more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13063

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism]

Full Idea

I favour an ontic conception of explanation, that explanations reveal the mechanisms, causal or other, that produce the facts we are trying to explain.

Gist of Idea

Explanations reveal the mechanisms which produce the facts


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 4.1)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.121

A Reaction

[He also cites Coffa and Peter Railton] A structure may explain, and only be supported by causal powers, but it doesn't seem to be the causal powers that do the explaining. Is a peg fitting a hole explained causally?