Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1985-2003 (2018)

Stefan Roski
Universität Hamburg
According to Hempel’s influential theory of explanation, explaining why some a is G consists in showing that the truth that a is G follows from a law-like generalization to the effect that all Fs are G together with the initial condition that a is F. While Hempel’s overall account is now widely considered to be deeply flawed, the idea that some generalizations play the explanatory role that the account predicts is still often endorsed by contemporary philosophers of science. This idea, however, conflicts with widely shared views in metaphysics according to which the generalization that all Fs are G is partially explained by the fact that a is G. I discuss two solutions to this conflict that have been proposed recently, argue that they are unsatisfactory, and offer an alternative.
Keywords Grounding  Explanation  Laws of Nature  Generalizations
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0946-x
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Laws and Their Instances.Nina Emery - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1535-1561.
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Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1325-1340.

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