By Jan Faye
The philosophy of the humanistic sciences has been a blind-spot in analytic philosophy. This publication argues that by means of adopting a suitable pragmatic research of clarification and interpretation it truly is attainable to teach that medical perform of humanistic sciences could be understood on comparable strains to clinical perform of traditional and social sciences.
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No philosopher of science would today claim that science is valuefree, not even the natural sciences. The requirement that science must be objective and value-free is, of course, a methodological norm that you could argue ideally should be upheld. Furthermore, any philosophical stipulation of what constitutes ‘science’ is inherently a normative claim. Which conditions must our beliefs about a physical system, a substance, a disease, or a novel fulfil to be part of a ‘science’? For instance, why is astrology not a human science?
So let me summarize: human sciences begin where biology ends. Neither evolutionary biology nor neuroscience can explain the particular content of human thinking, human conduct, and the particular product of human actions. The human sciences work with those features of human thinking, behaviour, and expression, which are contingentt to our biological and evolutionary nature, and which can only be explained in terms of meaning and human intentions. Such contingencies are due to invention and construction by Man, embodying historical epistemes, social norms, and facing individual challenges.
If this naturalistic explanation of the origin of language is correct – which I think it is – then dualistic ontologies do not help us to understand human cognitive and mental abilities. The brain is material, and the capacities of our brain can be explained evolutionarily. Consciousness and language manifest themselves as biological phenomena because The Naturalization of the Humanities 35 these capacities, at least in their origin, gave evolutionary advantages for those individuals who developed them.
After Postmodernism: A Naturalistic Reconstruction of the Humanities by Jan Faye