Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182 (2015)

Authors
Angela Potochnik
University of Cincinnati
Abstract
Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes sense of several aspects of actual explanatory practice, including the widespread use of equilibrium explanations, the formulation of distinct explanations for a single event, and the tight relationship between explanations of events and explanations of causal regularities.
Keywords Scientific explanation  Causal explanation  Contrastive explanation  Equilibrium explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0342-8
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Diverse Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:71-80.
Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

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