Title: Humanities 2.0: documents, interpretation and intersubjectivity in the digital age

Authors: Aurelien Benel, Christophe Lejeune

Addresses: Tech-CICO, Charles Delaunay Institute, University of Troyes, 12, rue Marie Curie, BP 2060, 10010 Troyes, France. ' Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Brussels, 50/123, F.D. Roosevelt Av., 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: With their focus on documents, interpretation and intersubjectivity, Web 2.0 technologies have surprising analogies with philosophical hermeneutics, including the theory of text interpretation. Philosophical hermeneutics was generalised from Biblical hermeneutics by Dilthey in the 19th century and chosen as an alternative to positivism as a foundation for the epistemology and methodology of the humanities and social sciences. This article explores how Web 2.0 technologies might better meet the needs of social and human sciences than traditional information technologies that are historically bound with logical positivism. Illustrations are provided from archaeology and sociology, two social and human sciences which were early adopters of punched cards and computers.

Keywords: Web 2.0; digital humanities; hermeneutics; intersubjectivity; epistemology; text interpretation; human sciences; social sciences; archaeology; sociology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2009.028090

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2009 Vol.5 No.4, pp.562 - 576

Published online: 04 Sep 2009 *

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