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    Weighted explanations in history

    Northcott, Robert (2008) Weighted explanations in history. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1), pp. 76-96. ISSN 0048-3931.

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    Weighted explanations , whereby some causes are deemed more important than others, are ubiquitous in historical studies. Drawing from influential recent work on causation, I develop a definition of causal-explanatory strength. This makes clear exactly which aspects of explanatory weighting are subjective and which objective. It also sheds new light on several traditional issues, showing for instance that: underlying causes need not be more important than proximate ones; several different causes can each be responsible for most of an effect; small causes need not be less important than big ones; and non-additive interactive effects between causes present no particular difficulty.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): causation, explanation, history, interaction, proximate, underlying
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 15:11
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:13


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