David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 36 (3):291-310 (1969)
The claim that scientific explanation is deductive has been attacked on both systematic and historical grounds. This paper briefly defends the claim against the systematic attack. Essential to this defence is a distinction between perfect and imperfect explanation. This distinction is then used to illuminate the differences and similarities between Aristotelian (anthropomorphic) explanations of certain facts and those of classical mechanics. In particular, it is argued that when one attempts to fit classical mechanics into the Aristotelian framework the latter becomes structurally incoherent. It is suggested that this, together with the fact that classical mechanics embodied the first piece of perfect knowledge, accounts, in part at least, for the historical fact of the rapid demise of the Aristotelian patterns as the new science developed. On the basis of this discussion, the inadequacies of the attack on the deductive model on historical grounds by Toulmin come to be seen
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Monte Ransome Johnson (2009). The Aristotelian Explanation of the Halo. Apeiron 42 (4):325-357.
Stathis Psillos (2007). Past and Contemporary Perspectives on Explanation. In Theo A. F. Kuipers (ed.), General Philosophy of Science. North Holland. 2007--97.
Andreas Hüttemann (2005). Explanation, Emergence and Quantum-Entanglement. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):114-127.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). Part-Whole Science. Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
Richard L. Purtill (1971). Toulmin on Ideals of Natural Order. Synthese 22 (3-4):431 - 437.
Eric C. Brook (2007). The Interrogative Model: Historical Inquiry and Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (2):137-159.
Jakub Čapek (2008). Explanation and Understanding: Action as “Historical Structure”. Philosophia 36 (4):453-463.
Paul A. Roth (2008). Varieties and Vagaries of Historical Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):214-226.
Edward A. MacKinnon (1972). The Problem of Scientific Realism. New York,Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Fred Wilson (1969). Explanation in Aristotle, Newton, and Toulmin: Part II. Philosophy of Science 36 (4):400-428.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #160,257 of 1,006,375 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,735 of 1,006,375 )
How can I increase my downloads?