Explanatory Realism, Causal Realism, and Explanatory Exclusion

Jaegwon Kim

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585878
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595349 | DOI:
Explanatory Realism, Causal Realism, and Explanatory Exclusion

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“Explanatory Realism, Causal Realism, and Explanatory Exclusion” explores issues arising from taking a realist, or an irrealist, attitude toward explanation and causation. Explanatory realism is the view that when we invoke an event as explaining another event, there must be some objective relation holding for the two events if the explanation is to be correct. In the case of a causal explanation, for example, the explaining event must objectively be a cause of the event explained. Explanatory irrealism denies that such a relation needs to exist as an objective correlate of an explanatory relation. Causal realism is the view that causal relations are objectively real relations in the world, whereas causal irrealists claim that causal relations are in the eye of the beholder, or, in any case, that causal relations are not metaphysically real. The essay concludes with a discussion of how one's stance on these possible views affects the issue of explanatory exclusion, namely the seeming fact that two or more explanations of a single event exclude one another.

Keywords: explanatory realism; causal realism; causal irrealism; explanatory exclusion; explanatory overdetermination; D‐N explanation

Chapter.  8052 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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