Definition of Verstehen in English:

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Pronunciation: /fɛːˈʃteɪən/


[mass noun] Sociology
Empathic understanding of human behaviour: a methodological framework founded upon the principles of Verstehen
More example sentences
  • This position can itself be viewed as the product of the confluence of three related stances: Weber's notion of Verstehen; symbolic interactionism; and phenomenology.
  • The social sciences are only based on a method called Verstehen (or what he calls conception).
  • The effect that this shared commitment to Verstehen had on the sorts of social theory they applied is profound.


German, literally 'understanding'.

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