Grünbaum's 'defense' of the symmetry thesis

Philosophical Studies 25 (3):173 - 187 (1974)
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The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Grünbaum's purported defense of Hempel's thesis of the symmetry of explanation and prediction is fundamentally inadequate by virtue of the fact that Grünbaum adopts an extended and revised version of the thesis pertaining to scientific understanding in general in lieu of the original and restricted version advanced by Hempel pertaining to scientific explanation in particular. When Hempel's thesis rather than Grünbaum's revision is recognized as the relevant object of criticism, it becomes clear that Grünbaum has not demonstrated that Hempel ab omni naevo vindicates. Indeed, when correctly understood, it becomes clear that Bromberger's criticisms, especially, support the sound conclusion that the relationship between explanations and predictions is sometimes symmetrical yet sometimes asymmetrical, i.e., the relationship that obtains is non-symmetrical.



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