David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
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.
Milton Friedman (1953). Essays in Positive Economics. University of Chicago Press.
Jaakko Hintikka (1962). Knowledge and Belief. Ithaca, N.Y.,Cornell University Press.
Abraham Hirsch & Neil de Marchi (1986). Making a Case When Theory is Unfalsifiable. Economics and Philosophy 2 (01):1-.
G. E. Hughes (1968/1972). An Introduction to Modal Logic. London,Methuen.
Citations of this work BETA
Maarten C. W. Janssen & Yao-Hua Tan (1992). Friedman's Permanent Income Hypothesis as an Example of Diagnostic Reasoning. Economics and Philosophy 8 (01):23-.
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.
Wesley C. Salmon (1974). Comments on 'Hempel's Ambiguity' by J. Alberto Coffa. Synthese 28 (2):165 - 169.
Alexander Bird (1999). Explanation and Laws. Synthese 120 (1):1--18.
Philip Kitcher (1981). Explanatory Unification. Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
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.
W. A. Suchting (1967). Deductive Explanation and Prediction Revisited. Philosophy of Science 34 (1):41-52.
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.
Thomas Nickles (1971). Covering Law Explanation. Philosophy of Science 38 (4):542-561.
Michael Martin (1968). Situational Logic and Covering Law Explanations in History. Inquiry 11 (1-4):388 – 399.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #154,226 of 1,101,977 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,871 of 1,101,977 )
How can I increase my downloads?