The Problem of Micro-Explanation

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:47-55 (1976)
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There seem to exist special conditions unique to those scientific explanations which exmploy micro-parts under which alone such explanations are considered intellectually adequate. Two attempts to specify these conditions have been endorsed since antiquity, but serious counter-examples exist for each one. This paper contends that only in certain circumstances may each of the traditional criteria of adequacy be regarded as acceptable, identifies these circumstances, and examines the consequences of adopting such a dualistic or contextual solution to the problem of micro-explanation



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T. R. Girill
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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