Probabilistic Explanations

The purpose of this paper is (a) to provide a systematic defense of the single-case propensity account of probabilistic explanation from the criticisms advanced by Hanna and by Humphreys and (b) to offer a critical appraisal of the aleatory conception advanced by Humphreys and of the deductive-nomological-probabilistic approach Railton has proposed. The principal conclusion supported by this analysis is that the Requirements of Maximal Specificity and of Strict Maximal Specificity afford the foundation for completely objective explanations of probabilistic explananda, so long as they are employed on the basis of propensity criteria of explanatory relevance.
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DOI 10.2307/192420
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Elliott Sober (2013). Trait Fitness is Not a Propensity, but Fitness Variation Is. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):336-341.

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