David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 38 (1):13-34 (1971)
On the critical side it is argued that, contrary to a widespread view, the explanation of particular facts does not play a central role in pure science and hence that philosophers of science are misguided in supposing that the understanding of such explanations is one of the central tasks of the philosophy of science. It is suggested that the view being attacked may stem in part from an impression that the establishing of a general law is tantamount to the explanation of particular facts that "fall under" the law. This suggestion effects a bridge to the more positive part of the paper, which consists of an exploration of the complexities exhibited by the relation between the two activities. More specifically, I point out a number of disabilities, any one of which could prevent us from being able to explain particular facts that fall under a given law even after having established the law. Some of these have to do with the form of the law, and some have to do with our powers of detection vis-a-vis the particular facts in question. The former sort have to do with the ways in which laws may deviate from the strict-necessary-and-sufficient-condition ideal. The latter include the following points. (1) The individual explanatory factors may lie beyond our present powers of detection. (2) The complexity of such factors may be too great for us to be able to interrelate them. (3) We may be unable to apply concepts used in the law to facts in this area (although they are in fact applicable)
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Craig Dilworth (1989). On the Nature of Scientific Laws and Theories. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 20 (1):1-17.
Jerome A. Popp (1975). Paradigms in Educational Inquiry. Educational Theory 25 (1):28-39.
Similar books and articles
Eric Barnes (1994). Explaining Brute Facts. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:61 - 68.
Mark Greenberg (2006). Hartian Positivism and Normative Facts : How Facts Make Law II. In Scott Hershovitz (ed.), Exploring Law's Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin. Oxford University Press.
Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco (2010). Objectivity in Law. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):240-249.
Ludwig Fahrbach (2005). Understanding Brute Facts. Synthese 145 (3):449 - 466.
Mark Greenberg (2006). How Facts Make Law. In Scott Hershovitz (ed.), Exploring Law's Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin. Oxford University Press. 157-198.
Jan Willem Wieland & Erik Weber (2010). Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries. Logique and Analyse 53 (211):345-365.
Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Merel Lefevere (2012). The Role of Unification in Explanations of Facts. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer.
Agustín A. Gordillo (2003). An Introduction to Law. Esperia Publications.
J. R. Lucas (1958). On Not Worshipping Facts. Philosophical Quarterly 8 (31):144-156.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #98,490 of 1,101,947 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #41,663 of 1,101,947 )
How can I increase my downloads?