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How to Study Scientific Explanation?

Weber, Erik and De Vreese, Leen and Van Bouwel, Jeroen (2011) How to Study Scientific Explanation? In: [2011] 3rd Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (June 22-24, 2011; Exeter, UK).

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation: Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon. We argue that they do three things: (i) construct an explication in the sense of Carnap, which then is used as a tool to make (ii) descriptive and (iii) normative claims about the explanatory practice of scientists. We also show that they did well with respect to (i), but that they failed to give arguments for their descriptive and normative claims. We think it is the responsibility of current philosophers of explanation to go on where Hempel, Kitcher and Salmon failed. However, we should go on in a clever way. We call this clever way the “pragmatic approach to scientific explanation.” We clarify what this approach consists in and defend it.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Carnap, explanation, explication, Hempel, Kitcher, Salmon
    Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
    General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
    General Issues > Philosophers of Science
    Conferences and Volumes: [2011] 3rd Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (June 22-24, 2011; Exeter, UK)
    Depositing User: Erik Weber
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2011 07:30
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2011 07:30
    Item ID: 8769
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8769

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