Explanation and the theory of questions

Erkenntnis 34 (2):237 - 260 (1991)
Abstract
In The Scientific Image B. C. van Fraassen argues that a theory of explanation ought to take the form of a theory of why-questions, and a theory of this form is what he provides. Van Fraassen's account of explanation is good, as far as it goes. In particular, van Fraassen's theory of why-questions adds considerable illumination to the problem of alternative explanations in psychodynamics. But van Fraassen's theory is incomplete because it ignores those classes of explanations that are answers not to why-questions but to how-questions. In this article I provide a unified theory of explanatory questions that comprehends both how-questions and why-questions, and I show that a question-theoretic approach to explanation can be defended independently of van Fraassen's programme of Constructive Empiricism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00385722
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,191
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Nature and Plausibility of Cognitivism.John Haugeland - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (2):215-26.
Invisible-Hand Explanations.Edna Ullmann-Margalit - 1978 - Synthese 39 (2):263 - 291.
The Domain of Natural Science.E. W. Hobson - 1924 - Philosophical Review 33 (6):622-623.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Logic for 'Because'.Benjamin Schnieder - 2011 - Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (3):445-465.
The Logic of How-Questions.William Jaworski - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):133 - 155.
'By': A Refutation of the Anscombe Thesis.Benjamin Schnieder - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (6):649 - 669.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Pragmatic Character of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Constructive Empiricism and Anti-Realism.Sam Mitchell - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:174 - 180.
Acceptance Without Belief.Patrick Maher - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:381-392.
Van Fraassen's Semanticism.Brendan P. Minogue - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:115 - 121.
What Should We Expect of a Theory of Explanation?Barbara V. E. Klein - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:319 - 328.
An Approach to Why-Questions.Antti Koura - 1988 - Synthese 74 (2):191 - 206.
The Contrast Theory of Why-Questions.Dennis Temple - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (1):141-151.
Mathematical Explanation and the Theory of Why-Questions.David Sandborg - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):603-624.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

82 ( #64,097 of 2,172,697 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #172,670 of 2,172,697 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums