Causality and Explanation

Paperback | October 1, 1997

byWesley C. Salmon

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For over two decades Wesley Salmon has helped to shape the course of debate in philosophy of science. He is a major contributor to the philosophical discussion of problems associated with causality and the author of two influential books on scientific explanation. This long-awaited volumecollects twenty- six of Salmon's essays, including seven that have never before been published and others difficult to find. Part I comprises five introductory essays that presuppose no formal training in philosophy of science and form a background for subsequent essays. Parts II and III containSalmon's seminal work on scientific explanation and causality. Part IV offers survey articles that feature advanced material but remain accessible to those outside philosophy of science. Essays in Part V address specific issues in particular scientific disciplines, namely, archaeology andanthropology, astrophysics and cosmology, and physics. Clear, compelling, and essential, this volume offers a superb introduction to philosophy of science for nonspecialists and belongs on the bookshelf of all who carry out work in this exciting field. Wesley Salmon is renowned for his seminal contributions to the philosophy of science. He haspowerfully and permanently shaped discussion of such issues as lawlike and probabilistic explanation and the interrelation of explanatory notions to causal notions. This unique volume brings together twenty-six of his essays on subjects related to causality and explanation, written over the period1971-1995. Six of the essays have never been published before and many others have only appeared in obscure venues. The volume includes a section of accessible introductory pieces, as well as more advanced and technical pieces, and will make essential work in the philosophy of science readilyavailable to both scholars and students.

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From the Publisher

For over two decades Wesley Salmon has helped to shape the course of debate in philosophy of science. He is a major contributor to the philosophical discussion of problems associated with causality and the author of two influential books on scientific explanation. This long-awaited volumecollects twenty- six of Salmon's essays, includi...

Wesley C. Salmon is at University of Pittsburgh.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 1.18 inPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195108647

ISBN - 13:9780195108644

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Table of Contents

IntroductionIntroductory Essays1. A New Look at Causality2. Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Science3. Comets, Pollen, and Dreams: Some Reflections on Scientific Explanation4. Scientific Explanation: Causation and Unification5. The Importance of Scientific UnderstandingScientific Explanation6. A Third Dogma of Empiricism7. Causal and Theoretical Explanation8. Why Ask "Why?"? An Inquiry Concerning Scientific Explanation9. Deductivism Visited and Revisited10. Explanatory Asymmetry11. Van Frassen On ExplanationCausality12. An "At-At" Theory of Causal Influence13. Causal Propensities: Statistical Causality vs Aleatory Causality14. Probabilistic Causality15. Intuitions: Good and Not-So-Good16. Causality without Counterfactuals17. Indeterminacy, Indeterminism, and Quantum MechanicsConcise Overviews18. Causality: Production and Propagation19. Scientific Explanation: How We Got From There to Here20. Scientific Explanation: Three Basic ConceptionsApplications to Other Disciplines21. Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation22. Causality in Archaeological Explanation23. Explanation in Archaeology: An Update24. Formation of Why-Questions25. Quasars, Causality and Geometry26. Dreams of a Famous Physicist: An Apology for Philosophy of ScienceReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"...Salmon has been exploring the nature of scientific understanding for his long professional life, and in these wise, beautifully written essays he advances the explanation of scientific explanation yet a little more....A very illuminating work, highly recommended."--Choice