David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 34 (2):237 - 260 (1991)
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 to why-questions but to how-questions. In this article I provide a unified theory of explanatory questions that comprehends both how-questions and why-questions, and I show that a question-theoretic approach to explanation can be defended independently of van Fraassen's programme of Constructive Empiricism.
|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
John Haugeland (1978). The Nature and Plausibility of Cognitivism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (2):215-26.
Citations of this work BETA
William Jaworski (2009). The Logic of How-Questions. Synthese 166 (1):133 - 155.
Benjamin Schnieder (2011). A Logic for 'Because'. Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (3):445-465.
Similar books and articles
Peter Achinstein (1984). The Pragmatic Character of Explanation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Sam Mitchell (1988). Constructive Empiricism and Anti-Realism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:174 - 180.
Matti Sintonen (1991). How Evolutionary Theory Faces the Reality. Synthese 89 (1):163 - 183.
Patrick Maher (1990). Acceptance Without Belief. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:381 - 392.
Brendan P. Minogue (1984). Van Fraassen's Semanticism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:115 - 121.
Barbara V. E. Klein (1980). What Should We Expect of a Theory of Explanation? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:319 - 328.
Antti Koura (1988). An Approach to Why-Questions. Synthese 74 (2):191 - 206.
Dennis Temple (1988). The Contrast Theory of Why-Questions. Philosophy of Science 55 (1):141-151.
David Sandborg (1998). Mathematical Explanation and the Theory of Why-Questions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):603-624.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads39 ( #43,914 of 1,101,768 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #28,234 of 1,101,768 )
How can I increase my downloads?