Why unification is neither necessary nor sufficient for explanation

Philosophy of Science 74 (4):481-500 (2007)
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that unification is neither necessary nor sufficient for explanation. Focusing on the versions of the unificationist theory of explanation of Kitcher and of Schurz and Lambert, I establish three theses. First, Kitcher’s criterion of unification is vitiated by the fact that it entails that every proposition can be explained by itself, a flaw that it is unable to overcome. Second, because neither Kitcher’s theory nor that of Schurz and Lambert can solve the problems of asymmetry and accidental generalizations, it follows that unification is not sufficient to ground explanation. Third, some good explanations are disunifying, which entails that unification is not necessary for explanation either.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,404
External links
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
Fred I. Dretske (1977). Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.

View all 13 references

Citations of this work BETA
Victor Gijsbers (2013). Understanding, Explanation, and Unification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):516-522.
Henk W. de Regt (2013). Understanding and Explanation: Living Apart Together? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):505-509.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

58 ( #27,335 of 1,102,972 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #18,369 of 1,102,972 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.