Ambiguity and explanation

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):839-866 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper presents evidence that ‘because’ is importantly ambiguous between two closely related senses covering what are usually called causal explanations, on the one hand, and grounding or metaphysical explanations, on the other hand. To this end, it introduces the lexical categories of monosemy, polysemy and homonymy; describes a test for polysemy; and discusses the results of the test when applied to ‘because’. It also shows how to understand so-called hybrid explanations in light of the semantic facts established by the analysis.

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Jonathan Shaheen
Ghent University

Citations of this work

Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.
Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Calling for Explanation.Dan Baras - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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