Unique events: The underdetermination of explanation [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 48 (1):61-83 (1998)
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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Robert John Inkpen (2008). Explaining the Past in the Geosciences. Philosophia 36 (4):495-507.
Adrian Currie & Derek Turner (2016). Introduction: Scientific Knowledge of the Deep Past. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:43-46.
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