Explanation and understanding: Action as “historical structure”

Philosophia 36 (4):453-463 (2008)
Abstract
The first part of this essay is basically historical. It introduces the explanation–understanding divide, focusing in particular on the general–unique distinction. The second part is more philosophical and it presents two different claims on action. In the first place, I will try to say what it means to understand an action. Secondly, we will focus on the explanation of action as it is seen in some explanatory sciences. I will try to argue that in some cases these sciences commit what I call an “external contradiction”.
Keywords Philosophy  Explanation  Understanding  Action  History  Droysen  Windelband  Rickert  Mill  Helmholtz
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