joseph Becker (1993). The Essential Nature of the Method of the Natural Sciences: Response to A. T. Nuyen's "Truth, Method, and Objectivity: Husserl and Gadamer on Scientific Method". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (1):73-76.
Karsten Stueber (2006). Rediscovering Empathy: Agency, Folk Psycholgy, and the Human Sciences. MIT Press.
Rolf Gruner (1967). Understanding in the Social Sciences and History. Inquiry 10 (1-4):151 – 163.
Aaron D. Cobb (2010). Natural Philosophy and the Use of Causal Terminology: A Puzzle in Reid's Account of Natural Philosophy. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 8 (2):101-114.
Karsten Stueber, Empathy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Frank Cunningham (1967). More on Understanding in the Social Sciences. Inquiry 10 (1-4):321-326.
Gurpreet Mahajan (1997). Explanation and Understanding in the Human Sciences. Oxford University Press.
Adam Włodarczyk (2009). Dedukcyjno-nomologiczny model wyjaśniania Hempla a wyjaśnianie w naukach humanistycznych. Filozofia Nauki 4.
Jakub Čapek (2008). Explanation and Understanding: Action as “Historical Structure”. Philosophia 36 (4):453-463.
Donald McIntosh (1997). Husserl, Weber, Freud, and the Method of the Human Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (3):328-353.
Adam Konopka (2009). The Role of Umwelt in Husserl's Aufbau and Abbau of the Natur/Geist Distinction. Human Studies 32 (3):313 - 333.
A. R. (2003). The Cognition-Knowledge Distinction in Kant and Dilthey and the Implications for Psychology and Self-Understanding. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (1):149-164.
Added to index2012-01-19
Total downloads58 ( #73,868 of 1,907,145 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #199,337 of 1,907,145 )
How can I increase my downloads?