Princeton University Press (1984)

Abstract
The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view is untenable and that the modal conception is scientifically out-dated. Significantly revising aspects of his earlier work, he defends a causal/mechanical theory that is a version of the ontic conception. Professor Salmon's theory furnishes a robust argument for scientific realism akin to the argument that convinced twentieth-century physical scientists of the existence of atoms and molecules. To do justice to such notions as irreducibly statistical laws and statistical explanation, he offers a novel account of physical randomness. The transition from the "reviewed view" of scientific explanation to the causal/mechanical model requires fundamental rethinking of basic explanatory concepts
Keywords Science
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ISBN(s) 0691072930   9780691101705   0691072930 (alk. paper)   0691101701   9780691072937
DOI 10.2307/2185459
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The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.

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