Unique events: The underdetermination of explanation [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 48 (1):61-83 (1998)
The paper explicates unique events and investigates their epistemology. Explications of unique events as individuated, different, and emergent are philosophically uninteresting. Unique events are topics of why-questions that radically underdetermine all their potential explanations. Uniqueness that is relative to a level of scientific development is differentiated from absolute uniqueness. Science eliminates relative uniqueness by discovery of recurrence of events and properties, falsification of assumptions of why-questions, and methodological simplification e.g. by explanatory methodological reduction. Finally, an overview of contemporary philosophical disputes that hinge on issues of uniqueness emphasizes its philosophical significance.
Keywords Events  Explanation  Unique  Underdetermination
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005315532171
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Introduction: Scientific Knowledge of the Deep Past.Adrian Currie & Derek Turner - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:43-46.
Terra Incognita: Explanation and Reduction in Earth Science.Maarten G. Kleinhans, Chris J. J. Buskes & Henk W. de Regt - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):289 – 317.

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