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Explanatory integration

Wayne, Andrew (2017) Explanatory integration. European Journal for Philosophy of Science. ISSN 1879-4920

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to show how scientific explanation functions in the context of idealized models. It argues that the aspect of explanation most urgently requiring investigation is the nature of the connection between global theories and explanatory local models. This aspect is neglected in traditional accounts of explanation (Hempel 1965; Kitcher 1989). The paper examines causal, minimal model, and structural accounts of model-based explanation (Woodward 2003; Batterman and Rice 2014; Bokulich 2011). It argues that they too fail to offer an account of the connection with global theory that can justify the explanatory power of an idealized local model, and consequently these accounts are unable effectively to distinguish explanatory from non-explanatory models. On the account proposed here, scientific explanation requires theoretical integration between the local model described in the explanation and a global theory with independent explanatory power.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wayne, Andrewawayne@uoguelph.ca
Keywords: Explanation Model Science Idealization
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Andrew Wayne
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 15:30
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 15:30
Item ID: 14156
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13194-017-0190-4
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13194-017-0190-4
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: 28 November 2017
ISSN: 1879-4920
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14156

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