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Causation and reason: R.G. Collingwood and causal analysis as the essence of social thinking
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Sociology. (Interkulturella studier)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1702-0182
2017 (English)In: Distinktion Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, ISSN 1600-910X, E-ISSN 2159-9149, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 173-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How are we to understand causal relations and analysis in socialscience? This paper takes R. G. Collingwood’s writing aboutcausation as its point of departure for the answering of thisquestion. Two different kinds of causal relations are distinguishedfrom pseudo-causality; of the former, one is directly connected toreason, the other to our ability to manipulate the world. Theirinterconnection and significance are discussed and theconclusions are drawn that (a) causality belongs to the realm ofhuman praxis and that (b) causal analysis proper is well suited forthe social sciences. It is further showed that some importantexplanations are not causal in any of the above-mentionedsenses. These explanations could conceivably be calledinterpretative descriptions, but it is suggested that perhaps theycan be understood as examples of causa sui, of something selfcaused.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 18, no 2, p. 173-195
Keywords [en]
Causality; Collingwood; scientific explanation; social science; social theory; philosophy of action; historicity; causa sui
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-26386DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2017.1370004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030682693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-26386DiVA, id: diva2:1148114
Note

Open Access APC beslut 22/2017

Available from: 2017-10-10 Created: 2017-10-10 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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