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Author Kitcher, Philip
Title Scientific Explanation
Imprint Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1962
©1989
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource (543 pages)
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Series Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Note Intro -- Contents -- Preface -- Four Decades of Scientific Explanation -- 0. Introduction -- 0.1 A Bit of Background -- 0.2 The Received View -- 1. The First Decade (1948-57): Peace in the Valley (but Some Trouble in the Foothills) -- 1.1 The Fountainhead: The Deductive-Nomological Model -- 1.2 Explanation in History and Prehistory -- 1.3 Teleology and Functional Explanation -- 2. The Second Decade (1958-67): Manifest Destiny-Expansion and Conflict -- 2.1 A Major Source of Conflict -- 2.2 Deeper Linguistic Challenges -- 2.3 Famous Counterexamples to the Deductive-Nomological Model -- 2.4 Statistical Explanation -- 2.5 Early Objections to the Inductive-Statistical Model -- 3. The Third Decade (1968-77): Deepening Differences -- 3.1 The Statistical-Relevance Model -- 3.2 Problems with Maximal Specificity -- 3.3 Coffa's Dispositional Theory of Inductive Explanation -- 3.4 Explanation and Evidence -- 3.5 Explanations of Laws -- 3.6 Are Explanations Arguments? -- 3.7 The Challenge of Causality -- 3.8 Teleological and Functional Explanation -- 3.9 The End of a Decade/The End of an Era? -- 4. The Fourth Decade (1978-87): A Time of Maturation -- 4.1 New Foundations -- 4.2 Theoretical Explanation -- 4.3 Descriptive vs. Explanatory Knowledge -- 4.4 The Pragmatics of Explanation -- 4.5 Empiricism and Realism -- 4.6 Railton's Nomothetic/Mechanistic Account -- 4.7 Aleatory Explanation: Statistical vs. Causal Relevance -- 4.8 Probabilistic Causality -- 4.9 Deductivism -- 4.10 Explanations of Laws Again -- 4.11 A Fundamental Principle Challenged -- 5. Conclusion: Peaceful Coexistence? -- 5.1 Consensus or Rapprochement? -- 5.2 Agenda for the Fifth Decade -- Chronological Bibliography -- Explanation and Metaphysical Controversy -- Explanation: In Search of the Rationale -- 1. Why-Questions -- 2. A Thin Logic of Questions
3. The Epistemic Conception of Explanation -- 4. Theory Nets and Explanatory Commitments -- 5. Pruning the Web of Belief -- 6. Beyond the Third Dogma of Empiricism -- Scientific Explanation: The Causes, Some of the Causes, and Nothing But the Causes -- 1. Introduction -- 2. The Multiplicity, Diversity, and Incompleteness of Causal Explanations -- 3. The Canonical Form for Causal Explanations -- 4. Ontology -- 5. Why Probability Values Are Not Explanatory -- 6. Why Ask Why-Questions? -- Appendix: The Causal Failures of the Covering-Law Model -- Pure, Mixed, and Spurious Probabilities and Their Significance for a Reductionist Theory of Causation -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Some Initial Intuitions -- 3. Pure and Mixed Probabilities -- 4. Screening Off and Spurious Correlations -- 5. Spuriousness and Statistical Research -- 6. The Importance of the Single Case -- 7. The Compatibility of Probabilistic Intuitions with a Deterministic View of Causation -- 8. The Deterministic Causation of Chances -- 9. Rational Action -- 10. Quantitative Decisions -- 11. Causal and Evidential Decision Theory -- 12. Action and Causation Again -- 13. The Metaphysics of Probability -- 14. Causal Chains -- 15. Causal Asymmetry -- 16. Digression on Independence Requirements -- 17. Causal Processes and Pseudo-Processes -- 18. Negative Causes -- Capacities and Abstractions -- 1. The Primacy of Singular Causes -- 2. The Failure of the Defeasibility Account -- 3. Abstractions and Idealizations -- 4. Conclusion -- The Causal Mechanical Model of Explanation -- Explanation in the Social Sciences -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Interpretativism -- 3. Rationality and Explanations of Behavior -- 4. The Existence of Appropriate Laws -- 5. Ethical Issues -- 6. Conclusion -- Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World -- 1. Introduction -- 1.1 Hempel's Accounts
1.2 Hempel's Problems -- 2. The Pragmatics of Explanation -- 2.1 Van Fraassen's Pragmatics -- 2.2 Why Pragmatics Is Not Enough -- 2.3 Possible Goals for a Theory of Explanation -- 3. Explanation as Delineation of Causes -- 3.1 Causal Why-Questions and Causal Explanations -- 3.2 Are there Noncausal Explanations of Singular Propositions? -- 3.3 Causal Explanation and Theoretical Explanation -- 4. Explanation as Unification -- 4.1 The Ideal of Unification -- 4.2 Argument Patterns -- 4.3 Systematization of Belief -- 4.4 Why-Questions Revisited -- 4.5 Explanatory Unification and Causal Dependence -- 4.6 Unification and Theoretical Explanation -- 5. A Defense of Deductive Chauvinism -- 5.1 The Objection from Quantum Mechanics -- 5.2 The Idealization of Macro-Phenomena -- 5.3 Further Sources of Indeterminism? -- 5.4 Two Popular Examples -- 5.5 Explanation and Responsibility -- 6. Epistemological Difficulties for the Causal Approach -- 6.1 Hume's Ghost -- 6.2 Causal Processes and Causal Interactions -- 6.3 Causation and Counterfactuals -- 6.4 Justifying Counterfactuals -- 6.5 Changing the Epistemological Framework -- 7. Comparative Unification -- 7.1 Comparative Unification without Change of Belief -- 7.2 The Possibility of Gerrymandering -- 7.3 Asymmetry and Irrelevance -- 7.4 Comparative Unification and Scientific Change -- 8. Metaphysical Issues -- 8.1 Correct Explanation -- 8.2 "What If the World Isn't Unified? -- 8.3 Correct Explanation Again -- 8.4 Conclusions -- Contributors -- Index -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- Q -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- X -- Y -- Z
Issues concerning scientific explanation have been a focus of philosophical attention from Pre-Socratic times through the modern period. However, recent discussion really begins with the development of the Deductive-Nomological (DN) model. This model has had many advocates (including Popper 1935, 1959, Braithwaite 1953, Gardiner, 1959, Nagel 1961) but unquestionably the most detailed and influential statement is due to Carl Hempel (Hempel 1942, 1965, and Hempel & Oppenheim 1948). These papers and the reaction to them have structured subsequent discussion concerning scientific explanation to an extraordinary degree. After some general remarks by way of background and orientation (Section 1), this entry describes the DN model and its extensions, and then turns to some well-known objections (Section 2). It next describes a variety of subsequent attempts to develop alternative models of explanation, including Wesley Salmon's Statistical Relevance (Section 3) and Causal Mechanical (Section 4) models and the Unificationist models due to Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher (Section 5). Section 6 provides a summary and discusses directions for future work
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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries
Link Print version: Kitcher, Philip Scientific Explanation Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press,c1962 9780816602667
Subject Science -- Methodology.;Science -- Philosophy
Electronic books
Alt Author Salmon, Wesley C
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