Relevance, not Invariance, Explanatoriness, not Manipulability: Discussion of Woodward on Explanatory Relevance

Abstract

In Woodward's causal model of explanation, explanatory information is information that is relevant to manipulation and control and that affords to change the value of some target explanandum variable by intervening on some other. Accordingly, the depth of an explanation is evaluated through the size of the domain of invariance of the generalization involved. In this paper, I argue that Woodward's treatment of explanatory relevance in terms of invariant causal relations is still wanting and suggest to evaluate the depth of an explanation through the size of the domain of circumstances that it designates as leaving the explanandum unchanged.

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References found in this work

Review of M Aking Things Happen.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):545-547.
Scientific Explanation.Philip Kitcher & Wesley C. Salmon (eds.) - 1962 - Univ of Minnesota Pr.
Scientific Explanation.P. Kitcher & W. C. Salmon - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):85-98.
Explanation, Invariance, and Intervention.James Woodward - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):41.

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