Double hermeneutic


Double hermeneutic

Double hermeneutic is the theory, expounded by sociologist Anthony Giddens, that everyday "lay" concepts and those from the social sciences have a two-way relationship.[1] A common example is the idea of social class, a social-scientific category that has entered into wide use in society. The term was originally coined by August Comte, the founder of sociology.

The double hermeneutic is held to be a distinguishing feature of the social sciences.

Anthony Giddens (1982) argues that there is an important difference between the natural and social sciences. In the natural sciences, scientists try to understand and theorise about the way the natural world is structured. The understanding is one-way; that is, while we need to understand the actions of minerals or chemicals, chemicals and minerals don’t seek to develop an understanding of us. He refers to this as the ‘single hermeneutic’. (Hermeneutic means interpretation or understanding.) In contrast, the social sciences are engaged in the ‘double hermeneutic’. This is because different social sciences study people and society, although the way they do so is different. Some social sciences such as sociology don’t just study what people do, they also study how people understand their world, and how that understanding shapes their practice. Because people can think, make choices, and use new information to revise their understandings (and hence their practice), they can use the knowledge and insights of social science to change their practice.

In outlining his notion of the ‘double hermeneutic’, Giddens (1987: 20) explains that while philosophers and social scientists have often considered the way “in which lay concepts obstinately intrude into the technical discourse of social science” that “Few have considered the matter the other way around.” He explains that “the concepts of the social sciences are not produced about an independently constituted subject-matter, which continues regardless of what these concepts are. The ‘findings’ of the social sciences very often enter constitutively into the world they describe” (Giddens 1987: 20).

References

  1. ^ Anthony Giddens, Social Theory and Modern Sociology (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1987)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ДВОЙНАЯ ГЕРМЕНЕВТИКА — (double hermeneutic) (Гидденс, 1984) предположение о том, что понимание в социологии и социальной науке подразумевает понимание социальной деятельности на двух уровнях: (а) значимого социального мира как создаваемого социальными акторами ; (б)… …   Большой толковый социологический словарь

  • Hermeneutics — In religious studies and social philosophy, hermeneutics (English pronunciation: /hɜrməˈn(j)uːtɨks/) is the study of the theory and practice of interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics which includes Biblical hermeneutics refers to the study of… …   Wikipedia

  • Anthony Giddens — Infobox Scientist name = Anthony Giddens box width = image width = caption = Giddens at the Progressive Governance Conference, Budapest 2004 birth date = birth date and age|1938|1|18|df=yes birth place = London, England death date = death place …   Wikipedia

  • Subject-object problem — issues tone=December 2007 confusing=September 2008 unbalanced=July 2008 refimprove=July 2008 The subject object problem is a longstanding philosophical issue. It arises from the notion that the world consists of objects (what is observed) which… …   Wikipedia

  • Theories of technology — There are a number of theories attempting to address technology, which tend to be associated with the disciplines of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and communication studies. Most generally, the theories attempt to address the relationship… …   Wikipedia

  • Source criticism — This entry is about source evaluation (or information evaluation) in an interdisciplinary context and thus not limited to some discipline specific understanding of the term source criticism . A source (an information source) may be a document, a… …   Wikipedia

  • geography — /jee og reuh fee/, n., pl. geographies. 1. the science dealing with the areal differentiation of the earth s surface, as shown in the character, arrangement, and interrelations over the world of such elements as climate, elevation, soil,… …   Universalium

  • Science (Philosophies of) — Philosophies of science Mach, Duhem, Bachelard Babette E.Babich THE TRADITION OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE If the philosophy of science is not typically represented as a ‘continental’ discipline it is nevertheless historically rooted in… …   History of philosophy

  • Dilthey, Wilhelm — Dilthey Michael Lessnoff INTRODUCTION Wilhelm Dilthey was born in 1833 near Wiesbaden, and thus lived through the period of Bismarck’s creation of a unified German Empire by ‘blood and iron’. These turbulent events, however, scarcely perturbed… …   History of philosophy

  • Thelma & Louise — Thelma et Louise Thelma et Louise Titre original Thelma and Louise Réalisation Ridley Scott Acteurs principaux Geena Davis Susan Sarandon Harvey Keitel Brad Pitt Scénario Callie Khouri Musique Hans Zimmer …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.