Explaining Explanation

Explaining Explanation : Essays in the Philosophy of the Special Sciences

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Far from being inferior to physics, the special sciences are crucial to understanding what is distinctive about scientific explanation: that description is just as important as ontology and that having the right attitude toward empirical evidence is as necessary as having the right method. Explaining Explanation is a collection of Lee McIntyre's most significant philosophical essays from over the last twenty years. The principle areas of concern are the philosophy of social science and the philosophy of chemistry, but essays also cover more general problems such as underdetermination, explanatory exclusion, the accommodation-prediction debate, and laws in biological science. Despite the disparate themes of each essay-complexity, laws, explanation, prediction, reduction, supervenience, emergence, and redescription-they all converge through the lens of the special sciences, focusing on what it means to "explain" in the sciences.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 151 x 228 x 15mm | 376g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0761858695
  • 9780761858690

Review quote

Brilliantly arguing against the nearly universal acceptance of the superiority of explanations in physics, McIntyre makes the strongest case yet for the importance of the special sciences. -- Michael Martin, professor emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Boston University Lee McIntyre's new collection of papers shows that he is not afraid to swim against the academic tide regardless of whether he is discussing the nature of predictions, supervenience, whether there are laws in the social sciences, or making original contributions to the emerging field of philosophy of chemistry. This book will be of interest to all philosophers of science and philosophers in general. -- Eric Scerri, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, and author of The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance
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About Lee McIntyre

Lee McIntyre is a research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and a lecturer in philosophy at Simmons College. He is the author of Laws and Explanation in the Social Sciences (Westview Press, 1996) and Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior (MIT Press, 2006).
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