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Explanation Beyond CausationPhilosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations$
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Alexander Reutlinger and Juha Saatsi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777946.001.0001

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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: 24 September 2021

Because Without Cause

Because Without Cause

Scientific Explanations by Constraint

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Because Without Cause
Source:
Explanation Beyond Causation
Author(s):

Marc Lange

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0002

This chapter investigates non-causal scientific explanations that work by describing how the explanandum involves stronger-than-physical necessity by virtue of certain facts (“constraints”) that possess some variety of necessity stronger than ordinary causal laws possess. In particular, the chapter offers an account of the order of explanatory priority in explanations by constraint. It examines several important examples of explanations by constraint, distinguishing their natural kinds. It gives an account of the sense in which constraints are modally stronger than ordinary causal laws and an account of why certain deductions of constraints exclusively from other constraints possess explanatory power whereas others lack explanatory power.

Keywords:   explanation, necessity, mathematics, constraint, modality, Heinrich Hertz, conservation laws

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