Can human studies be scientific? The question is addressed by considering four others. What does it take for a subject to be scientific? Why does the issue matter? What are the impediments to human studies achieving standing as sciences? How are human studies to be classified if not as sciences? The potential impediments are the complexity of human phenomena, their instability over time, and the fact that they are always already ‘pre-interpreted’ by ordinary social agents. Alternative understandings of human studies are literature, critique, and ideology. Crucially, the issue matters because of the institutional status which being a science confers.
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