Intentional explanation, psychological laws, and the irreducibility of the first person perspective

1. Introduction: Naturalism and Psychological Explanations To a large extent, contemporary philosophical debate takes place within a framework of naturalistic assumptions. From the perspective of the history of philosophy, naturalism is the legacy of positivism without its empiricist epistemology and empiricist conception of meaning and cognitive significance. Systematically, it is best to characterize naturalism as the philosophical articulation of the underlying presuppositions of a reductive scientific research program that was rather successful in the last few centuries and, equally important, promises to be so in the future particularly in the biological sciences and the neurosciences. It seems as if the secrets of human life and behavior and the mysteries of the mind will be cracked on the molecular level of the genes or the brain, or at least so we are told. Viewed in this manner it is understandable why philosophical naturalism tends to be committed to monism, both as a metaphysical or ontological claim and as a methodological position in the philosophy of social science. Naturalists are inclined to adopt a physicalist ontology that rejects free floating Cartesian substances and they view higher order macroscopic facts and properties as being dependent or supervenient on basic micro-physical facts. Naturalists, furthermore, expect that any scientific explanation of higher order properties has to provide an account of why and how these lower order facts give rise to higher order ones. These ontological and epistemic commitments also underpin a position of methodological monism in regard to the social sciences and the explanation of human agency. If the above ontological picture is correct then there is no reason to expect that the structure of the sciences dealing with higher order properties on the social level should fundamentally differ in their methodology from the natural sciences. In both domains of investigation, scientists will develop and make explanatory use of comprehensive and empirically well supported theories with adequate predictive powers that describe....
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,208
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Reason Explanation a First-Order Rationalizing Account.Neil C. Manson - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):113 – 129.
Intentionalistic Explanations in the Social Sciences.John R. Searle - 1991 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (3):332-344.
Naturalism and Causal Explanation.Josefa Toribio - 1999 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 32 (3/4):243-268.
Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation.Seungbae Park - 2003 - Philosophical Papers 32 (2):157-170.
Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology.Huib L. de Jong - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.
Supervenience and Explanation.Harold Kincaid - 1988 - Synthese 77 (November):251-81.
Naturalism and Psychological Explanation.Paul K. Moser - 1994 - Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):63-84.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #164,691 of 2,164,295 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,039 of 2,164,295 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums