'Hypotheses, everywhere only hypotheses!': on some contexts of Dilthey's critique of explanatory psychology

Abstract
In 1894, Wilhelm Dilthey published an article in which he formulated a critique of what he called ‘explanatory psychology’, contrasting it with his own conception of ‘descriptive psychology’. Dilthey’s descriptive psychology, in turn, was to provide the basis for Dilthey’s specific philosophy of the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften). In this paper, I contextualize Dilthey’s critique of explanatory psychology. I show that while this critique comes across as very broad and sweeping, he in fact had specific opponents in mind, namely, scholars who, like him, attempted to theorize about the relationship between the individual and society, between psychology and the other human sciences. Dilthey’s critique of explanatory psychology is the flipside of his critique of sociology, which he had already formulated. He challenged both because he felt that they gave the wrong kind of answer to the task of overcoming metaphysics within the human sciences. In particular, I identify the founders of Völkerpsychologie, Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinhal, and (more importantly) their student, Georg Simmel, as Dilthey’s targets. I provide textual and historical evidence for this thesis.
Keywords Dilthey  history and philosophy of the human sciences  explaining and understanding
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Reprint years 2007
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.12.004
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References found in this work BETA
Neo-Kantianism and the Roots of Anti-Psychologism.R. Lanier Anderson - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (2):287-323.
Psychologism.Martin Kusch - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft.Wilhelm Windelband - 1895 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 3 (2):3-4.

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Citations of this work BETA
Koffka, Köhler, and the “Crisis” in Psychology.Gary Hatfield - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):483-492.

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Objectivism in Hermeneutics? Gadamer, Habermas, Dilthey.Austin Harrington - 2000 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (4):491-507.

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