David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293 (2010)
Whether or not an intentional explanation of action necessarily involves law-like statements is related to another question, namely, is it a causal explanation? The Popper-Hempel Thesis , which answers both questions affirmatively, inevitably faces a dilemma between realistic and universalistic requirements. However, in terms of W.C. Salmon’s concept of causal explanation, intentional explanation can be a causal one even if it does not rely on any laws. Based on this, we are able to refute three characteristic arguments for the claim “reason is not a cause of action,” namely, the “proper logical” argument, the “logical relation” argument, and the “rule-following” argument. This rebuttal suggests that the causal relationship between reason and action can provide a justification for intentional explanations.
|Keywords||intentional explanation causality laws of nature philosophy of the social sciences|
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References found in this work BETA
G. E. M. Anscombe (1957/2000). Intention. Harvard University Press.
R. G. Collingwood (1993). The Idea of History. Oxford University Press.
Donald Davidson (1980). Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford University Press.
William H. Dray (1979). Laws and Explanation in History. Greenwood Press.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Aspects of Scientific Explanation, and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. Free Press. 504.
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