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How could models possibly provide how-possibly explanations?

Verreault-Julien, Philippe (2018) How could models possibly provide how-possibly explanations? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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Abstract

One puzzle concerning highly idealized models is whether they explain. Some suggest they provide so-called 'how-possibly explanations'. However, this raises an important question about the nature of how-possibly explanations, namely what distinguishes them from 'normal', or how-actually, explanations? I provide an account of how-possibly explanations that clarifies their nature in the context of solving the puzzle of model-based explanation. I argue that the modal notions of actuality and possibility provide the relevant dividing lines between how-possibly and how-actually explanations. Whereas how-possibly explanations establish claims of possible explanations, how-actually explanations establish claims of actual ones. Models, in turn, simply provide evidence for these claims.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Verreault-Julien, Philippeverreaultjulien@esphil.eur.nl0000-0001-5816-8947
Keywords: how-possibly explanation, models, explanation, understanding
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Philippe Verreault-Julien
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2018 02:18
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2018 02:18
Item ID: 15149
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.06.008
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15149

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