The Language of Science: A Study of the Relationship Between Literature and Science in the Perspective of a Hermeneutical Ontology, with a Case Study of Darwin's The Origin of Species

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E.J. Brill, 1992 - Всего страниц: 207
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In modern times science has avoided rhetorical and poetical forms. Its hallmarks were brevity and exactitude, with disdain for "non-functional" ornamentation. This book shows that the language of scientists does remain language and that a skillful use of its rhetorical and poetic aspects often determines the "facts" and the transmission of information. The exceptional literary qualities of Darwin's The Origin of Species are taken as a point in case. The importance of language in science has ontological implications: science can no longer be considered an action performed by a speaking subject on a mute object. Does the creative role of language in science mean that human beings "create" the world? The author emphatically rejects a conclusion which would degrade nature to mere malleable material at the mercy of human beings. A hermeneutical model for the relationship between knower and known is suggested: creative interaction between reader and text. The reader's responses actualise a text's meaning; in like manner, scientists give their responses to reality by actualising one of many possibilities. The hermeneutical ontology proposed in this book steers away from the rocks of realism and anti-realism.

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Об авторе (1992)

Ilse N. Bulhof is Radboud Professor of Philosophy at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. She has published books and articles on the philosophy of history, the philosophy of science, and postmodern thought. Most recent publication (with L. ten Kate): Ons ontbreken heilige namen. Negatieve theologie in hedendaagse cultuurfilosofie, (1992).

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