Single Idea 17491

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism]

Full Idea

One of the advantages of the move from nomological to mechanistic modes of explanation is that the latter allows for explanations involving exception-ridden generalizations.


'Nomological' means lawlike

Gist of Idea

Unlike the lawlike approach, mechanistic explanation can allow for exceptions


Stuart Glennan (Mechanisms [2008], 'regular')

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science', ed/tr. Psillos,S/Curd,M [Routledge 2010], p.378

A Reaction

The lawlike approach has endless problems with 'ceteris paribus' ('all things being equal') laws, where specifying all the other 'things' seems a bit tricky.