Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences

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Meanings and causes of human behaviour

Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 09, Carly rated it really liked it. Wonderful defense of interpretivism and valiant effort to make clear how causality would work in such a paradigm. Remarkably clear explanations of critical realism not so much of field theory. Also, not entirely clear that the final upshot is so different from Sewell. Room for refinement but extremely exciting material. Katherine rated it really liked it Feb 26, JP Beaty rated it liked it Nov 20, Luca Carbone rated it it was amazing Jul 06, Jeremy rated it really liked it Dec 21, Jesse rated it really liked it Apr 14, Kathleen Hull rated it it was amazing May 19, John rated it really liked it Feb 09, Petronelle rated it it was ok Oct 21, Miray rated it really liked it Aug 05, Caleb rated it it was amazing May 23, University of Chicago Press added it Sep 26, Mollymking is currently reading it Dec 23, M added it Feb 16, Mariedb marked it as to-read Sep 18, Ivana marked it as to-read Feb 25, Scott marked it as to-read Mar 05, Jan Martinek marked it as to-read May 21, Ertug added it Jul 13, Anne Taylor is currently reading it Jul 23, Elizabeth added it Oct 09, Ryan marked it as to-read Feb 01, Y added it Sep 24, Manami added it Nov 18, Elisabeth added it Apr 13, LPenting marked it as to-read Jul 11, Laila El Samad marked it as to-read Aug 25, Christoffer Lundkvist marked it as to-read Apr 20, Marie added it Jun 08, Oliver Thomas marked it as to-read Dec 10, And also in so far as it keeps its usefulness to prove other theoretical hypotheses, different or even contradictory to the original ones when applied to a different social discourse.

This enumeration only states the basic analytical operations in social sciences. Each of the remaining specific operations of each particular social science will be included in one or another of these three main groups of basic operations, or will combine the features that define them xlvii. Rebuilding it, till the moment the researcher starts his work, or explaining the phenomenon in terms of the historical framework of the social discourses that have given such a phenomenon its meaning, constitutes the subject matter of research in the field of social sciences. The realization, however,that it is now 'of little interest' implies the theoretical overcoming of such problem, due both to the widespread rejection, in natural sciences, of the logics of justification of classical epistemology -empirical or rationalist- I.

Lakatos, and to the widespread concern to establish 'the form of positivity' of social sciences M. Foucault, Bohr's criterion is followed in this respect : 'We are suspended in language in such a way that we cannot say what is up and what is down' quoted by J. Bub, Likewise, C. Peirce defines the phenomenon or 'phaneron' as 'the collective total of all that is in any way or in any sense present to the mind, quite regardless of whether it corresponds to any real thing or not' Peirce: 1. Phenomenalism which Peirce assumes with total awareness of being 'the phenomenalism of Kant, and not that of Hume.

Indeed, what Kant called his Copernican step was precisely the passage from the nominalist to a realistic view of reality. It was the essence of his philosophy to regard the real object as determined by the mind' 8. This is an idealistic remnant and much to Peirce's displeasure, also a Hegelian one that in the constructive view of the phenomenon is excluded, while reasoning is determined by that discourse carried out through the social use of the language. Marty, Arnheim, In its other sense it had a more 'public or linguistic' use, as in Hertz's mechanics, analogous to that of the expression 'graphic representation' of present-day physics A.

Janik and S. Toulmin, This synthesis 'constitutes the founding relation of epistemology, the relation between knowledge and representation, taking into account the new concepts provided to scientific research by the new techniques of the representation of knowledge' J. Le Moigne, Its antecedents come from C. Peirce: ' All our other judgements are so many theories whose only justification is that they have been and will be born out by perceptual judgements' 5. See: 'perceptual judgements', not 'perceptions', in the same sense as we are herein talking of 'representations'.

Thus, the representation of a phenomenon is not the phenomenon in itself, but something that stands in its place, in as long as a certain community accepts it or establishes it as such. Alexandrescu, , or in the comment, 'that transmits some kind of knowledge whose pretensive to what is interpretative proper: 'the comment interprets the statement taken as object' L. Panier, Hermeneutics deals with 'what is unfinished, the infinity of interpretations' and hence 'it is necessary to understand In fact, a kind of hermeneutics which falls back upon a kind of semiology must believe in the absolute existence of signs', something which contradicts the time of hermeneutic interpretation, that is circular M.

Foucault, 8. This hard sense of semiotics is the one developed in this work as a methodological basis which includes the concept of interpretation. It is also the analytical sense in which R. Thomason writes in his 'Introduction' to R. Montague's work that instead of considering past time as acting on the extensional values of the formulae, we will place its influence on intensions, being these, as extensions, possible denotations built on an interpretative structure' Thus, some very general considerations on the nature and use of analytical operations as for interpretative structures are herein stated to help the researcher identify the possible intensional and extensional denotations of social discourses which produce the significance of the phenomena under consideration.

This is also the sense in which M. Bunge characterizes interpretation with the only objection that, as this work refers to the field of social sciences, the interpretation of an event is considered to be always mediated by the interpretation of a sign, in the broad sense of text or discourse, being this mediation the specific object of investigation : 'We interpret a fact when we explain it and we interpret an artificial sign symbol when we find out or stipulate what it means in a certain context.

And an artificial sign means -if it means something- what it represents, that is, its designatum In particular, a unit sign or term is signficant if it designates a non-empty set. The designation is non-ambiguous if the set is a unit-set. And a sentence will be significant if it represents a set of propositions.

The sentence will be ambiguous unless it represents only one proposition and it will be non-sense if it does not represent any proposition' M. Bunge, Later on, he refers to the 'interpretative explanation' which he differentiates from the 'subsumptive explanations', asserting that 'only representational theories, those theories which aim at representing the modus operandi of their correlates, can offer deeper explanations.

We will call them interpretative explanations' Ibid: Natural language with its plurality inherent in its social character plays, as regards social phenomena, a role similar but in such a multiplied and twisted way that it is essential the delimitation of scope which the researcher imposes on himself for the sake of its study to that played by scientific theories in connection with the facts they are applied to. As regards the latter, P.

Feyerabend says in his classical article: 'Facts and theories are much more intimately connected than it is admitted by the autonomy principle. Not only is the description of every single fact dependent on some theory which may, of course, be very different from the theory to be tested ; also, there are facts which cannot be unearthed but with the help of alternatives to the theory to be tested, and which become of no use as soon as such alternatives are excluded.

This suggests that the methodological unit to which we must refer when discussing questions of test and empirical content is constituted by a whole set of partly overlapping, factually adequate, but mutually inconsistent theories' P. Feyerabend, Just as the epistemologic reflection has a metalinguistic level in relation to the scientific natural theories under consideration and here becomes relevant Feyerabend's reflection on the existence of 'facts which cannot be unearthed' except by taking into account the multiplicity of theories, or at least, their alternatives , social sciences have as well, being formulated theories, a metalinguistic level for being part of the multitude of social languages; metalanguages without which no phenomenon could be unearthed that is to say, the intepretation of the effectiveness of such languages for the production of the significance of a given phenomenon could not be achieved.

The purpose has been to bind together, through a conceptual necessity, the social operations of representation and interpretation, establishing the inability to define one without having to resort to the other, but keeping their independence which is not the same as the comments made by N. Hanson, whose interest is to deny the duality of seeing and interpreting: we dare say that interpretation is vision; However, Hanson also makes some interesting observations on the difference between 'see how' and 'see what', something which makes it possible to bring his ideas of seeing or vision closer to the one herein stated of representing or representation.

The problem which recurrent definitions bring about, in the sense they are herein stated, is closely connected with those definitions which H. Frege, when stating his theory of logical types W. Hatcher, s. Of course, in both cases, we are talking about sciences, hence the difference is not stated with regard to this common concept. The non-immediateness of their empirical object is also common to both, but the difference lies in the instrument of mediation.

In sciences whose object is the social phenomena, the mediation upon which scientific reasoning works is, as herein supported, the social discourse. In sciences whose object is the natural phenomena, the mediation is given by the historical scientific discourse as an antecedent to the one of the researcher who acts at a certain moment and perceives the object through the prior discourse.

However, this must be understood as predominance and not in an absolute way.

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Such is the case, for instance, 'when metaphorical language is employed in a scientific context,' in which case such metaphors 'play a role in the development and articulation of theories in relatively mature sciences. Their function is a sort of catachresis -that is, they are used to introduce theoretical terminology where none previously existed' R. Boyd, , such as, 'with categories of the mind which could change with time as the accomodation of language and experience proceeded' T. Kuhn, Likewise, the subjects matters of social sciences are mediated not just by the social discourse of which they are part by the own history of the particular scientific discourse which asserts, at least in its failures, the absences and inconsistencies in the formalization of some particular social science, and consequently, in the explanation of the social phenomena under consideration.

Thus, anticipations of problems, knowledge targets and restrictions the Bachelardian epistemological obstacle , which are imposed on the researcher as overcoming constraints, are so constituted. What is needed at each stage is just that one's thinking and communication be in harmony with the whole context, experimental and theoretical, to which it is relevant. And the key to such harmony is sensitivity to disharmony in what has already been done' D. Bohn, Peirce considers research, after asserting its identification with the 'state of doubt', as follows: 'From this conception springs the desire to get a settlement of opinion [that] is some conclusion which shall be independent of all individual limitations, independent of caprice, of tyranny, of accidents of situation The effort to produce such a settlement of opinion is called investigation.

Logic is the science wuich teaches whether such efforts are rightly directed or not' Peirce: 7. But cf. Gardin, a: 38; who answers his own question with the assertion that, in the case of social sciences, it is a 'factual opposition' due 'only to the primitive state where most of them are, on the way to an efficient symbolization of the events under study'; thus, it becomes contingent what we consider of a deep epistemological root: the semiotic quality of the phenomena studied in social sciences.

The researchers of discourse analysis are the ones who have asserted and assumed the theoretical and operative consequences of the metalinguistic character of the scientific texts they produce, either as an intervention in a 'preconstructed' that is what is sent back to a previous, external, in any case independent construction, as opposed to what the enunciation actually 'constructs' P.

Henry, quoted and assumed in M. Marandin, 55 and Semiotics itself has been considered as a metalanguage both in classical texts: 'Semiotics as a science makes use of special signs to state facts about signs; it is a language to talk about signs' C. Morris, 86 , and in more recent epistemological contributions; thus, asserting the interpretative character of semiotics, H. Parret considers this one as 'a metadiscourse transposing sense by description', summing up as a work proposal: 'the theory of understanding should be related to the making-to-know of semiotics.

In order to traslate these epistemological insights into methodological advances, I want to treat depth and generativity by linking these notions to both construction and reconstruction. It will be the case that semiotic generativity and depth are radically specific with regard to the generativity and depth we construct by translative transposition, on the one hand in ordinary language use, for instance , and with regard to the generativity and depth we reconstruct by explanatory transposition, on the other in social sciences, por instance ' H.


Parret, 78 and Hjelmslev, using the logical development of his time circa ; with special reference to the work of Polish logicians, among whom he specially recognizes, in connection to the notion of metalanguage, Alfred Tarski: cf. Tarski, claims that 'one is prepared for the existence of a semiotic [sic] whose content plane is, in itself, a semiotic. This is the so-called metalanguage or, we should say, metasemiotic , by which is meant a semiotic that treats of a semiotic' sic L. Hjelmslev, However, by following later logical development cf.

Curry and R. Feys , so as to avoid the danger of the autonymous way of speaking -the way a token of a symbolical expression is used as the name of that expression-, as well as to make sure the confusion between use and mention has been avoided Ibid. In this sense, if social sciences develop themselves formalizing see 58 to 60 the natural language to account for discourses issued in such natural language, they will be built as proper metalanguages; whenever they use a symbolical artificial language to account for the discourses issued in a natural language, they will be built as languages that are outside the language under study.

The difference is important, as through a metalanguage 'a language can say everything, and particularly describe itself' Z.

Human Sciences Methodology

Harris quoted in Ibid. This aim of simulation implies the possibility of explaining the procedures through which the natural language its discourses under study makes up the meaning of the phenomena it is talking about, whereby the concept of an 'outside-language' is more fruitful than that of 'metalanguage', in spite of their having a logical substratum in common. Instrumentally, this becomes significant when, in the specific investigation, the approach aims at the elaboration of artificial intelligence programmes, that is, at the 'analysis of reasonings proper of human sciences, as for the new perspective opened by expert systems' J.

Gardin et al. Due to its importance for the understanding of the global approach of this work, where all the methodological steps tend to make possible the constant critical consideration of the application of reasoning to the progress and the conclusion of any research work, the precision stated by J. Gardin becomes of interest: 'Which is the object we name as such when we talk about the study or analysis of reasoning? An easy though incomplete answer is that the concrete expression of some particular reasoning in science is the scientific text itself, where the author states the mental operations which have led him from the observation of certain empirical events to the statement of propositions named in different ways: theses, hypotheses, interpretations, conclusions, comments, explanations, etc.

However, for communicative easiness, we will herein constantly and exclusively make reference to the metalinguistic features of the 'scientific text' on social sciences, without making use of the difference between metalanguage and outside language.

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However, the expression 'objet language' will be provisionally kept to refer to the social discourse not to the social sciences' discourse and to the non-methodological discourse of natural sciences. The social sciences' discourse will be thereby considered 1st degree 'metalanguage', feature shared by the methodological discourse of natural sciences. The methodological discourse of social sciences will be considered 2nd degree 'metalanguage', feature shared by the epistemological discourse related to natural sciences. Thus we can consider the epistemological discourse realted to social sciences as a 3rd degree 'metalanguage'.

Lyons, , the character of the analytical operations that shape a methodology in social sciences is a metalinguistic one. The reflection upon the metalinguistic features of such methodological operations which are herein asserted as 2nd degree because of the requirement of having to give simultaneously, whether consecutively or cumulatively, an account of the relations inherent in the social and theoretical discourse is still to be carried out, at least, according to the information available up to now.

There is, however, total awareness of the need to work metalinguistically with 'a chain of explicitly defined operations which relate them' the theses 'with the events' J. Gardin, b: 6 ; there is also awareness that 'the development of expert systems, in human sciences as in other fields, is essentially linked with the progress of the so called 'Knowledge Representation and Treatment' techniques Ibid.

Methodological reflection in social sciences, therefore, finds itself forced to modify the domain of its criteria and habits of validation; which will only ground on mere considerations of logical reasonableness, so far as such logical reasonableness is embodied by the possibility of actual applications: 'We should now try to provide that machine with mechanisms which will allow it to control its state of knowledge so that it can conceive reasoning strategies to be carried out through the realization of a given task.

The major reasoning operations on reasoning are: -to prove that it can be proved Sallantin, 31 , all of them being operations which imply a practical metalinguistic reflection. But we must make clear as well analytical suggestions on the field of artificial intelligence often derive from a world or from its phenomena which appears to be a representable one, according to a 'natural logic' or to interrelated 'semantic primitives' R.

Jackendoff, 91 passim. In this way, it is avoided considering the natural language, as bearer of that logic and provider of that semantics. Thus, the methodological language would be set free from disagreements among natural languages and, of course, from history. The researcher's observation is privileged as a source of safe therefore supreme rationality which will also be guaranteed by the researcher's honesty universal or common to any mind and timeless or eternal ; against this, cf.

This world 'seen by a Martian' paraphrasing F. Gadet's and M. Benveniste, 51, ironically says , is in fact much more unreliable than the contingent but positive empirical discourse which names it the world and uses it the language. Automatic reasoning on reasoning becomes effective and explanatory when reasoning on the one who reasons is materialized in utterances actually in use in a given society. If this is completed with a theoretical language which is gradually elaborated formalized by scientists along the short or long history of every particular science, and which provides the concrete reasonings with which he reasons, it will have located the methodological operations in the relationship which makes them efficient in social sciences: the metalinguistic meeting point between the theoretical language and the social discourse.

Social scientists also have the advantage to count on the rich and long discussed experience that accompanied, in the epistemology of natural sciences, the modifications of the 'rules of correspondence' as 'descriptions of different experimental procedures to connect theories with phenomena' F. Suppe, ; which, mutatis mutandis, is applied to the analytical metalinguistic operations which this work discusses.

Hanson refers to, 21 and 27 is widened and, on the other hand, we fit concepts accurately in terms of what is perceptually observable and what somehow implies some degree of explicit transformation inference. As regards the first aspect, what P. Suppes asserts is conclusive: 'The doctrine that I want to preach is this.

Consider the classical philosophical theses that an absolute causal account can be given of phenomena, that ultimate laws of a deterministic sort can be gleaned from natural phenomena, and that some rockbed of perceptual certainty is necessary to gain a firm knowledge of the world. All three of these theses are false and hopelessly out of date in terms of the kinds of theories now coming to dominate science When it comes to matters of knowledge, real houses are always built on sand and never on rock' It is advisable to note that the theses expressly denied by P.

Suppes are the most frequently used to criticize the absence of scientific precision on social sciences and that Suppes states them at the end of a paper in which he analizes deeply the problem of data corrigibleness, as a critical analysis prior to its identification and use. But the ease to recognize how feeble scientific knowledge is either natural or social does not justify the intuitive and non-critical record of the social phenomena that will be studied, thus rejecting their aprioristic character and conditioning them to the features and qualities of the measuring that of them records what is herein called 'information'.

Borillo, in search of a different scope to the problem of rendering the proper exactness to the analysis of social sciences, suggests 'replacing the information, as it is used in the traditional reasoning of Human Sciences: multiform, irregular, implicit Here data and information would name the same set of entities, the only difference between them being the rigorousness of the reasoning with which they are considered. The change of name aims at provoking a radical change of attitude 'un tel bouleversement' that M.

Borillo identifies with the fulfillment of what he calls 'minimum condition of regularity ', in the sense that 'the correspondence between the phenomena and their representing symbolic systems must be such that two identical phenomena must necessarily have the same representation, and that two identical representations must stand for the same two equivalent phenomena Ibid. We have herein chosen to keep separate the terms 'information' and 'datum', not by assigning one to social sciences and the other to natural sciences, but limiting the second datum to the record of the 'social discourses' its problem will consist of setting up the proper, necessary and sufficient corpus , and the first information to the record of certain features and relations embodied in such social discourses whose problematics will be concerned with their identification, contrast and transformableness, with the help of the relevant analytical operations; cf.

If, in scientific social research, the first task to be carried out by the researcher consists of the compilation of data, and these are not the phenomena, these latter would be excluded from the research; however, what it is aimed at excluding is the trivial, intuitive and holistic consideration of the phenomena, i. For this reason, the compilation of the social device the social discourse that reports them is registered as the primal activity of any kind of research see 24 and the note on it.

The phenomenon physicalness, as guarantee of basic objectivity for the investigation, is a fallacy. Objectively, the phenomenon is the way it is represented and interpreted by a certain society, what is been defined somewhere else as 'Semiotic object' J. Such dependence of the objectiveness on the social is one the anticipations stated by C. Peirce, and has contributed to its rediscovery: ' So the social principle is rooted intrinsically in logic' 5.

To such purpose, it has been considered in fact objective to take as datum the texts of the social discourses that talk about the phenomenon as an empirically observable physicalness. The total number of these texts acctually available in a certain society contains the total number of possible relations used by such society to build up such phenomenon see M.

Foucault, 50 ss, for the utterance 'la formation discoursive', akin to this subject. This treatment of discourse as physicalness has been possible by virtue of considering language as physicalness, and not, according to Saussure's classical opinion, as a 'social link', consisting of 'the sum of verbal images stored in every individual' F. Such 'sum' is not immediately attainable; what is immediately attanaible is the set of discourses obtained at a certain moment in a given society.

Benveniste has been able to write that language 'functions as a sense yielding machine' This 'theoretical conversion which takes into account the historical existence of "discursive physicalnesses" leaves out, in turn, the issue concerning the subject and the data, since, beyond the sequence syntactical analysis, it tends to replace the semantic interpretation Gadet et M.

The weakness of social sciences lies in the fact that they start with the 'semantic interpretation' referring to the discourses or to the phenomena whose interpretation was not questioned, as it was obvious. On the other hand, the possibility of strengthening the scientific structure of the social sciences is founded on the 'practice of interrogation of the texts' not in a hermeneutical way but in a positivistic one , which, from this point of view, becomes the primary data of any investigation. In other words, if the concept of phenomenon is to be preserved, the phenomena studied by the social sciences are the texts or types of discourse produced by a certain society.

They represent, of course, a special kind of phenomena since they are phenomena that build up the signification of other phenomena, having been and still being the straightforward access to such signification an illusion in the history of awareness. Discourse analysis carried out by means of computer science has increased the concern for the empirical register of the sequences phrases that produce significance and not the other way round.

The global view to approach the discursive facts 'has been summed up in the definition of "discursive morphology". The meaning of morphology herein being dealt with, is quasi-naturalistic: the aim is to determine, observe, classify a plurality of "forms" as "groups of features" that would permit to isolate and recognize not "species" but the determining discursive functioning' A. Lecomte et P. Plante, Only this reversal in the consideration of what is understood by language and discourse makes it possible to give to social discourse the empirical and objective character of data.

Bertalanffy, 93; taking such negative entropy or information as a measure of the order or the organization, since such negative entropy as compared to the ramdon distribution, is an improbable state, Ibid. Malmberg, 6 , and therefore displayed even though they require certain analytical operations for their establishment and the description of their operativity in social discourse.

Malberg studies information in relation to phonological distinction in as much as the sequence of content has been segmented into a series of entities of discreet content Ibid. This exposition is also very much close and it is applicable, in the methodological practice to the proposal of a formal grammar of a 'non-ambiguous language' of an essentially syntatic nature, as formulated by R. Montague ss. Shapere uses this term; being equally pertinent to the present methodological reflection the conditions required for the association of the information items in such domain: ' 1 The association is based on some relationship between the items.

I called bodies of information satisfying these condictions domains.

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Shapere, Gardin says, 'every project of a general method of content analysis in human sciences When Philip Stone and his collaborators chose to call General Inquirer the program of content analysis which would bring them certain fame, and when, in the voluminous book published in under that title, it was stated that the same computer approach had been used to clear up the content of such different texts as eskimo tales, American political discourse, the last writings of suicidal people, being authentic or not both men and texts and many more, a hasty reader could conclude that undoubtedly there existed from now on a 'general method of content analysis in human sciences'.

But, 'the method of content analysis is reduced, in practice, to an indexation based on the use of an automatic dictionary or thesaurus, different for every application; therefore, there is nothing general here' J. Gardin, a: Gardin himself continues to develop the history of the automatic treatment of information when he recalls that 'the first papers on text analysis Finally, the author mentions the coming into light, in , of 'a Minsky report whose title, substance and, above all, the frequency of the quotations it provides, would make it appear as a first manifesto on theoretical positions of text analysis.

It is worth remembering at least the title: "A general frame for the representation of knowledge". The central problem of text analysis could not be otherwise more exactly and concisely defined. Minsky's objective, however, in his own terms, was less a theory of language than, "a partial theory of knowledge as it is shown through the production and understanding of the natural language". Essential to the thesis is that, in all activity of this kind, the subject necessarily goes to the data in the memory, structured in a certain way. It is still necessary to specify what these data are semantic component and the shape in which they are organized logical component It is stated here that the kind of semantic logical structures that are moved by the production and understanding of the natural language are finite in number, from the point of view of their form and that it is possible to characterize them, independent of content.

Most of the theoreticians of the artificial intelligence applied to text analysis, following Minsky, have enrolled in the last trend' Ibid. The present work follows also this direction. These marks and relations will identify and interrelate among themselves by contrast and transformation through the pertinent analytical operations, according to the conditions sketched in 72 to 89, offering, in this way, an objective base and a process liable to the criticism of the explanatory statements of a certain phenomenon.

The possibilities of success and the risks of failure meet at this point: the essence of information resides in the configuration or organization of signals, independent of their substantive nature W. Buckley, In the current trends, the problem is worked out in terms of artificial intelligence.

Interpretation and Social Knowledge

This provides the additional control of the processing system: 'one must remember that the processing of an "object", a "problem" or an "event", the moving "of a mechanical arm", a "pawn" on a chess board, the understanding of a sentence, the analysis of a molecule, if produced by a computer, are all said to be prototypical of artificial intelligence if 1 these objects are not processed in themselves that is, in their basic materiality , but under a symbolic representation of one type, and 2 the manipulation of the elements of this representation that is to say, the production, the recognition or transformation of these symbolic elements is controlled in some way by rules specific to the systems used to represent these "objects"' J.

Meunier, On the other hand, agreeing with condition 2 , the treatment identification, contrast, and transformation; cf. Such world is wholly coherent with the present methodological development. Henry, Cuena, The inferential reasoning with which such inferential engine is programmed uses, in general, 'a formulation of Bayesian probabilistic origin, mixed up with aspects of fuzzy logic' Ibid.

Le Moigne ed , It is interesting -for it may be puzzling- to observe that H. Parret sustains that inference in discourse-bound rationality does not correspond with logical inference: 'The strategies', in the production of discourse meaning, 'are regularities externalized by a communicative competence: they are chains of reasons and thus based upon processes of reasoning.

These strategies of understanding are inferential not logical inferences, however, because they are realized in and by means of natural language use. Inferential activity is, in fact, a procedure of transposition of meaning from one object level to another periphrastic level of discourse', H. Parret, It is interesting to notice that the inference Parret is talking about is the one used by the speaker in the production of meaning; that is, the inference the analyst must discover in social discourse, in the sense that it has been placed there by the user of the social rationality; it is one of the pretensions of validity established by the speaker: the pretension that the speech act is correct in relation to the existent normative context or that the normative context, in whose fulfillment the speech act is performed, is lawful J.

Habermas, What Parret refers to is the rational pragmatic and social inference established by the speaker; what this methodological sketch refers to is the rational inference established by the researcher, which must fit the constrains of logic and the specific social science whithin whose frame the researcher works. The researcher cannot allow himself to share with the speaker what M. Bunge has called 'catalitical inference' that 'is realized at the level of "anticipation" or "conjecturing" undoubtedly often incorrect result of arduous demostrations or demanding empirical demonstrations lacking Ersatz' M.

What has been expressed, leaving aside Bunge's observation on the possibility of 'incorrectness' of catalitical inference, reassures that resorting to logical inference as natural deduction or as probabilistics cannot simply be left out. Even though the scheme of this work does not coincide entirely -as the reader may notice- with the following development by R.

Boyd, notwithstanding the fact his presentation has parts in common, thus making easier the understanding of these cognitive operations and of the referent construction: 'In this regard, it is worth remarking that what occurs is not really a division of linguistic labor at all. Instead, what is involved is the social division of mental or, better yet, cognitive labor: some of us are auto mechanics and know what "accelerator pump" means, others of us are nurserymen and know what "beech" means, whereas still others are physicists who know what "black hole" means.

This division of labor is not primarily a linguistic phenomenon, nor is it primarily an epistemological phenomenon: Instead, as Putnam insists, it represents facts about social organization of labor at a certain stage in the historical development. The division of cognitive labor is related to the issue of reference only because it is reflected in the ways people have of gathering information about features of the world, and because the notion of reference is essentially an epistemic notion' R.

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Boyd, Greimas school, are still connected to a predominantly intuitive proposal; thus J. Semiotics postulates that the approach to meaning is only possible by means of different and various approaches, that is to say according to different levels defined by distinctive features common to or derived from the objects under consideration' J. Courtes, Instead of talking about levels which imply a cumulative succession we herein prefer to talk about "information" to take advantage of the relative neutrality of the terms, with the purpose of issuing a conjunction in simultaneous cumulation of relations or Courtes's 'distinctive features' which will explain the production of meaning, and specially because of the interdependence of such information of the hypotheses stated by the researcher in a close sense to that established by D.

Marr for 'understanding complex information-processing systems', in 19; cf. The concept of 'relevance' has a precise status in classical epistemology; P. Achinstein develops it as follows: "Here I must introduce the concept of relevance and speak of a property as relevant for being an X. By this I mean that if an item is known to possess certain properties and lack others, the fact that the item possesses or lacks the property in question normally will count, at least to some extent, in favour or against concluding that it is an X; and if it is known to possess or lack sufficiently many properties of certain sorts, the fact that the item possesses or lacks the property in question may justifiably be held to settle whether it is an X' P.

Achinstein, 6 , specifying, further on, the qualities of the 'semantic relevance', either with the purpose of classifying X, or of confronting it with other similar substances Ibid. Achinstein's development, when trying to establish the relevance of an X, gets into the analysis of the information for the production of the meaning of a given phenomenon. What happens in data evaluation, herein stated, is that it only informs of its capacity to keep the information that such meaning produces, and that the decision about the relevance such data may have or not can only be reached through the analysis of the production of the meaning in question what is herein distinguished by naming it as the problem of the 'being in force' of the information kept in such data.

Bentham, creator of this designation , to name the normative sciences. Thus in law, the force of the norm is constituted by the conjunction of validity and efficacy, being the latter, in the Kelsenian view, the condition of validity, 'but not its reason. A norm is not valid because it is efficacious; it is valid if the set of laws to which it belongs is, in general, efficacious' H. Kelsen, Of course, there exists a legal concept of prevailing which is purely formal, and depends only on the prerequisite established for the promulgation of a norm.

In legal philosophy, the problem is immediately related to that of the existence of Law and so 'the difficulty emerges from the very beginning as a first opposition between positivity and being in force of Law'; if we start defining Law as norm, 'the positivity appears as something added to the being of Law' C. Cossio, ; but for the egological theory directly derived from Husserl 'positivity is part of behaviour itself in the sense that it is a fact and it is plainly its existence, considering that the legal object is also according to the way existence occurs in time', and Cossio quotes and agrees with Olivecrona on the following: 'that Law is in force means that some combined human forces support it.

The existence of Law is the same as its being in force. To be in force or the existence of Law is thus defined as an effective fact' Ibid.

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Therefore it is not strange that the topic sould have been dealt with, once more, by the factual deontical modalities of logics, 'in utterances such as: "it is compulsory While this connection lasts it is said that the prescription is in force. The existence of a prescription is not the fact that it has happened as such, but the fact that it is in force.

The conventional and classical statements about 'prevailing' are overcome in the Hegelian sense of the dialectical 'aufheben' as 'process of display of the concreteness by mediation of its removed internal determinations'; S.

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Karsz, 22 and therefore, restructured in the heart of another problematic, when M. Focault states his proposal of discourse analysis: 'On the one hand the "critical" set which applies the principle of reversal: attempting to establish the ways of exclusion, of binding, of appropriation, I have just referred to; showing how it has been shaped, what needs it answers to, how it has modified and shifted, what constraints have effectively worked and up to what extent they have been changed. On the other hand the "genealogical" set which applies the other three principles: how the discursive series have been shaped, going across, in spite of or with the support of those systems of constraints; which was the specific rule of each one, and which were their conditions of appearance, growing up and variation' M.

Hatcher, It is also the sense conferred by J. Gardin to 'the nature of operations which support the steps from the early data to the final statements of the construction, where the author's conclusions are stated' J. Popper, 40, 75, , passim. It has to be proved whether each of the statements included in the expressions of each hypothesis turn out to be false or not. That is, at the end of the investigation there will be new statements that will be expressed in connection with the corresponding hypothesis according to some of the epistemic modalities de dicto, taking into account that 'if the negation of one proposition is verified, the proposition will be called falsified' G.

H von Wright, 55ss. While the validity of the 2nd and 3rd hypotheses jointly is not successfully shown, the assertion or denial of the 1st is not possible this will respectively happen according to whether the logical derivability of the latter -1st- is or is not proved through the previous two , or whether the logical contradiction between the 1st hypothesis and the other two is or is not proved.

The test of logical derivability and non-contradiction as well as the test of logical non-derivability and contradiction are not symmetrical, since in one case, that of contradiction or non-contradiction, this comes from pure reasons of propositional logic D. Hilbert and W. Ackerman, 21 , while in the other, that of the derivability or non-derivability, it belongs to the propositions of the system J.

In more academic terms, the problem has been stated as 'the distinction between context of discovery and context of justification'. Feyerabend summarizes the classical view saying that the discovery may be irrational and does not need to follow any acknowledged method. On the other hand, the justification , or to use the Sacred Word of a different school, criticism, begins only after the discoveries have been made and follows an orderly way. To this, he contrasts his own answer: Research is, at its best, an interaction between expressed explicitly new theories and old forms of things which have filtered into the language of observation P.

This interactive quality of research has been asserted by Ch. Peirce when he objected to the existence of intuitive knowledge, and therefore, a priori, as basic epistemologic grounds, what is known as the problem of grounds. The alternative paradigm of investigation and knowledge that Peirce starts to develop in these writings specially in Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man and which he specifies and modifies throughout his career, is a conception of investigation as a self-correcting process that has no absolute starting or finishing point and where any assertion is subject to subsequent rational criticisms, though we may not be able to question all the assertion at the same time.

Our cognoscitive axioms are not legitimated by their origins, since the origins of knowledge are varied and fallible, but by the norms and rules of investigation itself. And even these norms, rules and patterns are subject to rational criticism Richard J. Bernstein, In this paper, the interaction between praxis of research and the congnitive conjectures that give rise to such praxis are conceived in a dialectical way, in what concerns the resolution of contradictions.

By means of the overcoming of such contradictions research unfolds the complex frame of knowledge which is gradually producing Cf. It is a relatively comprehensible utterance for whose extra-scientific use, it is enough with the representations we have on its meaning. A slightly deeper understanding of what is rational thought results in a non-immediate way from the formulation of an intelligible expression. This understanding is achieved through scientific analysis, that is, by means of the application of a particular way of rational thought to the awareness of an object that, in this case, is precisely the rational thought.

Reason emerges and develops as a human social property in inextricable relation to work on one hand, and to language on the other hand, and it has a biosomatic bearer: it lives attached to the brain and to the nervous system of the man who lives in a society" J. Zeleny, Everything understood in a pluralistic sense of reason which, nowadays, exceeds even 'the concept of reason that Habermas projects in terms of the theory of consensus', excess which has been pointed out by Lyotard: "to recognize the autonomy and specificity of the plurality and intranslatability of language games interwoven among themselves, without trying to reduce the ones to the others; with a rule which would be, nevertheless, a general rule, "let us play Wellmer, Something simply and humbly anticipated by the founder of the modern semantics, M.

Breal: 'being language people's work, it is necessary, to understand it, to give up the logician and become people with it' Moore thought, the problem of whether we understand its meaning he refers to the sentence 'the Earth has existed for many years' , with the problem of whether we know what it means, in the sense of being able to analize its meaning correctly G. Moore, This is the kind of intuition the researcher has no right to, since it is, as Nagel and Neuman said, an elastic faculty; our children will probably find it quite easy to accept as intuitively obvious the paradoxes of relativity, as we do not back down before ideas which were considered absolutely non-intuitive a couple of generations ago.

Furthermore, as we all know, intuition is not safe guidance: it cannot be used appropriately as a criterion of truth nor of fruitfulness in scentific explorations E. Nagel and J. Neuman, Of course, it is out of this exclusion the concept of 'mathematical intuition' , by virtue of which Hilbert 'against what Dedekind, Frege, Russell and logicians in general accept for whom mathematics is a part of logic , asserts the independence of mathematics from logic. Logical operations affect objects that must previously be judged by intuition and which precisely constitute the mathematical reality; J.

Feys, Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between intuition as assumption in the origin of knowledge problem which is gnoseologically valid, whatever the attitude assumed may be and intuition as methodological resort for the development of research, which is the position rejected herein. But, see note to the following paragraph. Bunge's reflexions: 'In any scientific task, there intervene from the search and issue of the problem to the control of the resolution, and from the invention of the guide-hypotheses to their deductive elaboration, the perception of things, events and signs; the visual representation or imagination; the formation of concepts at various levels of abstraction; the comparison which leads to establish analogies and the inductive generalization together with the crazy conjecture; the formal as well as the informal deduction; refined and rough analyses and probably many other ways of shaping, combining, and rejecting ideas, because, let's mention incidentally, science is made of ideas and not of events What follows is an enumeration of the most frequently accepted uses of the term "intuition" in the contemporaneous scientific literature: quick perception, imagination, abbreviated reasoning and common sense' M.

There is probably total agreement with all that; but provided it is proved; what we are claiming herein is that intuition is neither a provatory process nor a provatory resort. When the theory is axiomatized, 'it gives us first sentences which claim, in a symbolical language, logical relations among first terms: as it does not propose them but as hypotheses, we accept them as such, subject to their compatibility. But from there onwards, we will only receive a new term if it is defined with the aid of the first terms; we will only accept a new propositon if it is proved with the aid of the first sentences' Ibid.

As regards symbolization, 'the aim when we locate a deductive theory in an axiomatic form is to separate it from the concrete and intuitive significances on which it was first constructed, in order to make the abstract logical scheme appear clearly Thus, it is soon felt the need to subtitute symbols lacking previous sense, and consequently capable of receiving the one that axioms convey them exactly and exclusively, for the words which named the early notions of the theory, even with the weight of their intuitive significance' Ibid.

Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences
Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences
Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences
Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences
Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences
Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences Interpretation and Social Knowledge: On the Use of Theory in the Human Sciences

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