Ideas from 'Causal Explanation' by David Lewis [1986], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Philosophical Papers Vol.2' by Lewis,David [OUP 1986,0-19-503646-8]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 6. Verisimilitude
Verisimilitude has proved hard to analyse, and seems to have several components
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
A disposition needs a causal basis, a property in a certain causal role. Could the disposition be the property?
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
We can explain a chance event, but can never show why some other outcome did not occur
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Does a good explanation produce understanding? That claim is just empty
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations
Science may well pursue generalised explanation, rather than laws
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / f. Necessity in explanations
A good explanation is supposed to show that the event had to happen
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
Lewis endorses the thesis that all explanation of singular events is causal explanation
To explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause
Explaining match lighting in general is like explaining one lighting of a match
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause
Ways of carving causes may be natural, but never 'right'
We only pick 'the' cause for the purposes of some particular enquiry.
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Causal dependence is counterfactual dependence between events