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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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Causal and Theoretical Explanation

Causal and Theoretical Explanation

(p.108) 7 Causal and Theoretical Explanation
Causality and Explanation

Wesley C. Salmon

Oxford University Press

Supplements the statistical‐relevance (S‐R) model of scientific explanation with causal components. Some S‐R relationships can be explained by reference to spatiotemporally continuous causal connections. In this context, it is crucial to distinguish genuine causal processes – those with the ability to transmit marks – from pseudoprocesses. Other S‐R relationships are explained terms of common causes. It introduces causal processes and the common cause principle, and it presents the strategy for incorporating causal considerations into the theory of scientific explanation, while making it seem natural to appeal to unobserved or unobservable entities.

Keywords:   causal process, causation, common cause, explanation, science, statistical relevance, theoretical explanation

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