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Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right

Blanchard, Thomas (2020) Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 71. pp. 633-663. ISSN 0007-0882

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Abstract

Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices:
the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so.
Contra Franklin-Hall (2016), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation
provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance
between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve
what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible
interventions that would have changed the explanandum.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Blanchard, Thomastblancha@uni-koeln.de0000-0001-5002-7517
Keywords: Interventionism, Abstraction, Causation, Explanation
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Thomas Blanchard
Date Deposited: 26 May 2023 19:57
Last Modified: 26 May 2023 19:57
Item ID: 22143
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1093/BJPS/AXY030
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: June 2020
Page Range: pp. 633-663
Volume: 71
ISSN: 0007-0882
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22143

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