An effort is made in this essay to show the intrinsic hermeneutic nature of the natural sciences by means of a critical reflection on data taken from the history of classical mechanics and astronomy. The events which eventually would lead to the origin of Newton's mechanics are critically analyzed, with the aim of showing that and in what sense the natural sciences are essentially interpretive enterprises.
The problem concerning the manner in which truth is found in the statements of the natural sciences is an important one. It has been discussed from the very beginning of modern science, but in each phase of the development the issue was raised in a different way and for a different reason, such as the seeming conflict between reason and faith, the question concerning the limits of scientific knowledge, the meaning of induction, the probabilistic nature of many scientific statements, the (...) realization that even scientific theories and claims are inherently historical in character, etc. In this essay some contemporary positions are examined briefly. Then the thesis is defended that scientific theories that are well-established and accepted by the majority of the scholars in the relevant field of research, can be said to be true; and the same holds true for the statements derived from such theories to the degree that they are not yet falsified by experiment or observation. It is argued that in this case it will be necessary to rethink the essence of truth, not in terms of the classical correspondence theory, but rather in terms of the hermeneutic theory of truth as unconcealment. Theories and scientific statements are not true in the sense that they present us with mirror-images of what is in the „real” world. They are true, rather, in the sense that they make it possible for us to give a rational explanation of the states, relations, and forms of interaction of natural entities, which reveal these entities, their characteristics, and interactions in such a way, as they appear to show themselves independently of the theory in question in experiment and observation. (shrink)
In this essay an effort is made to answer the question of what function psychology and psychiatry have in merleau-ponty's ``the structure of behavior and phenomenology of perception''. it is argued that in his first book merleau-ponty tried to present a philosophical critique of the behaviorist and gestaltist interpretations of empirical psychology, whereas ``phenomenology of perception'' attempts to make a contribution to philosophical anthropology which in many instances employs analyses which belong to phenomenological psychology, the regional ontology of psychic phenomena.
Spiritualist ethics: The problem of evil, by L. Lavelle. On conscience, or On the pain of having-done-it, by V. Jankélévitch. Value and immortality; and, Dangerous situation of ethical values, by G. Marcel. The concept of fallibility, by P. Ricoeur.--Axiological ethics: Ethics and metaphysics, by R. Le Senne. Good and evil, by H. Reiner. Values and truths, by R. Polin. Values as principles of action, by G. Gusdorf.--Three contemporary conceptions of humanism: Jean-Paul Sartre: Sartre on humanism, by J. J. Kockelmans. Moral (...) perspectives in Sartre's thought, by F. Jeanson. Ambiguity, by S. de Beauvoir. Albert Camus: Albert Camus and the ethic of absurdity, by H. Hochberg. On humanism, by M. Heidegger. Existentialism's basic ethical position, by O. Bollnow.--Situation ethics: Systematic essentialist ethics and existential situation ethics, by T. Steinbüchel. The question of the Single One, by M. Buber. What is a Christian ethic? By D. Bonhoeffer. Meaning and analysis of the borderline situation, by H. Thielicke. (shrink)
Language, meaning, and ek-sistence, by J. J. Kockelmans.--Heidegger's conception of language in Being and time, by J. Aler.--Poetry and language in Heidegger, by W. Biemel.--Heidegger's topology of being, by O. Pöggeler.--Thinking and poetizing in Heidegger, by H. Birault.--Hermeneutic and personal structure of language, by H. Ott.--Ontological difference, hermeneutics, and language, by J. J. Kockelmans.--The world in another beginning: poetic dwelling and the role of the poet, by W. Marx.--Panel discussion.--Heidegger's language: metalogical forms of thought and grammatical specialties, by E. Schöfer.--M. (...) Heidegger's "ontological difference" and language, by J. Lohmann.--Bibliography (p. 365-368). (shrink)