Ideas from 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation' by Wesley Salmon [1989], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation' by Salmon,Wesley C. (ed/tr Humphreys,Paul) [Pittsburgh 2006,0-8229-5926-7]].

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11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
Understanding is an extremely vague concept
It is knowing 'why' that gives scientific understanding, not knowing 'that'
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction
Correlations can provide predictions, but only causes can give explanations
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
For the instrumentalists there are no scientific explanations
14. Science / C. Induction / 4. Reason in Induction
Good induction needs 'total evidence' - the absence at the time of any undermining evidence
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Scientific explanation is not reducing the unfamiliar to the familiar
Why-questions can seek evidence as well as explanation
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
The 'inferential' conception is that all scientific explanations are arguments
Ontic explanations can be facts, or reports of facts
The three basic conceptions of scientific explanation are modal, epistemic, and ontic
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
We must distinguish true laws because they (unlike accidental generalizations) explain things
Deductive-nomological explanations will predict, and their predictions will explain
A law is not enough for explanation - we need information about what makes a difference
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / f. Causal explanations
Flagpoles explain shadows, and not vice versa, because of temporal ordering
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / h. Explanations by mechanism
Explanation at the quantum level will probably be by entirely new mechanisms
Does an item have a function the first time it occurs?
Explanations reveal the mechanisms which produce the facts
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Probabilistic explanations
Can events whose probabilities are low be explained?
Statistical explanation needs relevance, not high probability
Think of probabilities in terms of propensities rather than frequencies