Selection and explanation

In Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 131--136 (2006)
Abstract
Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that a standard D-N explanation of some non-accidental generalization (al Fs are Gs) may also ipso facto explain its contrapositive (all non-Gs are non-Fs), but the explanation is particularizable with respect to the former but not to the latter. This can be seen by noting that the Raven Paradox counterexample to the H-D model of confirmation also generates a counterexample to the D-N model of explanation (all ravens are black does not explain why the non-black shoe is a non-raven). In such cases it is natural to take the generalization with the positive predicates to have a particularizable explanation. However, this need not be the case, and in selection explanations it is the generalization with the positive predicates whose explanation is no particularizable. Thus there is no need to suppose that selection explanations are fundamentally different.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,530
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Contrastive, Non-Probabilistic Statistical Explanations.Bruce Glymour - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (3):448-471.
On Explanations in Physics.James Owen Weatherall - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):421-447.
Viability Explanation.Arno Wouters - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
Constraining the Adaptationism Debate.Roger Sansom - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):493-512.
Darwin Was a Teleologist.James G. Lennox - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421.
Functional Explanation, Consequence Explanation, and Marxism.G. A. Cohen - 1982 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):27 – 56.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
78 ( #71,323 of 2,210,754 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #357,513 of 2,210,754 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature