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Beyond Hempel: Reframing the Debate about Scientific Explanation

Dewulf, Fons (2021) Beyond Hempel: Reframing the Debate about Scientific Explanation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I argue that Carl Hempel’s pioneering work on scientific explanation introduced an assumption which Hempel never motivated, namely that explanation is an aim of science. Ever since, it largely remained unquestioned in analytic philosophy of science. By expanding the historical scope of the debate on explanation to philosophers from the first half of the 20th century, I show that the debate should include a critical reflection on Hempel’s assumption. This reflection includes two problems: how to motivate one’s position on the aims of scientific knowledge and how to decide which examples count as expressions of those aims.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dewulf, Fons0000-0001-6139-9973
Keywords: Hempel, Scientific Explanation, Explanationism, Descriptivism, Van Fraassen
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Depositing User: Dr. Fons Dewulf
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2021 03:44
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2021 03:44
Item ID: 19324
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Date: 15 July 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19324

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