Understanding and Explanation

Understanding and Explanation

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The explanation versus understanding debate was important to the philosophy of thesocial sciences from the time of Dilthey and Weber through the work of Popper and Hempel. In recentyears, with the development of interpretive approaches in hermeneutics, phenomenology, and languageanalysis, the problematic has become absolutely central. The broad literature to which it has givenrise, while still split along qanalyticq versus qcontinentalq lines, shows increasing signs of areunification in philosophy. G. H. von Wright's important book, Explanation and Understanding, originally published in 1971, is a good example of this trend.In Understanding and Explanation, Karl-Otto Apel takes von Wright's work as a point of departure for a rigorous, penetrating analysisof the issues involved. After reviewing the failure of earlier discussions to resolve these issues, Apel develops his own approach in light of the turn from logico-semantic to pragmatic analysis oflanguage in post-Wittgensteinian philosophy. In doing so, he constructs bridges that reach back tothemes and positions of the German tradition of the Geisteswissenschaften, but from strikingly newangles.Karl-Otto Apel holds the chair for social philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. His bookis included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by ThomasMcCarthy.My own contribution came too late to be printed in the book that J. Manninen and R. Tuomela published in connection with this colloquium (Essays on Explanation and Understanding, Dordrecht, Holland, 1975). A shortened version of myanbsp;...

Title:Understanding and Explanation
Author: Karl-Otto Apel, Georgia Warnke
Publisher:MIT Press - 1984

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