Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Probable and The Provable$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

L. Jonathan Cohen

Print publication date: 1977

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 April 2019

Criteria of Merit for Explanations of Individual Events

Criteria of Merit for Explanations of Individual Events

Chapter:
(p.282) 20 Criteria of Merit for Explanations of Individual Events
Source:
The Probable and The Provable
Author(s):

L. Jonathan Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.003.0021

This chapter explores the criteria of merit for explanations of individual events. It first introduces Hempel's theory of explanation for individual events. The covering laws for both proofs and explanations are reviewed. Apart from various forms of incompleteness that do not necessarily invalidate what Hempel calls deductive-nomological explanation, there is also a kind of insufficiency in the statement of explanatory conditions that according to Hempel renders an attempt at such explanation merely programmatic. But this is paradoxical and the paradox can be avoided by recognizing that the adequacy of the explanation varies with its inductive probability. In explaining individual events, it does not need to aim at maximum comprehensiveness in the covering laws invoked, as when uniformities are explained: rather, the more adequate the explanation, the more heavily qualified the covering law is likely to be.

Keywords:   theory of explanation, Hempel, individual events, covering laws, proofs, inductive probability

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .