David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):129 – 147 (2006)
In his later years, Wesley Salmon believed that the two dominant models of scientific explanation (his own causal-mechanical model and the unificationist model) were reconcilable. Salmon envisaged a 'new consensus' about explanation: he suggested that the two models represent two 'complementary' types of explanation, which may 'peacefully coexist' because they illuminate different aspects of scientific understanding. This paper traces the development of Salmon's ideas and presents a critical analysis of his complementarity thesis. Salmon's thesis is rejected on the basis of two objections, and an alternative view of the relation between different types of explanation is proposed.
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G. Schurz (2008). Patterns of Abduction. Synthese 164 (2):201 - 234.
Hasok Chang & Sabina Leonelli (2005). Infrared Metaphysics: Radiation and Theory-Choice. Part. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):687-706.
Henk W. de Regt (2013). Understanding and Explanation: Living Apart Together? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):505-509.
Wesley Van Camp (2011). Principle Theories, Constructive Theories, and Explanation in Modern Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (1):23-31.
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