Single Idea 15555

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause]

Full Idea

Explaining why struck matches light in general is not so very different from explaining why some particular struck match lit. ...We may generalize modestly, without laying claim to universality.

Gist of Idea

Explaining match lighting in general is like explaining one lighting of a match


David Lewis (Causal Explanation [1986], IV)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.2' [OUP 1986], p.225

A Reaction

A suggestive remark, since particular causation and general causation seem far apart, but Lewis suggests that the needs of explanation bring them together. Lawlike and unlawlike explanations?