Foundations of Science 1 (3):429-465 (1995)

Gerhard Schurz
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
This paper describes the development of theories of scientific explanation since Hempel's earliest models in the 1940ies. It focuses on deductive and probabilistic whyexplanations and their main problems: lawlikeness, explanation-prediction asymmetries, causality, deductive and probabilistic relevance, maximal specifity and homogenity, the height of the probability value. For all of these topic the paper explains the most important approaches as well as their criticism, including the author's own accounts. Three main theses of this paper are: (1) Both deductive and probabilistic explanations are important in science, not reducible to each other. (2) One must distinguish between (cause giving) explanations and (reason giving) justifications and predictions. (3) The adequacy of deductive as well as probabilistic explanations is relative to a pragmatically given background knowledge-which does not exclude, however, the possibility of purely semantic models.
Keywords deductive explanation   probabilistic explanation   lawlikeness   causality   prediction   justification   deductive relevance   statistical relevance   maximal specifity   understanding   unification
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DOI 10.1007/BF00145406
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Ways of Worldmaking.Nelson Goodman - 1978 - Harvester Press.
The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Logic of Knowing Why.Chao Xu, Yanjing Wang & Thomas Studer - 2021 - Synthese 198 (2):1259-1285.
Explicação Científica.Eduardo Castro - 2020 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
To Explain or to Predict: Which One is Mandatory?Robert Luk - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (2):411-414.
Normische Gesetzeshypothesen Und Die Wissenschaftsphilosophische Bedeutung Des Nichtmonotonen Schliessens.Gerhard Schurz - 2001 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 32 (1):65-107.

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