Explanation and Power

By Morse Peckham,

Book cover of Explanation and Power: The Control of Human Behavior

Book description

Explanation and Power was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The meaning of any utterance or any sign is the response to that utterance or sign: this…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Explanation and Power as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

An interdisciplinary study taken to its logical conclusion. Starting with a powerful interpretation of Romanticism back in the 1950s, Peckham’s work culminated in an ambitious "general theory of human behaviour."

In essence, this book helped me understand that explanation is a form of violence–all languages, and all cultures, strive to enforce predictable behaviour in other human beings. Despite his flaws, Peckham offers a fascinating example of the power of interdisciplinarity. All subjects, when followed through, lead to all the others. 

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