Single Idea 7082

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / d. Explaining people]

Full Idea

Weber coined the distinction between explanation and clarification, saying that natural phenomena require causal explanation, while social phenomena require clarification by giving reasons or offering possible motives for how things are.

Gist of Idea

Nature requires causal explanations, but society requires clarification by reasons and motives


report of Max Weber (works [1905]) by Simon Critchley - Continental Philosophy - V. Short Intro Ch.7

Book Reference

Critchley,Simon: 'Continental Philosophy - Very Short Intro' [OUP 2001], p.121

A Reaction

This is music to the ears of property dualists and other non-reductivists, but if you go midway in the hierarchy of animals (a mouse, say) the distinction blurs. Weber probably hadn't digested Darwin, whose big impact came around 1905.