Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, - download pdf or read online

By Richard J. Bernstein

ISBN-10: 0812211650

ISBN-13: 9780812211658

Drawing freely and expertly from Continental and analytic traditions, Richard Bernstein examines a couple of debates and controversies exemplified within the works of Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, and Arendt. He argues "new dialog" is rising approximately human rationality—a new knowing that emphasizes its sensible personality and has vital ramifications either for proposal and motion.

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Additional info for Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis

Sample text

The significance of the practical-moral concern that, as I have already suggested, is essential for understanding the controversies about the natural sciences becomes even more apparent in the controversies about understanding primitive societies, different cultures, or even early epochs of our own culture. It becomes clear that Winch's primary concern is a practical-moral and critical one. The basic problem that is at the center of his work is to determine what is the best way to try to understand and interpret different cultures and societies so that we can learn from them.

Social life is a form of rule-following activity, using the term "rule" in the sense in which Wittgenstein, according to Winch, used it in his Philosophical Investigations. Whatever one's final judgment of the adequacy of Winch's claims, he must be given credit for showing the close relations between concerns that had previously been thought of as independent and unrelated -- the type of analysis of language games that we find in Wittgenstein and analytic philosophy, and the concrete understanding of social life that we find in the social disciplines.

Meanings in human science are what constitute facts, for data consist of documents, inscriptions, intentional behaviour, social rules, human artefacts, and the like, and these are inseparable from their meanings for agents. It follows, so it is held, that in natural science a oneway logic and method of interpretation is appropriate, since theory is dependent on selfsubsistent facts, and testable by them. In human science, on the other hand, the"logic" of interpretation is irreducibly circular: part cannot be understood without whole, which itself depends on the relation of its parts; data and concepts cannot be understood without theory and context, which themselves depend on relations of data and concepts.

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Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis by Richard J. Bernstein


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