structure for 'Science'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations

[explanation as showing the causes of events]

32 ideas
Democritus was devoted to discovering causal explanations [Democritus, by Eusebius]
To investigate the causes of things, study what is best for them [Plato]
To grasp something, trace it back to its natural origins [Aristotle]
The foundation or source is stronger than the thing it causes [Aristotle]
Geometrical proofs do not show causes, as when we prove a triangle contains two right angles [Proclus]
Science aims to show causes and generation of things [Hobbes]
We should admit only enough causes to explain a phenomenon, and no more [Newton]
Natural effects of the same kind should be assumed to have the same causes [Newton]
Minds are best explained by their ends, and bodies by efficient causes [Leibniz]
Causal inference is by spotting either Agreements or Differences [Mill, by Lipton]
If scientific explanation is causal, that rules out mathematical explanation [Smart]
Hempel rejects causation as part of explanation [Hempel, by Salmon]
Flagpoles explain shadows, and not vice versa, because of temporal ordering [Salmon]
Lewis endorses the thesis that all explanation of singular events is causal explanation [Lewis, by Psillos]
To explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history [Lewis]
An explanation tells us how an event was caused [Lewis]
Often explanaton seeks fundamental laws, rather than causal histories [Lewis]
The causal theory of explanation neglects determinations which are not causal [Ruben]
To explain is to give either the causal history, or the causal mechanism [Lipton]
Mathematical and philosophical explanations are not causal [Lipton]
Explanations may be easier to find than causes [Lipton]
A cause may not be an explanation [Lipton]
Causal inferences are clearest when we can manipulate things [Lipton]
Not all explanations are causal, but if a thing can be explained at all, it can be explained causally [Sanford]
There are non-causal explanations, most typically mathematical explanations [Psillos]
An explanation can just be a 'causal story', without laws, as when I knock over some ink [Psillos]
An explanation is a causal graph [Woodward,J, by Strevens]
Natural explanations give the causal interconnections [Haslanger]
Not all explanation is causal. We don't explain a painting's beauty, or the irrationality of root-2, that way [Stout,R]
Explanation of causal phenomena concerns essential kinds - but also lack of them [Chakravartty]
Greek uses the same word for 'cause' and 'explanation' [Koslicki]
There are plenty of examples of non-causal explanation [Audi,P]