Article/Publication Details

Towards the Explanatory Power of the Interpretativism in Social Sciences

(Original title: K explanačnej sile interpretativizmu v sociálnom poznaní)
Filozofia, 2000, vol. 55, No 6, pp. 443-459.
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Abstract

The paper draws on Sperberś thesis, according to which the social and historical sciences are a free alliance of various research programs with various objectives. One of the most expanded of these programs is interpretativism. Although the author acknowledges various interpretative approaches (the contextual interpretation and its thick and thin holistic versions, comparative-rational interpetation), she focuses solely on the contextual interpretation. She defines it in the light of the difference between the thick and thin descriptions (G. Ryle), analyzes the conditions and the chracteristics of the interpretation (its circularity, indeterminacy, uncompleetness and partiality). The attention is paid also to the consequences of Davidson´s radical interpretation for the interpretativism as well as to his conception, according to which reasons are not only causes, but also explanatory of what people do. Although the author sees the interpretation as an effective method in social and historical knowledge, its validity, its evidence and its intersubjective objectivity still remain open to questioning.

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