Human Studies

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 277–305 | Cite as

Ethnomethodological and Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Perspectives on Scientific Practices

  • Dimitri Ginev
Theoretical / Philosophical Paper


The paper presents a comparative analysis between hermeneutics and ethnomethodology of science. A careful examination of the approaches suggested by the two programs not only demonstrates that a non-essentialist inquiry of scientific practices is possible, it also reveals how the significant methodological differences between these (post-phenomenological) programs inform divergent pictures of science’s practical rationality. The role these programs play in the debates on science’s cognitive autonomy is illuminated by spelling out the idea of the internal criticism of scientific research they advance. In contrast to the external criticism of social epistemologists, the internal one does not aim at a deconstruction of science’s cognitive autonomy. Its task is to promote the epistemic emancipation of scientific communities by stressing the reflexive dimension of scientific research.


Hermeneutic studies of science Ethnomethodology Scientific practices Reflexivity Double hermeneutics 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KonstanzConstanceGermany

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