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Why Is There No Hermeneutics Of Natural Sciences? Some Preliminary Theses

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Chapter Summary

Hermeneutics, of course, emerged as a philosophical discipline exactly in connection with this dispute, or more broadly: in the struggle of the human sciences for methodological and epistemological independence from the model of natural scientific inquiry. Modern, post-Heideggerian hermeneutics, however, has sharply attacked this restrictively methodological conception of its subject-matter, in the name of the universality of the hermeneutic approach. Hermeneutical analysis brings into relief those contingent cultural conditions and relations to which these epistemic characteristics are bound, or at least with which they are historically associated. It indicates that even within the post-antique Western intellectual development there has been a plurality of forms of "scientific" knowledge of nature as differently constituted cultural genres which not only fulfilled dissimilar socio-cultural functions: each possessed also a distinct epistemological structure (with an associated understanding of experiment, theory, scientific proof, criteria of novelty and advance, and so on) as well.

Keywords: hermeneutics; human sciences; natural scientific texts



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