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Philosophical Theories of Explanation

Robert W. Batterman

in The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence

Published in print:
2001
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195146479
eISBN:
9780199833078
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195146476.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter discusses in detail a distinction between types of why‐questions. It considers Hempelian models of explanation and their successors and argues that neither causal mechanical models nor ... More


The Pragmatics of Explanation 1

Bas C. van Fraassen

in The Scientific Image

Published in print:
1980
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198244271
eISBN:
9780191597473
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198244274.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

Explanatory power is a complex theoretical virtue, not reducible to empirical strength or adequacy, which includes other virtues as its own preconditions. Since this virtue provides one of the main ... More


Causal Explanation

David Lewis

in Philosophical Papers Volume II

Published in print:
1987
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195036466
eISBN:
9780199833399
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195036468.003.0007
Subject:
Philosophy, General

Argues for the thesis that to explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history. This involves showing that there are no noncausal explanations of particular events, ... More


Describing Law Normatively

John Finnis

in Philosophy of Law: Collected Essays Volume IV

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780199580088
eISBN:
9780191729409
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580088.003.0002
Subject:
Law, Philosophy of Law

A fundamental reconsideration of the project of a general theory of law, this chapter argues that no general account can be given of what law in fact is without explicit attention to why it has the ... More


Reasons Why

Bradford Skow

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is first argued that a theory of explanation is, or should be, a theory of answers to why-questions. It is then argued that a theory of answers to why-questions should take the form of a theory of ... More


A Few Opening Remarks

Bradford Skow

in Reasons Why

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.003.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is claimed that “theory of explanation” is a poor guide to the subject matter of theories that go by that title. “Theory of answers to why-questions” is better. The importance of why-questions ... More


Affirmative Semantics with Negative Morphosyntax: Negative Exclamatives and the New England So AUXn’t NP/DP Construction

Jim Wood

in Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
August 2014
ISBN:
9780199367221
eISBN:
9780199367245
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367221.003.0003
Subject:
Linguistics, Syntax and Morphology

This chapter is an in-depth study of the New England So AUXn’t NP/DP (SAND) construction, in which a sentence like so aren’t you is truth-conditionally identical to so are you (= “You are too”). The ... More


From Explanations to Why‐Questions

Bradford Skow

in Reasons Why

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is argued that so-called theories of explanation have never been intended to be fully general theories of explanation, theories of what it takes for someone to perform the speech act of explaining ... More


Against Understanding (as a Condition on Explanation)

Bradford Skow

in Making Sense of the World: New Essays on the Philosophy of Understanding

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
November 2017
ISBN:
9780190469863
eISBN:
9780190469887
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190469863.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, General

The idea that “explanation is that which produces understanding” is commonly accepted and often used to evaluate theories of explanation. But it cannot be used for this purpose. For the claim either ... More


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