"How does it work" versus "what are the laws?": Two conceptions of psychological explanation

In Robert A. Wilson & Frank C. Keil (eds.), The Shadows and Shallows of Explanation. Cambridge: MIT Press (2000)
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Abstract

In the beginning, there was the DN (Deductive Nomological) model of explanation, articulated by Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). According to DN, scientific explanation is subsumption under natural law. Individual events are explained by deducing them from laws together with initial conditions (or boundary conditions), and laws are explained by deriving them from other more fundamental laws, as, for example, the simple pendulum law is derived from Newton's laws of motion

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Robert Charles Cummins
University of California, Davis

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