Chapter

Deductivism Visited and Revisited

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/10.1093/0195108647.003.0010
Deductivism Visited and Revisited

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Attacks explanatory deductivism, the view that all genuine explanations have the form of a correct deductive argument. The view has strong intuitive appeal to many philosophers. The author offers a defense against the claim that there are no statistical explanations of particular facts. In other words, he shows that statistical explanations of statistical generalizations – in the form that Hempel designated as the deductive–statistical (D‐S) variety – are not the only correct forms of statistical explanation. He exposes a glaring conflict between the deductive–nomological (D‐N) model of explanation and basic causal considerations relevant to explanation.

Keywords: cause; deductive–nomological explanation; deductive–statistical explanation; deductivism; explanation; Hempel; statistical explanation

Chapter.  12638 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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