Lewis's dilemma of explanation under indeterminism exposed and resolved

Mind 109 (433):39-66 (2000)
In a brief passage, David Lewis derives from quantum-theory a dilemma regarding the explanation of chance events which he tries to solve by first distinguishing plain from contrastive why-questions have answers. His brevity warrants elaboration and critique. I endorse his derivation, but I make a structural objection to his solution. Once a further distinction is drawn between different kinds of contrastive why-question, his solution can be modified and refined so as to go some way to meeting this objection. However, it cannot resist a deeper objection to the effect that chance events can be given contrastive explanations after all. The alternative solution to the dilemma that I recommend holds Lewis's conception of the 'essence of chance' to be illusory
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/109.433.39
 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: 23,305
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jaakko Kuorikoski (2012). Contrastive Statistical Explanation and Causal Heterogeneity. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):435-452.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #243,079 of 1,932,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,233 of 1,932,583 )

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.