Explanations and candidate explanations in physics

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-17 (2020)
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Abstract

There has been a growing trend to include non-causal models in accounts of scientific explanation. A worry addressed in this paper is that without a higher threshold for explanation there are no tools for distinguishing between models that provide genuine explanations and those that provide merely potential explanations. To remedy this, a condition is introduced that extends a veridicality requirement to models that are empirically underdetermined, highly-idealised, or otherwise non-causal. This condition is applied to models of electroweak symmetry breaking beyond the Standard Model.

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Martin King
Universit├Ąt Bonn

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