Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (2)
Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (2)
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 57 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Explanation from the Latin explanare meaning clearly set out in words or clearly enunciated This adjective is in turn derived from two Latin roots The first is ex simply meaning ou or thoroughly The second is planus an adjective used to describe a at or thoroughly even surface The association between the art of explaining and geometry came from the ability to see things clearly while on a at surface that laced interfering terrain The sense of methodology felt by including a geometry term is important for understanding this term s later academic discussions Explanation retained its meaning as the act of smoothing or planing a surface at least through the Eighteenth Century but the more common definition involving making something clear through words steadily replaced it Early on in human history explanation often crossed with what some might see as interpretation Our ancestors were faced with the need to explain their origins and meaning as well as the various forces at play around them Many of our earliest stories therefore attempted to assign meaning to the world through supernatural narratives These ancient folktales myths and legends accounted for social and natural phenomenon by describing great heroes and divinities who caused natural forces or instituted cultural conditions For instance Greek mythology tells of Zeus a sky god who ruled the earth and hurled lightning bolts from atop Mount Olympus Likewise Egyptians are said to have learned their process of mummification from the example of Osiris and Isis This story involves a great king of gods who was murdered and resurrected by his loving wife who reassembled his parts and bandaged them together While some philosophers began to work with ideas of empiricism most cultures utilized theological explanations for thousands of years In the West this trend continued for the most part until the beginnings of the Renaissance and subsequent Enlightenment During this time philosophers scientists and other academics began to make distinctions between understanding the scienti c world and discussing artists meaning or intention within the humanities This discussion was furthered most notably by Sir Francis Bacon 15611626 an English politician and philosopher writing in the late Sixteenth and early Seventeenth Centuries In 1620 he published the Novum Organum or New Instrument a piece intended to be the first part of a much larger treatise on scientific inquiry never finished by Bacon Within this work Bacon argues for developing a new model or instrument for the sciences with which empirical certainly could be more accurately reached For Bacon scientific inquiry should be based on quantifiable experience as opposed to simply internal though or emotion The sciences should therefore be reformed and made more distinct from the humanities which would allow for greater discovery of nature Otherwise science will continue to be an ordering of knowledge rather than an engine of discovery On the usefulness of philosophical logic within the sciences he writes As the sciences in their current state are useless for the discovery of works so logic in its present state is useless for the discovery of sciences Bacon 35 However interpretation of the humanities still should have its place and should not be hostile to explanation like two clans or families of thinkers or philosophers and let them not be hostile or alienated from each other Bacon 30 This model would go on to be the greatest inspiration for the modern scientific method taught in grade schools and utilized in laboratories across the world Another critical distinction between scientific explanation and philosophical interpretation came with the writings of Wilhelm Dilthey 18331911 a German historian psychologist and sociologist who pioneered the modern field of hermeneutics In his Introduction to the Human Sciences first published in 1883 Dilthey applauds Bacon s celebrated Novum Organum and its contribution to science before going on to state the need for a similar work to be done for the humanities For those concerned with history political theory jurisprudence and economics theology literature and art there is also a need for someone to perform a similar service Dilthey 55 Thereafter he sets about proposing such a framework By doing so Dilthey further entrenches a divide between explanation and interpretation The use of contrasting but complimentary elds explanation and interpretation grew to become the primary framework for discovering and analyzing knowledge While some interchange of terms occurs within common conversation this distinction has remained mostly intact since first proposed Related terms 0 Interpretation Sources Oxford English Dictionary Oxford Latin Dictionary Bacon Francis The New Organon New York Cambridge University Press 2000 Dilthey Wilhem Introduction to the Human Sciences Princeton New Jersey Princeton University Press 1989
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