more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13053

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

Full Idea

To provide an adequate explanation of any given fact, we need to provide information that is relevant to the occurrence of that fact - information that makes a difference to its occurrence. It is not enough to subsume it under a general law.

Gist of Idea

A law is not enough for explanation - we need information about what makes a difference


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 2.2)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.45

A Reaction

[He cites Bromberger for this idea] Salmon is identifying this idea as the beginnings of trouble for the covering-law account of explanation, and it sounds exactly right.