Beyond Objectivism and Relativism

9780812211658: Paperback
Release Date: 1st November 1983

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 320

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

Beyond Objectivism and Relativism

Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis

Paperback / £21.99

Drawing freely and expertly from Continental and analytic traditions, Richard Bernstein examines a number of debates and controversies exemplified in the works of Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, and Arendt. He argues that a "new conversation" is emerging about human rationality—a new understanding that emphasizes its practical character and has important ramifications both for thought and action.

PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PART ONE. BEYOND OBJECTIVISM AND RELATIVISM: AN OVERVIEW
Objectivism and Relativism
The Cartesian Anxiety
Postempiricist Philosophy and History of Science
The Idea of a Social Science
The Recovery of the Hermeneutical Dimension of Science
Philosophic Hermeneutics: A Primordial Mode of Being
Hermeneutics and Praxis
Political Judgment and Practical Discourse
Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis

PART TWO. SCIENCE, RATIONALITY, AND INCOMMENSURABILITY
The Practical Rationality of Theory-Choice
Kuhn and His Critics: The Common Ground
The Development of the Philosophy of Science
Incommensurability and the Natural Sciences
Incommensurability and the Social Disciplines

PART THREE. FROM HERMENEUTICS TO PRAXIS
The Cartesian Legacy
Truth and the Experience of Art
Understanding and Prejudice
The Hermeneutical Circle
Temporal Distance, Effective-Historical Consciousness, and the Fusion of Horizons
Application: The Rediscovery of the Fundamental Hermeneutical Problem
The Movement Beyond Philosophic Hermeneutics
Philosophic Hermeneutics and the Cartesian Anxiety

PART FOUR. PRAXIS, PRACTICAL DISCOURSE, AND JUDGMENT
A Historical Interlude
Practical Discourse: Habermas
Rorty's Metacritique
Judgment: Arendt
Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: The Practical Task

NOTES
APPENDIX. A LETTER BY PROFESSOR HANS-GEORG GADAMER
BIBLIOGRAPHY
SUBJECT INDEX
INDEX

Richard J. Bernstein is Vera List Professor, Graduate Faculty, at the New School for Social Research and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. He is the author of numerous books, including these also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory and Praxis and Action: Contemporary Philosophies of Human Activity.

"A fascinating and timely treatment of the objectivism versus relativism debates occurring in philosophy of science, literary theory, the social sciences, political science, and elsewhere."—Choice

"A superb book. It combines two strong qualities rarely seen together: it makes an insightful and extremely valuable contribution to the philosophical issues on a central matter [and] is at the cutting edge of the subject."—Charles Taylor