What Is Human Science?
Human science is the study and interpretation of the experiences, activities, constructs, and artifacts associated with human beings. The study of the human sciences attempts to expand and enlighten the human being's knowledge of his or her existence, its interrelationship with other species and systems, and the development of artifacts to perpetuate the human expression and thought. It is the study of human phenomena. The study of the human experience is historical and current in nature. It requires the evaluation and interpretation of the historic human experience and the analysis of current human activity to gain an understanding of human phenomena and to project the outlines of human volution. Human science is the objective, informed critique of human existence and how it relates to reality. The ultimate question of science is - What is reality? The ultimate question in the study of human beings - What is the reality of being human? To study appropriate human phenomena it is necessary to use multiple systems of inquiry. Empirical, psychological/philosophical, and spiritual methods of inquiry are the research methodologies associated with the human sciences. Human sciences is studied, interpreted, and reported using the following techniques:
1. The holistic study of systems and structures.
2. The study of human actions, such as free will or intentionality. 3. Existential-phenomenological descriptions.
4. Hermeneutic interpretations.
Methods Of Inquiry:
The methods of inquiry for the human sciences to address the key issues associated with inquiries into human phenomena are: Empirical Inquiry
Empirical studies of the questions of science have been the predominate method of investigating, evaluating, formulating scientific theories in the empirical sciences. The empirical approach uses the deductive and pragmatic systems of inquiry. Empirical inquiry relies or bases its methodology solely on experimental or experiential data. This methodology can also be used to research some human science experiences. Psychological/Philosophical Inquiry
The research and evaluation of the structures that make up the human experience towards the world are interpreted by the existential-phenomenological systems of inquiry. Space-time and embodiment make up the two basic structures of the existential system. Existential-phenomenological systems of inquiry rely on the descriptive method of interpretive understanding to evaluate the human phenomena. "The phenomenological (descriptive) approach focuses on the structure of experience, the organizing principles that give form and meaning to the lifeworld." (Polkinghorne, 203). "Hermeneutics is the science of correct Understanding or interpretation." (Polkinghorne, 218). The hermeneutic approach to inquiry supports and enhances the existential-phenomenological approach by seeking to understand the human experience by interpreting the experiences in order to better understand the human phenomena. The hermeneutic approach supplements the descriptive approach of existential-phenomenological system of inquiry by focusing on the linguistic and mental/psychological activities of the human in order to understand the meaning of the human experience. Hermeneutics focuses on the interpretation of the historical meanings of human experience and its developmental and cumulative impact on the individual and society. Spiritual Inquiry
Spiritual inquiry is a study in the human contemplation of their being. It is a personal inquiry that provides insight into the individual human experience. Spiritual inquiry involves the researcher being in touch with who he or she is and how he or she relates to the rest of the world.
Differences Between Empirical & Human Science:
Human science is the development of knowledge and understanding of human experience and phenomena. According to Polkinghorne, there are...
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