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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: 18 September 2021

Accommodating Explanatory Pluralism

Accommodating Explanatory Pluralism

(p.39) 2 Accommodating Explanatory Pluralism
Explanation Beyond Causation

Christopher Pincock

Oxford University Press

Explanatory pluralism is the view that explanations come in two or more different types. This chapter clarifies two versions of explanatory pluralism and considers two very different attempts to make sense of it. On the one hand, an ontic approach isolates genuine explanations only by appeal to facts that obtain in the world. The most promising way for an ontic approach to accommodate explanatory pluralism is to posit different sorts of objective dependence relations. On the other hand, an epistemic approach requires that features of agents appear in any analysis of what a genuine explanation is. This chapter argues that there is a version of an ontic account and a version of an epistemic account that do make sense of explanatory pluralism in their own terms. At the same time, pluralism raises problems for each approach that require further consideration.

Keywords:   causal explanation, mathematical explanation, structural explanation, contrastive explanation, explanatory pluralism

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