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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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The Formulation of Why‐Questions

The Formulation of Why‐Questions

Chapter:
(p.364) 24 The Formulation of Why‐Questions
Source:
Causality and Explanation
Author(s):

Wesley C. Salmon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195108647.003.0025

Is a response to a criticism, posed by an anthropologist (M. Cartmill), of the Statistical Relevance (S‐R) model of explanation. The author claims that the objection does not hold. Although he believes that the model must be supplemented by causal considerations, he maintains that the S‐R schema constitutes a correct basis on which acceptable explanations can be erected (see Ch. 22). In answering Cartmill's question, the author examines the high‐probability requirement of Hempel's Inductive Statistical (I‐S) model, and clarifies some fundamental features of the S‐R model. His response connects directly to van Fraassen's pragmatic theory, which is discussed from a different angle in Ch. 11.

Keywords:   Cartmill, explanation, Van Fraassen, Hempel, High‐probability Requirement, inductive–statistical model, pragmatism, statistical relevance

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