Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Epistemology, philosophy: examines the conditions for the emergence of knowledge and the basis for justification and confirmation. Epistemology cannot explain special cases in which someone who has less information may give more correct answers. See also knowledge, theory, justification, confirmation, reliability.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Wilhelm Dilthey on Epistemology - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 222
Epistemology/Dilthey/Gadamer: The tension between the aesthetic-hermeneutic and the historical-philosophical motif in the historical school reaches its peak with Wilhelm Dilthey. Dilthey's rank is based on his real recognition of the epistemological problem that the historical view of the world implies in relation to idealism.
Gadamer I 223
The root of the ambivalence (...) lies in the already marked intermediate position of the historical school between philosophy and experience. It is not dissolved by Dilthey's attempt at an epistemological foundation, but finds its own culmination. Dilthey's effort to establish a philosophical foundation for the humanities seeks to draw the epistemological consequences from what Ranke and Droysen tried to claim with respect to German idealism.
Dilthey himself was fully aware of this.
DiltheyVsHistorism: [Dilthey] saw the weakness of the historical school in the lack of consistency of its reflections: "Instead of going back to the epistemological presuppositions of the historical school and those of idealism from Kant to Hegel and thus recognizing the incompatibility of these presuppositions, they connected these points of view uncritically"(1). Thus he was able to set himself the goal of building a new epistemologically sustainable foundation between historical experience and the idealistic heritage of the historical school. This is the purpose of his intention to supplement Kant's critique of pure reason with a critique of historical reason. >Historical Reason/Dilthey.
Gadamer I 226
In some ways [the task of epistemology] is easier. It does not need to ask why it is possible that our concepts are in agreement with it. For the historical world, the knowledge of which is at issue here, has always been a world formed and shaped by the human spirit. For this reason Dilthey thinks that generally valid synthetic judgments of history are not a problem here at all(2) and refers to Vico for this. We recall that Vico, in response to the Cartesian doubt and the certainty of mathematical knowledge of nature which he had established, asserted the epistemological primacy of the man-made world of history.
Dilthey repeats the same argument. He writes: "The first condition for the possibility of the science of history is that I, myself, am a historical being, that he who studies history is the same who makes history"(3).
Gadamer: It is the sameness of subject and object that makes historical recognition possible. >Experience/Dilthey.
Gadamer I 228
(...) the problem of history is not how to experience and recognize interrelation, but how to recognize such interrelations that nobody has experienced as such. After all, there can be no doubt how Dilthey sees the clarification of this problem from the phenomenon of understanding. Understanding is understanding of expression. In expression, the expressed is there in a different way than
Gadamer I 229
cause in effect. It is present in the expression itself and is understood when the expression is understood.
Gadamer I 234
Dilthey himself has pointed out that we only recognize historically because we ourselves
are historical. That should be an epistemological relief.
Gadamer I 235
GadamerVsDilthey: But can it be? Is Vico's often mentioned formula correct at all?
Doesn't it transfer an experience of the human artistic spirit to the historical world, in which one cannot speak at all of "making", i.e. of planning and execution in view of the course of events? Where is the epistemological relief to come from here? Isn't it in fact a complication? Must not the historical conditionality of consciousness represent an insurmountable barrier to its completion in historical knowledge? >Historical Consciousness/Dilthey, >Spirit/Dilthey, >Philosophy/Dilthey, >Epistemology/Gadamer.

1. Dilthey, Ges. Schriften Vll, 281.
2. Ges. Schriften Vll, 278.
3. a.a.O. (GadamerVsDilthey: Aber wer macht eigentlich die Geschichte?)

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Dilth I
W. Dilthey
Gesammelte Schriften, Bd.1, Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften Göttingen 1990

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977

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