David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 65 (4):649-671 (1998)
I use an explanation of Yanomami warfare given by the anthropologist Brian Ferguson as a case study to compare the merits of the causal and unification approaches to explanation. I argue that Ferguson's insistence on explaining actual occurrences and patterns of Yanomami warfare together with his claim that all of his generalizations are statistical raises difficulties for the unification approach, because of its commitment to "deductive chauvinism." Moreover, I show that there are serious difficulties involved in comparing the "unifying power" of Ferguson's explanations to those of his competitors. I show that the causal approach can provide a rich analysis of Ferguson's explanation while avoiding these difficulties
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
D. Turner (2000). The Functions of Fossils: Inference and Explanation in Functional Morphology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 31 (1):193-212.
Erik Weber & Maarten Van Dyck (2002). Unification and Explanation. Synthese 131 (1):145 - 154.
Michael Strevens (2004). The Causal and Unification Approaches to Explanation Unified—Causally. Noûs 38 (1):154–176.
Carla Fehr, Sex and Explanatory Pluralism: Is It a Case of Causal Mechanism Versus Unifying Theories of Explanation?
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). Part-Whole Science. Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
Peter Lipton (2001). What Good Is an Explanation? In G. Hon & S. Rakover (eds.), Explanation. Springer Netherlands 43-59.
Victor Gijsbers (2007). Why Unification is Neither Necessary nor Sufficient for Explanation. Philosophy of Science 74 (4):481-500.
Margaret Morrison (2006). Unification, Explanation and Explaining Unity: The Fisher–Wright Controversy. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):233-245.
Richard Swinburne (1990). The Limits of Explanation. Philosophy 27 (Supplement):177 - 193.
Todd Jones (1998). Unification, Deduction, and History: A Reply to Steel. Philosophy of Science 65 (4):672-681.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #321,769 of 1,724,741 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #210,951 of 1,724,741 )
How can I increase my downloads?