“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 the Species

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BRILL, 1992 - Всего страниц: 207
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The existence of a separation between science and literature has long been taken for granted. This study shows that in science language functions in very much the same way as in literature: it is rhetorical in that it persuades readers to the author's point of view, and it is poetical in that with its metaphors and other figures of speech it shapes the experience of author and reader. The separation between science and literature proves to be untenable. This has important 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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Purpose of this study
1
A rhetorical text
11
The enigma of The Origin of Species
25
Darwin as writer
57
The separation of science and literature
129
Conclusion and postscript
189
Bibliography
195
General Index
205
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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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