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Basic Theory of Human Sciences Encyclopedic definition: “Framework of reference, which demonstrates the associations between disciplines.” This fundamental.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Theory of Human Sciences Encyclopedic definition: “Framework of reference, which demonstrates the associations between disciplines.” This fundamental."— Presentation transcript:

1 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.

2 “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.

3 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?

4 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: 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.

5 5 Table 1 CausationOntogenyAdaptationPhylogeny Molecule Cell Organ Individual Group Society 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.

6 6 Table 2Questions concerning proximate causesQuestions concerning ultimate causes (1) Causation(2) Ontogeny (3) A d a p t a t i o n (a) ecological (b) within species (4)Phylogeny (A) Examples if ethological inquiry and associated disciplines How do behavior and psyche „function“ on the molecular, physiological, neuroethological, cognitive and social level - and what do the relations between the levels look like? How are genetically programmed behavior patterns [e.g. "instinctive" drives and inhibitions], learning, intellect and culture, as well as ability, volition and conscience entwined with one another and are there differences dependent on the species, age, gender and behavioral realm? How do perception, subjective internal mentation and behavior correspond with the environment? Which developmental steps and which environmental factors play when / which role? I.e.: What are the ontogenetic bases of behavior and learning? E.g.: Which effect have hormones and reafferences for maturing processes and imprinting-like steps? How are instincts and learning intertwined with one another? What is learned? How do specific faculties of perception, subjective internal mentation, learning and behavior benefit the performer? E.g.: What are the costs, what the benefits of a behavior pattern - e.g. (a: ecological; b: intraspecific): (a) concerning caloric (b) in relation to familial intake and proximity and energy expended? social attractiveness? Which evolutionary alterations occured in persistent phylogenetically earlier traits, caused by the selective pressure of more recent behavior patterns? Why did structural associations evolve in this manner and not otherwise? Specifically: Which behavior was a prerequisite of which new form? What consequences do older traits have for further developments - e.g. for synergy and antagonism in hormones and transmitters, neuroanatomical structures and behavioral traits? (space-time-structure) Which traits are homologous and which analogous? (B) Examples of behavior Endorphine level rise during grooming in enactor and recipient. Expression: emotion - enactor - recipient relations. Friendly behavior patterns are adversaries of aggression, they can be furthered culturally. Unattractive bahavior patterns such as wanton aggression can be culturally inhibited.. Children recognize themselves in a mirror at 20 months of age. This is one of the foundations of social cognition, for example of being able to take another‘s perspective as a prerequisite for cognitive altruism and cognitive cooperation Social bonding is advantageous for protection against predators,, collective hunting, building larger structures.. Friendly behavior helps to develop and maintain bonds as a basis for reciprocal support, e.g. during parental care and aggressive interactions Parental care and mother-child bond were phylogenetic preconditions for social bonds. Within this development in addition to their original function, elements of brood behavior became elements of social behavior, e.g. kissing & billing, and grooming & preening. (C) Level of inquiry (e.g.: atom, molecule, cell, tissue, organ, individual, group, society) with examples of scientific disciplines atom, molecule: Biochemistry, cell, organ: Neurophysiology, Neurobiology, organ, individual: Neuroethology, N.-psychology, Neurology, Behavioral Physiology, B.-Genetics, B.-Endocrinology, B.-immunology, Chrono- biology, Psychosomatology, Psychiatry, Ind, Gr: Human Ethology, Soziobiology, Behavioral Ecology, Psychology, Pedagogy, Psychotherapeutic - Theories, Earliest History, Ges: Sociology, Law, Political Science, Economics, History, Cultural Sciences, Arts organ, individual: Developmental- Neurology, Neurobiology, Ind, Gr: Human Ethology, Developmental Psychology, Psychotherapeutic Theories individual, group: Human Ethology, Behavioral Ecology, Socioekology. individual, group: Human Ethology, Soziobiology cell, organ: Neuro-biology, organ, individual: Neuro-ethology, individual, group: Human Ethology 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.

7 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)

8 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.

9 9 Phylogeny (A) Examples of ethological inquiry and associated disciplines Why did structural associations evolve in this manner and not otherwise? Specifically:  Which behavior was a prerequisite of which new form of behavior?

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?

11 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.

12 Phylogeny (B) Examples of behavior Concerning great systematics hypotheses exist for: 1.Cognitive aspects (Lorenz, Medicus) Evol. Epistemology, Theory of Culture, Freedom 2. Gender differences (Medicus & Hopf) 3. Dealing with resources and possession (Hammerstein, Kummer, Medicus) 4. Roots of humanity (Bischof, Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Medicus) 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

13 13 Phylogeny (B) Examples of behavior Reciprocal altruism (on an instinctive basis) can only be observed in species, which show parental brood provisioning (or which has been shown by their ancestors). [*cognitive altruism can only be observed in apes and humans]

14 14 Adaptation a: ecological  b: intraspecific (A) Examples of ethological inquiry and associated disciplines How do specific faculties of perception, subjective internal cognition, learning and behavior benefit the performer? E.g.: What are the costs, what the benefit of a behavior - for example (a/b)  (a) concerning caloric-  (b) in relation to familial intake and proximity and  energy expended?  social attractiveness?

15 15 Adaptation a: ecological  b: intraspecific (A) Examples of ethological inquiry and associated disciplines How do specific faculties of perception, subjective internal cognition, learning and behavior benefit the performer? E.g.: What are the costs, what the benefit of a behavior - for example (a/b)  (a) concerning caloric-  (b) in relation to familial intake and proximity and  energy expended?  social attractiveness?

16 16 Ontogeny (A) InquiryWhich (a) developmental steps and which (b) environmental factors play when / which role? I.e.: (B) Examples of behavior  ad (a) e.g.: implications of age at the onset of puberty.  ad (b) e.g.: implications of age and nature of the partner at the first sexual experiences.

17 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?

18 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.

19 19 Causation (A) Examples of ethological inquiry and associated disciplines How do behavior and psyche “function” on the molecular, physiological, neuroethological, cognitive and social level?

20 20 Causation (B) Example of behavior Endorphine levels rise during grooming in the enactor and the recipient. Friendly behavior patterns are adversaries [= antagonists] of aggression, they can be furthered culturally. Unattractive behavior patterns such as wanton aggression can be culturally inhibited. [= in part „instinct/culture-intercalations“].

21 21 Causation (A) Examples of ethological inquiry and associated disciplines How do behavior and psyche “function” on the molecular, physiological, neuro-ethological, cognitive, and social level - and  what do the relations between the levels look like? (cf. next slide)

22 22 Level of Inquiry / Complexity We categorize to be able to grasp the complexity of the world.

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.

24 24 The Laws about the Levels of Complexity by Nicolai Hartmann (1964, 3 rd 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 Law of Distance between Levels: The different levels do not develop continuously, but in leaps. [The levels can be clearly differentiated.]

25 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.

26 26 In reality different “ratings“ (or valuations) of levels and disciplines arise. Each Reference Level is in Principle Equally Important.

27 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.

28 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.

29 29 The way from external reality to internal mentation is not directly verifiable. The fact is depicted in the body-soul-problem and the separation of natural scientific anthropology and the humanities. The separation has methodical-theoretical consequences, e.g. concerning the relation between empiry und theory. On the causation of the devided faculties

30 30 Table 1 CausationOntogenyAdaptationPhylogeny Molecule Cell Organ Individual Group Society 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.

31 31 “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).

32 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

33 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 certainty of individual scientists and 2. clairvoyants´& superstitious people´s fiction fiktions, 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.

34 34 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

35 35 Summary: Examples of corner stones, structuring transdisciplinarity  Periodic Table of Human Sciences, Dia 05  rules of the Levels of Complexity (N. Hartmann), Dia 24  causations of Divided Faculties (body-soul-problem), Dia 29  parallels betweenExpectation/Experience (Karl Popper) Mutation/Selection Theory/Experience (Empiricism)  different approaches to Certainty, Dia 32  Naturalistic and Moralistic Fallacies

36 36 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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