In Defense of Explanatory Ecumenism: Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit

Economics and Philosophy 8 (1):1-21 (1992)

Abstract
Many of the things that we try to explain, in both our common sense and our scientific engagement with the world, are capable of being explained more or less finely: that is, with greater or lesser attention to the detail of the producing mechanism. A natural assumption, pervasive if not always explicit, is that other things being equal, the more finegrained an explanation, the better. Thus, Jon Elster, who also thinks there are instrumental reasons for wanting a more fine-grained explanation, assumes that in any case the mere fact of getting nearer the detail of production makes such an explanation intrinsically superior: “a more detailed explanation is also an end in itself”. Michael Taylor agrees: “A good explanation should be, amongst other things, as fine-grained as possible.”
Keywords explanation
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DOI 10.1017/S0266267100000468
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Common Mind.Philip Pettit - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences.Jon Elster - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
No Understanding Without Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):510-515.
"Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible".Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3037-3060.
Response to Strevens.Jim Woodward - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):193-212.

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