Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Causality and Explanation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Wesley C. Salmon

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195108647.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 20 April 2021

A Third Dogma of Empiricism

A Third Dogma of Empiricism

(p.95) 6 A Third Dogma of Empiricism
Causality and Explanation

Wesley C. Salmon

Oxford University Press

Challenges the widely held thesis that scientific explanations are arguments (the “third dogma”) by posing three questions that seem to raise difficulties for it: (1) Why are irrelevancies harmless to arguments but fatal to explanations? (2) Can events whose probabilities are low be explained? Or, to reformulate essentially the same question, is genuine scientific explanation possible if indeterminism is true? (3) Why should requirements of temporal asymmetry be imposed upon explanations but not upon arguments?

In addition to showing the untenability of the “third dogma,” this chapter signals the development of a causal theory of explanation that will supplement the simple statistical‐relevance (S‐R) model of explanation advocated in earlier works by the author.

Keywords:   asymmetry, empiricism, explanation, indeterminism, relevance, statistical‐relevance model of explanation, third dogma

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .