Historical Explanation

Historical Explanation - The Quarrel About Historical...

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w The Quarrel About Historical Explanation T The discussion of the philosophical question of historical explanation is in reality a disagreement concerning the nature of the philosophic method. There are primarily two sides taken in this argument, those who agree with Carl Hempel and those that do not. According to Hempel a historical event is only sufficiently explained when it logically fits a set of confirmed pre-existing conditions along with some universal laws. Certainly all things cannot easily be assigned to rules and laws. Political coups, assassinations and revolutions are too complex for such a rigid explanation. And who is to say what perquisites there are for situations. Certainly there is no one who can predict every instance of a given event, there are just too many variables. Hempel then notes that Historians are seldom able to stick to his procedure and at best can only make an explanation sketch. Hempel seems to be saying then, that the majority of explanations surrounding historical events are inadequate and
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2011 for the course PHIL 1100 taught by Professor Pelham during the Spring '11 term at York University.

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Historical Explanation - The Quarrel About Historical...

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