Pragmatism and the theory-dependence of explanatory judgments in science

Dissertation, Baylor University (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Many philosophical accounts of scientific explanation purport to be pragmatic. They claim that what counts as a good scientific explanation depends, in a significant way, on the context in which the purported explanation is offered. I start this project by defending a pragmatic approach to analyzing explanations. Bas van Fraassen’s account of explanation is one of the most developed pragmatic accounts of explanation. So, that is what I discuss next. I argue that it survives most of the objections raised against it. I then argue, from the framework provided by van Fraassen’s account, that the acceptance of a theory sometimes involves the acceptance of a set of criteria for evaluating explanations. This set of criteria is theory-laden, and if an explanatory judgment is made on the basis of this set, it is theory-laden. One implication of my thesis is that inference to the best explanation is not a rationally-compelling rule of inference. I defend this claim in the penultimate chapter.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,297

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Explanation and the theory of questions.Charles B. Cross - 1991 - Erkenntnis 34 (2):237 - 260.
The Pragmatic Character of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Explanation and Causation.Yoo Shin Kim - 1995 - Dissertation, Cornell University
Mathematical explanation and the theory of why-questions.David Sandborg - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):603-624.
Explanatory Pluralism.Chrysostomos Mantzavinos - 2016 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Empiricism, Objectivity, and Explanation.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Carl G. Anderson - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):121-131.
Pragmatism and philosophy of science: A critical survey.Robert Almeder - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):171 – 195.
Default privilege and bad lots: Underconsideration and explanatory inference.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):91 – 105.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-08

Downloads
24 (#483,238)

6 months
2 (#298,943)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Yunus Prasetya
Yale-NUS College

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references