Relevance, Not Invariance, Explanatoriness, Not Manipulability: Discussion of Woodward’s Views on Explanatory Relevance

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):625-636 (2013)
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Abstract

According to Woodward’s causal model of explanation, explanatory information is relevant for manipulation purposes and indicates by means of invariant causal relations how to change the value of certain target explanandum variables by intervening on others. Therefore, the depth of an explanation is evaluated through the size of the domain of invariance of the generalization involved. In this article, I argue that Woodward’s account of explanatory relevance is still unsatisfactory and claim that the depth of an explanation should be explicated in terms of the size of the domain of circumstances which it designates as leaving the explanandum unchanged

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References found in this work

Scientific Explanation.P. Kitcher & W. C. Salmon - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):85-98.
Salmon on Explanatory Relevance.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (2):304-320.
Explanation, Invariance, and Intervention.James Woodward - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):41.

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