We Need Non-factive Metaphysical Explanation

Erkenntnis 87 (3):991-1011 (2022)
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Suppose that A explains B. Do A and B need to be true? Provided that we have metaphysical explanation in mind, orthodoxy answers “yes:” metaphysical explanation is factive. This article introduces and defends a non-factive notion of metaphysical explanation. I argue that we need a non-factive notion of explanation in order to make sense of explanationist arguments where we motivate a view by claiming that it offers better explanations than its competitors. After presenting and rejecting some initially plausible rivals, I account for non-factive metaphysical explanation by drawing on existing applications of structural equation models to metaphysical grounding.

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Michael Bertrand
Ohio State University


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