Results for 'scientific explanation'

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  1. Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Wesley C. Salmon - 1984 - Princeton University Press.
    The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view is untenable and that the modal conception is scientifically out-dated. Significantly revising aspects of his earlier work, he defends a causal/mechanical theory that is a version of the ontic conception. Professor Salmon's (...)
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  2. Grounding, Scientific Explanation, and Humean Laws.Marc Lange - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):255-261.
    It has often been argued that Humean accounts of natural law cannot account for the role played by laws in scientific explanations. Loewer (Philosophical Studies 2012) has offered a new reply to this argument on behalf of Humean accounts—a reply that distinguishes between grounding (which Loewer portrays as underwriting a kind of metaphysical explanation) and scientific explanation. I will argue that Loewer’s reply fails because it cannot accommodate the relation between metaphysical and scientific explanation. (...)
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  3. Scientific Explanation.James Woodward - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):41-67.
    Issues concerning scientific explanation have been a focus of philosophical attention from Pre- Socratic times through the modern period. However, recent discussion really begins with the development of the Deductive-Nomological (DN) model. This model has had many advocates (including Popper 1935, 1959, Braithwaite 1953, Gardiner, 1959, Nagel 1961) but unquestionably the most detailed and influential statement is due to Carl Hempel (Hempel 1942, 1965, and Hempel & Oppenheim 1948). These papers and the reaction to them have structured subsequent (...)
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  4. Humean Scientific Explanation.Elizabeth Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1311-1332.
    In a recent paper, Barry Loewer attempts to defend Humeanism about laws of nature from a charge that Humean laws are not adequately explanatory. Central to his defense is a distinction between metaphysical and scientific explanations: even if Humeans cannot offer further metaphysical explanations of particular features of their “mosaic,” that does not preclude them from offering scientific explanations of these features. According to Marc Lange, however, Loewer’s distinction is of no avail. Defending a transitivity principle linking (...) explanantia to their metaphysical grounds, Lange argues that a charge of explanatory inadequacy resurfaces once this intuitive principle is in place. This paper surveys, on behalf of the Humean, three strategies for responding to Lange’s criticism. The ready availability of these strategies suggests that Lange’s argument may not bolster anti-Humean convictions, since the argument rests on premises that those not antecedently sharing these convictions may well reject. The three strategies also correspond to three interesting ways of thinking about relations of grounding linking Humean laws and their instances, all of which are consistent with theses of Humean supervenience, and some of which have been heretofore overlooked. (shrink)
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  5. Scientific Explanation.Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Leen De Vreese - 2013 - Springer.
    When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went (...)
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  6. Scientific Explanation: Putting Communication First.Angela Potochnik - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):721-732.
    Scientific explanations must bear the proper relationship to the world: they must depict what, out in the world, is responsible for the explanandum. But explanations must also bear the proper relationship to their audience: they must be able to create human understanding. With few exceptions, philosophical accounts of explanation either ignore entirely the relationship between explanations and their audience or else demote this consideration to an ancillary role. In contrast, I argue that considering an explanation’s communicative role (...)
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  7. Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
    Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and (...)
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  8. Scientific Explanation and Moral Explanation.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):472-503.
    Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral (...)
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  9.  57
    Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):444.
  10. The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
    According to one large family of views, scientific explanations explain a phenomenon (such as an event or a regularity) by subsuming it under a general representation, model, prototype, or schema (see Bechtel, W., & Abrahamsen, A. (2005). Explanation: A mechanist alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(2), 421–441; Churchland, P. M. (1989). A neurocomputational perspective: The nature of mind and the structure of science. Cambridge: MIT Press; Darden (2006); Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects (...)
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  11. Scientific Explanation.Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.) - 1962 - Univ of Minnesota Pr.
    Studdert-Kennedy, Gerald, Evidence and Explanation in Social Science. ... Kauffman, Stuart, "Articulation of Parts Explanation in Biology and the Rational ...
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  12. Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
    Approaches to explanation -- Causal and explanatory relevance -- The kairetic account of /D making -- The kairetic account of explanation -- Extending the kairetic account -- Event explanation and causal claims -- Regularity explanation -- Abstraction in regularity explanation -- Approaches to probabilistic explanation -- Kairetic explanation of frequencies -- Kairetic explanation of single outcomes -- Looking outward -- Looking inward.
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  13. What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
    Certain scientific explanations of physical facts have recently been characterized as distinctively mathematical –that is, as mathematical in a different way from ordinary explanations that employ mathematics. This article identifies what it is that makes some scientific explanations distinctively mathematical and how such explanations work. These explanations are non-causal, but this does not mean that they fail to cite the explanandum’s causes, that they abstract away from detailed causal histories, or that they cite no natural laws. Rather, in (...)
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  14.  32
    Scientific Explanation.Richard Bevan Braithwaite - unknown
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  15. Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered.Sorin Bangu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):103-126.
    The articulation of an overarching account of scientific explanation has long been a central preoccupation for the philosophers of science. Although a while ago the literature was dominated by two approaches—a causal account and a unificationist account—today the consensus seems to be that the causal account has won. In this paper, I challenge this consensus and attempt to revive unificationism. More specifically, I aim to accomplish three goals. First, I add new criticisms to the standard anti-unificationist arguments, in (...)
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  16. Scientific Explanation: Three Basic Conceptions.Wesley C. Salmon - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:293 - 305.
    By contrasting three general conceptions of scientific explanation, this paper seeks to clarify the explanandum and to exhibit the fundamental philosophical issues involved in the project of explicating scientific explanation. The three conceptions--epistemic, modal, and ontic--have both historical and contemporary importance. In the context of Laplacian determinism, they do not seem importantly distinct, but in the context of irreducibly statistical explanations, the three are seen to diverge sharply. The paper argues for a causal/mechanical version of the (...)
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  17.  41
    Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Wesley Salmon.James H. Fetzer - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (4):597-610.
  18. Scientific Explanation.P. Kitcher & W. C. Salmon - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):85-98.
     
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  19. Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science.Carl Gustav Hempel - 1965 - New York: The Free Press.
  20. Four Decades of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon & Anne Fagot-Largeault - 1989 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
    As Aristotle stated, scientific explanation is based on deductive argument--yet, Wesley C. Salmon points out, not all deductive arguments are qualified explanations. The validity of the explanation must itself be examined. _Four Decades of Scientific Explanation_ provides a comprehensive account of the developments in scientific explanation that transpired in the last four decades of the twentieth century. It continues to stand as the most comprehensive treatment of the writings on the subject during these years. (...)
     
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  21.  4
    Scientific Explanation.Nicholas Rescher - 1970 - New York: Free Press.
  22. Which Models of Scientific Explanation Are (In)Compatible with IBE?Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this article, I explore the compatibility of inference to the best explanation (IBE) with several influential models and accounts of scientific explanation. First, I explore the different conceptions of IBE and limit my discussion to two: the heuristic conception and the objective Bayesian conception. Next, I discuss five models of scientific explanation with regard to each model’s compatibility with IBE. I argue that Philip Kitcher’s unificationist account supports IBE; Peter Railton’s deductive-nomological-probabilistic model, Wesley Salmon’s (...)
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  23. Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about (...)
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  24. The Psychology of Scientific Explanation.J. D. Trout - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):564–591.
    Philosophers agree that scientific explanations aim to produce understanding, and that good ones succeed in this aim. But few seriously consider what understanding is, or what the cues are when we have it. If it is a psychological state or process, describing its specific nature is the job of psychological theorizing. This article examines the role of understanding in scientific explanation. It warns that the seductive, phenomenological sense of understanding is often, but mistakenly, viewed as a cue (...)
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  25. Scientific Explanation.C. Mantzavinos - 2015 - In International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier. pp. 302-307.
    There are three main approaches to scientific explanation in the philosophical literature. The unification approach claims that science explains by fitting the particular facts and events within a general theoretical framework. The mechanistic approach claims that science explains by identifying mechanisms. According to the manipulationist approach an explanation ought to be such that it can be used to answer a “what-if-things-had-been-different question.” The article examines whether these three approaches are compatible or not in the case of the (...)
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  26. Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2006 - In D. M. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, second edition.
    The three cardinal aims of science are prediction, control, and explanation; but the greatest of these is explanation. Also the most inscrutable: prediction aims at truth, and control at happiness, and insofar as we have some independent grasp of these notions, we can evaluate science’s strategies of prediction and control from the outside. Explanation, by contrast, aims at scientific understanding, a good intrinsic to science and therefore something that it seems we can only look to science (...)
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  27. Aspects of Scientific Explanation.Carl Hempel - 1965 - In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press. pp. 504.
  28. Varying the Explanatory Span: Scientific Explanation for Computer Simulations.Juan Manuel Durán - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):27-45.
    This article aims to develop a new account of scientific explanation for computer simulations. To this end, two questions are answered: what is the explanatory relation for computer simulations? And what kind of epistemic gain should be expected? For several reasons tailored to the benefits and needs of computer simulations, these questions are better answered within the unificationist model of scientific explanation. Unlike previous efforts in the literature, I submit that the explanatory relation is between the (...)
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  29.  77
    Scientific Explanation a Study of the Function of Theory, Probability and Law in Science.Richard Bevan Braithwaite - 1953 - Cambridge University Press.
    The primary purpose of this book is to examine the logical features common to all the sciences. Each science proceeds by inventing general principles from which are deduced the consequences to be tested by observation and experiment; the author shows how the implications of this process explain some of its more baffling features and resolves many of the difficulties that philosophers have found in them. His exposition is by way of detailed examples.
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  30. Scientific Explanation: A Critical Survey.Gerhard Schurz - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (3):429-465.
    This paper describes the development of theories of scientific explanation since Hempel's earliest models in the 1940ies. It focuses on deductive and probabilistic whyexplanations and their main problems: lawlikeness, explanation-prediction asymmetries, causality, deductive and probabilistic relevance, maximal specifity and homogenity, the height of the probability value. For all of these topic the paper explains the most important approaches as well as their criticism, including the author's own accounts. Three main theses of this paper are: (1) Both deductive (...)
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  31. Scientific Explanation.Nicholas Rescher - 1970 - Critica 4 (11/12):171-174.
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  32.  40
    Scientific Explanation, Space, and Time: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.Herbert Feigl & Grover Maxwell (eds.) - 1962 - Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
  33. Scientific Explanation Between Principle and Constructive Theories.Laura Felline - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):989-1000.
    The aim of this paper is to analyse the role that the distinction between principle and constructive theories have in the question of the explanatory power of Special Relativity. We show how the distinction breaks down at the explanatory level. We assess Harvey Brown’s (2005) claim that, as a principle theory, Special Relativity lacks of explanatory power and criticize it, as, we argue, based upon an unrealistic picture of the kind of explanations provided by principle (and constructive) theories. Finally, we (...)
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  34.  92
    Scientific Explanation: Causation and Unification.Wesley C. Salmon - 1990 - Critica 22 (66):3-23.
  35.  86
    Scientific Explanation in Quantum Theory.Rob Clifton - unknown
    In this paper (which is, at best, a work in progress), I discuss different modes of scientific explanation identified by philosophers (Hempel, Salmon, Kitcher, Friedman, Hughes) and examine how well or badly they capture the "explanations" of phenomena that modern quantum theory provides. I tentatively conclude that quantum explanation is best seen as "structural explanation", and spell out in detail how this works in the case of explaining vacuum correlations. Problems and prospects for structural explanation (...)
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  36.  88
    Scientific Explanation and Scientific Structuralism.Mauro Dorato & Laura Felline - 2009 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of science. Springer. pp. 161--176.
    In this paper we argue that quantum mechanics provides a genuine kind of structural explanations of quantum phenomena. Since structural explanations only rely on the formal properties of the theory, they have the advantage of being independent of interpretative questions. As such, they can be used to claim that, even in the current absence of one agreed-upon interpretation, quantum mechanics is capable of providing satisfactory explanations of physical phenomena. While our proposal clearly cannot be taken to solve all interpretive issues (...)
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  37. Scientific Explanation Three Basic Conceptions.Wesley C. Salmon - 1993 - In David-Hillel Ruben (ed.), Explanation. Oxford University Press.
     
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  38.  24
    Argumentative Patterns for Justifying Scientific Explanations.Jean Wagemans - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (1):97-108.
    The practice of justifying scientific explanations generates argumentative patterns in which several types of arguments may play a role. This paper is aimed at identifying these patterns on the basis of an exploration of the institutional conventions regarding the nature, the shape and the quality of scientific explanations as reflected in the writings of influential philosophers of science. First, a basic pattern for justifying scientific explanations is described. Then, two types of extensions of this pattern are presented. (...)
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    How to Study Scientific Explanation?Erik Weber, Leen De Vreese & Jeroen Van Bouwel - unknown
    This paper investigates the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation: Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon. We argue that they do three things: construct an explication in the sense of Carnap, which then is used as a tool to make descriptive and normative claims about the explanatory practice of scientists. We also show that they did well with respect to, but that they failed to give arguments for their descriptive and normative claims. We think it is the (...)
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  40.  16
    Aspects of Scientific Explanation.Asa Kasher - 1965 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 37 (4):747-749.
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  41. The Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Cory Wright - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:20-30.
    Wesley Salmon’s version of the ontic conception of explanation is a main historical root of contemporary work on mechanistic explanation. This paper examines and critiques the philosophical merits of Salmon’s version, and argues that his conception’s most fundamental construct is either fundamentally obscure, or else reduces to a non-ontic conception of explanation. Either way, the ontic conception is a misconception.
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  42.  28
    Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science.Edward J. Nell - 1968 - History and Theory 7 (2):224.
  43. Scientific Explanation-the Causes, Some of the Causes, and Nothing but the Causes.Paul W. Humphreys - 1989 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13:283-306.
  44. Scientific Explanation.Nicholas Rescher - 1970 - Philosophy 47 (182):380-382.
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  45. Scientific Explanation: A Study of the Function of Theory, Probability and Law in Science.R. B. Braithwaite - 1954 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 4 (16):348-349.
     
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  46.  72
    Scientific Explanations of Mystical Experiences, Part I: The Case of St Teresa.Evan Fales - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):143.
    Several writers have argued for the implausibility of there being naturalistic explanations of mystical experience. These writers recognize that the evidential significance of mystical experiences for theism depends upon whether explanations that exclude supernatural agency can be discounted; but they seem unaware of some of the best scientific work done in this area. Part I of the present paper introduces the theory of I. M. Lewis, an anthropologist, and tests it against the case of St Teresa. I use Teresa (...)
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  47. Scientific Explanation. A Study of the Function of Theory, Probability and Law in Science.R. B. Braithwaite - 1954 - Philosophy 29 (111):353-356.
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  48.  32
    Scientific Explanations of Mystical Experiences, Part I: The Case of St Teresa: Evan Fales.Evan Fales - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):143-163.
    Several writers have argued for the implausibility of there being naturalistic explanations of mystical experience. These writers recognize that the evidential significance of mystical experiences for theism depends upon whether explanations that exclude supernatural agency can be discounted; but they seem unaware of some of the best scientific work done in this area. Part I of the present paper introduces the theory of I. M. Lewis, an anthropologist, and tests it against the case of St Teresa. I use Teresa (...)
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  49. Scientific Explanation and Empirical Data in Aristotle's "Meteorology".Cynthia A. Freeland - 1990 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 8:67.
  50.  12
    Review of Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. [REVIEW]James Woodward - 1988 - Noûs 22 (2):322-324.
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