Hermeneneutics and the social sciences: A Gadamerian critique of Rorty

Inquiry 28 (1-4):339 – 357 (1985)
Richard Rorty challenges the traditional use of hermeneutic understanding to defend the methodological autonomy of the social sciences, claiming that hermeneutics is part of both social and natural science and, moreover, that it exposes the limits of ?epistemologically centered philosophy?. Hermeneutics is interested in edification rather than truth, in finding new ways of speaking rather than adjudicating knowledge claims or securing the grounds of rational consensus. Although Rorty refers to Gadamer's ?philosophical hermeneutics? as support for this position, Gadamer's own analysis points in a different direction. First, it distinguishes the social from the natural sciences as forms of practical, not theoretical, knowledge. As hermeneutic analyses, the social sciences participate in an on?going dialogue about values and forms of life. Second, the goal of this dialogue is cognitive and normative agreement. Indeed, hermeneutics is an act of integration which tries to expand consensus between different cultures and historical perspectives by mediating their claims to truth
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201748508602056
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,570
External links
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
Charles Taylor (1980). Understanding in Human Science. Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):25 - 38.
May Brodbeck (1969). Readings in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):174-175.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #225,193 of 1,938,529 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #449,299 of 1,938,529 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.