Empiricism is hermeneutics and hermeneutics is empiricism! I will explain.
The empiricist needs data in some form to serve as the basis for proof of the specific hypothesis. In the natural sciences the data collected paints a clear picture and if it is done properly it can be repeated over and over again. This provides both a proof of and a test for the hypothesis. In the human sciences this is not what happens. The datum collected is nothing more than a random historical event captured at a specific point in time. It may or may not ever be repeated again plus the circumstances can never again be the same. Humans are constantly changing!
Well then, what can an empiricist do with the data collected that was supposedly designed to capture information about a human? Since it cannot possibly represent the human reality – which is subjective – the only other option is to interpret! It is clear then that empiricism in the human sciences is hermeneutics.
Now for the other part of the statement “Empiricism is hermeneutics and hermeneutics is empiricism!” and the accompanying explanation. In the human sciences, such as praxeology and more specifically economics, the only truly scientific methodology is subjectivism. There is no middle ground. Someone cannot come along and say that subjectivism is the proper methodology without then fully recognizing that humans make subjective decisions using their reasoning powers. If someone claims that people are irrational (some humans do have mental illnesses which may cause irrationality at least for short periods of time) then this is an attack on subjectivism.
Subjectivism fully recognizes that natural law can be used to describe the characteristics that are unique to human beings, universally. There is a logical structure that all humans operate within. For example, humans are constrained by their limited knowledge of the future. Another example – one which is foundational – is that humans use reason. For someone to say that people make irrational decisions is a clear attack on subjectivism.
Why would someone want to undermine the methodology of subjectivism? It is obvious why an empiricist would have such a goal. Subjectivism exposes the fallacies of using empiricism in the human sciences (age-old institutions are then in jeopardy). But why would an individual want to undermine the methodology of subjectivism?
If someone claims that people make irrational decisions then it creates a niche for someone to fill as the ultimate judge of what is rational and what is not. Someone may be ego-driven enough to want that privilege but just imagine the horrors. This hermeneutist takes away the right of subjectiveness for anyone who does not please this judge! How ironic it would be if such a person would claim to be a friend of liberty and justice! Ultimately this hermeneutist will make the empirical decision: “Are you rational (+) or are you irrational (-)?” and it is this binary code that fits empiricism but in no way, shape or form does it fit subjectivism.
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