Single Idea 6758

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

The fact that something fits the 'covering law' model of explanation is no guarantee that it is an explanation, for that depends on what other explanations are there to be found.

Gist of Idea

'Covering law' explanations only work if no other explanations are to be found


Alexander Bird (Philosophy of Science [1998], Ch.2)

Book Reference

Bird,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Science' [UCL Press 2000], p.73

A Reaction

He gives Achinstein's example of a poisoned man who is run over by a bus. It has to be a basic requirement of explanations that they are the 'best', and not just something that fits a formula.