Alexander Reutlinger
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I support this claim by illustrating that CTE is applicable to Euler’s explanation (an example of a non-causal scientific explanation) and Loewer’s explanation (an example of a non-causal metaphysical explanation).
Keywords scientific explanation  non-causal explanation  metaphysical explanation  grounding  mathematical explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-016-0155-z
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References found in this work BETA

Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Narrow Ontic Counterfactual Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz008.
Abstract Versus Causal Explanations?Reutlinger Alexander & Andersen Holly - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):129-146.
Against Brute Fundamentalism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):231-261.
Understanding Does Not Depend on (Causal) Explanation.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):18.

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