Chapter

Causal and Theoretical Explanation

Wesley C. Salmon

in Causality and Explanation

Published in print May 1998 | ISBN: 9780195108644
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833627 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195108647.003.0008
Causal and Theoretical Explanation

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Supplements the statistical‐relevance (S‐R) model of scientific explanation with causal components. Some S‐R relationships can be explained by reference to spatiotemporally continuous causal connections. In this context, it is crucial to distinguish genuine causal processes – those with the ability to transmit marks – from pseudoprocesses. Other S‐R relationships are explained terms of common causes. It introduces causal processes and the common cause principle, and it presents the strategy for incorporating causal considerations into the theory of scientific explanation, while making it seem natural to appeal to unobserved or unobservable entities.

Keywords: causal process; causation; common cause; explanation; science; statistical relevance; theoretical explanation

Chapter.  9381 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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