1st Edition

Explanation in Action Theory and Historiography Causal and Teleological Approaches

Edited By Gunnar Schumann Copyright 2019
    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    Is the appropriate form of human action explanation causal or rather teleological? While this is a central question in analytic philosophy of action, it also has implications for questions about the differences between methods of explanation in the sciences on the one hand and in the humanities and the social sciences on the other. Additionally, this question bears on the problem of the appropriate form of explanations of past human actions, and therefore it is prominently discussed by analytic philosophers of historiography. This volume brings together causalists and anti-causalists to address enduring philosophical questions at the heart of this debate, as well as their implications for the practice of historiography. Part I considers the quarrel between causalism and anti-causalism in recent developments in the philosophy of action. Part II presents papers by causalists and anti-causalists that are more narrowly focused on the philosophy of historiography.

    1. Introduction

    Gunnar Schumann

    Part I: Causal vs. Teleological Explanation of Action

    2. Causalism: On Action Explanation and Causal Deviance

    Alfred Mele

    3. Why and How? Teleological and Causal Concepts in Action Explanation

    George F. Schueler

    4. Rationalizing Principles and Causal Explanation

    Guido Löhrer and Scott R. Sehon

    5. On an Imaginary Dialogue Between a Causalist and an Anti-causalist

    Giuseppina D’Oro

    6. Reasons, Causes, Desires, and Dispositions

    Severin Schroeder

    7. Objectivism and Causalism about Reasons for Action

    Hans-Johann Glock and Eva Schmidt

    8. Are Reasons Like Shampoo?

    Constanine Sandis

    Part II: Causal vs. Teleological Explanation in Historiography

    9. Counterfactual Causality and Historical Explanations

    Doris Gerber

    10. Beyond Causalism and Acausalism

    Harold Kincaid

    11. Two Methods in History

    Thomas Keutner

    12. An Anti-causal Theory of Action as Basis for Historical Explanations. A Sketch

    Gunnar Schumann

    13. Meanings and Mechanisms: An Actor-centered Approach to Historical Explanation

    Daniel Little

    14. The Origins of Historiographic Causation

    Aviezer Tucker


    Gunnar Schumann is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany