Hermeneutics and history

Summary According to the contemporary hermeneutical school the distinguishing feature of the humanities is the capability of the inquirer to communicate with the object of his inquiry. This idea underlies K.-O. Apel's model for the humanities adopted from psycho-analytical therapy. It is argued (1) that there is no sense in which the object of the historical inquiry can be regarded as aKommunikationspartner of the historian; and (2) that when the traditionalVerstehen doctrine is re-interpreted counterfactually (e.g., If I were Caesar, then ... substantiates my explanations of Caesar's actions), then the doctrine has an acceptable application to history and the charge of psychologism is removed
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DOI 10.1007/BF01800769
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Stuart Hampshire (1983). Thought and Action. University of Notre Dame Press.

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