The Deductive-Nomological Account of Metaphysical Explanation

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):1-23 (2016)
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Abstract

The paper explores a deductive-nomological account of metaphysical explanation: some truths metaphysically explain, or ground, another truth just in case the laws of metaphysics determine the latter truth on the basis of the former. I develop and motivate a specific conception of metaphysical laws, on which they are general rules that regulate the existence and features of derivative entities. I propose an analysis of the notion of ‘determination via the laws’, based on a restricted form of logical entailment. I argue that the DN-account of ground can be defended against the well-known objections to the DN-approach to scientific explanation. The goal of the paper is to show that the DN-account of metaphysical explanation is a well-motivated and defensible theory

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Tobias Wilsch
University Tübingen

Citations of this work

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.

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References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.

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