A Language-Game Justification for Narrative in Historical Explanation
Hall, Brayton Bruno
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The problem of historical explanation consists in how historical facts are put together. No mere collection of facts constitutes an explanation: there must be some underlying explanation for why those facts occurred in the way they did. Many competing theories of historical explanation have thus been offered, from the highly technical D-N or covering law model, to narrative-based explanations. This paper exposes the flaws in the covering law model proposed by Carl Hempel, and offers a justification for narrative-based explanations by appealing to the notion of language games as used by Ludwig Wittgenstein, as well as the narrative and paradigm models of Arthur Danto and Thomas Kuhn for explaining historical events.
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