Chapter

Original Significances and Historical Explanation

Nicholas Jardine

in The Scenes of Inquiry

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250395
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681288 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250395.003.0013
Original Significances and Historical Explanation

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This chapter looks into the interactions of historical interpretation with historical explanation. It argues that causal explanation is a primary goal of history, inseparable from historical interpretation. It considers the specific ways in which the hermeneutics of original meanings can answer the specific demands of historical explanation. These demands are related to the interpretation and explanation of human acts, not just linguistic acts. The chapter also shows how much better the hermeneutics of original meanings meets the demands of historical explanation compared to the traditional hermeneutics of intended meanings. Lastly, the chapter argues that it not only meets those demands, but also suggests profitable new ways of explaining the formation of scientific disciplines.

Keywords: hermeneutics; original meanings; intended meanings; historical demands; human acts; historical interpretation

Chapter.  5923 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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