Philosophy of Science Erklaren and Verstehen Erklaren and Verstehen are two clearly defined methods used in science, however, one supports the human sciences and the other works in the natural sciences. We will describe both of these methods and add an suitable example, we will start off with Erklaren. In natural sciences events or processes are observed and explained in terms of physical laws. This method is called Erklaren, which is German for explaining.
Nowadays this scientific method is mainly used in biology, physics and chemistry; for example when one wants to explain how come a meteorite’s course can be affected, one should look at physical laws such as gravity. Because we know that Jupiter’s gravitational pull is so strong, considering it’s mass is over a 100 times greater than Earth’s mass, that objects from far away can be influenced by it and possibly be pulled out of their initial course. The other method is Verstehen, which is German for understanding, this is a method of human sciences.
When using this method, one tries to understand the actions by the use of reason. In other to understand what has just happened to person A, person B has to try and put himself into the shoes of A and understand why the actions caused by person A have just occurred. The more precisely one can impersonates the other person, the better the understanding will be. For example if a psychologist tries to understand why patient A has problems in his life, he can examine the lifeline and perhaps find an event that caused the problems that occurred later on.
An classic example is the posttraumatic stress disorder caused by events that have taken place in a warzone. Now we want to know if one of the two theories are usable or are being used in the science of International Business. When looking at the method of Verstehen you would try to put yourself in the shoes of another person to get a better understanding, it could be the case that the level of understanding significantly relies on individual capacities. Then there lays a potential threat: ’’The threat of subjectivism in the science of business’’.
We think that it is necessary that science is objective to look at a problem in the best possible way and come to a good solution. We could say that International Business Administration also is a human science. During this study we are being thought to make the best possible decision in all kinds of different circumstances with different types of investigation/research methods, to learn key things in organizational behavior and what the future effects are of things you change at this moment.
Some of these points you also see in the humanistic attitude towards the human sciences. We think that there is some resemblance between the science of IBA and the method of erklaren. Namely with mathematical and economical subjects we try to explain for example certain causes and effects with the help predetermined laws and try to interpret how they react on one another.