Philosophy of Science 66 (3):313 (1999)

Mark Risjord
Emory University
Functional explanation in the social sciences is the focal point for conflict between individualistic and social modes of explanation. While the agent thought she was acting for reasons, the functional explanation seems to reveal the hidden strings of the puppet master. This essay argues that the conflict is merely apparent. The erotetic model of explanation is used to analyze the forms of intentional action and functional explanations. Two explanations conflict if either the presuppositions of their respective why-questions conflict or the typical answers identified by their relevance criteria conflict. While a functional explanation may have the same topic and foil as an intentional action explanation, both the why-questions and their typical answers are compatible
Keywords Function   History   Explanation   Philosophy of Science   Action
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DOI 10.1086/392733
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References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Why-Questions.Sylvain Bromberger - 1966 - In Robert G. Colodny (ed.), Mind and Cosmos -- Essays in Contemporary Science and Philosophy. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 86--111.

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Citations of this work BETA

Context in Mechanism-Based Explanation.Gianluca Pozzoni & Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (6):523-554.
Explanatory Exclusion History and Social Science.Mark Day - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):20-37.

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