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Grounding-mechanical explanation

Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309 (2018)

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  1. Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Alex Byrne - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):594-597.
    This much-anticipated book is a detailed elaboration and defense of Levine’s influential claim that there is an “explanatory gap” between the mental and the physical.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.John Heil & D. M. Armstrong - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (1):115.
    Despite heroic efforts, philosophers have found it increasingly difficult to evade discussion of metaphysical topics. Take the philosophy of mind. Take, in particular, the mind-body problem in its latest guise: the problem of causal relevance. If mental properties are not reducible to physical properties, how can we reconcile the role such properties seem to have in producing bodily motions that constitute actions with the apparent fact that the very same motions are entirely explicable on the basis of purely physical properties (...)
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  • The Kinds of Things: A Theory of Personal Identity Based on Transcendental Argument.Marc Slors - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):465.
    The main target of The Kinds of Things is the Lockean-Humean view of personal identity that had its most controversial expression in Parfit and that so thoroughly shaped the debate on the issue. Doepke develops an alternative Kantian-Aristotelian account of personal identity, partly by analyzng the demerits of the Lockean-Humean view. While locating itself in the landscape of the traditional debate, though, the book is very atypical of it.
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  • Grounding and Metametaphysics.Alexander Skiles & Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - In Ricki Bliss & J. Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY, USA:
    Discussion of the relevance of grounding to substantiveness, theory-choice, and “location problems” in metaphysics.
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  • How Superduper Does a Physicalist Supervenience Need to Be?Jessica M. Wilson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (194):33-52.
    Note: this is the first published presentation and defense of the 'proper subset strategy' for making sense of non-reductive physicalism or the associated notion of realization; this is sometimes, inaccurately, called "Shoemaker's subset strategy"; if people could either call it the 'subset strategy' or better yet, add my name to the mix I would appreciate it. Horgan claims that physicalism requires "superdupervenience" -- supervenience plus robust ontological explanation of the supervenient in terms of the base properties. I argue that Horgan's (...)
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  • Dimensions of Scientific Law.Sandra D. Mitchell - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):242-265.
    Biological knowledge does not fit the image of science that philosophers have developed. Many argue that biology has no laws. Here I criticize standard normative accounts of law and defend an alternative, pragmatic approach. I argue that a multidimensional conceptual framework should replace the standard dichotomous law/ accident distinction in order to display important differences in the kinds of causal structure found in nature and the corresponding scientific representations of those structures. To this end I explore the dimensions of stability, (...)
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  • Modeling Mechanisms.Stuart Glennan - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):443-464.
    Philosophers of science increasingly believe that much of science is concerned with understanding the mechanisms responsible for the production of natural phenomena. An adequate understanding of scientific research requires an account of how scientists develop and test models of mechanisms. This paper offers a general account of the nature of mechanical models, discussing the representational relationship that holds between mechanisms and their models as well as the techniques that can be used to test and refine such models. The analysis is (...)
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  • Grounding Is Not Causation.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):21-38.
    Proponents of grounding often describe the notion as "metaphysical causation" involving determination and production relations similar to causation. This paper argues that the similarities between grounding and causation are merely superficial. I show that there are several sorts of causation that have no analogue in grounding; that the type of "bringing into existence" that both involve is extremely different; and that the synchronicity of ground and the diachronicity of causation make them too different to be explanatorily intertwined.
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  • Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Kment - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
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  • Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
    Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its many ultimate parts?
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  • The Unity and Priority Arguments for Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Basinstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 171-204.
    Grounding, understood as a primitive posit operative in contexts where metaphysical dependence is at issue, is not able on its own to do any substantive work in characterizing or illuminating metaphysical dependence---or so I argue in 'No Work for a Theory of Grounding' (Inquiry, 2014). Such illumination rather requires appeal to specific metaphysical relations---type or token identity, functional realization, the determinable-determinate relation, the mereological part-whole relation, and so on---of the sort typically at issue in these contexts. In that case, why (...)
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  • Towards a Theory of Part.Kit Fine - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):559-589.
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  • By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
    Recently much has been made of the grounding relation, and of the idea that it is intimately tied to fundamentality. If A grounds B, then A is more fundamental than B (though not vice versa ), and A is ungrounded if and only if it is fundamental full stop—absolutely fundamental. But here is a puzzle: is grounding itself absolutely fundamental?
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  • Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In this wide-ranging study, Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the How does one explain the physical nature of an experience? This puzzle, the "explanatory gap" between mind and body, is the focus of this work by an influential scholar in the field.
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  • Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
    There is a systematic and suggestive analogy between grounding and causation. In my view, this analogy is no coincidence. Grounding and causation are alike because grounding is a type of causation: metaphysical causation. In this paper I defend the identification of grounding with metaphysical causation, drawing on the causation literature to explore systematic connections between grounding and metaphysical dependence counterfactuals, and I outline a non-reductive counterfactual theory of grounding along interventionist lines.
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  • No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
    It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation— ‘Grounding’—is ultimately at issue in contexts in which some goings-on are said to hold ‘in virtue of’’, be ‘metaphysically dependent on’, or be ‘nothing over and above’ some others. Grounding is supposed to do good work in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether (...)
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  • Dynamical Models: An Alternative or Complement to Mechanistic Explanations?David M. Kaplan & William Bechtel - 2011 - Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):438-444.
    Abstract While agreeing that dynamical models play a major role in cognitive science, we reject Stepp, Chemero, and Turvey's contention that they constitute an alternative to mechanistic explanations. We review several problems dynamical models face as putative explanations when they are not grounded in mechanisms. Further, we argue that the opposition of dynamical models and mechanisms is a false one and that those dynamical models that characterize the operations of mechanisms overcome these problems. By briefly considering examples involving the generation (...)
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  • The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science.Theodore Sider - 2020 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysics has shifted ground, moving away from necessity and possibility as the lens through which we look at things. Ted Sider shapes the agenda for the subject by exploring how this shift transforms the project of understanding the objects, properties, and quantities of the universe, and the relations between them, in terms of structures.
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  • Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
    Argument that full grounds modally entail what they ground.
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  • Explanatory Realism, Causal Realism, and Explanatory Exclusion.Jaegwon Kim - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 12 (1):225-239.
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  • A Puzzle About Partial Grounding.Michael J. Clark - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):189-197.
    I argue that plausible claims in the logic of partial grounding, when combined with a plausible analysis of that concept, entail the falsity of plausible grounding claims. As our account of the concept of partial grounding and its logic should be consistent with plausible grounding claims, this is problematic. The argument hinges on the idea that some facts about what grounds what are grounded in others, which is an idea the paper aims to motivate.
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  • First-Order Modal Theories III — Facts.Kit Fine - 1982 - Synthese 53 (1):43-122.
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  • Grounding: Toward a Theory of the I N-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.
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  • The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
    It has been suggested that many philosophical theses—physicalism, normative naturalism, phenomenalism, and so on—should be understood in terms of ground. Against this, Ted Sider (2011) has argued that ground is ill-suited for this purpose. Here I develop Sider’s objection and offer a response. In doing so I develop a view about the role of ground in philosophy, and about the content of these distinctively philosophical theses.
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  • Understanding The New Reductionism: The Metaphysics of Science And Compositional Reduction.Carl Gillett - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (4):193-216.
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  • Understanding the New Reductionism: The Metaphysics of Science and Compositional Reduction.Carl Gillett - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (4):193-216.
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  • A Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
    A number of philosophers have recently become receptive to the idea that, in addition to scientific or causal explanation, there may be a distinctive kind of metaphysical explanation, in which explanans and explanandum are connected, not through some sort of causal mechanism, but through some constitutive form of determination. I myself have long been sympathetic to this idea of constitutive determination or ‘ontological ground’; and it is the aim of the present paper to help put the idea on a firmer (...)
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  • The Kinds of Things: A Theory of Personal Identity Based on Transcendental Argument.Frederick Doepke - 1996 - Open Court Publishing Company.
    The main contribution of this work is to develop the account of material constitution presented in Spatially Coinciding Objects (Ratio 24, 1982) and a series of related articles. This account was merely ‘analytical’ in that it applied generously to ‘putative’ examples of distinct entities (individuals, pluralities and masses of stuff) in the same place at the same time. The account herein is ‘critical’ in that it seeks justification for recognizing the existence of entities constituted in addition to the entities that (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press USA.
    Moving beyond both realist and anti-realist accounts of mathematics, Shapiro articulates a "structuralist" approach, arguing that the subject matter of a mathematical theory is not a fixed domain of numbers that exist independent of each other, but rather is the natural structure, the pattern common to any system of objects that has an initial object and successor relation satisfying the induction principle.
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  • Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1990 - Blackwell.
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
    On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
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  • Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views face (...)
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  • The Ground Between the Gaps.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    According to a line of thought tracing from Descartes, Leibniz, and Locke through to Kripke, Levine, and Chalmers, there is a special explanatory gap arising between the physical and the phenomenal. I argue that the physical-phenomenal gap is not special but rather that such gaps are pervasive, lurking in the transition from the physical to the chemical and in every concrete transition from more to less fundamental. Correlatively, I argue that such gaps are unproblematic, so long as they are bridged (...)
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  • Grounding, Transitivity, and Contrastivity.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 122-138.
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  • The Nomological Account of Ground.Tobias Wilsch - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3293-3312.
    The article introduces and defends the Nomological Account of ground, a reductive account of the notion of metaphysical explanation in terms of the laws of metaphysics. The paper presents three desiderata that a theory of ground should meet: it should explain the modal force of ground, the generality of ground, and the interplay between ground and certain mereological notions. The bulk of the paper develops the Nomological Account and argues that it meets the three desiderata. The Nomological Account relies on (...)
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  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Do numbers, sets, and so forth, exist? What do mathematical statements mean? Are they literally true or false, or do they lack truth values altogether? Addressing questions that have attracted lively debate in recent years, Stewart Shapiro contends that standard realist and antirealist accounts of mathematics are both problematic. As Benacerraf first noted, we are confronted with the following powerful dilemma. The desired continuity between mathematical and, say, scientific language suggests realism, but realism in this context suggests seemingly intractable epistemic (...)
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  • Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology.Ryan Wasserman, David Manley & David Chalmers (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    This volume concerns the status and ambitions of metaphysics as a discipline.
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  • Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
    It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to be understood in (...)
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  • Grounding and the Argument From Explanatoriness.David Kovacs - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2927-2952.
    In recent years, metaphysics has undergone what some describe as a revolution: it has become standard to understand a vast array of questions as questions about grounding, a metaphysical notion of determination. Why should we believe in grounding, though? Supporters of the revolution often gesture at what I call the Argument from Explanatoriness: the notion of grounding is somehow indispensable to a metaphysical type of explanation. I challenge this argument and along the way develop a “reactionary” view, according to which (...)
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  • Mechanisms and Explanatory Realization Relations.Thomas W. Polger - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):193 - 212.
    My topic is the confluence of two recently active philosophical research programs. One research program concerns the metaphysics of realization. The other research program concerns scientific explanation in terms of mechanisms. In this paper I introduce a distinction between descriptive and explanatory approaches to realization. I then use this distinction to argue that a well-known account of realization, due to Carl Gillett, is incompatible with a well-known account of mechanistic explanation, due to Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver (MDC, (...)
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  • When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
    Not all models are explanatory. Some models are data summaries. Some models sketch explanations but leave crucial details unspecified or hidden behind filler terms. Some models are used to conjecture a how-possibly explanation without regard to whether it is a how-actually explanation. I use the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential to illustrate these ways that models can be useful without explaining. I then use the subsequent development of the explanation of the action potential to show what is (...)
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  • Explaining Explanation.David Ruben - 1993 - Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
    Book synopsis: This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
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  • Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
    Carl Craver investigates what we are doing when we sue neuroscience to explain what's going on in the brain.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
    In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...)
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  • Four Decades of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon & Anne Fagot-Largeault - 1989 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
    As Aristotle stated, scientific explanation is based on deductive argument--yet, Wesley C. Salmon points out, not all deductive arguments are qualified explanations. The validity of the explanation must itself be examined. _Four Decades of Scientific Explanation_ provides a comprehensive account of the developments in scientific explanation that transpired in the last four decades of the twentieth century. It continues to stand as the most comprehensive treatment of the writings on the subject during these years. Building on the historic 1948 essay (...)
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  • Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Wesley C. Salmon - 1984 - Princeton University Press.
    The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view is untenable and that the modal conception is scientifically out-dated. Significantly revising aspects of his earlier work, he defends a causal/mechanical theory that is a version of the ontic conception. Professor Salmon's theory furnishes a robust (...)
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  • A Deductive-Nomological Model of Probabilistic Explanation.Peter Railton - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (2):206-226.
    It has been the dominant view that probabilistic explanations of particular facts must be inductive in character. I argue here that this view is mistaken, and that the aim of probabilistic explanation is not to demonstrate that the explanandum fact was nomically expectable, but to give an account of the chance mechanism(s) responsible for it. To this end, a deductive-nomological model of probabilistic explanation is developed and defended. Such a model has application only when the probabilities occurring in covering laws (...)
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  • Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.
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