Scientific Explanation between Principle and Constructive Theories

Philosophy of Science 78 (5):989-1000 (2011)
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyse the role that the distinction between principle and constructive theories have in the question of the explanatory power of Special Relativity. We show how the distinction breaks down at the explanatory level. We assess Harvey Brown’s (2005) claim that, as a principle theory, Special Relativity lacks of explanatory power and criticize it, as, we argue, based upon an unrealistic picture of the kind of explanations provided by principle (and constructive) theories. Finally, we claim that the structural account of explanation (Hughes 1989b) captures the explanatory success of Special Relativity.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/662270
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: 30,248
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Relativity Theory Between Structural and Dynamical Explanations.Mauro Dorato - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):95 – 102.
Review: Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW]Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Physical Relativity From a Functionalist Perspective.Knox Eleanor - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW]Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.
Mechanisms, Principles, and Lorentz's Cautious Realism.Mathias Frisch - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4):659-679.
Principle Theories, Constructive Theories, and Explanation in Modern Physics.Wesley Van Camp - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (1):23-31.
The Logic of Explanation in Anthropology.S. T. Goh - 1970 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 13 (1-4):339 – 359.
Einstein's Theory of Theories and Types of Theoretical Explanation.Francisco Flores - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):123 – 134.
Principle or Constructive Relativity.Mathias Frisch - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):176-183.
Added to PP index
2010-05-25

Total downloads
99 ( #53,033 of 2,192,222 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,279 of 2,192,222 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature