THE METHODOLOGICAL VALUE OF WILHELM DILTHEY’S SYSTEM OF THE “SCIENCES ABOUT THE SPIRIT” – 2012-1

Summary

Marieta K. Nikoghosyan

In 1847, suggesting the idea of ‘‘Sciences about the Spirit‘‘ as a characterization of the second half of the intellectual globe, W. Dilthey aimed to formulate the standards of a scientific character typical for the humanities. He sustained that the problem was of theoretical-gnosiological nature, that is to say, everything made by Kant in the sense of natural sciences, must be repeated in regard to the humanities.

However, during his research Dilthey found that the problem couldn’t be solved with the help of the method applied by Kant, as the theoretical-gnosiological interpretation he had extended an analysis to was a single whole of the “human” and the “human world.” In this case the approach has changed: instead of the “human being as a recognized subject and his intellect” such notions as “fully fledged person,” “universality of human nature,” “totality of human life,” became the points of departure. Dilthey interpreted this concept by intertwining hermeneutics with the philosophy of life. Later hermeneutics was broadened by Dilthey, not as a simple research of texts but as a methodology of humanities and sciences about the spirit. That is to say, it was a theory with the help of which the humanities were founded. Dilthey studied the history of the origin of hermeneutics and formulated it as a method of past cultural interpretation, based on the reproduction of the investigated epoch of “spiritual life.”

Finally his considerable contribution was the cultivation of the philosophical bases of the humanities, concept margin and “sensible sociology.” Dilthey also formulated such gnosiological problems, as how the experience and gnosiology of the individual could be raised to the level of historical experience. Owing to the theory of Dilthey, the main issue of hermeneutics was defined; its further evolution was developing in the direction of obtaining the status of hermeneutical philosophy and cultivation of conceptions.

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