Breaking the explanatory circle
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Colleges, School and Institutes
Humeans are often accused of positing laws which fail to explain or are involved in explanatory circularity. Here, I will argue that these arguments are confused, but not because of anything to do with Humeanism: rather, they rest on false assumptions about causal explanation. I’ll show how these arguments can be neatly sidestepped if one takes on two plausible commitments which are motivated independently of Humeanism: first, that laws don’t directly feature in scientific explanation--a view defended recently by Ruben (in R Inst Philos Suppl 27:95–117, 1990, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1358246100005063 and Skow (in Reasons Why, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016) and second, the view that explanation is contrastive. After outlining and motivating these views, I show how they bear on explanation-based arguments against Humeanism.
|Number of pages||26|
|Early online date||30 Mar 2020|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 30 Mar 2020|
- Explanation, Laws of nature, Humeanism, Circularity objection, Metaphysics, Grounding, Causation, Metaphysical explanation, Metaphysics of science