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Explanation and causal reasoning: a contribution to the interpretation of competing explanatory claims
School of Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1702-0182
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Theory & psychology, ISSN 0959-3543, E-ISSN 1461-7447, Vol. 23, no 6, p. 701-715Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to attain a better understanding of the relationship between competing or complementary scientific explanatory claims. First, six different ways of approaching explanatory claims are briefly described and found, in part, to be unsatisfactory. It is argued that they should be supplemented by an analysis of underlying and sometimes partly unacknowledged causal presuppositions. This approach could be termed a causal analytical investigation, and in order to demonstrate its potential, it is applied to a concrete example: research into dental anxiety. The analysis shows that seemingly competing or complementary explanatory claims here neither compete with nor complement each other; instead, the analysis demonstrates that they explain different things. We then broaden the picture by discussing the relationship between aetiology and treatment. Finally we argue in favour of the general applicability of the approach and its relevance to science in general and to science-based practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 23, no 6, p. 701-715
Keywords [en]
aetiology, causation, Collingwood, dental anxiety, explanation, explanatory claims
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74123DOI: 10.1177/0959354313496154ISI: 000328737900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84890887161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-74123DiVA, id: diva2:1314182
Available from: 2019-05-07 Created: 2019-05-07 Last updated: 2019-05-08Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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