Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World

  title={Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World},
  author={James F. Woodward and Wesley Salmon},
The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view (a version of the epistemic conception) is untenable and that the modal conception is scientifically out-dated. Significantly revising aspects of his… 

Causal explanation and scientific realism

It is widely believed that many of the competing accounts of scientific explanation have ramifications which are relevant to the scientific realism debate. I claim that the two issues are orthogonal.

Causal Explanations: Are They Possible in Physics?

The existence of causal explanations in science has been an issue of interest in Western philosophy from its very beginnings. That is the reason this work, following an idea of Mario Bunge, makes a

A Metaphysically Neutral Theory of Singular Scientific Explanation

Modern philosophical debate on explanation began with Hempel and Oppenheim's 1948 article: Studies in the Logic of Explanation . Hempel and Oppenheim's view: their Deductive-Nomological model of

Interventionist Causation in Physical Science

The current consensus view of causation in physics, as commonly held by scientists and philosophers, has several serious problems. It fails to provide an epistemology for the causal knowledge that it

Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature*

This paper proposes a revision of our understanding of causation that is designed to address what Hartry Field has suggested is the central problem in the metaphysics of causation today: reconciling

Notions of Cause: Russell's thesis revisited*

We discuss Russell's 1913 essay arguing for the irrelevance of the idea of causation to science and its elimination from metaphysics as a precursor to contemporary philosophical naturalism. We show

The Role of Causality in Scientific Models of Explanation in the Context of the Retrieval of the Classical Concept of Divine Action

The legitimacy of going back to the classical view of God’s action in the world based on the list of causes and understanding of chance in the works of Aristotle and Aquinas – in the context of

The Structure of Scientific Theories, Explanation, and Unification. A Causal–Structural Account

  • B. Leuridan
  • Philosophy
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2014
What are scientific theories and how should they be represented? In this article, I propose a causal–structural account, according to which scientific theories are to be represented as sets of

Physics’ Contribution to Causation

  • M. Kistler
  • Philosophy, Physics
    Kriterion – Journal of Philosophy
  • 2021
Abstract Most philosophers of physics are eliminativists about causation. Following Bertrand Russell’s lead, they think that causation is a folk concept that cannot be rationally reconstructed within


Explaining the Brain

This is probably the finest textbook on surgical pathology by British authors at present on the market, and it can be recommended most heartily, as the authors intended, to surgeons.