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Publication Details

On Explanation and Understanding in the Historical and Social Cognition

(Original title: K explanácii a chápaniu v historickom a sociálnom poznaní)
Filozofia, 42 (1987), 3, 333-343.
Type of work: Papers - The Problem of Methodology of Social Sciences
Publication language: Slovak

In the paper some aspects of explanation and understanding in the historical and social cognition are investigated. The author draws attention to various interpretations of „explanation“ and indicates a way how to differ between explanation and simple description.

In the paper the fact is emphasized that various conceptions of intentional explanation of activity (e.g. Dray) admitted tacitly or avowedly to stand in the tradition established by hermeneutics. In this context the presented considerations follow three regions of problems: 1. what objects are the subject-matter of understand! ing, 2. what is understanding, 3. whether various kinds of understanding bear any common characteristics.

Abstract theses are made concrete and are supported by showing the difference between explanation, understanding and description in historiography.

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