Levels of explanation reconceived

Philosophy of Science 77 (1):59-72 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
A common argument against explanatory reductionism is that higher‐level explanations are sometimes or always preferable because they are more general than reductive explanations. Here I challenge two basic assumptions that are needed for that argument to succeed. It cannot be assumed that higher‐level explanations are more general than their lower‐level alternatives or that higher‐level explanations are general in the right way to be explanatory. I suggest a novel form of pluralism regarding levels of explanation, according to which explanations at different levels are preferable in different circumstances because they offer different types of generality, which are appropriate in different circumstances of explanation.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
POTLOE
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View other versions
Added to PP index
2010-02-27

Total views
1,070 ( #5,375 of 71,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
54 ( #14,797 of 71,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.