Article ID: CBB001551432

A Diversity of Divisions: Tracing the History of the Demarcation between the Sciences and the Humanities (2015)


Bouterse, Jeroen (Author)
Karstens, Bart (Author)

Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Volume: 106, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 341-352

Publication Date: 2015
Edition Details: Part of a Series: The History of Humanities and the History of Science
Language: English

Throughout history, divides between the sciences and the humanities have been drawn in many different ways. This essay shows that the notion of a divide became more urgent and pronounced in the second half of the nineteenth century. While this shift has several causes, the essay focuses on the rise of the social sciences, which is interpreted as posing a profound challenge to the established disciplines of the study of humankind. This is demonstrated by zooming in on linguistics, one of the key traditional disciplines of the humanities. Through the assumption of a correspondence between mental and linguistic categories, psychology became of central importance in the various conceptions of linguistics that emerged in the nineteenth century. Both linguistics and psychology were very much engaged in a process of discipline formation, and opinions about the proper directions of the fields varied considerably. Debates on these issues catalyzed the construction of more radical divisions between the sciences and the humanities. Both Wilhelm Dilthey's dichotomy between understanding and explanation and Wilhelm Windelband's dichotomy between nomothetic and idiographic sciences respond to these debates. While their constructions are often lumped together, the essay shows that they actually meant very different things and have to be treated accordingly.

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Article Bod, Rens; Kursell, Julia (2015) Introduction: The Humanities and the Sciences. Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 337-340). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Lessing, Hans-Ulrich
Kaplan, Judith R. H.
Fellmann, Ferdinand
Johach, Helmut
Kerckhoven, Guy van
Orsucci, Andrea
Dilthey-Jahrbuch für Philosophic und Geschichte der Geisteswissenschaften
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
History of Psychology
History of Psychiatry
Leuven University Press
University of Michigan Press
Princeton University
University of Wisconsin at Madison
New York University
Harvard University
Controversies and disputes
Linguistics; philology
Language and languages
Dilthey, Wilhelm
Jaspers, Karl
Husserl, Edmund
Andreas, Friedrich Carl
Saussure, Ferdinand de
Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Karl
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
20th century
Berlin (Germany)
United States
Great Britain

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