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Narrative Explanations of Biographical Developments

By Michael Corsten


The biographical method in social sciences is confronted on the one hand with\ud sceptical arguments from contemporary constructivist and ethno-methodologist\ud approaches. These arguments are concerned with the ‘truth conditions’ of life\ud stories, especially of narrative sentences as statements about past events. On\ud the other hand - from the analytic or nomologic standpoint - biographical\ud analyses were accused of being only description, and therefore, lacking\ud explanation.\ud These apparently newer arguments have been already discussed in\ud principle by Arthur C. Danto in his prominent work on the ‘analytic\ud philosophy of history’. I want to show that his refutations concerning sceptical\ud and deductive-nomologic arguments against statements about past events in\ud history can also be taken to defend biographical analysis of life narrations\ud against recent constructivist, ethno-methodologist and analytic critics.\ud Especially, the problem of explanation is illustrated by the exemplary parts of a narrative interview

Topics: BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4895

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