The Role of Causation in History

E.J. Tapp boldly claimed that without a concept of causation 'there could be no history'. To many extents, he is correct - causation plays an essential role in the process of historical explanation. It connects historical facts to provide greater understanding about the past. Causation is thus a fundamental aspect of the historical writing process. As such, there have been numerous debates over the exact role and implications of its application. This essay assesses the major debates surround the application of causation to historical research and writing, such as the role causation has played in the construction of histories, its role in historical explanation, defining a cause, subjectivity and selection, determinism and free will.