Epistemology and the humanities

31 May

From the middle of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth CienciaNaturalcentury, the human sciences lived a real transformation in the search for an alternative to the epistemological foundations of scientific knowledge, since the old “positivist” and “naturalist” models were in check.
Dilthey, Schleiermacher’s successor who proposed the hermeneutic method, sought philosophical foundations for an epistemology of scientific knowledge, thus said: “The sciences that have the socio-historical reality as their object of study seek, more intensely than before, the systematic relations between They and their foundations.” (DILTHEY 1989, p.59).

Gadamer will differentiate parity with the natural sciences with the human sciences (Geistewissenchaften), proposing that what occurs with an artistic interpretation, is different from reading, because “Reading, distinct from a ‘recital’, does not stand for itself Same; It is not an autonomous update of a thought pattern but remains subordinate to the text restored by the reading process. “(GADAMER, 2012, p.11).

The ideal model is romantic, as called by Gadamer, and deals with consequences for epistemology, for “Its ideal is to decode the Book of History. This is the method by which Dilthey hopes can justify self-understanding of the interpretive sciences and their scientific objectivity. “(Idem)

Just as texts have a “pure sense,” so history would have it, in Gadamer’s analysis, however, “their self-understanding of the sciences is not” truly consonant with their fundamental position in terms of Lebesphilosophie.” (Life) (GADAMER, 2012, p.12).
It clarifies that it is always “in the connection between ‘life’, which always implies consciousness and reflexivity (Besinung), and ‘science’, which develops from life as one of its possibilities” (idem).

Thus, the clear epistemological implication: “The human sciences thus acquire a ” ethical ” valence that could not remain without consequences for their methodological self-understanding.” (Idem)
Thus the human sciences “are closer to human self-understanding than the natural sciences. The objectivity of the latter is no longer an ideal of unequivocal and binding knowledge. “(Idem).
He will seek in Nicomachus ‘Ethics the lost foundations, when in the sixth book Aristotle distinguishes: “From theoretical and technical knowledge the mode of practical knowledge he expresses, in my view, one of the greatest truths that allow Greek thought to bring to light the’ Mystification ‘of modern society in which specialization reigns. “(GADAMER, 2012, page 13).

DILTHEY, W. Introduction to the Human Sciences. Ed. By R. A. Makkreel & F. Rodi; Trad. Michael Neville. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1989.
GADAMER, H.G. The problem of historical consciousness, (Brazilian edition) 3rd. Edition, 3rd. Reprint, Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 2012.




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