This page in Swedish

Research projects

Explaining social action: A triptych

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Sverre Wide

Research subject

This project develops a theoretical model for the explaining of social action and the understanding of such explanations. The underlying idea of this project is to bring together two different but related questions: What is social action? and What is causal explanation proper? The project draws on social theory and on theories on explanation and causality. It aims at conclusiveness and distinguishes between three aspects or kinds of social action which can and need to be explained: 1) actions partly concealed, 2) actions partly unfulfilled and 3) actions partly failed. Their nature, interconnection, and importance for our understanding of social life and social science are investigated, and it is argued that this three-layered model could be fruitful in its own right as well as for the interpretation of different scientific controversies.