The course of human (“external” or “inner”) behaviour exhibits interrelations and regularities, like all occurrences. But what is, at least in its fullest sense, peculiar to human behaviour is [that it exhibits] interrelations and regularities whose course can be interpreted so that it can be understood. An “understanding” of human behaviour that has been obtained by means of interpretation first of all possesses a specific qualitative “evidentness” whose strength may vary very considerably. The fact that an interpretation possesses this evidentness to a particularly high degree still does not in itself constitute any sort of proof of its empirical validity: Behaviour[s] whose external course and effects are identical may stem from the most varied constellations of motives; and the most intelligibly evident motive is not always the one that was actually involved. Instead, the “understanding” of the interrelation must still, to the extent possible, be subjected

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possesses the highest measure of “evidentness”. By “purposively rational behaviour” we shall understand: behaviour that is exclusively oriented towards means which are (subjectively) considered to be adequate for the attainment of purposive goals which are (subjectively) unambiguously comprehended. It is by no means only purposively rational action that can be understood by us: we also “understand” the typical course of affects and their typical consequences for behaviour. From the point of view of the empirical disciplines, the boundaries of what is “understandable” are fluid. Ecstasy and mystical experiences – like (above all) certain kinds of psychopathic interrelations or the behaviour of small children (or, say, of animals – which do not concern us here) – are not accessible to our understanding and explanation through understanding, to the same extent as other processes and events. It is not, however, the “abnormal” as such that is inaccessible to explanation through understanding. On the contrary: it may precisely be the act of a person who towers above the average that – because it corresponds to a “correctness type” (a term whose meaning will be discussed shortly) – is absolutely “understandable” and at the same time the “simplest” to comprehend. As has often been said, one “does not have to be Caesar in order to understand Caesar”. ‹296› Otherwise, all writing of history would be meaningless. On the other hand, we regard some processes as being quite ordinary human activities of a “personal”, and indeed “psychical”, nature; but, in their interrelation, they nevertheless completely lack that qualitatively specific evidentness that is the hallmark of the understandable. Just as in the case of many psychopathic processes, we are only partly able to “understand” how phenomena connected with, for instance, memory and intellectual exercise happen. The interpretive sciences therefore treat the ascertainable regularities of such psychical processes exactly as they treat law-like regularities in physical nature.