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Plausible worlds : possibility and understanding in history and the social sciences

Author: Geoffrey Hawthorn
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Geoffrey Hawthorn
ISBN: 0521403596 9780521403597
OCLC Number: 22664059
Description: xiii, 192 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Counterfactuals, explanation and understanding --
Plague and fertility in early modern Europe --
The United States in South Korea --
Duccio's painting --
Explanation, understanding and theory.
Responsibility: Geoffrey Hawthorn.
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Abstract:

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.

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