back to idea for this text


Single Idea 17093

[from 'Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World' by Wesley Salmon, in 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism ]

Full Idea

Causal processes, causal interactions, and causal laws provide the mechanisms by which the world works; to understand why certain things happen, we need to see how they are produced by these mechanisms.

Gist of Idea

Causation produces productive mechanisms; to understand the world, understand these mechanisms

Source

Wesley Salmon (Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World [1984]), quoted by David-Hillel Ruben - Explaining Explanation Ch 7

Book Reference

Ruben,David-Hillel: 'Explaining Explanation' [Routledge 1990], p.211


A Reaction

I don't think I've ever found a better quotation on explanation. That strikes me as correct, and (basically) there is nothing more to be said. I'm not sure about the 'laws'. This is later Wesley Salmon.