Methods of the natural and the human-historical sciences. Opposed directionality between explanation (arrow pointing to smallest circle) and understanding (arrow pointing from smallest circle), indicating the methods of the natural and human-historical sciences, respectively. Natural sciences proceed in terms of the 'classic reductionist hierarchy' from sociology to psychology to biology, chemistry and physics. They generally proceed from larger, rather nebulous wholes to seek out explanatory relationships between ever-smaller parts of these wholes. Conversely, understanding is contextual by situating parts in ever-greater wholes, even if these totalities are ultimately unavailable to the individual perspective but transcend or 'encompass' it. Each discipline requires an 'abstraction, reduction to and idealization (i.e., "naming," Husserl) of the 'objects' or entities of its discipline (which exclude the objects of neighboring disciplines). Gray areas between disciplines indicate interdisciplinary relationships which are often more fuzzy involving destabilizing relationships within interdisciplinary vocabulary and concepts. φ, physis (φύσις), physical-natural sciences; β, bios (βίος), biological sciences; ψ, psyche (ψυχή), psychological-cognitive sciences; π, polis (πόλις), historical-cultural sciences. From Mishara . Reprinted with permission from Wolters Kluwer.