Back to overview

Wissenschaftstheoretische Grundlagen sozial- und geschichtswissenschaftlicher Erklärungen

Applicant Grasshoff Gerd
Number 104125
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Philosophie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.04.2004 - 31.03.2007
Approved amount 124'217.00
Show all

Keywords (6)

Wissenschaftstheorie; Kausalität; explanation; philosophy of science; social sciences; causation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
One of the principal aims of scientific activity is to provideexplanations. Besides supplying our need for knowledge about the world,explanations also constitute the primary basis for prognosis, diagnosisand intervention. Especially with respect to explanations in the socialsciences and historical studies, however, questions about the structureand justification of explanations are controversially discussed fordecades already. The deep disagreement among scholars at least partlystems from difficulties with the concept of causation which is assumed toplay a central role in explanations. Despite the awareness of the role ofcausation in explanation, however, ongoing discussions about explanationsare seldom based on an explicit analysis of the concept of causation.

In drawing upon the up-to-date theory of causation “Minimal Theories”which handles a lot of traditional problems of causation this project aimsat clarifying various theoretical and methodological issues concerningexplanations in the social sciences and historical studies. Amongst otherthings such prominent controversial subjects as the role of laws and thereal-life vs. laboratory debate will be adressed in order to provide athorough and useful reformulation and structuring of the essential partsof the current debate on explanation in the social sciences and historicalstudies.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Name Institute