Ontic Explanation Is either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029 (2018)
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What features will something have if it counts as an explanation? And will something count as an explanation if it has those features? In the second half of the 20th century, philosophers of science set for themselves the task of answering such questions, just as a priori conceptual analysis was generally falling out of favor. And as it did, most philosophers of science just moved on to more manageable questions about the varieties of explanation and discipline-specific scientific explanation. Often, such shifts are sound strategies for problem-solving. But leaving fallow certain basic conceptual issues can also result in foundational debates.

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Cory Wright
California State University, Long Beach


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