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Searching for Noncausal Explanations in a Sea of Causes

Bokulich, Alisa (2018) Searching for Noncausal Explanations in a Sea of Causes. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the spirit of explanatory pluralism, this chapter argues that causal and noncausal explanations of a phenomenon are compatible, each being useful for bringing out different sorts of insights. After reviewing a model-based account of scientific explanation, which can accommodate causal and noncausal explanations alike, an
important core conception of noncausal explanation is identified. This noncausal form of model-based explanation is illustrated using the example of how Earth scientists in a subfield known as aeolian geomorphology are explaining the formation of regularlyspaced sand ripples. The chapter concludes that even when it comes to everyday "medium-sized dry goods" such as sand ripples, where there is a complete causal story to be told, one can find examples of noncausal scientific explanations.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Bokulich, Alisa
Additional Information: in _Explanation Beyond Causation Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations_ Edited by Alexander Reutlinger and Juha Saatsi
Keywords: noncausal explanation, geomorphology, geoscience, Earth sciences
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Alisa Bokulich
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2018 17:02
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2018 17:02
Item ID: 14363
Official URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/explanatio...
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14363

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