Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts

Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284 (2011)
Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently en vogue.
Keywords explanation  contrast  social  accountability
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 14,275
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
Martijn Blaauw (2008). Contrastivism in Epistemology. Social Epistemology 22 (3):227 – 234.

View all 27 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Jaakko Kuorikoski (2012). Contrastive Statistical Explanation and Causal Heterogeneity. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):435-452.
C. Hitchcock (1999). Contrastive Explanation and the Demons of Determinism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):585-612.
Brad Weslake (2013). Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

20 ( #130,548 of 1,700,362 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #206,271 of 1,700,362 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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