History and Theory 30 (3):324-338 (1991)

A procedure of historical explanation is proposed which integrates two approaches used by contemporary historians. The motivational model, focusing on the various kinds of motives encountered in historical narratives, and the deductive- nomological model, which focuses on the importance of external events, can be linked together to yield a better integrated explanatory system. The two approaches can be bridged by establishing even more general laws underlying ones already applied, or by searching for substantiations of causes and laws in the origin of the entire historical process. On the basis of analysis of actual historiographical problems it becomes clear that historians mingle explanations in terms of human motives and external occurrences, without making the relations between them sufficiently clear. One needs to recognize that both motives and external events can be found in the historical process. Sequences of causes and effects in narratives have as an essential feature the intertwining of causes interpreted as motives and causes interpreted as external events. The objective conditions explained by the deductive-nomological model should find their reflection in the motivational model in the way that agents take cognizance of these conditions
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DOI 10.2307/2505561
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