After Postmodernism: A Naturalistic Reconstruction of the by Jan Faye

By Jan Faye

The philosophy of the humanistic sciences has been a blind-spot in analytic philosophy. This publication argues that via adopting a suitable pragmatic research of rationalization and interpretation it's attainable to teach that medical perform of humanistic sciences could be understood on comparable strains to medical perform of usual and social sciences.

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Extra resources for After Postmodernism: A Naturalistic Reconstruction of the Humanities

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Opposing the naturalistic, reductionist view that would reduce human nature to biology, we find the social constructivists claiming that the conception of Man is socially constructed. On this view there would be no ‘human nature’, had it not been that biological needs were transformed and regulated by social norms. Hence, whatever phenomena cannot be adequately explained purely biologically, can be explained by the social sciences. But the subjects of the human sciences are also contingentt on what we have learned through the social sciences.

According to this understanding, culture is permeated by norms and it is precisely because of these norms that conscious nature is taken to be distinct from non-conscious nature. Therefore, it seems as if there must be a fundamental methodological distinction between the natural sciences and the human sciences. Standards occur at many linguistic levels and dressed in various linguistic forms. We use verbs like “can”, “shall”, “may”, “must”, and “ought to”, in their different modes, to signal normative claims to ourselves and each other.

Just like the methods of the natural sciences, so also methods of acquiring and revising beliefs concerning human intentions have a natural origin in a successful adaptation of the cognitive representations of our environment, and information of these procedures may be transmitted as a genetic coding from parents to children. But more advanced forms of reasoning are learned and not inherited. Such forms of reasoning, including methods of both the natural sciences and the humanistic sciences, obey norms, rules, and standards which are intentionally created and accepted within, say, a particular culture such as a scientific community.

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