Explanations of Meaningful Actions

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):224-238 (2012)
Abstract
There is a long tradition in philosophy and the social sciences that emphasizes the meaningfulness of human action. This tradition doubts or even negates the possibility of causal explanations of human action precisely on the basis that human actions have meaning. This article provides an argument in favor of methodological naturalism in the social sciences. It grants the main argument of the Interpretivists, that is, that human actions are meaningful, but it shows how a transformation of a "nexus of meaning" into a "causal nexus" can take place, proposing the "successful transformation argument."
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