The dissertation is about the significance for, and impact upon public administration of the correspondence theory of truth or veridicality, and its underlying epistemological assumptions. The underlying thesis is that, unduly influenced by the success of the natural sciences, and naïve in accepting their claims to objectivity, many disciplines have sought to emulate them. There are two principle objections. Firstly, all other considerations aside, the supposedly objectivistic methodologies apparently applied to the explanation and prediction of the behavior of interactions of physical objects, may simply be inappropriate to certain other areas of inquiry; and more specifically objectivist methodologies are indeed inappropriate to understanding of human subjects, and their behavior, relations and interactions, and thus to public administration. The second objection is that it is of course logically impossible for any supposedly empirical discipline, as the natural sciences claim to be, to justify the belief in a supposedly objective realm of things-in-themselves existing outside, beyond, or independently of the changing, interrupted and different ‘appearances’ or experiences, to which an empirical science is qua empirical, necessarily restricted. Correspondence of any empirical observations or appearances (and the consequent or presupposed theoretical explanations) to an objective realm, upon which the claim to objectivity is based, is unverifiable.
In light of the above it becomes evident that far from being objective, the natural sciences themselves, and the empirical observations upon which they are supposedly grounded, are subject to conceptual mediation and subjective interpretation; subjective and inter-subjective coherence replacing objective correspondence as the criterion of veridicality. Consequently it becomes clear that the presuppositions and prejudices of the observers enter, in the forms of concepts and preconceptions, into the very observations, and even more so into the theoretical constructions, or theories, of the natural, and indeed human and social sciences, and their claims to be authoritative and true. Subsequent discussion is then focused on both the coherence of individuals’ experiences and understanding, and their inter-subjective coherence – which both rises from and constitutes, a “community”. The role of language facilitates such coherence.
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Epistemology, Philosophy, Public administration|
|Keywords:||Coherence theory, Correspondence theory, Inquiry, Philosophy, Public administration, Veridicality|
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