Explanatory unification and the problem of asymmetry

Philosophy of Science 59 (4):558-571 (1992)
Abstract
Philip Kitcher has proposed a theory of explanation based on the notion of unification. Despite the genuine interest and power of the theory, I argue here that the theory suffers from a fatal deficiency: It is intrinsically unable to account for the asymmetric structure of explanation, and thus ultimately falls prey to a problem similar to the one which beset Hempel's D-N model. I conclude that Kitcher is wrong to claim that one can settle the issue of an argument's explanatory force merely on the basis of considerations about the unifying power of the argument pattern the argument instantiates
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Victor Gijsbers (2013). Understanding, Explanation, and Unification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):516-522.
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