Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 24, Issue: 3, Page: 301-320

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Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
article description
Pluralism with respect to the structure of explanations of facts is not uncommon. Wesley Salmon, for instance, distinguished two types of explanation: causal explanations (which provide insight in the causes of the fact we want to explain) and unification explanations (which fit the explanandum into a unified world view). The pluralism which Salmon and others have defended is compatible with several positions about the exact relation between these two types of explanations. We distinguish four such positions, and argue in favour of one of them. We also compare our results with the views of some authors who have recently written on this subject.

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