Graduate studies at Western
History and Theory 47 (1):31–43 (2008)
|Abstract||It has become something of a consensus among philosophers of history that historians, in contrast to natural scientists, explain in a narrative fashion. Unfortunately, philosophers of history have not said much about how it is that narratives have explanatory power. they do, however, maintain that a narrative’s explanatory power is sui generis and independent of our empathetic or reenactive capacities and of our knowledge of law-like generalizations. In this article I will show that this consensus is mistaken at least in respect to explanatory strategies used to account for rational agency using the “folk-psychological” framework of intentions, beliefs, desires, and the like. philosophers distinguish insufficiently among different aspects and different types of information needed for a historian to persuasively account for an agent’s behavior in particular circumstances. If one keeps these aspects apart it will become apparent exactly how one should understand the epistemic contribution of empathy, generalizations, and narrative for the explanation of action.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Jani Raerinne (2011). Causal and Mechanistic Explanations in Ecology. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (3):251-271.
Melissa Barry (2007). Realism, Rational Action, and the Humean Theory of Motivation. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):231-242.
Jim Bogen (2005). Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):397-420.
Mark Lance & Margaret Little (2004). Defeasibility and the Normative Grasp of Context. Erkenntnis 61 (2/3):435 - 455.
Karsten R. Stueber (2008). Theories Explain, and so Do Historical Narratives: But There Are Differences. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):237-243.
Nikola Kompa (2004). Moral Particularism and Epistemic Contextualism: Comments on Lance and Little. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):457 - 467.
Björn Eriksson (2005). Understanding Narrative Explanation. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):317-344.
Mark Bevir & Karsten Stueber (2011). Empathy, Rationality, and Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):147-162.
Karsten R. Stueber (2012). Understanding Versus Explanation? How to Think About the Distinction Between the Human and the Natural Sciences. Inquiry 55 (1):17 - 32.
T. Uebel (2012). Narratives and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (1):31-67.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #40,578 of 722,941 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,087 of 722,941 )
How can I increase my downloads?