The Logic of Historical Explanation

Author:   Clayton Roberts
Publisher:   Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN:  

9780271014432


Pages:   332
Publication Date:   15 April 1996
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   Awaiting stock   Availability explained
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The Logic of Historical Explanation


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Overview

Ever since 1942, when Carl Hempel declared that historical events are explained by subsuming them under laws governing the occurrence of similar events, philosophers have debated the validity of explanations based on covering laws. In The Logic of Historical Explanation, Clayton Roberts provides a key to understanding the role of covering laws in historical explanation. He does so by distinguishing between their use at the macro- and micro- levels, a distinction that no other scholar has made. Roberts contends that the positivists were right to believe that covering laws are indispensable in historical explanations but wrong to think that these laws apply to macro-events (such as wars and revolutions). Similarly, the humanists were right to declare that historians do not explain the occurrence of macro-events by subsuming them under covering laws but wrong to deny the role of covering laws in tracing the course of events leading to the macro-event. Roberts resolves this debate by showing that, though useless in explaining macro-events, covering laws are indispensable in connecting the steps in an explanatory narrative. He then sets forth the logic of an explanatory narrative, explores the nature of rational explanation, and distinguishes the logic of historical interpretation from the logic of historical explanation.

Full Product Details

Author:   Clayton Roberts
Publisher:   Pennsylvania State University Press
Imprint:   Pennsylvania State University Press
Dimensions:   Width: 15.20cm , Height: 2.30cm , Length: 22.90cm
Weight:   0.581kg
ISBN:  

9780271014432


ISBN 10:   0271014431
Pages:   332
Publication Date:   15 April 1996
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate ,  Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Awaiting stock   Availability explained
The supplier is currently out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you and placed on backorder. Once it does come back in stock, we will ship it out for you.

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Reviews

In an era when some historians tell us that the truth about history is that history does not tell the truth, it is refreshing to find a book such as this, which boldly asserts that history not only tells the truth but explains past events causally. --American Historical Review


This is a splendid book, worthy of a very close reading by anyone interested in the issues and arguments that dominated the discussion of history by Anglo-American philosophers, especially in the sixties and seventies. --William H. Dray, International Studies in Philosophy


This is a splendid book, worthy of a very close reading by anyone interested in the issues and arguments that dominated the discussion of history by Anglo-American philosophers, especially in the sixties and seventies. William H. Dray, International Studies in Philosophy


Author Information

Clayton Roberts is Professor Emeritus of History at The Ohio State University. His previous books include The Growth of Responsible Government in Stuart England (2008).

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