Models and Interpretation in Human Sciences: Anthropology and the Theoretical Notion of Field

  • Silvana Borutti
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 195)


The present paper consists of three parts. In the introduction (I), I describe briefly the epistemological model which is the premise of my analysis. My argument is that knowledge in human sciences is essentially interpretive knowledge. In the central part of my paper (II), I deal with the problem of defining what interpretation is in a particular human science, that is anthropology. Once assumed, as I do, that an anthropological fact is only given in relation to a point of view, or to a pre-compre-hension of the fact, we must analyze the specific features of such a relation. The framework of the cognitive relation, in the ethnographic experience, is the field. Given that, the field is not to be taken as a background or a generic container of this relation. Rather, it determines its specific features. As we shall see, these features are basically dialogical. Finally, in the third part (III), I shall put forward some points in order to discuss the role of language and dialogic interaction in the cognitive strategies of anthropology.


Communicative Context Human Science Interpretive Approach Interpretive Model Social Discourse 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvana Borutti
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FilosofiaUniversitä degli Studi di PaviaItaly

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