more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13051

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

The deductive-nomological view has an explanation/prediction symmetry thesis - that a correct explanation could be a scientific prediction, and that any deductive prediction could serve as a deductive-nomological explanation.


'Nomological' means concerning laws

Gist of Idea

Deductive-nomological explanations will predict, and their predictions will explain


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 1.1)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.24

A Reaction

Of course, not all predictions will explain, or vice versa. Weird regularities become predictable but remain baffling. Good explanations may be of unrepeatable events. It is the 'law' in the account that ties the two ends together.