Explanation and Interpretation in the Sciences of Man

  • Jan Faye
Conference paper
Part of the The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective book series (PSEP, volume 2)


There is a long tradition for separating explanation from interpretation that has permeated the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the human sciences. The tradition was fuelled partly by the positivistic distinction between the context of discovery and the context of justification, partly by Hempel’s model of explanation, but mostly by the hermeneutic philosophy in the social and human sciences. These traditions may now have come to an end. In this paper I shall present a unitary theory of explanation and interpretation, a theory which I have argued for elsewhere, in which interpretations, or rather a group of interpretations, are considered as explanations of meaning.


Background Knowledge Social Phenomenon Background Assumption Liquid Drop Model Methodological Individualism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media, Cognition and CommunicationUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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