Metaphysical Explanation: The Kitcher Picture

Erkenntnis 86 (1):187-207 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper offers a new account of metaphysical explanation. The account is modelled on Kitcher’s unificationist approach to scientific explanation. We begin, in Sect. 2, by briefly introducing the notion of metaphysical explanation and outlining the target of analysis. After that, we introduce a unificationist account of metaphysical explanation before arguing that such an account is capable of capturing four core features of metaphysical explanations: irreflexivity, non-monotonicity, asymmetry and relevance. Since the unificationist theory of metaphysical explanation inherits irreflexivity and non-monotonicity directly from the unificationist theory of scientific explanation that underwrites it, we focus on demonstrating how the account can secure asymmetry and relevance.

Similar books and articles

Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1325-1340.
Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
The Deductive-Nomological Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Tobias Wilsch - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):1-23.
Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered.Sorin Bangu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):103-126.
Grounding: It’s (Probably) All in the Head.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3059-3081.
Grounding, Scientific Explanation, and Humean Laws.Marc Lange - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):255-261.
Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries.Jan Willem Wieland & Erik Weber - 2010 - Logique and Analyse 53 (211):345-365.
Explanation in Metaphysics?Johannes Persson - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):165-181.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-01-03

Downloads
517 (#18,718)

6 months
42 (#24,789)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Sam Baron
Australian Catholic University
James Norton
University of Iceland

Citations of this work

Husserl on Personal Level Explanation.Heath Williams - 2020 - Human Studies 43 (1):1-22.
Whewell’s Hylomorphism as a Metaphorical Explanation for How Mind and World Merge.Ragnar van der Merwe - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie.
Plumbing Metaphysical Explanatory Depth.Nicholas Emmerson - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.

View all 22 references / Add more references