Hermeneutics and the Natural Sciences By Robert P. Crease (auth.), Robert P. Crease (eds.)
1997 | 154 Pages | ISBN: 940106511X | PDF | 4 MB

This remarkable volume attests to the world-wide development of a hermeneutical approach to the natural sciences. Questions raised by the essays include: What is a phenomenology of `scientific' perception? How does meaning arise out of laboratory situations? How do individuals or groups come to terms with the particular problem situations in which they find themselves by drawing on the available conceptual and practical resources which structure these situations? The essays are organized around three central themes. One group of authors (Heelan, Kockelmans, and Gremmen/Jacobs) recalls and applies existing historical resources of hermeneutical phenomenology to current scientific and social issues. A second group (Kisiel, Eger) considers the differences between a specifically hermeneutical approach to science and related approaches such as cultural studies and social constructivism. A third group (Ihde, Gendlin) seeks to forge new directions and tools for understanding natural scientific practice. As Crease's introductory essay makes plain, the authors share the commitment of hermeneutical philosophy to the priority of meaning over technique, the primacy of the practical over the theoretical, and the priority of situation over abstract formulation. In the process, the authors revive and transform the ancient Greek idea that the key to living well, to being fully and authentically human, resides primarily in the exercise of the practical not the theoretical virtues, in the art of doing well in the workworld and acting well in the polis.
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