David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 76 (4):444-463 (2009)
Although prediction has been largely absent from discussions of explanation for the past 40 years, theories of explanation can gain much from a reintroduction. I review the history that divorced prediction from explanation, examine the proliferation of models of explanation that followed, and argue that accounts of explanation have been impoverished by the neglect of prediction. Instead of a revival of the symmetry thesis, I suggest that explanation should be understood as a cognitive tool that assists us in generating new predictions. This view of explanation and prediction clarifies what makes an explanation scientific and why inference to the best explanation makes sense in science. *Received August 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, 801 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37920‐0480; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Citations of this work BETA
David Michael Kaplan & Carl F. Craver (2011). The Explanatory Force of Dynamical and Mathematical Models in Neuroscience: A Mechanistic Perspective. Philosophy of Science 78 (4):601-627.
Kareem Khalifa (2012). Inaugurating Understanding or Repackaging Explanation? Philosophy of Science 79 (1):15-37.
Finnur Dellsén (2016). Scientific Progress: Knowledge Versus Understanding. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:72-83.
Jonathan Fuller, Alex Broadbent & Luis J. Flores (2015). Prediction in Epidemiology and Medicine. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C.
Kareem Khalifa (2013). Is Understanding Explanatory or Objectual? Synthese 190 (6):1153-1171.
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