Causal patterns and adequate explanations

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

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.

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References found in this work

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

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Citations of this work

Models Don’T Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models.Collin Rice - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):179-208.
The Diverse Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:71-80.

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