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Explanation, unification, and what chemistry gets from causation

Stemwedel, Janet D. (2002) Explanation, unification, and what chemistry gets from causation. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    I consider a way the concept of causation could be excised from chemical practice, suggested by Kitcher's view that causes are just a subset of unifying patterns which play a particular psychological role for us. \Kitcherian chemistry is at first blush well equipped to handle explanatory tasks. However, it would force chemists to accept certain unifying patterns as explanatory, which they do not think are at all explanatory. This might head off some descriptive lines of enquiry and damage prospects for the identification of potentially larger-scale explanations. More important than this, to chemists, it could put them off from finding the explanatory patterns that are true � true because they get at the real structure of the chemical phenomena in the world.


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    Item Type: Other
    Keywords: unification, causation, chemistry
    Conferences and Volumes: [2002] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 18th Biennial Mtg - PSA 2002: Contributed Papers (Milwaukee, WI; 2002) > PSA 2002 Symposia
    Depositing User: Janet D. Stemwedel
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2002
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:10
    Item ID: 707
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/707

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