Understanding and Explanation (Paperback)

A Transcendental-Pragmatic Perspective (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)

By Karl-Otto Apel, Georgia Warnke (Translator)

Mit Press, 9780262510417, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 18, 1988

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Karl-Otto Apel, as much as any German theorist, bridges the gulf between Anglo-American and continental thought in both the style and content of his work. Understanding and Explanation clarifies the "explanation versus understanding" debate that has become central to the philosophy of the social sciences. Apel reexamines the debate over the logic of the social sciences from the perspective of an expanded theory of science, and he proposes a resolution in transcendent-pragmatic terms. He differentiates three legitimate approaches to the social sciences, connected with three "knowledge-constitutive" interests: deductive-nomological sciences, historical-hermeneutic sciences, and critical-reconstructive sciences.

Understanding and Explanation is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.

About the Author

Karl-Otto Apel holds the chair for social philosophy at the University of Frankfurt.