Theory Human Sci

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Published on October 23, 2008

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Basic Theory of Human Sciences : Basic Theory of Human Sciences Encyclopedic definition: “Framework of reference, which demonstrates the associations between disciplines.” This fundamental knowledge helps to structure interdisciplinary discussions, teaching and research. The notes about the slides can be read and printed after the download of the pdf-file. “A huge crowd of brain researchers work like ants on a gigantic brain: This is the view of the graphic designer Uwe Brandi from Göttingen, about how scientists trye to unravel details of the thinking organ. But how do the details fit together in a realistic way?” © Uwe Brandi, drawing and text from: GEO-Wissen Nr. 1, page 31, 1987. : “A huge crowd of brain researchers work like ants on a gigantic brain: This is the view of the graphic designer Uwe Brandi from Göttingen, about how scientists trye to unravel details of the thinking organ. But how do the details fit together in a realistic way?” © Uwe Brandi, drawing and text from: GEO-Wissen Nr. 1, page 31, 1987. Multidisciplinarity in the Human Sciences : 3 Multidisciplinarity in the Human Sciences Can we structure interdisciplinarity in the human sciences? Which knowledge is the foundation for which speciality? Which concepts are a basic prerequisite for the discussion of these questions? What are the minimum requirements for a theory of human sciences? Basic Concepts and Realm of the Discussion : 4 Basic Concepts and Realm of the Discussion • If one applies a matrix with the four central questions of biological research (causation, ontogeny, adaptation, phylogeny) and considers the different levels of inquiry (e.g. molecule, cell, organ, individual), then the interdisciplinary dimension of a topic becomes evident. • Theory of central questions: slides 7-21, • Theory of levels of inquiry: 22-26 • The colored concepts are at least 150 years old (questions e.g.: B.de Maillet, Ch.Darwin, K.Lorenz, N.Tinbergen). •–Central questions and levels of inquiry are the 1. “smallest common transdisciplinary denominator” and 2. basis for the development of an interdisciplinary con-sensus. Slide 5: 5 In this basic framework, all Human Sciences can be allocated: Disciplines (next slide, paragraph C), their Questions (paragraph A) and Results (paragraph B). The Periodic Table of Human Sciences The questions and planes in italics are also the subject of the humanities. Slide 6: 6 The first three lines in red italics of paragraph A / columns 1-4 are mutatis mutandis applicable to (all “life sciences” e.g.) morphology, psychology, social and cultural sciences. In the following slides the rectangles to the central questions and the paragraphs A and B will be shown in readable size. Biology as the Guiding Discipline for the Human Sciences : 7 Biology as the Guiding Discipline for the Human Sciences The questions for ontogeny and causation are summarized as questions for the proximate causes. These questions are similar to those of Physics and Chemistry. Physics and Chemistry are guiding disciplines for (Behavioral) Biology. (see e.g. N. Hartmann/slide 24) Biology as the Guiding Discipline for the Human Sciences : 8 Biology as the Guiding Discipline for the Human Sciences The questions for phylogeny and adaptation of behavioral traits are summarized in Ethology as questions for the ultimate causes. These questions are characteristic for Biology, because only in nature on the strata of living matter phylogenetically grown phenomenons are observable: This holds true for programs of functioning, construction plans and their adaptive value. Slide 9: 9 Slide 10: 10 Young Tupajas lick the saliva of their mother, possibly to take in liquid and Immun-globulines before enough milk is produced (D.v. Holst). This behavior might have been a pre-condition of the bonding behavior among adult pairs (i.e. brood provisioning was a precondition of bonding, love and reciprocal altruism; cf.: grooming) © Photos: Dietrich von Holst, University Bayreuth. Why do Tupajas show their „affection“ in this manner and not otherwise? Phylogeny : 11 Phylogeny • Phylogenetic similarities (homologies) can only be reconstructed by behavioral observa-tions only concerning smaller taxonomic entities, e.g. orders, families and genus; • Behavioral phylogeny concerning great systematics remains hypothetical. Slide 12:  When investigating single faculties by comparing the behavior of different species, their connections with the rest of abilities is worth to be considered (e.g. preconditions, cognitive abilities). Reconstruction of behavioral phylogeny concerning great systematics can be a guiding support. (see also Biogenetic Rule/slide 17, 18). 12 Slide 13: 13 Slide 14: 14 Slide 15: 15 Slide 16: 16 The “Biogenetic Rule” Has No Relevance for Behavioral Ontogeny for the Following Reasons: : 17 The “Biogenetic Rule” Has No Relevance for Behavioral Ontogeny for the Following Reasons: 1. Morphological ontogeny recapitulates phylogenetically “antiquated” traits [mostly] not because of their original function as environmental adaptation, but because of their phylogenetically younger inductive function during embryogenesis (i.e. adaptation within the organism). Is there an evidence for “antiquated” behavioral traits as an adaptation within the organism? What should these “antiquated” traits be good for? The “Biogenetic Rule” Has No Relevance for Behavioral Ontogeny for the Following Reasons: : 18 The “Biogenetic Rule” Has No Relevance for Behavioral Ontogeny for the Following Reasons: 2. After the morphological development of the nervous system according to the biogenetic rule, a chronologically shifted second period of behavioral development is most unlikely, again according to this rule. Slide 19: 19 Slide 20: 20 Slide 21: 21 Level of Inquiry / Complexity : 22 Level of Inquiry / Complexity We categorize to be able to grasp the complexity of the world. Slide 23: 23 When R. Riedl assigned disciplines to the levels of reference, he did not take the aspects of basic questions into consideration in his illustrations. His achievement was to elucidate the connections between the basic causes of Aristotle with the levels of complexity. The Aristotelian causes can be assigned to the four basic questions. The Laws about the Levels of Complexity by Nicolai Hartmann (1964, 3rd edition, p 432) : 24 The Laws about the Levels of Complexity by Nicolai Hartmann (1964, 3rd edition, p 432) 1 Law of Recurrence: Lower categories recur in the higher levels as a subaspects of higher categories, ... but never vice versa. 2 Law of Modification: The categorial elements modify during their recurrence in the higher levels (they are shaped by the characterstics of the higher levels). 3 Law of the Novum: ... [the] higher category ... [is] composed of a diversity of lower elements, [it] contains a specific novum, ... which is ... [not] ... included in the lower levels... . 4 Law of Distance between Levels: The different levels do not develop continuously, but in leaps. [The levels can be clearly differentiated.] Reference Level : 25 Reference Level Especially when studying the proximate causes, the “basal“ reference levels are a prerequisite for understanding the “higher“ levels. This results in the connection of the mentioned guiding disciplines. However, knowledge of the laws of the basal levels alone (e.g. of cell physiology) is insufficient for understanding complex behavioral patterns or a personal experience. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Slide 26: 26 In reality different “ratings“ (or valuations) of levels and disciplines arise. Each Reference Level is in Principle Equally Important. Terminology and Level of Reference : 27 Terminology and Level of Reference Many concepts and terms are only useful within specific levels of reference and cause confusion, if they are used on the wrong level of reference. Attribution of Freedoms in the Transdisciplinary Dialogue : 28 Attribution of Freedoms in the Transdisciplinary Dialogue It is noteworthy how the notions of freedom differ, depending on which reference level is at the center of attention; for instance, the relatively deterministic ideas of many neurophysiologists and neurobiologists are difficult to reconcile with those of psychologists and sociologists, who usually are willing to “grant” us more freedom. Every reference level has (as novum) its own regularities and degrees of freedom which are not necessarily deducible from the more basal ones. From an evolutionary perspective, accomplishments are made in the process of higher development, which open up new freedoms. Slide 29: 29 With the help of this survey questions can be asked concerning specific problems. Guiding Framework of the Theory of Human Sciences The survey shall encourage one to overcome traditional borders between disciplines and to help make trans-facultar information flow easier. “Hardness” (accuracy) of Data and Theories : 30 “Hardness” (accuracy) of Data and Theories Principally it behooves us to confirm and to consider data and theories as well as possible. Reproducibility, counterhypotheses, statistical aspects, and consistency with the results of neighboring disciplines play an important role here. Data and theories can show varying degrees of “hardness” according to the field of focus in the structural model (Table 1). The varying degrees of “hardness” are yielded by the variously complex diversities, e.g. depending on the reference level being examined (cell, organ, individual, group). Slide 31: useful and/or necessary e.g. in the following realms 1: only conclusive arguments and un-compromising demands on certainty are relevant (theoretical rationality) Logic, Mathematics 2: practical rationality: compromises between theory & empiricism; the purpose: factual representation of ideas Natural Sciences, basic knowledge of e.g. Medicine and Technology 4: belief in religious myths, which principally can often not be falsified contributions to morals and ethics examples can be found in all religions - animistic, mono- und polytheistic ad 1-3: Different epistemological positions - dependent on the field of research - have certain advantages and disadvantages attached to them. 3: practical rationality of applied sciences: what works is true theoretically insufficient, but conc. application sufficently established fields of Medicine and Technology examples of epistemological positions consequences of transfacultary different evaluations of theory and empiricism, theoretical and practical rationality : consequences of transfacultary different evaluations of theory and empiricism, theoretical and practical rationality If attempts are made to under-stand the world without empir-icism, the only measure of similarity between ideas and reality are (logical) consistency and ones own assessment. - the value of the explanation can thus be poor. Natural science persistently uses contradictions between theory and empiricism and on the basis of analyses, can explain more and more details about ever decreasing realms of the world- for the price of an overall view„... not to see the wood for the trees“ Two extreme views: 1. Too high a demand on consistency and certaintyof individual scientists and 2. clairvoyants´& superstitious people´s fictionfiktions, which can not be used as working hypothesis Good science lies between theory and empiricism. Because of this conflict their compromise and recipe for success: as little speculation and fiction, and as much consistency and certainty as possible. regarding the interfacultary barriers : 33 regarding the interfacultary barriers psychological barriers & defence mechanisms according to Kuhn outdated paradigms are used to controvert newer ones how are contradictions managed institutionally? group dynamics within institutions and scientific societies are similar to those of tribal societies (conc. interrelational work as well as the pressure of conformance conc. the ruling paradigm) scientists between the faculties are social „outsiders“ scientifically political shortages transfacultary identification of basic knowledge and its imparting are not institutionalized staff savings despite an explosion of knowledge Slide 34: 34 Everyone of us resembles one of these partially sighted persons: Transdisciplinary “nobody exists, who corresponds with the ... ‚seeing person‘, who ... keeps track.“ Basic questions and reference levels can be a “seeing aid“.

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