February, 2008

Scientific Hermeneutics

A Tale of Two Hayeks
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Hayek favored both classical hermeneutics and science. His scientific reasoning shows the logical necessity of methodological dualism. Bruce Caldwell and Viktor Vanberg oppose hermeneutics and methodological dualism in favor of science. Their arguments depend on inappropriate interpretations of the doctrine of methodological dualism and an impoverished understanding of hermeneutics that fails to distinguish classical hermeneutics from universal hermeneutics. Hayek showed that “scientific” and “humanistic” approaches to social science can and should be compatible and complementary. Opposing (classical) hermeneutics in favor of science may cause a loss of knowledge by tending to deprive “scientific” social science of insights arising from more “humanistic” traditions.