more from Jonathan Schaffer

Single Idea 17308

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / b. Contrastive explanations]

Full Idea

Explaining why ADAM ate the apple is a different matter from explaining why he ATE the apple, and from why he ate THE APPLE. ...In my view the best explanations incorporate ....contrastive information.

Gist of Idea

Explaining 'Adam ate the apple' depends on emphasis, and thus implies a contrast


Jonathan Schaffer (Grounding, Transitivity and Contrastivity [2012], 4.3.1)

Book Reference

'Metaphysical Grounding', ed/tr. Correia,F/Schnieder,B [CUP 2012], p.131

A Reaction

But why are the contrasts Eve, or throwing it, or a pear? It occurs to me that this is wrong! The contrast is with anything else which could have gone in subject, verb or object position. It is a matter of categories, not of contrasts.

Related Idea

Idea 19158 'Humanity belongs to Socrates' is about humanity, so it's a different proposition from 'Socrates is human' [Davidson]