Functional explanation, consequence explanation, and marxism

I argued in Karl Marx's Theory of History that the central claims of historical materialism are functional explanations, and I said that functional explanations are consequence explanations, ones, that is, in which something is explained by its propensity to have a certain kind of effect. I also claimed that the theory of chance variation and natural selection sustains functional explanations, and hence consequence explanations, of organismic equipment. In Section I I defend the thesis that historical materialism offers functional or consequence explanations, and I reject Jon Elster's contention that game theory can, and should, assume a central role in the Marxist theory of society. In Section II I contrast functional and consequence explanation, thereby revising the position of Karl Marx's Theory of History, and I question whether evolutionary biology supports functional explanations. Section III is a critique of Elster's views on functional explanation, and Sections IV and V defend consequence explanation against metaphysical and epistemological doubts. A concluding section summarizes my present understanding of the status of historical materialist explanations
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DOI 10.1080/00201748208601953
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Functions in Jurisprudential Methodology.Kenneth M. Ehrenberg - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):447-456.
Historical Materialism and Functional Explanation.Allen W. Wood - 1986 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):11 – 27.
On the Critique of Values.Michael Luntley - 1989 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):399 – 417.
Historical Materialism and More.William H. Shaw - 1989 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):437 – 453.

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