Are humanities easier than social sciences

2.1 "Explain" vs. "Understand"

Photo: notebook. stock.xchng,, 2009

The aim here is to advocate not pegging the social sciences to the opposition of the (quasi-scientific) mode of knowledge "explaining" and the (quasi-humanistic) mode of knowledge "understanding".

In the context of the traditional contrast between explaining and understanding, the term "Hermeneutics" to treat. Hermeneutics is not so much a method as an art of interpretation: a process of understanding the meaning of speech acts, texts and works of art. Hermeneutics is considered the king's method Humanities. This is about the interpretation of the layers of meaning of meaning-innervated objectivations of the human mind. Today one encounters hermeneutic procedures in the context of "content analysis", "interpretative social sciences" or "qualitative methods".

Hermeneutic procedures are tied to the artificial Character of human socialization, i.e. the fact that social interactions are always conveyed symbolically. Things, forms, behavior and interactions are not just given, they come to mind importance to. Hermeneutic procedures are centered on the understanding of meaning. Favorite knowledge mode: Understand.

Hermeneutics has two entangled processes: Understanding and interpreting in one go. By understanding something, we interpret it (e.g. the religious cross, a greeting, a typeface).

Hermeneutically oriented social sciences value the difference between stimulus-related behavior and what is conveyed by meaning, based on symbols and meanings Act.

nature is already constituted before it is treated as an object by human practice. The view of nature as an object of human processing and contemplation is conveyed through the assignment of cultural meanings to phenomena and processes in nature, whereby this takes on a symbolic character. Insofar as they operate with characters, numbers and language, they too have Natural sciences share in the symbolic world of meaning. The scientific problems and questions are not formulated by the natural object, but asked by people.

All perception, both social and scientific, is an interpretative projection: Whoever interprets something (according to Nietzsche) puts something into it, including himself or of himself. Only systematic-methodical control and scientific discourse can prove whether something that is perceived is also true; about the experiment. To explain means determining the connections between perceptions and examining them from certain points of view, correcting one's perception if necessary.

Is the scientific explanation something completely different from the social-scientific understanding:

Yesbecause the scientific Explanation refers to meaningless or meaningless subject areas.

Nobecause it is also the social science interpretation the subject areas conveyed by language, meaning and symbols are about explanation.