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  1. F. Michael Akeroyd (2008). Mechanistic Explanation Versus Deductive-Nomological Explanation. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):39-48.
    This paper discusses the important paper by Paul Thagard on the pathway version of mechanistic explanation that is currently used in chemical explanation. The author claims that this method of explanation has a respectable pedigree and can be traced back to the Chemical Revolution in the arguments used by the Lavoisier School in their theoretical duels with Richard Kirwan, the proponent of a revised phlogistonian theory. Kirwan believed that complex chemical reactions could be explained by recourse to affinity tables that (...)
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  2. Alexander Bird (2006). Selection and Explanation. In , Rethinking Explanation. Springer. 131--136.
    Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...)
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  3. Alexander Bird (2005). Explanation and Metaphysics. Synthese 143 (1-2):89-107.
    Is the nature of explanation a metaphysical issue? Or has it more to do with psychology and pragmatics? To put things in a different way: what are primary relata in an explanation? What sorts of thing explain what other sorts of thing? David Lewis identifies two senses of ‘explanation’ (Lewis 1986, 217–218). In the first sense, an explanation is an act of explaining. I shall call this the subjectivist sense, since its existence depends on some subject doing the explaining. Hence (...)
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  4. Ingo Brigandt (2013). Explanation in Biology: Reduction, Pluralism, and Explanatory Aims. Science and Education 22 (1):69-91.
    This essay analyzes and develops recent views about explanation in biology. Philosophers of biology have parted with the received deductive-nomological model of scientific explanation primarily by attempting to capture actual biological theorizing and practice. This includes an endorsement of different kinds of explanation (e.g., mathematical and causal-mechanistic), a joint study of discovery and explanation, and an abandonment of models of theory reduction in favor of accounts of explanatory reduction. Of particular current interest are philosophical accounts of complex explanations that appeal (...)
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  5. Krzysztof Brzechczyn (2009). Logical Empiricism and Logical Positivism. In Aviezer Tucker (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography. Wiley-Blackwell.
  6. Daniel Cohnitz (2002). Explanations Are Like Salted Peanuts. In A. Beckermann & C. Nimtz (eds.), Argument und Analyse: Proceedings of GAP4. Mentis.
    Take a look at these four situations: Figure 1 All of these situations have certain features in common: in all of them an explanation is asked for, in all of them an explanation is given, and all these explanations are literally false (although in different ways).
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  7. S. T. Goh (1970). Some Observations on the Deductive-Nomological Theory. Mind 79 (315):408-414.
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  8. Carl Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. The Free Press.
  9. Carl G. Hempel & Paul Oppenheim (1948). Studies in the Logic of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
  10. M. C. W. Janssen & Y. -H. Tan (1991). Why Friedman's Non-Monotonic Reasoning Defies Hempel's Covering Law Model. Synthese 86 (2):255 - 284.
    In this paper we will show that Hempel's covering law model can't deal very well with explanations that are based on incomplete knowledge. In particular the symmetry thesis, which is an important aspect of the covering law model, turns out to be problematic for these explanations. We will discuss an example of an electric circuit, which clearly indicates that the symmetry of explanation and prediction does not always hold. It will be argued that an alternative logic for causal explanation is (...)
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  11. Kareem Khalifa (2011). Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts. Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
    Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently (...)
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  12. Jaegwon Kim (1999). Hempel, Explanation, Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 94 (1-2):1-20.
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  13. Jaegwon Kim (1963). On the Logical Conditions of Deductive Explanation. Philosophy of Science 30 (3):286-291.
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  14. Ernest Nagel (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. Harcourt, Brace & World.
    Introduction: Science and Common Sense Long before the beginnings of modern civilization, men ac- quired vast funds of information about their environment. ...
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  15. Edmund Nierlich (1988). Die Deduktiv-Nomologische Erklärung AlS Hauptmotiv Empirisch-Wissenschaftlicher Tätigkeit. Erkenntnis 29 (1):1 - 33.
    In this paper an attempt is made at developing the notion of a real and complete empirical explanation as excluding all forms of potential or incomplete explanations. This explanation is, however, no longer conceived as the proper aim of empirical science, for it can certainly be gleaned from recent epistemological publications that no comprehensive notion of a real and complete scientific explanation is likely to be constructed from within empirical science. Contrary to common understanding the empirical explanation, deductive-nomological as well (...)
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  16. Stanley Paluch (1968). The Covering Law Model of Historical Explanation. Inquiry 11 (1-4):368 – 387.
    It is often argued (as by Hempel and Nagel) that genuine historical explanations — if these are to be had — must exhibit a connection between events to be explained and universal or probabilistic laws (or 'hypotheses'). This connection may take either a 'strong' or 'weak' form. The historian may show that a statement of the event to be explained is a logical consequence of statements of reasonably well-confirmed universal laws and occurrences linked by the laws to the event to (...)
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  17. David Pearce & Veikko Rantala (1985). Approximative Explanation is Deductive-Nomological. Philosophy of Science 52 (1):126-140.
    We revive the idea that a deductive-nomological explanation of a scientific theory by its successor may be defensible, even in those common and troublesome cases where the theories concerned are mutually incompatible; and limiting, approximating and counterfactual assumptions may be required in order to define a logical relation between them. Our solution is based on a general characterization of limiting relations between physical theories using the method of nonstandard analysis.
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  18. Garrett Pendergraft (2011). In Defense of a Causal Requirement on Explanation. In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. 470.
    Causalists about explanation claim that to explain an event is to provide information about the causal history of that event. Some causalists also endorse a proportionality claim, namely that one explanation is better than another insofar as it provides a greater amount of causal information. In this chapter I consider various challenges to these causalist claims. There is a common and influential formulation of the causalist requirement – the ‘Causal Process Requirement’ – that does appear vulnerable to these anti-causalist challenges, (...)
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  19. Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.) (2007). Rethinking Explanation. Springer.
    This book highlights some of the conceptual problems that still need to be solved and points out a number of fresh philosophical ideas to explore.
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  20. Joseph C. Pitt (ed.) (1988). Theories of Explanation. Oxford University Press.
    Since the publication of Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim's ground-breaking work "Studies in the Logic of Explanation," the theory of explanation has remained a major topic in the philosophy of science. This valuable collection provides readers with the opportunity to study some of the classic essays on the theory of explanation along with the best examples of the most recent work being done on the topic. In addition to the original Hempel and Oppenheim paper, the volume includes Scriven's critical reaction (...)
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  21. Peter Railton (1978). A Deductive-Nomological Model of Probabilistic Explanation. Philosophy of Science 45 (2):206-226.
    It has been the dominant view that probabilistic explanations of particular facts must be inductive in character. I argue here that this view is mistaken, and that the aim of probabilistic explanation is not to demonstrate that the explanandum fact was nomically expectable, but to give an account of the chance mechanism(s) responsible for it. To this end, a deductive-nomological model of probabilistic explanation is developed and defended. Such a model has application only when the probabilities occurring in covering laws (...)
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  22. David-Hillel Ruben (1989). The Ontology of Explanation. In Fred D'Agostino & I. C. Jarvie (eds.), Freedom and Rationality. Reidel. 67--85.
    In an explanation, what does the explaining and what gets explained? What are the relata of the explanation relation? Candidates include: people, events, facts, sentences, statements, and propositions.
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  23. Wesley C. Salmon (1999). The Spirit of Logical Empiricism: Carl G. Hempel's Role in Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):333-350.
    In this paper, I discuss the key role played by Carl G. Hempel's work on theoretical realism and scientific explanation in effecting a crucial philosophical transition between the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the century, the dominant view was that science is incapable of furnishing explanations of natural phenomena; at the end, explanation is widely viewed as an important, if not the primary, goal of science. In addition to its intellectual benefits, this transition (...)
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  24. Wesley C. Salmon (1983). Carl G. Hempel on the Rationality of Science. Journal of Philosophy 80 (10):555-562.
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  25. Wesley C. Salmon (1977). Hempel's Conception of Inductive Inference in Inductive-Statistical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):179-185.
    Carl G. Hempel has often stated that inductive-statistical explanations, as he conceives them, are inductive arguments. This discussion note raises the question of whether such arguments are to be understood as (1) arguments of the traditional sort, containing premises and conclusions, governed by some sort of inductive "acceptance rules," or (2) something more closely akin to Carnap's degree of confirmation statements which occur in an inductive logic which entirely eschews inductive "acceptance rules." Hempel's writings do not seem unequivocal on this (...)
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  26. Wesley C. Salmon (1977). Indeterminism and Epistemic Relativization. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):199-202.
    Carl G. Hempel's doctrine of essential epistemic relativization of inductive-statistical explanation seems to entail the unintelligibility of the notion of objective homogeneity of reference classes. This discussion note explores the question of whether, as a consequence, essential epistemic relativization also entails the unintelligibility of the doctrine of indeterminism.
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  27. Wesley C. Salmon (1974). Comments on 'Hempel's Ambiguity' by J. Alberto Coffa. Synthese 28 (2):165 - 169.
    Using Coffa's paper as a point of departure, this brief note is designed to show that Hempel's inductive-statistical model of explanation implicitly construes explanations of that type as defective deductive-nomological explanations, with the consequence that there is no such thing as genuine inductive-statistical explanation according to Hempel's account. This result suggests a possible implicit commitment to determinism behind Hempel's theory of scientific explanation.
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  28. Gerhard Schurz (1982). Ein Logisch-Pragmatisches Modell Von Deduktiv-Nomologischer Erklärung (Systematisierung). Erkenntnis 17 (3):321 - 347.
    The present paper first shows that the validity of deductive-nomological (D-N) explanations (systematizations) depends in general on the interpretation context of the predicates involved in the explanation. Therefore, no logical-semantical model can be adequate. This problem is solved by relativisation of the validity criteria on both the confirmation context and the definition context of the premisses. Based upon this, a logical-pragmatical model of D-N explanation is developed. Thereby, especially explanations of laws and global explanations are taken into consideration, since these (...)
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  29. Lawrence Sklar (1999). The Content of Science, the Methodology of Science and Hempel's Models of Explanation and Confirmation. Philosophical Studies 94 (1-2):21-34.
  30. Raphael van Riel (2011). Nagelian Reduction Beyond the Nagel Model. Philosophy of Science 78 (3):353-375.
    Nagel’s official model of theory-reduction and the way it is represented in the literature are shown to be incompatible with the careful remarks on the notion of reduction Nagel gave while developing his model. Based on these remarks, an alternative model is outlined which does not face some of the problems the official model faces. Taking the context in which Nagel developed his model into account, it is shown that the way Nagel shaped his model and, thus, its well-known deficiencies, (...)
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  31. Brad Weslake (2010). Explanatory Depth. Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
    I defend an account of explanatory depth according to which explanations in the non-fundamental sciences can be deeper than explanations in fundamental physics.
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  32. Petri Ylikoski (2005). The Third Dogma Revisited. Foundations of Science 10 (4):395–419.
    This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of (...)
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