R. Walter Wurzburger, “Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik as Posek of Post-Modern Orthodoxy” in Tradition (1994:1), p. 7 (link):
The Rav’s objection to the employment of modern historic and textual scholarship to ascertain the meaning of halakha reflects not naive traditionalism but highly sophisticated post-modern critical thought. He insists that halakha operate with its own unique canons of interpretation. According to R. Soloveitchik, scientific methods are appropriate only for the explanation of natural phenomena but have no place in the quest for the understanding of the normative and cognitive concepts of halakha, which imposes its own a priori categories, which differ from those appropriate in the realm of science. It is for this reason that the Rav completely ignores Bible criticism and eschews the “positive historical” approach of the “Science of Judaism.”
But what about using those methods for purely theoretical purposes, such as the establishment of historical layers?
(Repost from seven years ago)