Plausible Worlds: Possibility and Understanding in History and the Social Sciences

Plausible Worlds: Possibility and Understanding in History and the Social Sciences

by Geoffrey Hawthorn
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521457769

ISBN-13: 9780521457767

Pub. Date: 11/18/1993

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Possibilities haunt history. The force of our explanations of events turns on the alternative possibilities those explanations suggest. It is these possible worlds that give us our understanding; and in human affairs, we decide them by practical rather than theoretical judgment. In this widely acclaimed account of the role of counterfactuals in explanation,

Overview

Possibilities haunt history. The force of our explanations of events turns on the alternative possibilities those explanations suggest. It is these possible worlds that give us our understanding; and in human affairs, we decide them by practical rather than theoretical judgment. In this widely acclaimed account of the role of counterfactuals in explanation, Geoffrey Hawthorn deploys extended examples to defend his argument. His conclusions cast doubt on existing assumptions about the nature and place of theory, and indeed of the possibility of knowledge itself, in the human sciences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521457767
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/18/1993
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents

1. Counterfactuals, explanation and understanding; 2. Plague and fertility in early modern Europe; 3. The United States in South Korea; 4. Duccio's painting; 5. Explanation, understanding and theory.

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