Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Explanation: making a statement in relation to an event, a state, a change or an action that was described before by a deviating statement. The statement will often try to involve circumstances, history, logical premises, causes and causality. See also description, statements, theories, understanding, literal truth, best explanation, causality, cause, completeness.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon
I 36
Explanation/Law/Lewis: Problem: my behavior is always explained by individual facts premises - Solution: the laws are implied by these individual fact premises - the attributions can only be true if something holds the causal role necessary, e.g., for wishes - this role can only be played by states that are connected causally in the right way with the behavior.
V 218
Explanation/Sylvain Bromberger: something that needs time, language, speaker, etc. - Lewis: also something that can perhaps never be given.
219 V
Lewis: even things can explain something.
V 220
Event patterns can be described with different descriptions - there is also negative information e.g. about Arctic penguins and that there are no arctic penguins.
V 211
Lewis: Thesis: there are no non-causal explanations.
V 221
Non-causal explanation/LewisVs: 1) E.g. refractive index - Fermat: light must follow the shortest route - the refractive index is that part of the glass that has not yet been reached by the light - the pattern of alternate routes is part of the explanation, but not part the causal story - the explanation consists in relational information - 2) non-causal: star collapse comes to an end, so as not to violate the Pauli principle - 3) non-causal: possession of anti-bodies does not cause immunity - the immunity consists in the possession of anti-bodies - solution/Lewis: the possession is a disposition - it plays a causal role - solution/Lewis: What is explained is that something protects the patient.
V 232
Probability explanation/Peter Railton/Lewis: "deductive-nomological model of probabilistic explanation" - it must be distinguished from Fetzer's model: for both are: covering law/Raiton/Fetzer: universal generalization about an individual case chances - FetzerVsRailton: as in Hempel: inductive, not deductive. Explanation: like argument - LewisVsFetzer: But: a good explanation is not necessarily a good argument - LewisVsFetzer/LewisVsRailton: both want an explanation, even if the event is extremely unlikely, but in that case a good explanation is a very bad argument - probability/explanation/Hempel: deviates from his deductive-nomological model.
V 238
Explanation/unity/Lewis: Explanation is not a thing of which one can demand unity - rather something of which you can have more or less. LewisVsWhite, Morton: then a "therefore-response" is not an existential statement.
V 269
Explanation/Lewis: partly causal, partly non-causal information.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

D. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

D. Lewis
Konventionen Berlin 1975

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

LwCl I
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

> Counter arguments against Lewis
> Counter arguments in relation to Explanation

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-07-21