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  1. Peter Achinstein (1983). The Nature of Explanation. Oxford University Press.
    Offering a new approach to scientific explanation, this book focuses initially on the explaining act itself.
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  2. 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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  3. Charles B. Cross (1991). Explanation and the Theory of Questions. Erkenntnis 34 (2):237 - 260.
    In The Scientific Image B. C. van Fraassen argues that a theory of explanation ought to take the form of a theory of why-questions, and a theory of this form is what he provides. Van Fraassen's account of explanation is good, as far as it goes. In particular, van Fraassen's theory of why-questions adds considerable illumination to the problem of alternative explanations in psychodynamics. But van Fraassen's theory is incomplete because it ignores those classes of explanations that are answers not (...)
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  4. Henk W. de Regt, Modelling Molecules: Beyond the Epistemic-Pragmatic Dichotomy.
    I argue that scientific explanation has a pragmatic dimension that is epistemically relevant. Philosophers with an objectivist approach to scientific explanation (e.g. Hempel, Trout) hold that the pragmatic aspects of explanation do not have any epistemic import. I argue against this view by focusing on the role of models in scientific explanation. Applying recent accounts of modelling (Cartwright, Morgan and Morrison) to a case-study of nineteenth-century physics, I analyse the pragmatic dimension of the process of model construction. I highlight the (...)
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  5. Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.) (2009). Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    The chapters in this book highlight the multifaceted nature of the process of scientific research.
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  6. Jan Faye, Interpretation in the Natural Sciences.
    Interpretation in science has gained little attention in the past because philosophers of science believed that interpretation belongs to the context of discovery or must be associated with meaning. But scientists often speak about interpretation when they report their findings. Elsewhere I have argue in favour of a pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation, and it is in light of this theory that I suggest we can understand interpretation in the natural sciences.
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  7. Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (1987). Van Fraassen on Explanation. Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):315-330.
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  8. Andrés Páez, The Epistemic Value of Explanation.
    In this paper I defend the idea that there is a sense in which it is meaningful and useful to talk about objective understanding, and that to characterize that notion it is necessary to formulate an account of explanation that makes reference to the beliefs and epistemic goals of the participants in a cognitive enterprise. Using the framework for belief revision developed by Isaac Levi, I analyze the conditions that information must fulfill to be both potentially explanatory and epistemically (...)
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Richard L. Purtill (1971). Toulmin on Ideals of Natural Order. Synthese 22 (3-4):431 - 437.
    In this paper I criticize Toulmin's concept of Ideals of Natural Order and his account of the role these Ideals play in scientific explanation as given in his book, Foresight and Understanding. I argue that Toulmin's account of Ideals of Natural Order as those theories taken to be self evident by scientists at a given time introduces an undesirable subjectivism into his account of scientific explanation. I argue also that the history of science, especially the recent history of microphysics, does (...)
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  12. Henk W. De Regt & Dennis Dieks (2005). A Contextual Approach to Scientific Understanding. Synthese 144 (1):137 - 170.
    Achieving understanding of nature is one of the aims of science. In this paper we offer an analysis of the nature of scientific understanding that accords with actual scientific practice and accommodates the historical diversity of conceptions of understanding. Its core idea is a general criterion for the intelligibility of scientific theories that is essentially contextual: which theories conform to this criterion depends on contextual factors, and can change in the course of time. Our analysis provides a general account of (...)
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  13. Matti Sintonen (1984). The Pragmatics of Scientific Explanation. Academic Bookstore [Distributor].
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  14. Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2009). Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 24 (3):301-320.
    Pluralism with respect to the structure of explanations of facts is not uncommon. Wesley Salmon, for instance, distinguished two types of explanation: causal explanations (which provide insight in the causes of the fact we want to explain) and unification explanations (which fit the explanandum into a unified world view). The pluralism which Salmon and others have defended is compatible with several positions about the exact relation between these two types of explanations. We distinguish four such positions, and argue in favour (...)
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  15. Petri Ylikoski (2007). The Idea of Contrastive Explanandum. In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer. 27--42.
  16. Petri Ylikoski (2001). Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation. Dissertation, University of Helsinki