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Publication Details

On Two Approaches to Narrative Explanations

(Original title: O dvoch pohľadoch na naratívnu explanáciu)
Filozofia, 65 (2010), 8, 762-769.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Slovak

The paper deals with one of the central topics of the philosophy of history – the narrative. Two different views of narrative and consequently of narrative explanation are distinguished. According to the first position (defended, for instance, by Hayden White), reality itself does not have a narrative structure, but since we are familiar with the narrative form, we can explain events if we present them as a story of a particular kind. According to the second position (maintained, for instance, by David Carr), in order to explain, we need to capture real connections (narrative or other) between events. That is, our narratives should depict structures already present in reality. The paper outlines these two general views and points out to the fact that they are based on different ontological presuppositions and different views of the nature of the explanatory power of narrative.


Narrative, Narrative explanation, Narrative connections, Explanatory power, H. White

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