Breaking the explanatory circle

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Breaking the explanatory circle. / Hicks, Michael Townsen.

In: Philosophical Studies, 30.03.2020, p. 1-26.

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@article{a12b4501433f4b41b274da8f2055a625,
title = "Breaking the explanatory circle",
abstract = "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{\textquoteright}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{\textquoteright}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.",
keywords = "Explanation, Laws of nature, Humeanism, Circularity objection, Metaphysics, Grounding, Causation, Metaphysical explanation, Metaphysics of science",
author = "Hicks, {Michael Townsen}",
year = "2020",
month = mar,
day = "30",
doi = "10.1007/s11098-020-01444-9",
language = "English",
pages = "1--26",
journal = "Philosophical Studies",
issn = "0031-8116",
publisher = "Springer",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Breaking the explanatory circle

AU - Hicks, Michael Townsen

PY - 2020/3/30

Y1 - 2020/3/30

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Explanation

KW - Laws of nature

KW - Humeanism

KW - Circularity objection

KW - Metaphysics

KW - Grounding

KW - Causation

KW - Metaphysical explanation

KW - Metaphysics of science

U2 - 10.1007/s11098-020-01444-9

DO - 10.1007/s11098-020-01444-9

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 26

JO - Philosophical Studies

JF - Philosophical Studies

SN - 0031-8116

ER -