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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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Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation

Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation

Chapter:
(p.333) 21 Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation
Source:
Causality and Explanation
Author(s):

Wesley C. Salmon

Merrilee H. Salmon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195108647.003.0022

Coauthored with Merrilee Salmon, addresses archaeologists and other anthropologists interested in the nature of scientific explanation. A group called the new archaeologists, concerned to assure the scientific status of archaeology, had become convinced that a sine qua non of science is the construction of explanations conforming to Hempel's D‐N model. The authors aim was to show that a much wider class of covering law models of explanation is available, and that others in this set are more suitable than the D‐N model for archaeology and anthropology. At the same time, they show that the so‐called systems approach, advocated by other archaeologists, has all of the shortcomings of the D‐N model without offering improvements in exchange.

Keywords:   anthropology, archaeology, covering law model, deductive–nomological model, explanation, Salmon, systems approach

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