Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 13, No 1 (2017)

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Can the Relationship Between Narrative and History be Utilised to Better Understand the Problems within Social Science?

Aaron Grinter


The current decline in recognition accorded to the humanities will be shown to be linked to the efforts of the social sciences to take up a flawed scientific epistemology. Through efforts to assert itself as a naturalistic scientific endeavour, it will be argued that the social sciences sacrificed the essential imaginative and humanistic components that are integral to an effective study of the social world. This essay will show that a similar pattern occurred within history, though it was able to redevelop a functioning epistemology through an emphasis of the centrality of stories to human existence and the formation of a grand narrative. Thus, the problems within social science might then be able to be solved by considering its own grand narrative. Most importantly, the formation of grand-narratives overcomes the nihilism of European civilizations and provides the foundations for a global ecological civilization.

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