Some Remarks on the Logic of Explanation in the Social Sciences
If one were to write a history of the philosophy of science in the spirit of T. S. Kuhn, one would have to consider the model of scientific explanation which Popper proposed and Hempel and Oppenheim developed1 to be one of the great paradigms of contemporary analytical philosophy of science. This analogue to the historically important paradigms of the individual sciences seems to me to be justifiable for the following reasons: first, the Hempel-Oppenheim model (or HO-model, as I shall call it) claims universal methodological validity; second, discussions on the problem of explanation have centred on this model for some time; third, the recent cognitive progress in this field has been largely the result of the interrelation between criticism of this model on the one hand and its improvement and explication on the other hand; and lastly, this model stands for a particular comprehension of the problems and possibilities of science, a concept of quite important practical consequence.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- H. Feigl and May Brodbeck (eds), Readings in the Philosophy of Science (New York, 1953). This is to mention only the two important works, which stood at the beginning of an extensive discussion.Google Scholar
- 1.W. Seilars, ‘Counterfactuals, Dispositions and the Causal Modalities’, in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, n (Minneapolis, 1958).Google Scholar
- 2.N. Goodman, ‘The Problem of Counterfactual Conditionals’, in L. Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language (Urbana, Ill., 1952).Google Scholar
- 1.P. Winch, The Idea of a Social Science (London, 1958).Google Scholar
- 1.Cf. A. C. Danto, Analytical Philosophy of History (Cambridge, 1965) p. 221.Google Scholar
- 1.W. Dray, Laws and Explanation in History (Oxford, 1957) pp. 122–42.Google Scholar
- 1.Cf. J. Habermas, ‘Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften’, Philosophische Rundschau, Beiheft 5 (Tübingen, 1967);Google Scholar
- Iikewise Habermas, Erkenntnis und Interesse (Frankfurt, 1968) Kap. iii h.;Google Scholar
- J. Giegel, Die Logik der seelischen Ereignisse (Frankfurt, 1969).Google Scholar
- 1.J. Habermas, Technik und Wissenschaft als Ideologie (Frankfurt, 1969).Google Scholar
- 1.J. Habermas, ‘Einführende Bemerkungen zu einer Theorie der Kommunikativen Kompetkuz’, unpubl., p. 7. Gf. Habermas, ‘Der Universalitätsauspruch der Hermeneutik’, in Hermeneutik und Dialektik, 1 (Tübingen, 1970).Google Scholar