Hermeneutics and History

Elazar Weinryb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the contemporary hermeneutical school the distinguishing feature of the humanities is the capability of the inquirer to communicate with the object of his inquiry. This idea underlies K.-O. Apel's model for the humanities adopted from psycho-analytical therapy. It is argued (1) that there is no sense in which the object of the historical inquiry can be regarded as a Kommunikationspartner of the historian; and (2) that when the traditional Verstehen doctrine is re-interpreted counterfactually (e.g., "If I were Caesar, then ..." substantiates my explanations of Caesar's actions), then the doctrine has an acceptable application to history and the charge of psychologism is removed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalJournal for General Philosophy of Science - Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1976
Externally publishedYes


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