Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
AYRES, José Ricardo de C. M.. Historical interpretation and scientific transformation: the hermeneutical task of a critical theory of epidemiology. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.28, n.4, pp. 311-319. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101994000400012.
The objective of this work is to discuss the scope of historical issues in an epistemological approach to epidemiology. Considering the contributions to a practical comprehension of science made by Habermas's theory of communicative action and Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics, this study attempts to explore the sense in which a historical point of view redirects the main epistemological questions of epidemiology. In contrast to strictly formal approaches, a historically enhanced epistemology seems to be a more prolific source of reasoning about the striving of epidemiology for scientific axioms. The relevance of historical theoretical improvements to epistemological methods themselves, with regard to emancipatory ideals, is particularly emphasized.
Keywords : Epidemiology; History; Philosophy; Social Medicine.