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The monograph offers an in-depth, source-oriented presentation and analysis of the complex discussions that took place between ca. 1230 and 1350 on the differentiation and expansion of the structural concept of scientific knowledge and certainty in lifeworld-contingent areas of investigation. It makes transparent a development in the course of which a graduated, multidimensional conception of knowledge and certainty emerges. In the process, the masters gain pioneering insights into the philosophy of science. Starting from the key data provided by Aristotle, the scholastic scholars' productive, far-reaching further thinking leads to a deeper understanding of the nature and reliability of scientifically acquired knowledge. These intellectual endeavours were significantly challenged by the increasing knowledge of the spectrum of the transmitted Aristotelian and Arabic sciences. They also received significant impulses from epistemological reflection in theology.
This book develops a modern evolutionary anthropological theory of the cognitive conditions for explanatory descriptions of the world.
Within the broad framework of processual hermeneutics, this monograph studies rationality by investigating what are the fundamental cognitive mechanisms required for the cultural development of rational constructions. It analyses the basic cognitive competences through which the human being connects categories and operations in a manner that allows it to orient itself in the world. If both understanding and explaining are forms of human-specific orientation, what does asking the question “how” imply cognitively? This monograph focuses therefore on the human-specific array of cognitive mechanisms, here referred to as enarrativity.