Metaphysical Explanations and the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation

Philosophical Studies (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
According to an increasingly popular view among philosophers of science, both causal and non-causal explanations can be accounted for by a single theory: the counterfactual theory of explanation. A kind of non-causal explanation that has gained much attention recently but that this theory seems unable to account for are grounding explanations. Reutlinger (2017) has argued that, despite these appearances to the contrary, such explanations are covered by his version of the counterfactual theory. His idea is supported by recent work on grounding by Schaffer and Wilson who claim there to be a tight connection between grounding and counterfactual dependence. The present paper evaluates the prospects of the idea. We show that there is only a weak sense in which grounding explanations convey information about counterfactual dependencies, and that this fact cannot plausibly be taken to reveal a distinctive feature that grounding explanations share with other kinds of explanations.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ROSMEA-6
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-08-11
View other versions
Added to PP index
2020-08-11

Total views
110 ( #35,256 of 54,677 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
110 ( #4,804 of 54,677 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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