2nd CALL FOR PAPERS
for the 2017 SPECIAL ISSUE of BALKAN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY
“EXPLANATION AND UNDERSTANDING ACROSS THE SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS”
The distinction between explanation and understanding was first thematized by Wilhelm Dilthey (1894), who used it to explicate and justify the methodological difference between natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) and human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften).
Since then, many influential thinkers of the 20th century have referred to this distinction in order to either redefine it and put it to a different use (the neo-Kantians, Weber, Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Wittgenstein, von Wright), or to denounce it as misleading, if not completely false (the neo-positivists, Popper, Hempel, Rorty). The 20th century thinkers left us with a great variety of reflections on the topic, and it is to be stressed that the line of demarcation between the two sides of the explanation-understanding divide cannot be neatly correlated with the recognized boundary between analytic and continental philosophy.
The first decade of the 21st century witnessed some notable contributions to this debate. Some cognitive psychologists (Keil) claimed to have provided evidence for the psychological reality of the distinction between inferential explanation and non-inferential direct understanding. At the same time, a new generation of philosophers of science (Faye, Khalifa) distinguished themselves from both of the older camps by taking seriously the distinction between explanation and understanding and attempting to explicate the connection between them in a sensible way. Meanwhile, discussions about the methodological merits of the explanation-understanding distinction continued in areas as different as history, economics, psychiatry, and literature. Such a broad usage of a conceptual distinction across different disciplines and intellectual traditions seems to be a sign that it stands for something truly important. The aim of this Special Issue of the Balkan Journal of Philosophy is therefore to throw light on the significance of the explanation-understanding conceptual distinction in different areas of the sciences, humanities, and arts. We call for papers addressing, but not limited to, questions related to the following topics:
- The role of the explanation-understanding distinction in particular disciplines (e.g, history, economics, psychiatry, etc.), as well as across the disciplines;
- The explanation-understanding divide in arts;
- Evidence for the psychological reality of the explanation-understanding divide;
- Psychological vs. non-psychological accounts of the explanation-understanding distinction;
- Explanatory models of scientific understanding;
- Critiques of the explanation-understanding divide (both of its traditional and more recent conceptualizations).
You are kindly invited to submit a paper on any of these topics.
Papers should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words (including a short abstract of about 150 words and a brief list of key words). Please, submit your papers to the journal's e-mail address at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for papers is the end of November 2016, although earlier submissions are appreciated. This special issue will appear in 2017.