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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 May 2021

Scientific Explanation

Scientific Explanation

Three Basic Conceptions

(p.320) 20 Scientific Explanation
Causality and Explanation

Wesley C. Salmon

Oxford University Press

The ontic conception sees a scientific explanation as an exhibition of the ways in which what is to be explained fits into natural patterns or regularities in the world. The classic form of the epistemic conception takes scientific explanations to be arguments; and the modal conception says that a good explanation shows that what did happen had to happen. This chapter originally appeared just prior to the publication of Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. It contains a highly condensed summary of some of the main discussions, including that of criteria of adequacy, in that book. Whereas Ch. 18 focuses on causal considerations, this chapter focuses on the concept of explanation.

Keywords:   criteria of adequacy, epistemic explanation, explanation, modal explanation, ontic explanation

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