David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 86 (2):255 - 284 (1991)
In this paper we will show that Hempel's covering law model can't deal very well with explanations that are based on incomplete knowledge. In particular the symmetry thesis, which is an important aspect of the covering law model, turns out to be problematic for these explanations. We will discuss an example of an electric circuit, which clearly indicates that the symmetry of explanation and prediction does not always hold. It will be argued that an alternative logic for causal explanation is needed. And we will investigate to what extent non-monotonic epistemic logic can provide such an alternative logical framework. Finally we will show that our non-monotonic logical analysis of explanation is not only suitable for simple cases such as the electric circuit, but that it also sheds new light on more controversial causal explanations such as Milton Friedman's explanation of the business cycle.
|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
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Ernest Nagel (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. Harcourt, Brace & World.
Jaakko Hintikka (1962). Knowledge and Belief. Ithaca, N.Y.,Cornell University Press.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press 504.
G. E. Hughes (1968/1972). An Introduction to Modal Logic. London,Methuen.
Citations of this work BETA
Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Renée Elio (2005). The Case for Psychologism in Default and Inheritance Reasoning. Synthese 146 (1-2):7 - 35.
Maarten C. W. Janssen & Yao-Hua Tan (1992). Friedman's Permanent Income Hypothesis as an Example of Diagnostic Reasoning. Economics and Philosophy 8 (1):23.
Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Renée Elio (2005). The Case for Psychologism in Default and Inheritance Reasoning. Synthese 146 (1-2):7-35.
Similar books and articles
Carl G. Hempel (1974). Dispositional Explanation and the Covering-Law Model: Response to Laird Addis. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1974:369 - 376.
Michael Martin (1968). Situational Logic and Covering Law Explanations in History. Inquiry 11 (1-4):388 – 399.
Thomas Nickles (1971). Covering Law Explanation. Philosophy of Science 38 (4):542-561.
Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber (2011). The Covering Law Model Applied to Dynamical Cognitive Science: A Comment on Joel Walmsley. Minds and Machines 21 (1):33-39.
W. A. Suchting (1967). Deductive Explanation and Prediction Revisited. Philosophy of Science 34 (1):41-52.
Fritz Rohrlich (1994). Scientific Explanation: From Covering Law to Covering Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:69 - 77.
Philip Kitcher (1981). Explanatory Unification. Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Alexander Bird (1999). Explanation and Laws. Synthese 120 (1):1--18.
Wesley C. Salmon (1974). Comments on 'Hempel's Ambiguity' by J. Alberto Coffa. Synthese 28 (2):165 - 169.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #157,053 of 1,789,795 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #121,568 of 1,789,795 )
How can I increase my downloads?