more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13054

[catalogued under 14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction]

Full Idea

Various kinds of correlations exist that provide excellent bases for prediction, but because no suitable causal relations exist (or are known), these correlations do not furnish explanation.

Gist of Idea

Correlations can provide predictions, but only causes can give explanations


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 2.3)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.49

A Reaction

There may be problem cases for the claim that all explanations are causal, but I certainly think that this idea is essentially right. Prediction can come from induction, but inductions may be true and yet baffling.