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Causation and reason: R.G. Collingwood and causal analysis as the essence of social thinking
School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Swe.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 social science? This paper takes R. G. Collingwood’s writing about causation as its point of departure for the answering of this question. Two different kinds of causal relations are distinguished from pseudo-causality; of the former, one is directly connected to reason, the other to our ability to manipulate the world. Their interconnection and significance are discussed and th econclusions are drawn that (a) causality belongs to the realm of human praxis and that (b) causal analysis proper is well suited forthe social sciences. It is further showed that some important explanations are not causal in any of the above-mentioned senses. These explanations could conceivably be called interpretative descriptions, but it is suggested that perhaps they can be understood as examples of causa sui, of something selfcaused.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 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
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74072DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2017.1370004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030682693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-74072DiVA, id: diva2:1424012
Available from: 2020-04-16 Created: 2020-04-16 Last updated: 2020-04-20Bibliographically approved

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3738394041424340 of 218
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