Chapter

Scientific 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/10.1093/0195108647.003.0020
Scientific Explanation

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Contains a brief history of the developments in the philosophy of scientific explanation in the 40 years following the publication in 1948 of Carl G. Hempel and Paul Oppenheim's seminal article, “Studies in the Logic of Explanation” (reprinted in Aspects of Scientific Explanation, (Hempel , 1965)). Their article, which presents the Deductive–Nomological Model, is the fountainhead from which almost all philosophical work on scientific explanation in the second half of the twentieth century flowed. This essay provides historical insight into philosophical controversies about scientific explanation at the end of the century. These same historical themes are treated more thoroughly in the author's Four Decades of Scientific Explanation (1990).

Keywords: Deductive–Nomological Model; Hempel; Oppenheim; philosophy of science; scientific explanation

Chapter.  9565 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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