Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738 (2003)

Authors
Merrilee Salmon
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Most discussions of causal explanations of behavior focus on the problem of whether it makes sense to regard reasons as causes of human behavior, whether there can be laws connecting reasons with behavior, and the like. This essay discusses explanations of human behavior that do not appeal to reasons. Such explanations can be found in several areas of the social sciences. Moreover, these explanations are both causal and non-reductionist. Historical linguists, for example, offer causal explanations of changes in how words are pronouncedand linguistic change in generalwithout appealing to human intentions. I use examples from linguistics, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology to discuss the importance of this sort of explanation and to examine its compatibility with recent philosophical accounts of causation.
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DOI 10.1086/378861
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References found in this work BETA

The Idea of History.R. G. COLLINGWOOD - 1946 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):252-253.
Causality and Explanation.Paul Humphreys - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (9):523-527.

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