Forms of causal explanation

Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454 (2005)
Authors
Jeroen Van Bouwel
University of Ghent
Abstract
In the literature on scientific explanation two types of pluralism are very common. The first concerns the distinction between explanations of singular facts and explanations of laws: there is a consensus that they have a different structure. The second concerns the distinction between causal explanations and uni.cation explanations: most people agree that both are useful and that their structure is different. In this article we argue for pluralism within the area of causal explanations: we claim that the structure of a causal explanation depends on the causal structure of the relevant fragment of the world and on the interests of the explainer.
Keywords Causal explanation  contrastive explanation  explanatory pluralism
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-005-5357-3
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