The Meta-Explanatory Question


Authors
Laura Franklin-Hall
New York University
Abstract
Philosophical theories of explanation characterize the difference between correct and incorrect explanations. While remaining neutral as to which of these ‘first-order’ theories is right, this paper asks the ‘meta-explanatory’ question: is the difference between correct and incorrect explanation real, i.e., objective or mind-independent? After offering a framework for distinguishing realist from anti-realist views, I sketch three distinct paths to explanatory anti-realism.
Keywords scientific explanation  meta-philosophy  causal explanation  unificationist explanation  realism/anti-realism
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