The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 42, 1998

Social Philosophy

Gustavo Caponi
Pages 42-47

Aproximación Metodológica al problema de la comprensión

In The Open Society and Its Enemies and The Poverty of Historicism, Popper argues that there is no essential methodological distinction between human and natural sciences. Each of them, he claims, endeavors to elaborate and test causal explanations of the phenomenal world. However, in later writings he revises his position. The very notion of "situational (or logic) analysis" (previously introduced to characterize a simple heuristic device employed in the elaboration of explanations of human action) is more and more identified with the notion of "objective understanding." Such a notion is thought of as referring to the method which is peculiar to the human sciences. I show that the peculiarity of this method lies in the fact that experience is no longer investigated by means of "the principle of causality." Rather, it is investigated by means of what Popper calls "the principle of rationality" or "the principle of the adequacy of actions."

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