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Causality and Explanation$
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Wesley C. Salmon

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195108647.001.0001

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Deductivism Visited and Revisited

Deductivism Visited and Revisited

(p.142) 9 Deductivism Visited and Revisited
Causality and Explanation

Wesley C. Salmon

Oxford University Press

Attacks explanatory deductivism, the view that all genuine explanations have the form of a correct deductive argument. The view has strong intuitive appeal to many philosophers. The author offers a defense against the claim that there are no statistical explanations of particular facts. In other words, he shows that statistical explanations of statistical generalizations – in the form that Hempel designated as the deductive–statistical (D‐S) variety – are not the only correct forms of statistical explanation. He exposes a glaring conflict between the deductive–nomological (D‐N) model of explanation and basic causal considerations relevant to explanation.

Keywords:   cause, deductive–nomological explanation, deductive–statistical explanation, deductivism, explanation, Hempel, statistical explanation

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