The aim of this paper is to open a debate about the relevance of American pragmatism for the philosophy of the social sciences. The agenda for a pragmatist philosophy of social science is introduced by contrasting it with ‘sociological hermeneutics’. Sociological hermeneutics refers to a common research agenda that attempts to implement insights from the philosophical project of hermeneutics into the social sciences. According to this view, the interpretative method is a sine qua non for any faithful representation of the external world. In contrast, a pragmatist philosophy of social sciences shows affinities with Nietzsche's genealogical method and the reflexive turn in cultural anthropology. Its aim is not to represent something out-there, but to use the encounter with different forms of life to reassess our selves and our own culture.
Baert, P. (2002), "Pragmatism versus sociological hermeneutics", Lehmann, J. (Ed.) Critical Theory: Diverse Objects, Diverse Subjects (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 349-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-1204(03)80016-6Download as .RIS
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