Eight Other Questions about Explanation

In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2018)
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The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics have been obscured by not distinguishing among these independent questions and, especially, by not separating them from the question of what metaphysical dependence relation is explanatory. Philosophical analysis of scientific explanation would be much improved by attending more carefully to these, and probably still other, elements of an account of explanation.
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