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Causality and Explanation$
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Wesley C. Salmon

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195108647.001.0001

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Scientific Explanation

Scientific Explanation

How We Got from There to Here

Chapter:
(p.302) 19 Scientific Explanation
Source:
Causality and Explanation
Author(s):

Wesley C. Salmon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195108647.003.0020

Contains a brief history of the developments in the philosophy of scientific explanation in the 40 years following the publication in 1948 of Carl G. Hempel and Paul Oppenheim's seminal article, “Studies in the Logic of Explanation” (reprinted in Aspects of Scientific Explanation, (Hempel , 1965)). Their article, which presents the Deductive–Nomological Model, is the fountainhead from which almost all philosophical work on scientific explanation in the second half of the twentieth century flowed. This essay provides historical insight into philosophical controversies about scientific explanation at the end of the century. These same historical themes are treated more thoroughly in the author's Four Decades of Scientific Explanation (1990).

Keywords:   Deductive–Nomological Model, Hempel, Oppenheim, philosophy of science, scientific explanation

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