1st Edition

Explanation in Action Theory and Historiography
Causal and Teleological Approaches

ISBN 9781138584402
Published June 11, 2019 by Routledge
270 Pages

USD $155.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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