Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):237-243 (2008)
Anti-realists like Paul Roth conceive of historical narratives as having no genuine explanatory power, because historical events are not ready-made and reveal themselves only to the retrospective gaze of the historian. For that reason, the categories with the help of which historians identify historical events do not map onto categories of general theories of the world required for a genuine explanation of them. While I agree with Paul Roth that the significance of a historical event is revealed only retrospectively, I argue that this does not imply that historical narratives do not provide genuine explanations. In this context, it is however important to distinguish between the description used by historians to identify the event as being part of the narrative and the description under which the occurrence of the very same event could be causally explained within the narrative. Both types of descriptions possess a certain degree of conceptual independence from each other. I argue that historical narratives incorporate both dimensions: what I also call the view from and with the view from below. Historical narratives do explain, even though they differ from scientific theories.
|Keywords||EXPLANATION THEORETICAL REDUCTION UNDERSTANDING NARRATIVE REALISM AND ANTI-REALISM|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Multiple Explanations in Darwinian Evolutionary Theory.Walter J. Bock - 2010 - Acta Biotheoretica 58 (1):65-79.
Understanding Narrative Explanation.Björn Eriksson - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):317-344.
A Problem of Our Own Making: Roth on Historical Explanation.John H. Zammito - 2008 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):244-249.
Health Care Reform: What History Doesn't Teach.Nancy S. Jecker - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (4):277-305.
Truth in Interpretation: The Case of Psychoanalysis.Paul A. Roth - 1991 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (2):175-195.
The Behavioral Sciences Are Historical Sciences of Emergent Complexity.Larry Arnhart - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):18-19.
The Role of Joint Experience in Historical Narratives.Axel Seemann - 2011 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):201-229.
Negotiating Historical Narratives: An Epistemology of History for History Education.Jon A. Levisohn - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 44 (1):1-21.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #129,239 of 2,169,111 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #345,850 of 2,169,111 )
How can I increase my downloads?