A deductive-nomological model of probabilistic explanation

Philosophy of Science 45 (2):206-226 (1978)
It has been the dominant view that probabilistic explanations of particular facts must be inductive in character. I argue here that this view is mistaken, and that the aim of probabilistic explanation is not to demonstrate that the explanandum fact was nomically expectable, but to give an account of the chance mechanism(s) responsible for it. To this end, a deductive-nomological model of probabilistic explanation is developed and defended. Such a model has application only when the probabilities occurring in covering laws can be interpreted as measures of objective chance, expressing the strength of physical propensities. Unlike inductive models of probabilistic explanation, this deductive model stands in no need of troublesome requirements of maximal specificity or epistemic relativization.
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DOI 10.1086/288797
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Stuart Glennan (2002). Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Daniel J. Nicholson (2012). The Concept of Mechanism in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
Luke Glynn (2010). Deterministic Chance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80.
Patrick Forber (2010). Confirmation and Explaining How Possible. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (1):32-40.

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