A Discussion on methodology of modern human sciences

Debating on the appropriate method (or methods) for studding of humanistic and social sciences is out of the most important disputes of modern era. It seems that this method
A Discussion on methodology of modern human sciences
A Discussion on methodology of modern human sciences


Translator: Samad Ahadi

Source: Rasekhoon.net


Debating on the appropriate method (or methods) for studding of humanistic and social sciences is out of the most important disputes of modern era. It seems that this method is regarded as the main factors determining the position of the humanistic science in a new era therefore, it means that the humanistic science to find a worthy place among other sciences, must have used valid scientific methods and by this method prove its scientific credit. Therefore, the present article attempts to compare two outstanding human science methods (such as positivism and hermeneutics) altogether and it shows the sufficiency and insufficiency of each to study humanistic science.
Finally, we discuss this issue that whether or not there is possibility of gathering between these two methods or no? For this purpose, the approach of critical co-minding is used.
Since the human has realized his self -individuality and self-sociality have had different imaginations regarding himself and his relationship with others beyond himself and following these imaginations, while study himself, has applied various methods on the other hand, studding humanistic community is done in different ways. Hence, the study method of humanistic and social sciences, has always been a challenge for scientists of this domain based on this, in modern world, some of the scholars of social sciences like positivists have emphasis on the unity of humanistic science and natural science while, some others, (such as interpreters) argue about the separation of social science and natural one. However, the question of method and methodology of knowledge in the field of humanities and social sciences is very important whether without proper procedure, humanistic and social sciences are suspected of being unscientific or thus, in modern history, some of the positivist thinkers (such as Augusta Comte in the nineteenth century and EO Wilson in the late twentieth century) have tried to develop the methods of natural science in social and humanistic domain. They believed that the only scientific way in the field of social and humanistic needs its specific methods. But, in contrast to this view, some thinkers such as Dithery and Schleiermacher are trying to rescue humanistic and social sciences from under the domination of natural sciences. These scholars (also known as hermeneutics or interpreters) believe that humanistic science requires its own methods however; the present article tries to show the sufficiency and insufficiency of the two views and then trying to go beyond this view or find an alternative for these two. Accordingly, this present article is formed around this question that for the study of humanistic and social sciences which method (methods) are more appropriate? Positivist or hermeneutic method? Must the natural or humanistic sciences imitate the same procedure or method (or methods), or follow their own specific method? Or as Daniel little says, is the subject of social sciences is explanation or understanding? Or ultimately is there the possibility of unifying these two methods or going beyond that? Based on what is said , this article aims to criticize the sufficiency and insufficiency of these two main ways of studding of humanistic and social sciences in the modern era (such as positivism and hermeneutics ) and eventually, studies this issue that test is it possible to add or unite these two methods.


The proposer of word positivism is August Kent, the known European sociologist; he tried to base social science on the foundation of Meta physic, to this end, he used the current method of natural science (experimentalism) for basing a new and proved social science. We can call the foundations of proving philosophy as follow: the unity of social and natural science methodology 2- excluding valued Topics of scientific study, 3. the rejection of metaphysics and emphasis on experimentalism however, later the positivism of Conte was developed and various branches of positivism was formed. One of the major branches of positivism in the twentieth century, was logical positivism which by a group of leading mathematicians (including Mauritius shoot , Rudolf Carnap and Alfred Ayer ) was established in 1920 in Vienna and therefore became known as the Vienna Circle in fact, the logical positivist were the continuers of Ernst Mach’s research in the field of empiricism but, they put aside the emphasis of Mach on empirical content of propositions and instead ,emphasized on the significance of research propositions. The explanation is that the logical positivist considered only two sorts of statements as significant: first: the statements that report the real empirical and second: propositions that based on rational judgments are formulized so, to put it simply, the logical positivist considered the main of verifiability as the criterion of judgment about the accuracy of scientific propositions. The explanative Positivism, is another branch of the twentieth century positivism that emerged from the logical positivism so, the most important Positivism thinkers can be called as Carl Hempel and Jon Elster. They (like the logical positivist ) focused on empirical research and ,for observation, they accounted neutral states and in one sense they considered observation ahead of theory . But, the main difference between the explanative positivist and logical ones is that they attempt to explain the relationships among phenomena based on causal relationships and, ultimately extract causal laws in fact, in terms of explanative positivists, the main purpose of scientific research is explanative and prediction of observing phenomena. From the other branches of positivism , in twenty century, is explanative philosophy however, from the important thinkers of this branch , Of the most important thinkers in this field can outlined Russell , Moore , Frege , Wittgenstein (especially in the first period of philosophy) , Austin and Ryle. That is, they were trying to take the language out of ambiguities, so that like a mirror represents a true fact in itself, simply, the analytic philosophers have argued that many philosophical problems resulting from the incorrect use of language it means that if we refine the language of prejudices and biases of our, then will reflect the real language statements as they are in sum, on the basis of what said above, the linguistic analytic philosophy is put against subjectivism. One of the other major strands of the twentieth century positivism is behaviorism thus, they have focused their attention on observable behavior of living organisms, it seems that Skinner is the most prominent representative of this branch nevertheless; the behaviorists were trying to discover behavioral codes governing on living organisms. They were after the same behavioral patterns and repeatable processes in the behavior of living beings (especially humans) generally; we can highlight the main characteristics of behaviorism as follow:
1 -Regulation means trying to decipher codes of conduct.
(2) Verification; it means measurement of theories by reference to objective behavior
3. Technicianism; means using of data collection and interpretation technique , 4. Quantification means transforming data into measurable statistical statement
5- Scientific Abandonment means putting values and judgments
6. The research organization means dependency between theory and research
Out of the other branches of positivism in the twentieth century, is a tool- based positivism found and developed in America therefore, out of the most important thinkers in this field, we can name bridge Lazarsfl and Hubert Blyla and, their emphasis is on scientific research tools so, it mean that, they believe scientific research is a research that poses some questions that one test them by research tools (such as surveys and interviews) . The most important features of positivism instrument can be listed as follows: 1. concern to improve and enhance the accuracy of statistical techniques and other researching means, 2. methodological individualism, 3. intuitivism, correctness and the accumulation of scientific findings, 4. Value impartiality 5. Promoting of researching. However, in recent years, positivism had somewhat declined, but it is for a while that this comment has been restored and a flow as new positivism has been formed. A. U. Wilson is out of the founders of Sociobiology and the most important thinkers of the new positivism in fact, new positivism in search of rules and testable principles are based on the laws of nature (physical) however, Wilson believes that there are general and natural terms that are regarded as foundation and the basis for all other sciences, in the sense, all science should be formed based on these General and natural (physical) Terms. Wilson tries to construct social sciences based on the physical realities, human biology and psychology; he believes that human genome is decisive factor in the construction of culture and society. In short, the new positivism is based on scientific materialism which means that all beliefs , meanings and subjective contents are considered of function of genes and material brain are trying based on this, to take control of social life and predict the future. In general, as Dlanty and Astrydam say , positivism ( positivism ) of the twentieth century ,historically, containing six implications: Unity of science : based on thinking of world as having rational order, homogeneous and one-dimensional which provides the fundamental unit of human experience , 2. empiricism : opposition or metaphysical which show themselves in two forms of naturalism and emergenticism. Objectivism: based on separation of subject and object emphasizing the manifestations of the object and the negation of the subject, 4. Valued Freedom : based on the idea of the necessity of reasonable maintenance ,facts , values and production of statements according to natural patterns regardless of personal values , moral , social and cultural desires 5: instrumentalism : attention and main focus on the manipulation of the world rather than understanding ; it means the theory is nothing more than means of production 6. Technicianism: the emphasis on technique instead of growth and development techniques.

Criticism on Positivism:

Some opponents of positivism (like interpreters) argue that there are fundamental differences between human social life and facts (facts of nature that is the subject of natural sciences). These differences include the unpredictable claim of human behavior which is as a result of the man’s free will, the regulate nature of social life ( which is distinct from the legal nature of social life ) and it is the role of knowledge and meaning in society. In connection with these ontological differences between natural and social world, the relationship between natural scientists and the issues and processes they study is much different. A difference in this type is concerned to the way of moral values or political interference in the selection of topics for research, on the contrary, natural scientists by using ways which put value judgments aside tries to discover general rules. Another difference is directly arises from confirming the role of knowledge and meaning in social life however, when social scientists describe a systematic study of social life, are faced with an issue that has knowledge of its own before in addition, the social scientists are often, themselves, part of the social life and in any case must learn the way of communication with it in the context of social life in order to understand it. One of the serious critics of the doctrine of naturalism is Charles Taylor. He writes about natural sciences that this field, as a model for the social science, is a temptation does not leave us. That is, we expect social science to let us know about the community’s process and underlying mechanisms and teach us effective way of planning for collective life, but despite some superficial similarities, the social sciences can never play such a role. The view point of Dyer’s empiricist that all knowledge comes from experience and that there are no innate ideas, as a result of developments in a number of disciplines have been questioned therefore, Noam Chomsky who everyone recognizes him as the founder of modern scientific approaches in linguistic has argued that the child's experience of language according to us is so limited that we can not explain language learning in the framework of empiricist. Our ability to create an unlimited number of well-made sentences, not only assumes obvious the inherent tendency to learn language but also, a deep understanding of the inherent of “deep order” common to all languages is also regarded certain. Karl Popper has also sharply criticized the philosophical ideas of Vienna Circle however; he has exerted two fundamental critique on theories of the Vienna Circle First, contrary to idea of logical positivist, the metaphysical theories can have meaning and we can not draw a sharp boundary between science and metaphysics accordingly, what has been regarded as metaphysical thought yesterday, tomorrow may changes in to testable scientific theory. Second, the criteria of their being scientific of statements and not their verification, but is their ability to revoke in other words, the criterion for distinguishing science from non- science is not the significance of the commandments but just is their falsification. In fact, Popper rather than verifiability of Vienna Circle was emphasizing on the principle of falsification especially he argued that we should prepare scientific propositions so accurate and clear that to be voidable so, according to him, the world of science is going forward on the core of the problems by critical omission of possible solutions or in other words the science will progress through conjectures and refutations. Popper proposes a three-step model for achieving scientific knowledge suggests that is as follows: 1: dealing with issue 2. Keen conjectures to solve the problem 3: Removing unsuccessful solutions. In fact, according to Poyer , science does not begin with observation , but start its work with hypothesizing and then solving the problem is began however, science means the guesses which still have not been rejected , not the facts that are obtained through observation. From Other critics of positivism, we can point to neo-conservatism however; battle or positivism was one of the major fields of Leo Strauss's endeavor for renaissance of political philosophy. According to Strauss, positivism with making distinction between value and fact rejects each idea that is based on value and just legally recognizes forms of knowledge that is morally neutral as science. According to Dilthey and Friedrich Rykrt, who are the most important representatives of the hermeneutic school, humanistic and natural sciences to the validity of subject matter, have duality they, instead of science unity were speaking of science duality and considered the issues of humanistic science as spiritual and cultural issues. According to Dilthey, phenomena are of three types: one is natural phenomena that are the subject of natural sciences, the second states and mental processes of individual that forms the subject of psychology and the third spiritual phenomena, such as language, culture, literature and all social units which are as subcategories of human sciences. Social world is full of meaning, comments, embedded thought, and intention and so against nature it is intrinsically a meaningful world then, we can not use common methods in the natural sciences to the understanding of social world. Following Dilthey, Max Weber believed that understanding communal world and social behavior without considering the meaning and value of all human ends are not possible completely and qualitative aspects of phenomena are considerable. Moreover, in the social sciences we are dealing with psychological and subjective phenomena that their mutual understanding of them is definitely something different with the issues that detailed plans and agendas of natural sciences are willing to solve them. In general, the main criticism of positivism can be summarized as such: one that positivism in understanding of science has been misinterpreted. In this regard, Cohen refers to two points: 1. theory and experience has been mixed together in the sense that all knowledge coming from human senses are mediated by the conceptual framework hence, there is no possibility of providing knowledge and free of theory and interpretation. 2- In each period, a particular paradigm governing on scientists which affects on their pre- assumptions about phenomena and by interpreting those paradigms their pre-assumptions also changes. Essentially there is difference between social and natural phenomena in the sense that social phenomena are not independent from intentions, motives, purposes and meanings of actors’ subjective. Of course, in the face of this criticism, the new positivists have accepted the interweaving of theory and observation, as well as emphasized on the importance of normative questions with empirical questions, but they still insisted on testing theories through observation.


The term hermeneutics is derived from Greek verb «Hermenuein» meaning interpretation and its origin is link with word Hermes (the Greek God who was either the creator of the language or the messenger of the gods) therefore, Some researchers consider the triangular construction of interpretation as a true witness on this etymology and the association of word hermeneutics with Hermes and each sides and commentary has three angle.
1- sign or message that requires understanding and interpretation
2- The meditator of gaining understanding or interpretation.
3- Giving the message of sign or text to the audience. ( Palmer , 20 : 1387)
In fact, in the development of methods and tools for the study of human phenomena, of the most important contemporary intellectual currents, is hermeneutics or interpretive method. This theory that involves human sciences in particular, is considered a major change in the way of thinking, in this method, the effort is that researcher acts according to the specific nature of human phenomena and does not be in search of goals such as the recovery of universal laws (Sarookhani, 73: 1377). The tradition of interpretivism (hermeneutics), rejects this idea that the world exists independently of our interpretation so, this attitude is totally against positivism and this means that for researchers who work in the tradition of interpretation and independent social phenomena of our interpretation does not go further than them and instead, it is interpretation or understanding of social phenomena that affect on outcomes. Objective analysis is impossible and quantitative methods may be slow tools and provide misleading data. The main hermeneutics argument is that how understanding takes place and how meaning transfers a person’s world to another’s then, hermeneutics is the knowledge of semantics and interpretation. The science of Hermeneutic means interpreting a religious text first and then an absolute interpretation of text, both secular and religious, has been generalized and then has deviated from mere understanding of the text and after that under a theory regarding human understanding has been developed. In general, hermeneutics, when it is true that we could not directly meaning of the text however, this subject has several reasons: the spatial distance, time distance, language and cultural differences, the dominance of a particular ideology so, in all the cases, the earlier meaning of the text is the location for disagreement and is hidden and to be uncovered, needs implicative actions. In this respect, hermeneutics is the correct comprehension of a subject up to a moment owes much of its attention to language and text on the other word, the issues regarding language and text commentary is of interest to various branches of human knowledge; as far as Paul Ricoeur's considers it as the intersection of modern thought. Hermeneutics due to special attention to the issue of language and interpretation is known as the epicenter of contemporary thinking because, sciences such as literary criticism, semiotics of language philosophy of, analytical philosophy and theology have an Extensive communication with the category of language or text understanding and hermeneutics , in particular philosophical hermeneutics , , has challenges in this area. The emergence historicism in the nineteenth century has faced methodologist with this critical questions if true and objective understanding are specific to experimental science and historical science has not benefited it ? By the mortgage date, research on possible objective and absolute understanding of the historical sciences, was the main concern the nineteenth century methodology; an objectivity that historicism had casted on its possibility a serious doubt. The main idea of the followers of original religion of historical issue is that natural and humanistic, altogether since it is possible their subject are a single authenticity not in terms of the scientific validity of its results and their subject matter , but exclusively in terms of its methods are different. Diltay was a thinker which deeply and basically was dealing with historicism and tried based on Hermeneutic tradition solving it. A point to which Dilthey focused on and was very effective in his work ,was the fact that the human sciences enjoys historical features it means the authors and owners of philosophical , literary , artistic , religious and in general historical events and political and social institutions all and all are historical phenomena. Accordingly, commentator and historian, also has a history existence and it was this point that faced the objectivity of human sciences with many difficulties however, distinction and determine of general issues of life is considered of main objectives of Dilthey in establishing the specific methodology of humanistic and cultural science. Hermeneutics Dilthey is obviously based on clear and decisive distinction between humanistic and natural science methods. The methods of natural Science is Explanation so, the natural scientist explains the events by using general laws. The subject of physical sciences or natural is not man-made object and by not passing distance from the subject identifier is placed while, the method of humanistic science or historical method is a step toward understanding and perception of historical phenomena and the subject of these sciences, by itself, involves the recognized object. Thus , the Dilthey between “interpretation “which according to him is the method of investigating social and humanistic sciences and description which was considered specific to natural sciences was different according to this difference , natural sciences unlike humanistic and social sciences are dealing with objective data and not understanding and interpretation. According to Dilthey, the criterion of right or wrong interpretation of any text or work is its proximity to the intentions of its author or its distance. In Hermeneutics the focal characteristics of man, language, traditions and concepts are beyond language and concepts, so, the has historical background with past and himself by his own is a ring of this chain and from the position of present reconstructs the past. Gadamer says essence of human is a historical reality that has been gradually shaped by tradition and what comes forth newer layers surrounds it hence, between the man and that old text , there is a time gap and human’s essence has been framed in language and the tradition. Man out of tradition and history, can not understand something however, Gadamer concludes that human’s historicity is his main and ontological-based condition it means the human being is a creature that is constantly interpreting. In this case, a type of conversation between the man and the work will start. In his view, any text implies specific application that in the praxis and practice , this process is which means in short, the Death of the Author , production rather than reproduce, duplicate meaning of the text endless practice of act of understanding and lack of top understanding, is out of important feature of Gadamer's hermeneutic. In Gadamer’s view the person is subsidiary; history (culture, tradition) is prior. Individual consciousness is merely moving in the closed circuits of historical life thus, we understand, in the first place, through our biases, the historical moment prejudices that we are part of it. Jaspers, other philosopher of this school, in all of his works has attempted on building a wall between explanation and understanding so, according to him, there is logical distinction between explanations and understanding so, explanation is specific to natural sciences and understanding is dedicated to socio- humanistic sciences. Between explanation and understanding, contraction is observed it means that that one does not return another and are not replaced by other in Understanding going deep in his own and internal feelings are important while, explanation is objective and is dealing with objective affairs and objectivism. Richard Palmer in the discussion of hermeneutics believes that we can speak of field six (area) hermeneutics in chronological order: 1- the interpretative theory of the Bible, 2- the Methodology of general literally words. 3. Knowledge of each types of language understanding, 4. The base of methodological and spiritual humanities, 5. Phenomenology of the essence as well as understanding the phenomenology of perception and interpretation 6. Interpretive systems. The first four areas is related to methodological hermeneutics and in the last two areas it is in the philosophical hermeneutics or ontological. Essentially we must consider the method of interpretation as symbolism and symbolic of life as in language each word is a symbol therefore, each movement or action or human action is also a regarded as symbol similarly, each institution or social organization is also regarded as symbol however, the duty of a scholar is discovering the secret of the meaning of these symbols. Vinch in his work as “ the idea of social science” regarding philosophy and in more explanation in this regard mentions as two fixed movement with double different concepts as follow: imagine a kid who underlines some lines of a book and then remind of two different actions which their meanings are the same. For example, in a community maybe standing is a symbol of respect while in another community seating so, in terms of meaning these two signs or apparently contrary treatment are the same while, the most above familiar actions are regarded contrary. Therefore, we can accept that the method of interpretation with knowledge of signs and generally by reason and agent are related to the science of rationality. Thus, the aim of the method of analysis is not only a partial interpretation, but we should achieve a general theory. Here is not only the concept of total social phenomenon which by Marcel Mauss was introduced at the beginning and then spread by Zhrzhgvrvych and founds its meaning properly but, recognition by resorting to method of typology comes out from enclosed area. The widespread theory means that in a true recognition of a phenomenon (human’s action in every field including the true understanding of meaning or message of the author and the reason of doing such action) must go in to internal life, splits the values, explored in his world of mentality, learned about his past and understood his actions in the context of time however, put various environmental and mental elements near to each other and rebuild it. Hermeneutics and other interpretive theories has developed culture and nature and considers prior to nature and consider it premier to nature and thought and in this sense , has anti- naturalistic origins. In political domain, interpretation is happen in this way that domain of politics is not a natural issue but, it has a conceptual and linguistic manifestation. Therefore, Hermeneutic is socio-political issue and has been built as conceptual category and take it as subject of language investigation. As an example, a politicians’ shaking hand with one of his friends with his shaking hand with one of his election rivals is much different. The meaning of each of these movements, according to reflective system which has been placed in it, is determined. Therefore, as far as, socio-political events is concerned to meaning, has not mechanical state but, it has movement and dynamicity in addition to this meaning, it has discourse nature and in each situation finds its meaning in specific way. In brief, 1- Hermeneutics, instead of reasoning explanation of phenomena, emphasizes understanding of the events. They believe that understanding social phenomena is not independent of social phenomena; it means that there is no objective reality and the world has been built socially and discoursing 3. They say that objective analysis of phenomena is impossible because, the phenomena socially and based on discourse is constructed meaning that knowledge is imbued with view and ultimately, they reject quantitative methods.

Criticism of Hermitic :

The main criticism over the tradition of hermeneutical ( interpretive ) has been exerted by positivism positivists argue that hermeneutics are merely offer speculative and subjective judgment about the world hence, there is no criterion for judgment regarding creditability of their claim. In the other word, Hermeneutics trapping by absolute relativism however, they reject judgment possibility between comments and various interpretations. Answering to this criticism is so difficult; however, it looks at ontology and epistemology differently to social science. But, anyway, Bouyer and Rpudez, have thought, to prefer an interpretation or interpretation of other, creates some criterions; they have made a distinction between Hermeneutic and post-structuralism and emphasized on the position of Hermeneutics. In fact, they have tried to emphasize on objectivity of understanding hence, according to them, an interpretation is prestigious to be based on symbols and background signs. In other simpler way, each action happens in specific context and specific field. It means that, according to Boyer and Roudez, there is possibility of accessing to explanation in the tradition of Hermeneutics.
Mixing of two methods of positivism and Hermeneutic in the critical realism based on co- critical religious approach.
Critical consensus as the theoretical foundation of critical realism :
The current paper attempts to go beyond the usual methods in the field of humanistic and social studies (ie positivism and hermeneutics) and feasibility of unity among them, benefit from convenient theoretical framework. Therefore, they bases their work on the common objectives regarding objective recognition so that based on them to categories positivist and hermeneutic methods , criticize them and finally search a imitative way. It seems that about achievement of objective understanding, we can distinct three ideas from each other first; it is the idea of “objectivism” which means appearance of realism in our mind as it is. In a simpler way, objectivism means concordance of reality with external mentality. Therefore, objectivism is truly line of thinking which because of those thinking accords with what is current practically accordingly, objectivism is a feature of our thinking of course, when this idea is true. Therefore, based on objectivism, objectivism is practically the same as” sincere “or “reality” in terms of meaning. Accordingly, the objectivism can be defined as a state of recognition, in which concepts and priori desires, emotions, value judgments and etc. (which essentially led us astray and is prevented from reaching the objective truth) has not been existed. In fact, the pre- supposition of objective believers of objectivism is based on realistic ontology however, realism in its philosophical meaning has two layers: First, there is a reality independent of human perception and cognition, secondly, this fact has its own inherent order in the sense that objectivity claims that the construction of reality is separate from the mind and so, the objective reality exists outside the human mind. Also, objectivists in terms of epistemological beliefs are positivist in the sense that in their view, the recognition is an attempt to determine the structure of reality through the process of making and testing hypotheses. Accordingly, the scientists must put aside any crooked way of looking and thinking because, this outlook destroys their ability to see certificates and evidence; the certificates and evidences that will ultimately help scientists to imagine basic structures of the world correctly. Facing the thesis of the objectivism, there is another thesis under “fallibility” therefore, fallibility says: the facts by themselves are not indicative by their own and we do not face nature by sensations or recklessly in other words, experience, sensitivity, and our other perceptions need a priori conceptual resources on order to be appeared and language which is the means of thinking and speaking our mind has been interwoven with our conceptual beliefs. The result is that our understanding of the facts has always been constructed by our mentality. According to this view objectivity (means the compliance of mind and knowledge regardless of the interests and values ) had to be abandoned. In fact ,believing fallibility indicates: all of us have value orientations are caught within our cultural and conceptual paradigms hence, we can not judged between worlds that we create with your imaginations in this case, believing fallibility is trapping by extreme relativism. We can summarize thesis-centered of fallibility as: any theory we believe in, even if we have had top reasons for justifying it, then it may be wrong. According to the idea of fallibility we can know nothing certain about the world thus, its reason is not failure of practical equipment but ,that's because no amount of empirical affirmation and denial can not guarantee the verified truth or verified falsity . The accepted fallibility adopts that there is a world independent of our mind (realist ontology) but, insists that human beings in terms of epistemology (the conceptual framework and language) are limited. So, they can never be sure that they reflect this independent structure precisely in their practical theory ultimately, fallibility believes that various orders that we exert on the world are the product of our perspectives , ideals and our needs and not what the 'reality' ,itself, imposes on us. Against the two former views (objectivism and fallibility) there critical consensus so, based on this view, we can not directly link objectivism to the notion of truth and reality. From this perspective (as opposed to objectivism ) objectivity is quality and character of the result of objective methods that trends , judgments and certificates of that to be specific for others also from the perspective of critical consensus , the objective research does not mean that the doers of such a research in their own recognition activities go beyond their subjective tendencies. With such interpretation, the objectivity is the process of passing through the narrow –mindedness where the researchers go beyond their interested affairs whether personal or contractual. Of course, objectivity is not mean to become emptied or keeping away beliefs , interests and needs , but also means departing from personal beliefs to the extent that the person can expose those beliefs to be examined and investigated and, hears the views of others and in a between mind relationship responds to the criticism of others and if necessary , reviews in his own mindset , or even abandon it completely. In other words, in such research, objectivity required meeting the theory and research of others and preparation to revise their opinions based on the criticism of others. This view , despite of using Popper's critical rationalism theory approaches to the theory of language communicative action of Habermas, which means that in Popper's critical rationalism theory, emphasizing is on the development of scientific propositions ( hypotheses ) in a manner that is clear, concise, and voidable. Then in the process of testing and observation, it is being attempted to falsify those hypothesis and in case of lack of cancellation , until further notice will be considered as science, in simple terms , the theory of critical rationalism of Popper , the main emphasis is on 1- Providing clever guesses 2- determining hypotheses formulated on the basis of falsification and 3- Critical eliminations are the possible solutions while , in the critical consensus view , similar to Habermas's theory of communicative and linguistic action, the emphasis is on the continuous process, the possibility of consensus relationship and ultimately acceptance of superior reasoning. In this sense, critical consensus thesis is not intended to lay beside the beliefs , interests and needs , but also emphasizes on exposing them to criticism the other points is that these beliefs , interests ,and pre- assumptions are not by nature criticized but, in reality , it is their comments which are criticized. Naturally, arbitration between different views in the original language is based on the properties of communicative action -oriented perspective that according to Habermas includes intelligibility, accuracy, honesty and truth of linguistic propositions is negotiable. Out of the other differences of critical consensus with critical rationalism is that the conforming face of former is more than the latter meaning that in the vision of consensus it is being attempted that becomes that the best possible critical theory among competing theories (based on the force of the better argument) is being chosen. Of course the best possible idea is extracted from the inner of the continuous social criticism while, in view of critical rationalism, the negative face overcomes or is dominant. This means that it is attempted that intended theories are to be tested in the sense that to get falsified and in meaning which is tried to test intended theories to be tested and in case of cancellation , to secondary inform ( temporarily ) get verified. Another difference between the two above vision is that the creditability of theories in critical co-minding is subjective. This means that valid theories are the result of co-subjectivity while, credit (transient approval) of theories in critical rationalism are objective it means that valid theories are the result of the lack of evidences and documents against it in the real world. Based on what was said the co- minding critical approach, is a discourse among competing researchers that each one trying to understand others based on original method. And you must their criticism toward yourself and provide reasonable responses to those criticisms and at the same time, they try carefully evaluate rivals’ views precisely. Hence, the critical subjective approach , it is not necessary for people to set aside their assumptions and interests , but it is necessary to provide detailed reasons in support of their own views and assumptions and expose their pre-suppositions and interest in criticism of others; those assumptions and interests manifested in their views . Also , critical subjective (as opposed to the extreme relativists’ claim that consider value judgment between competing theories impossible and recognize the same value to all theories ) all theories have the same value to them. In short, based on critical subjective approach , neither we can access to objective and natural objective nor to put as our conceptual frameworks ( shuttle assumptions , interests , values , etc.), But, either we can provide a picture of the reality or by pre- assumptions , interests and value judgments expressed in their different views treat them critically. About the possibility of assumptions’ critique, interests and value judgments, there are various theories for example , the thinkers of Frankfurt School ( such as Adorno , Horkheimer and Marcuse ) allows internal and external criticism assumptions, meaning that whenever there is contradiction between assumptions or criticisms on the assumptions of the inner review, we can exert internal criticism on pre-suppositions. Also on the other hand, we can, by conceptual framework and another language externally criticizes anthropological, ontological, methodological and epistemological pre-assumptions. But in general seems criticizing pre-assumptions to be very complex and difficult task hence, perhaps the best way to criticize them is criticizing ideas and assumptions affected by them.
Critical Realism (reality) as a practical example of the integration of positivism and hermeneutic:
It seems that scientific research of Bhaskar (known as critical realism ) is a practical example of the integration between hermeneutics and positivism therefore, Bhaskar , primarily , tries to criticize positivistic and hermeneutics views ; the most important criticism of him on positivistic is that they merely reduce reality down to one dimension While ,according to Bhaskar , reality has three obvious layers ) and, fit to it , has sufficed to empirical knowledge to identify the reality. In contrast, Bhaskar argues about different layers of reality, he says, many aspects of social reality are flowing under the golden layers of and never the positivist can detect them in enclosed Laboratory. Another criticism of Bhaskar on positivism is assuming the structure of social sciences with the social sciences itself that’s why Bhaskar believes that the positivists of social science are forced down to reduce causal analysis of phenomena. In contrast, Bhaskar (based on a multi-layered ontology and substantive difference between the social sciences with the natural sciences) focuses on defining and criticizing interpretation of social phenomena in fact, is an interpretation and explanation that is different with hermeneutical interpretation and distances from the concept of scientific positivism as well. According to Bhaskar, what is neglected in hermeneutical exegesis is the relationship of commentaries with reality. Because hermeneutics with a strong emphasis on the relationship between meaning and interpretation , has departed from the origin of existence and reality of the searched properties, however, the main problem in the social sciences and is identifying conditions and existential foundations that would make possible such sciences. One of these foundations is bedding external reality independent of “we” and irreducible that is responsible for identifying each of the existing mechanisms in these layers. According to these points, Bhaskar by presenting epistemology to ontology in positivist with hermeneutic, has suggested a naturalistic type of social science that in addition to the differences in methodology between the natural and social sciences, Seeking to identify rules governing the relationship between the individual and society and their explanation , but this explanation is not a predictive one but, it is explanatory critical and interpretive which with respect to the other layers of reality observable in experimental and duality of dual structures in proportion to people - community will be available. According to Bhaskar 's two critical realism , not only social facts (as opposed to hermeneutic view ) are not merely a product of understanding , knowledge or our language , but , ( unlike positivist ) we can not reduce their recognition to objective causal relations . Accordingly, we live within the pre-existing social structures that we can reproduce or change them meaning that, social realities are manmade in the long run , but it does not mean that they are subjective. Hence, the critical realism between objective world and our understanding is distinguished from objective world and considers their affect on each other. In this sense, critical realism emphasizes on the interaction between mind-independent reality and conscious human action to change existing realities in other words, critical realism considers social realism as the result of meaningful interaction between human actions as well as objective conditions independent of him. Based on what was said, epistemology (epistemology) critical realism has four main features: 1. understanding of social phenomena may be possible; 2. Our understanding of social phenomena based on different conceptual frameworks can be different 3- Real understanding of social phenomena requires understanding of the essence and depth of phenomena and apparent recognition of phenomena is misleading 4. Recognition of phenomena is an ongoing process and continually based on observations, interpretations, arguments, discussions and so on, there is possibility of change in cognition.


Based on what was said, from the perspective of critical realism, positivism and hermeneutics, both for the study of humanistic and social sciences have their merits and weaknesses. This means that one emphasizes on objective reality and the other on subjective meaning of human and social phenomena but, both of them evade of interaction between these two areas ( subjective and objective ) in contrast, critical realism attempts to fill this gap . In fact, critical realism (which enjoys thesis of critical subjective) is like positivism in terms of ontology. This means that the possibility of various understanding and excess in reality is recognized formally it means that critical realism attempts to create a gap between explanation of (objectivism) and understanding (the meaning of post-mind). Accordingly, critical realism focuses on two main issues: 1.There is social phenomena independent of our interpretation but, our interpretation and our understanding affect on their outcomes. This means that not only social structures are indeterminate, but also for the study of social phenomena, we must investigate the action of affective factors that either they interpret or change social structures. Our knowledge of the world can be fallible, which means that our understanding of reality can be reformed with the evidence, arguments, discussions and critiques. Based on this, Critical realism that has been based on critical subjectivism, to understand and explain social phenomena, enters us in in ongoing dialogue about the different meanings of reality and thus in this way, renews our explanation and interpretation of reality and take us closer and closer to the hidden layers of reality.




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Monday, August 31, 2015
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