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A Unificationist Theory of Scientific Explanation

Schweder, Rebecca LU (2004)
Abstract
What is the relation between scientific explanation and understanding? The thesis investigates a notion of understanding that is believed to be central to scientific explanation. The role of understanding in explanation is double: it is both an essential component, as well as a criterion, by which we select bona fide explanations from non-explanations. The model of explanation that is outlined in the thesis is a version of the unificationist model of explanation. In the thesis, this model is compared to Hempel's covering law model. The two models share some assumptions, but as it turns out, the unificationist model has more resources and is better suited to meet some of the objections that have been thought to be detrimental to the... (More)
What is the relation between scientific explanation and understanding? The thesis investigates a notion of understanding that is believed to be central to scientific explanation. The role of understanding in explanation is double: it is both an essential component, as well as a criterion, by which we select bona fide explanations from non-explanations. The model of explanation that is outlined in the thesis is a version of the unificationist model of explanation. In the thesis, this model is compared to Hempel's covering law model. The two models share some assumptions, but as it turns out, the unificationist model has more resources and is better suited to meet some of the objections that have been thought to be detrimental to the covering law model. The final part of the thesis is an investigation of theory reduction. The contention is that reduction is best accounted for as a sort of explanation, and it is argued that as such, it is best understood within the framework of the unificationist model of explanation that is outlined in the first part of the thesis. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Lipton, Peter, University of Cambridge
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
theory reduction, explanatory argument, covering law model, unificationism, scientific explanation, understanding, Philosophical logic, Teoretisk filosofi, logik
pages
144 pages
publisher
Department of Philosophy, Lund University
defense location
Room 104, Kungshuset, LundagÄrd, Lund.
defense date
2004-04-14 11:30
ISBN
91-628-6004-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2fd45ca9-f44a-48ee-a9ab-8299e94aa5a4 (old id 21915)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 12:24:44
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:02
@misc{2fd45ca9-f44a-48ee-a9ab-8299e94aa5a4,
  abstract     = {What is the relation between scientific explanation and understanding? The thesis investigates a notion of understanding that is believed to be central to scientific explanation. The role of understanding in explanation is double: it is both an essential component, as well as a criterion, by which we select bona fide explanations from non-explanations. The model of explanation that is outlined in the thesis is a version of the unificationist model of explanation. In the thesis, this model is compared to Hempel's covering law model. The two models share some assumptions, but as it turns out, the unificationist model has more resources and is better suited to meet some of the objections that have been thought to be detrimental to the covering law model. The final part of the thesis is an investigation of theory reduction. The contention is that reduction is best accounted for as a sort of explanation, and it is argued that as such, it is best understood within the framework of the unificationist model of explanation that is outlined in the first part of the thesis.},
  author       = {Schweder, Rebecca},
  isbn         = {91-628-6004-6},
  keyword      = {theory reduction,explanatory argument,covering law model,unificationism,scientific explanation,understanding,Philosophical logic,Teoretisk filosofi,logik},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {144},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb03e688)},
  title        = {A Unificationist Theory of Scientific Explanation},
  year         = {2004},
}