This essay examines the method and context that underlie Josiah Royce's The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (SMP). I locate this work among Royce's German influences, and I argue that SMP represents a considerable departure from his early Neo-Kantianism. In the concluding sections, I outline the ethical approach to historiography that Royce practices in SMP. Focusing on his polemic against Hans Vaihinger, I then draw from Royce some suggestions concerning how we should study and write the history of philosophy.
1. The birth of dialogue from the spirit of the Polish October political uprising: From social civil war and simple exclusions (even physical) to negotiations andcomplicated “Dialogue of Contradictions” within national entity. Almost 25 years before the much later birth and international triumph of the Solidarity Union, the “Polish October” of 1956, history’s first victorious anti-Stalinist political uprising and most certainly a historical milestone for Poland—if not all of Europe—was the main harbinger of change in all fundamental spheres (...) of life.2. Secularism in the place of atheism or the acceptance of pluralism at the price of indifference :the “our little stability” ideology3. International cooperation as a fundamental inspiration and “umbrella”4. Patriotism as a “civic religion” mainly for unbelievers and even mediatisation of materialism and Christianity5. Towards a new complementarity/synergy-founded universalism6. New names, new problems7. Synopsis, updates8. The next stage: Dialogue and Universalism Virtual University experimental project. (shrink)
I. THE ORIGINS OF THE COMPLEMENTARITY CONCEPT IN SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS UNIVERSALISMa) Keywords, categoriesb) G. McLean: the emergence of philosophical and social complementarity from the Polish dialogue and Solidarityc) Secularity open to all human dimensions including the sacral (the structure of religious values approved not ontologically but on the ethical and cultural plane)d) The Catholicism of John Paul from Cracow and Rome as realistic global and dialogue-based universalisme) Laborem Exercens—source of modern universalismf) “John Paul II’s ‘Labour Manifesto’ and universal society (...) visiong) Sacrality as the highest form of recognitionII. DŁUGIE NARODZINY I KSZTAŁTOWANIE SIĘ SEKULARYZMU [LAICYZMU?] HUMANISTYCZNEGO I PRZEŁOM – KU UNIWERSALIZMOWI, KOMPLEMENTARNYM AKCEPTOWANIEM SEKULARNOŚCI I SAKRALNOŚCIa) Narodziny dialogu z ducha Polskiego Października: od tylko ekskluzji do „dialogu przeciwieństw” b) Laicyzm, a nie ateizm, czyli uznanie pluralizmu za cenę obojętności: ideologia „naszej małej stabilizacji”c) Kontrpartner światopoglądowy jako sojusznik w praktyce społecznejd) Współpraca międzynarodowa jako inspiracja najszersza i ‘parasol ochronny’e) Patriotyzm jako ‘religia obywatelska’ oraz jako mediatyzacja materializmu i chrześcijaństwaIII. KU NOWEMU ETAPOWI UNIWERSALIZMU, RODZĄCEGO SIĘ Z KOMPLEMENTARNOŚCI I SYNERGIIa) Nazwy, problemyb) Synopsis i aktualizacjac) Kolejny etap eksperymentalnej realizacji projektu UW D&UThe present issue of Dialogue and Universalism is exceptional in that it marks out a new phase—not only for our periodical, but also the historical path it attempts to illuminate—and at times even co-create.In fact, similarly as Plato’s great concept, this can be well expressed by one idea, an idea that in its unique, mutually penetrating relation to existence is at once a summary and an illumination. An idea which, like the Sun, brings out diffused things and facts from the darkness of fragmentary, in a sense undeveloped and almost empty existence and the absurdity of mutually-destructive objects, events and people.Yes—this idea is a path leading away from absurdity and the logical, or, rather, ontological partiality and particularism (hence, in a sense, social meaninglessness) of mutually-destructive and mutually-degrading “incomplete existences”.It is, of course, no new idea—it is present in the history of philosophy, anthropology and biology, and in quantum mechanics: complementarity. However, thanks to the penetrating visions of George McLean, this idea now appears in a new role—putting it most simply (if somewhat impoverishingly): as an instrument enabling comprehension of society, including human relations, over history. This, however, will only be possible if we rise above fact—and even regularity—towards the essence of life and history in their most all-embracing sense. In other words, towards the essence of existence, history and the world. And the key to this will be our understanding and application of complementarity.Complementarity in the here-proposed understanding emerges from the historical process and historical theory as a unique form of maturity, a synthesis bearing the most precious intellectual and moral values for all sides involved in co-creating it. (shrink)
Richard Koch1 became known in the 1920s with works on basic medical theory. Among these publications, the character of medical action and its status within the theory of science was presented as the most important theme. While science is inherently driven by the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, medicine pursues the practical purpose of helping the sick. Therefore, medicine must be seen as an active relationship between a helping and a suffering person. While elucidating this relationship, Koch discusses (...) the fundamental elements of medicine found in natural philosophy and the relationship of medicine to its own history. One of his aims is to unite natural history and the history of ideas without reducing intellectual processes to biological ones. Koch considers free will as something intuitively certain. It must serve as an axiom which will capture human as well as non-human reality. Based on the fact that human free will, considered a psychic quality, evolved out of inanimate matter, Koch grants matter (proto-) psychic qualities. They are evoked through specific constellations of matter. – With regard to history, Koch rejects the notion of constant progress. The history of medicine has provided insights that cannot be surpassed but can be obscured. Historical self-contemplation serves as a means for avoiding any deviations which may prevent medicine from fulfiling its ultimate purpose. Koch connects nature and history through the concept of a unity between natural history and the historical development of medicine. Medicine is considered an especially complex development of a purposive reaction to harmful stimuli, a reaction which can already be encountered in unicellular organisms. Without intending to reduce historical and mental processes to biological ones, Koch sets for himself the aim of gathering different phenomena and presenting them in one encapsulating unity. (shrink)
This book introduces Hegel's best-known and most influential work, Phenomenology of Spirit, by interpreting it as a unified argument for a single philosophical claim: that human beings achieve their freedom through retrospective self-understanding. In clear, non-technical prose, Larry Krasnoff sets this claim in the context of the history of modern philosophy and shows how it is developed in the major sections of Hegel's text. The result is an accessible and engaging guide to one of the most complex and (...) important works of nineteenth-century philosophy, which will be of interest to all students and teachers working in this area. (shrink)
Did Plato really write those Socratic Dialogues – or was it Socrates after all? Why is it doubtful that Descartes ever really uttered, “I think, therefore I am”? And what did Sartre ever have against waiters, anyway? The history of philosophy is filled with great tales – many of them fictions, misrepresentations, falsehoods, lies and fibs. Or are they just misstatements, prevarications, and narratives not entirely based on fact? In the true spirit of a broad philosophical debate, Philosophical (...) Tales dips a toe into the great sea of philosophy to collect, deconstruct, and relate many of history’s great – and not so great – philosophical tales. Enlightening and entertaining, Philosophical Tales examines a few of the fascinating biographical details of history’s greatest philosophers (alas, mostly men) and highlights their contributions to the field. By applying the true philosophical approach to philosophy itself, the text provides us with a refreshing “alternative history” of philosophy. But why should someone want to know that Kant rolled himself three times in his sheets each night before sleeping, that Schopenhauer pushed a poor old lady down the stairs, or Marx spent as much time on beer and women as he did in the British Library? By examining the seeming trivialities of philosophers’ lives – and skewering a few cherished myths along the way – Philosophical Tales provides us with illuminating insights that will encourage a more active, critical way of thinking. Blaise Pascal may have put it best when he said, “To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.”. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction -- Setting the Scene -- Plato and Aristotle -- From the Roman Empire to the Empire of Islam -- The Western Middle Ages -- The Renaissance -- New Methods of Science -- Bringing Mathematics and Natural Philosophy Together -- Practice and Theory in Renaissance Medicine: William Harvey and the Circulation of the Blood -- The Spirit of System: Rene; Descartes and the Mechanical Philosophy -- The Royal Society and Experimental Philosophy -- Experiment, Mathematics, (...) and Magic: Isaac Newton -- Newton's Legacy: Forces and Fluids (electricity and heat) -- The Chemical Revolution: From Newton to John Dalton, via Priestley and Lavoisier -- Natural Theology and Natural Order: Newtonian Optimism and the History of Science -- The Making of Geology: From James Hutton to Charles Lyell via Catastrophism -- The History of Plants and Animals: Successive Emergence or Evolution? -- Religion and Progress in Victorian Britain: Robert Chambers versus Hugh Miller -- Bringing it All Together?: Charles Darwin's Evolution -- Darwinian Aftermaths: Religion; Social Science; Biology -- Beyond Newton: Energy and Thermodynamics -- Newton deposed: Einstein and Relativity Theory -- Mathematics instead of a World Picture: From Atomism to Quantum Theory -- Afterword. (shrink)
Remembering forgetting : Maladies de la Mémoire in nineteenth-century France -- Dying of the past : medical studies of nostalgia in nineteenth-century France -- Hysterical remembering -- Trauma, representation, and historical consciousness -- Trauma : a dystopia of the spirit -- Falling into history : Freud's case of 'Frau Emmy von N.' -- Why Freud haunts us -- Why Warburg now? -- Classic postmodernism : Keith Jenkins -- Ebb tide : Frank Ankersmit -- The art of losing oneself (...) : Anne Carson and decreation -- Inquiry as hope : Richard Rorty -- Photographic ambivalence -- Why photography matters to the theory of history -- Ordinary film : Péter Forgács's The Maelstrom -- Graves of the insane, decorated -- On a certain blindness in teaching -- Beyond critical thinking -- Good and risky : on the promise of a liberal education. (shrink)
The Hegel controversy -- Nature and spirit -- The struggle for recognition : the dialectic of lordship and bondage -- Race, gender, and class -- Philosophy of history -- Africa : the domain of the senses -- The Orient : the ferment of the understanding -- The Greco-Germanic world : the home of self-conscious reason.
This groundbreaking collective commentary on the whole of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, written by a select group of leading international scholars, peels back the layers of Hegel’s great work to reveal new insights into one of the most challenging works in the history of Western philosophy. By closely analyzing the original text, each essay illuminates the philosophical issues addressed in each section of Hegel’s work. By considering the role and function of each section of text within the Phenomenology (...) as a whole, these essays achieve an impressive degree of integration. Individually and collectively, these essays address the question of the internal unity of the Phenomenology, shedding further light on its true cohesiveness. The essays are suitable for advanced undergraduates and non-specialists, whilst also making original contributions to the field. The Guide begins with a synopsis of Hegel’s Phenomenology by the editor based on the Guide’s contributions; it features a select Bibliography of further sources on each chapter of the Phenomenology and comprehensive analytical indexes. Contents: Introduction, (1) Kenneth R. Westphal: “Hegel’s Phenomenological Method and Analysis of Consciousness”; (2) Frederick Neuhouser: “Desire, Recognition, and the Relation between Bondsman and Lord”; (3) Franco Chiereghin: “Freedom and Thought: Stoicism, Skepticism, and Unhappy Consciousness”; (4) Cinzia Ferrini: “The Certainty and Truth of Reason”; (5) Cinzia Ferrini: “Reason Observing Nature”; (6) Terry Pinkard: “Shapes of Active Reason: The Law of the Heart, Retrieved Virtue, and What Really Matters”; (7) David C. Hoy: “The Ethics of Freedom: Hegel on Reason as Law-Giving and Law-Testing”; (8) Jocelyn Hoy: “The Spirit of Ancient Greece in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”; (9) Jürgen Stolzenberg: “Hegel’s Critique of the Enlightenment in ‘The struggle of the Enlightenment with Superstition’”; (10) Frederick C. Beiser: “Morality and Conscience in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”; (11) George di Giovanni: “Religion, History, and Spirit in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”; (12) Allegra de Laurentiis: “Absolute Knowing”; (13)Marina Bykova: “Spirit and Concrete Subjectivity in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”; General Bibliography, Index of Names, Index of Subjects, Table of Concordances. (xxvi + 315 pages.). (shrink)
Despite the problematic political positions he adopted during his life span, the work of Carl Schmitt contains a fascinating argument in favour of `the political', which is understood as a plural symbolic space composed of friends and enemies who reciprocally recognise each other. Schmitt's struggle for the political is a struggle for a public spirit which accounts for this plurality. One of the terrains on which Schmitt wages this struggle is that of historical meaning. The image of history (...) is crucial for the political, as it is one level on which the relation between enemies is symbolised. In this paper, Schmitt's polemic for a political conception of history, which gives the enemy and the defeated their due place as political subjects, will be reconstructed. Central to Schmitt's endeavour is the attempt to think historical singularity, against the notion of repetition in history, against the understanding of history as a reservoir of `lessons' and against ideologies of progress. Through his polemic, a profane and sober image of history appears which stresses singularity, relative contingency and openness, and the pluralisation of social temporalities. The enigmatic notion of the katechon will play a crucial role in providing a very minimal but crucial form of historical meaning for such a political conception of history. (shrink)
The eurocentrism of Hegel's philosophy of history is well known. Hegel's reputation has not benefited from many of the claims in the Philosophy of History; such as the one that African history, having no development, has contributed nothing to world history. Because of the general lack of attention that Hegel's philosophy of subjective spirit has received, it is little known that this eurocentrism is based, in part, on the racism of the philosophy of subjective (...) class='Hi'>spirit. Only here does Hegel systematically treat the biological category of race. Reading through this section one can find passages about racial distinctions which seem initially to be rather ambivalent, but taken as a whole are decidedly racist. Much of what Hegel says about the �inferiority� of African culture and the �justification� for the slave trade finds its foundation here. This paper is an exhibition of the relevant passages of the �Philosophy of Subjective Spirit� and an attempt to link them to Hegel's other claims about African culture and the slave trade. I will argue that Hegel's philosophy of spirit is tainted by the unusual (for Hegel) causal role which he gives to a biological category, namely race. I will argue further that his philosophy of spirit is not necessarily racist, only contingently so, that is that his racism does not follow from any of his fundamental claims about spirit. Hegel's account of spirit makes his racism possible, not necessary. The source of his racism can be traced to the general ideology of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, understanding how Hegel could hold racist views is important for understanding features of his political philosophy. It shows both the problems of the Hegelian conception of person hood and exemplifies the conservative bias built into his method of political philosophy generally. (shrink)
Readers of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism recognize that Weber attempts to provide an ideal account of development of modern rational capitalism. What readers apparently do not realize is that Weber believes that there is a political development that is parallel to this economic development. Weber believed that Luther’s passive theology and doctrine of two kingdoms lead to quiet resignation in earthly matters. Luther advises shunning politics and avoiding political confrontation. In contrast, Weber held that Calvin’s (...) theology of awe and his doctrine of predestination lead to active political stances and even imply a duty to resist tyranny. However, Weber rejects both Luther’s and Calvin’s political stances because both believed in a divinely ordered world and held that the consequences of their actions were ultimately left to God. Weber contends that only those people who have the proper understanding of the nature of power and have a real appreciation for the ‘diabolic’ nature of politics are suitable to be political actors. Thus, Weber insists that only those people who will take responsibility for their own political actions have the right to ‘stick their hands in the wheels of history’. (shrink)
This article draws attention to the importance of early eighteenth-century debates about the nature of the French monarchy for our understanding of Montesquieu's masterpiece The Spirit of the Laws. By contrasting and comparing Montesquieu's views with those of, amongst others, Henri de Boulainvilliers and Gilbert-Charles Le Gendre, this article shows that The Spirit of the Laws defended an orthodox monarchist position. The evidence presented in this article therefore has important implications for the ongoing debate about Montesquieu's place in (...) the history of ideas, suggesting that The Spirit of the Laws was written to bolster rather than to undermine the regime under which he lived. (shrink)
Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws (1748) illuminates the many factors that affect human behaviour and hence constrain the capacity for self-guided action, but his work also contains a defence of this capacity in his treatment of the soul. Yet Montesquieu also thought it important to establish reliable limits on human action so as to protect political liberty, and he looked to the constitutional traditions of particular peoples for standards of right that would provide effective checks on individuals and (...) political powers without fundamentally eroding the animating power of the soul. Together Montesquieu's concept of the soul and use of history point to a nascent form of limited human agency, one that balances the elements of determinism present in his new scientific approach to politics and society. (shrink)
This article examines Charles Villers's Essay on the Spirit and Influence of Luther's Reformation (1804) in its intellectual and historical context. Exiled from France after 1792, Villers intervened in important French and German debates about the relationship of religion, history, and philosophy. The article shows how he took up a German Protestant discussion on the meaning of the Reformation that had been underway from the 1770s through the end of the century, including efforts by Kantians to seize the (...) mantle of Protestantism for themselves. Villers's essay capitalized on a broad interest in the question of Protestantism and its meaning for modern freedom around 1800. Revisiting the formation of the narrative of Protestantism and progress reveals that it was not a logical progression from Protestant theology or religion but rather part of a specific ideological and social struggle in the wake of the French Revolution and the collapse of the Old Regime. (shrink)
Yuan Dynasty was an era with austere political reality and thinking reality. As a result of despisement to ruling of different races, a large majority of scholars in Yuan Dynasty chose seclusion without other choice, but the “internal beauty” they pursued was amazingly unanimous, which was, without doubt, owing to the spirit of the mountains and forests. When they tried to find enjoyment in painting, they put their willpower in it, which was a spontaneous awareness of cultural spirit (...) and was, moreover, a peak experience of Chinese traditional culture. Achievement of Yuan Dynasty painting was impressive, and extended the aesthetic space of human beings. Thus, it enriched and development and manifestation connotation of landscape painting to a great extent, and would be engraved forever in the spiritual and cultural history of human beings. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
In the spirit of James and Dewey, I ask what one might want from a theory of knowledge. Much Anglophone epistemology is centered on questions that were once highly pertinent, but are no longer central to broader human and scientific concerns. The first sense in which epistemology without history is blind lies in the tendency of philosophers to ignore the history of philosophical problems. A second sense consists in the perennial attraction of approaches to knowledge that divorce (...) knowing subjects from their societies and from the tradition of socially assembling a body of transmitted knowledge. When epistemology fails to use the history of inquiry as a laboratory in which methodological claims can be tested, there is a third way in which it becomes blind. Finally, lack of attention to the growth of knowledge in various domains leaves us with puzzles about the character of the knowledge we have. I illustrate this last theme by showing how reflections on the history of mathematics can expand our options for understanding mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
The Anglophone philosophical world is currently riding a swelling wave of enthusiasm for a big, dense, blockbuster of a book by the previously unknown Jena philosopher, George Hegel. His Phenomenology of Spirit, originally in German, now available also in English, picks up and weaves together in a surprising and wholly original way a large number of today’s most fashionable ideas. Although he never comes right out and says so, I take it that the main topic the book addresses is (...) the notion of conceptual content. I say “main” topic—and even that with trepidation—because along the way, Hegel discusses practically everything: history, politics, art, literature, religion, psychology, sociology, natural science, and on and on. One of the masterful features of this magnum opus is the convincing way in which the arguments and considerations he brings to bear, in the course of articulating criteria of adequacy for an adequate semantics (which he thinks is inseparable from an adequate pragmatics), reverberate and ramify throughout our understanding of human culture generally. (shrink)
Bloch's The Spirit of Utopia, here presented for the first time in English translation, is one of the great historic books from the beginning of the twentieth-century. A peculiar amalgam of biblical, Marxist, and Expressionist turns, drawing on both Hegel and Schopenhauer for the groundwork of its metaphysics of music, but consistently interpreting the cultural legacy in the light of a certain Marxism, The Spirit of Utopia is a unique attempt to rethink the history of Western civilizations (...) as a process of revolutionary disruptions and to reread the artworks, religions, and philosophies of this tradition as incentives to continue disrupting. The first part concerns a mode of 'self-encounter' which presents itself in the history of music from Mozart through Mahler as an encounter with the problem of a community to come. The second part is entitled 'Karl Marx, Death and the Apocalypse'. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing (...) important methodological characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers are often said to be indifferent or even hostile to the history of philosophy--that is, not to the idea of history of philosophy as such, but as a species of the genus philosophy rather than history. It is argued that such an attitude is actually inconsistent with commonplace positions within the philosophies of mind that are typical within analytic philosophy.
I show the sense in which the concept of history as a human science affects our theory of the natural sciences and, therefore, our theory of the unity of the physical and human sciences. The argument proceeds by way of reviewing the effect of the Darwinian contribution regarding teleologism and of post-Darwinian paleonanthropology on the transformation of the primate members of Homo sapiens into societies of historied selves. The strategy provides a novel way of recovering the unity of the (...) sciences: by construing the physical sciences themselves as human sciences - and, therefore, as themselves historied. (shrink)
In recent years, even some of its own practitioners have accused analytic philosophy of lacking historical awareness. My aim is to show that analytic philosophy and history are not such a mismatch after all. Against the objection that analytic philosophers have unduly ignored the past I argue that for the most part they only resist strong versions of historicism, and for good reasons. The history of philosophy is not the whole of philosophy, as extreme historicists maintain, nor is (...) it indispensable to substantive philosophizing, as mainline historicists have it, it is merely advantageous (pragmatic historicism). Against the objection that analytic histories of philosophy are inevitably anachronistic I argue that it is possible to approach past texts with a view to substantive issues and in a critical spirit (contrary to historicist relativism and to misguided interpretations of the principle of charity). Indeed, such an analytic approach makes not just for better philosophy but also for better history. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
The Phenomenology of Spirit is Hegel's most important and famous work. It is essential to understanding Hegel's philosophical system and why he remains a major figure in western philosophy. Stern offers a clear and accessible introduction to what is undoubtedly one of the most complex books in the history of philosophy.
To date, no satisfactory account of the connection between natural-scientific and historical explanation has been given, and philosophers seem to have largely given up on the problem. This paper is an attempt to resolve this old issue and to sort out and clarify some areas of historical explanation by developing and applying a method that will be called “pragmatic explication” involving the construction of definitions that are justified on pragmatic grounds. Explanations in general can be divided into “dynamic” and “static” (...) explanations, which are those that essentially require relations across time and those that do not, respectively. The problem of assimilating historical explanations concerns dynamic explanation, so a general analysis of dynamic explanation that captures both the structure of natural-scientific and historical explanation is offered. This is done in three stages: In the first stage, pragmatic explication is introduced and compared to other philosophical methods of explication. In the second stage pragmatic explication is used to tie together a series of definitions that are introduced in order to establish an account of explanation. This involves an investigation of the conditions that play the role in historiography that laws and statistical regularities play in the natural sciences. The essay argues that in the natural sciences, as well as in history, the model of explanation presented represents the aims and overarching structure of actual causal explanations offered in those disciplines. In the third stage the system arrived at in the preceding stage is filled in with conditions available to and relevant for historical inquiry. Further, the nature and treatment of causes in history and everyday life are explored and related to the system being proposed. This in turn makes room for a view connecting aspects of historical explanation and what we generally take to be causal relations. (shrink)