Unique events: The underdetermination of explanation [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 48 (1):61-83 (1998)
Abstract
The paper explicates unique events and investigates their epistemology. Explications of unique events as individuated, different, and emergent are philosophically uninteresting. Unique events are topics of why-questions that radically underdetermine all their potential explanations. Uniqueness that is relative to a level of scientific development is differentiated from absolute uniqueness. Science eliminates relative uniqueness by discovery of recurrence of events and properties, falsification of assumptions of why-questions, and methodological simplification e.g. by explanatory methodological reduction. Finally, an overview of contemporary philosophical disputes that hinge on issues of uniqueness emphasizes its philosophical significance.
Keywords Events  Explanation  Unique  Underdetermination
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